Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 17, 2015 7:00pm-9:01pm EDT

7:00 pm
er the president's budget, it will be a total of 120,000. we've significantly reduced our size and ability to respond. in addition to that, we still have about a four to five year readiness problem. we still don't have enough money even as we go down to those levels until about 2020. we have about a five-year significant risk. we've already cancelled our infantry fighting vehicle, which we desperately need. >> i'm not asking for examples of cuts you don't want to make. i'm asking for examples of cuts you do want to make, but for reasons within the congress you're not able to make them. >> what i would say is brac, we have a billion dollars half a billion dollars a year in infrastructure in the army. we have to address that issue, if we don't, we're going to have to pay for that.
7:01 pm
an army aviation restructuring initiative both of those combine to be $6 billion. if we don't get those reforms. we're going to have to find $6 billion, and find another half a billion for brac, that's who it costs every year for excess infrastructure. if we don't get those things, we're going to have to find that money somewhere. >> great thank you. >> for navy and marine corps, it is slowing down the growth of pay and compensation. it's -- we simply have to do that. we are at the point where we're choosing between keeping people or getting them the tools that they need to do their job. and i think that the proposals that have been put forward are reasonable, they're sound.
7:02 pm
and from talking to sailors and marines around the world they are the thing that concerns them the most is certainty. and the concern about sequester and whether they will have the tools to do the job that they joined the navy and marine corps to do. >> congressman, in addition you heard me with the compensation reforms, i agree with brac. i would add a couple other examples over the last year or two. we have a series of aging platforms, where we have proposed retiring some of them in order to free up money to modernize the rest of them. and to go to the next generation. and those sorts of actions have tended to be blocked. so i'm thinking of the j-stars last year, and there's a series of them in that regard. one other that i'll give you which is difficult to work through, and i'm an alumni of this committee, i understand this, but nonetheless, these are
7:03 pm
tough choices. we have too many overall c-130s in our fleet. for all the shortages we have, that's the one platform that leaps to mind that we probably have too many of them. we're trying to reduce the overall numbers modernize, upgrade some of the older ones we're going to keep we have all this going on at once and we're trying to shift them around the country to get better efficiencies and also to provide certain coverage of certain areas, because we don't have the authority to do a brac. that whole movement, that entire plan has been put on hold. and so we can't do it until we provide additional information, more reports and the like. those would be some additional exams i would offer up. >> if i may, we appreciate the work with the congress and our modernization program. the original sustainment modernization and operational fund, if we could get back to the original intent of that fund and remove those restraints that would be helpful. >> i think the key point here,
7:04 pm
sometimes when we're protecting jobs back here at home. we're putting lives at risk overseas it it's really your decision to make those tradeoffs, if you have anything to add in writing, i appreciate it. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. mr. gibson? >> i appreciate the panelists, and i for one have been listening these many months and years, i think the services have provided great detail and impacts on the sequester. i voted for ryan murray, that gave us reprieve for two years, i hope that we have the wisdom and the will, we summon it up to replace hopefully in total, the sequester, but at least for a period of time to give some stability for the services going-forward. mr. chairman, you mentioned agility, just a few moments ago,
7:05 pm
that's where i want to go with this. two different types of threats. with nation states, so much of the world's actions can be explained by this concept of deterrents. and deterrents roughly assembled through capability and will. and i'm interested in delving into strategic maneuver. restoring the global response force capability. i'm interested from each of the services your commitment from the global response force. you can include modelling and simulation and exercises. >> i believe i'll be the same. the problem we have is, feeling the global response force and all our assets are being used in operations everywhere else.
7:06 pm
the air force is that we have a limited capacity now in certain key areas. we have got isr, mobility, air refueling, and command and control in demand and all parts of the globe. and as a result, we cannot meet the commander's requirements today in those areas. we don't have enough of it any more. as you heard us discuss already today. we will have to take more capacity out of those areas. we're committed to global response force, they're already doing something. >> i would say, one of the things i think our committee ought to be doing is documenting the risk. we talk every day about russia, we talk about iran, north korea, we haven't really talked about our role in restoring this capability. let me go to the other services.
7:07 pm
>> our situation is much like general welch we're meeting our requirements in the global response force right now which is a fairly small commitment. it's the forces that are back at home station, currently about 50% of them that have training, personnel and equipment shortfalls that are the concern. it's our ability to deal with the unexpected that really is the issue. >> thank you, congressman. >> in fact i was at fleet forces command when we sequestered in 2013. and the first thing that happened is, we ended up eliminating some deployments and we ended up reducing flying hours and getting that next set of deployers ready to go. we ended up delaying the deployment of a carrier, when you talk about the global response force our ability to train our folks and our ability to have that next set ready is very much tied to the budgetary
7:08 pm
top line. right now, we're -- we have two carriers ready to go, we always have two ready to go, we're building back up to a larger surge capacity clearly with sequestration our ability to maintain that projection is significant significantly challenged. >> we have a designated force out of the 82nd division with en5ib8ers prepared to go. what i would say is the fact that we have less camability out of the army now, the importance of global response force has increased significantly. and unfortunately i think it goes beyond now just the ability of the 82nd airborne division to force entry operations anywhere in the world. i go back to general dunford. it's about the air force being able to respond directly. i worry about the readiness levels as we stated earlier,
7:09 pm
those units having the ability and capability of being able to do that. >> putting the joint dod piece on this is modelling and how we work together as a team. thank you very much for the responses. >> mr. ashford. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you. from a parochial perspective. my district is omaha. the 55th air wing. as an historic tweak. my father flew bombers in world war ii. the plane was built at the martin bomber plant which is scheduled to be demolished after all these years. obviously we're very proud of it and it's history. stratcom, thank you for all your support there.
7:10 pm
there have been a number of questions asked, regarding this question, butt i really still don't have an answer. i -- it's not because of you. it seems so dynamic. the situation in the middle east where we were is dynamic, and it seems to me that if the we don't do something about sequestration, those problems are going to continue to exist. we don't know what's coming next. i would just ask one more time, what do you see in the next year to two years, through 2016 possibly, with the possibility of this situation in the middle east becoming more difficult or even just the level it's at now. >> i think we understand for sure what is a minimum, what we know we're going to have to continue to train iraqi security
7:11 pm
forces, advise them as well as a syrian moderate resistance, we know that for sure. that requires response forces in case our troops get into trouble that are there advicing we have to have forces that are readily available in kuwait and other places. that's the minimum. if we decide that's not working and the president makes the decision we have to do reassessment, we'll have to be prepared to do that. and that's the concern. are we prepared to do that. and do we have the readiness to accomplish that mission ifness necessary. >> if you would, from your perspective. >> i guess the even thing i would add is, there's two trends, you talk about dynamic. the shiite sunni issue. this is one -- it is a dynamic environment, we do know what we're trying to do in iraq and syria specifically. what we don't know is what's going to happen into 2016.
7:12 pm
which makes our readiness to deal with the unexpected all the more important. >> i think the -- the problems are dynamic that's what we can expect. more instability more uncertainty. more groups arising just like isis surprised most americans as it appeared. i think that will lead to frustration in the u.s., it will lead to frustration on the ground. and i think that will lead to more debate on the best approach to take as the situation changes again. and so i think this will be an ongoing discussion, ray was exactly right saying we're going do have to continue the operations we're executing now we're going to have to continue to execute them well. they have to be done in a manner that allows us options that this dynamic situation develops. >> it's just to see, observe what's going on, and the exceptionalism of the team over there is beyond anything. so thank you very much.
7:13 pm
>> mr. brooks. >> thank you, mr. chairman. 30 minutes before this hearing began, the embargo on congressman price's proposed house budget was lifted. it was embargoed until 9:30 a.m. this morning. i have some preliminary questions, and secretary mchugh, i hope you can assist me with those. what does the president request as his base budget for national defense? >> how about i give you the army number. >> does someone here have the total number for national defense nor the president and his budget? >> 571. >> 561. >> 561 is the base? >> and then how much for overseas contingency operations? >> again for the army it's 20 billion, so -- >> i think it's very close to 50 billion, 48 i believe is the number. >> i have it as 51 billion, does that sound about right? >> it sounds about right.
7:14 pm
that would give us a total of 612 billion, does that sound about right? the budget control act has a limitation on base. 523 billion, the president's proposing a burgdget that if my math is correct, about $38 billion more than what the budget control act says is permissible. >> do you have any information how you can disregard the budget control act of 2011 and throw out a budget that's $38 more than the limitation? no one? >> i won't speak to the lie, you directed. you asked if i could perhaps help on this, i can tell you in discussions, at osd level the president believes the sequestration level is so irresponsible that it -- >> if i can interject, i have limited time. i'm looking for the legal
7:15 pm
explanation not the policy explanation. i didn't hear anyone come up with a legal explanation. >> i'm a title 10 authority, i don't have legal responsibility from the department of defense. >> let me move on then to congressman price's proposed house budget. he starts accords to page 40 of his news release graph s-5. he's got the base at 523 billion. but then he has 94 billion for oko. in order to go beyond what the president has requested for national defense oko is defined as global war on terrorism. of that 94 billion for oko 20.5 billion is called reserve which we may or may not have received. it may be 70 some odd billion as opposed to the 94 that is in these graphs. for a rough total of around 617 billion.
7:16 pm
my question is kind of akin to what congressman fleming was asking. does it make any difference to the department of defense if the money comes to the department of defense via the base versus overseas contingency operations. how does it affect your ability that needs to be done. >> i think i addressed that earlier when i said that for the army receiving relief through our end strength provisions above 450 provides us $4.2 billion in one year relief. we view the -- >> can we? >> i'm trying to explain. >> well, i have only 1:10 left. so let me move on to something more specific. electoral combat ships being built in the state of alabama. can that be built out of oko funds? >> under the current rules, i don't believe any new construction can be.
7:17 pm
we did do -- >> we can't use it for that purpose, not as good as base money in that instance then. is that a fair statement? >> i believe that's correct. >> we do a lot of missile defense, can you do missile defense out of oko monies? general, do you know? >> as far as we know, we're not able to do that. it depends right now, we don't have the flexibility. it's about flexibility in the oko budget. we don't know how it's defined, it would be difficult to give an answer. >> is it fair for me to conclude that it is a whole lot better for the money to be in base as opposed to oko. and to the extent it's in oko. it does have some adverse effect on our national security capabilities. would you agree with that? >> yes, sir, i did earlier. it presents some challenges. >> secretary mavis, would you agree with that? >> yes it would be better to be in base. >> secretary james would you agree with that? >> yes. >> does anyone have an idea how
7:18 pm
much worse our national security would be? >> the worst is if we don't get this fixed through some mechanism. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary mavis i was happily surprised to see you devote so much time to power and energy initiatives in your written testimony. your comment about fuel being used as a weapon particularly struck out to me, i felt that there's a strategic imperative to energy use in the department of defense. in 2003 and 2007, dod put out numbers that said 80% of all supply trucks on the road in iraq and afghanistan -- over 3,000 americans troops and contractors were killed in fuel supply convoys. every time we talk about energy initiatives, what gets lost in a conversation are the national security implications of what you and other services are trying to do. it's not just about going green
7:19 pm
or trying to achieve some larger environmental goal, it's about developing technologies that will lighten the loads of our soldiers and marines. it's about developing technologies that will allow soldiers and marines to push further into the enemy territory. they're not dependent on huge logistical tales. it's also about enabling greater persistence, range, endurance and time on airplanes. it's about being able to project greater and more lethal power. anything that enables us to do that, i'm all for, and i think it should be embraced. could you outline some of the innovative anywhereinitiatives the navy is taking -- >> thank you so much. i couldn't be more articulate than you just were on that, some of the specific things that we are doing in energy efficiency we're doing everything from coatings, to changing the light
7:20 pm
bulbs, to doing voyage planning to putting electric drives on some of our larger ships for slower speeds to building an all electric ship. the marines as always are leading the way here and your statistic about we were losing a marine killed or wounded in afghanistan for every 50 fuel trucks that were brought in that's just too high a price to pay. we've got seal teams in the field that are pretty much net zero in terms of energy. they make their energy where they are and they make their water where they are. for a marine company by using solar power to power radios, gps's, they save 700 pounds of batteries per company. they don't have to be resupplied with that. in a larger, more strategic scale. the ability to use fuel as a
7:21 pm
weapon, and the volatility of fuel prices that go up dramatically and down dramatically create immense problems for us in terms of being able to pay for that fuel and being able to plan for how much that fuel is, and we're moving to a fan fossil fuel sources to provide some competition in the fuel market. but also to smooth out that volatility and to create american jobs and to have a home grown source of fuel. >> thank you. can you talk about some of the army initiatives? if you could have an lsa that could produce some of its own fuel on base and keep a convoy or two of soldiers out there, running fuel for the generators at bellad or some place. can you discuss that? >> as we discussed in the past it really is as you so accurately put a matter of
7:22 pm
soldiers lives. and that's particularly true with respect to our operational energy programs. we've conducted -- constricted our energy utilization by about 17% in recent years. the frustrating thing is, the cost of that energy, nevertheless continues to rise. but having said that, we think we have a responsibility to our soldiers as again you noted to lighten their load. like our friends in the marine corps, we have reduced weights. we have solar blankets that can be used in just about any climate to charge various radios, to charge our battery supplies significantly lessening the load and we've also, through the use of more efficient
7:23 pm
engines caused the need for fuel -- much less demanding. much fewer occasions. again, to the strategic aspect of this as secretary mavis said, this is a matter of yes the environment, it's also a matter of saving dollars. >> i appreciate that. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i appreciate this panel being here today this is directed to secretary james, it's referenced to the champ system added $10 million to the fy 15 omni bus proegss to build the system. the capability they have asked this committee for and right now is a cost effective way, you
7:24 pm
talk about affordability obviously, and we're looking to save money in areas that we can. but it's very cost effective for us and very expensive for our addversaryies to try to defeat. america is leading the world in technology at the moment. near pure nations are catching up, at a time when we really don't need that, and we certainly shouldn't deploy or delay deployment of this particular weapons system. despite the obvious benefits and the low cost timeliness of authorization, appropriation outright encouragement by this congress. i was briefed earlier this year, that the air force is not fully committed to building champ by 2016. this is not a limitation on technology, authority or funding. so please tell this committee, myself, if there's any aren't air force can't deliver champ in
7:25 pm
2016. >> mr. nugent. i'm going to yield to the chief i'm going to admit, i do not know a great deal about this program. it's one i'm going do look into more based on -- you're bringing this to our attention, i'll yield to the chief on this. [ inaudible ] >> to look at a new way of moving this plattformplatform. the second thing we want to do is do more maturation. we want it to be more efficient effective and more survivable. that's the near term focus. we want to produce a family of
7:26 pm
electromagnetic weapons. the idea of walking away is simply not true. one of the problems we've had, that has made us inefficient in getting started on this program is that we have built weapons and electronic warfare capability in portfolios. what they've done recognizing this problem several months ago he directed a cross functional study to bring our electronic warfare folks and weapons producers together, which is where champs has to work and test them to give him a study on the future of this weapons approach. and it's due this summer. we will be informing this summer on this do we plan to produce this weapon by fy 16? no, we can't get there from here. >> what's amazing to me, with all due respect is that this system has been tested in works on the system we have the cruise missile, and we have some in inventory because of the inf
7:27 pm
treaty, and it works. they also increased the capability of the system. we're not in a classified study. they have indicated to get it out in the field today is better than -- yes, it would be great to have a reuseable platform in the future, and should continue on that -- but to get it out into the field in a relatively short period of time at a relatively low cost by using an existing platform it's a stopgap. it's something that you fit in knowing full well that the long term is, you need to have a long term approach. today, it would give the war fighters the navy, and the army, and those that will need that capability right now. and right now i mean in terms of within a year or two versus
7:28 pm
ten years out on development. >> munitions in general are a major issue right now. socks are depleted marketly that's where the priority has been. i would love to have the folks on my staff who are working this issue, come sit and talk to you and get your view of this problem, and how you see the future for it and then sit and tell you exactly where we are in the study effort would that be they're? >> that would be fair. >> my questions are directed to secretary mavis and howard. i appreciate the time you spent in my district. your marks for christina montgomery were fabulous. >> what are the likely impacts to the electoral program of slowing or breaking production
7:29 pm
in fiscal year 16 17 18 as we move toward implementing the design upgrades in fy '19. >> we're in a block by -- they're in full serial production now. we've driven the cost down because of that from a beginning cost per hull of about $8 million. if you break that serial production. if you break that block by. number one, you lose some very skilled craftsmen that's very hard to get that back. the industrial base impact are enormous. number two, you end the economies of scale that we have now. and the ability to do these
7:30 pm
ships one after the other. number three, after the small surface test force looked at how to make the ships more lethal, more survive ableable, to come up with a package after looking at every possible type grade. for about $74 million a ship, it's going to be far more lethal and survivable and you can fit it on to this hull. to keep that -- those dollars, for the cost in those bounds at all, you have to keep this serial production going. you have a production break you're going to be looking again in the first of a ship class, you're going to be looking at job training that you'll do.
7:31 pm
the frigot will be on the same ship. you're going to end up getting fewer ships at a much higher cost, so any economies that you might think you were getting would just disappear. i think i use the term, it's a bizarre way to approach -- >> there's also an operational aspect. you slow down the build rate of the ships. they will replace the fleet. she's going to bring flexibility
7:32 pm
and agility. the longer we stretch out that gap, the less we can offer to the needs. >> finally congressman we have a need demonstrative need for 52 of these small surface combatants. we will not get there under the current budget under the current bill plan until 2028. we will be low in terms of these for the next more than a decade. >> there's been some comment we've had to make some redesigns and changes we learned new things and circumstances out there. is it any different to become a
7:33 pm
frigot, is it just our responding to the new circumstances we discovered? >> you're quite right, that is the essence of modernization for all of our services. for capital ships it takes a certain amount of time. the genius of lcs was to create the mission packages, the weapons systems, separate from the platform so that we could more quickly adjust to emerging threats. >> i just want to thank you both i know how hard you've worked for the fleet in general but in my particular concern has been the lcs, and i appreciate your leadership on that, and you'll have the continued support of this congress as you do so. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you to all of the witnesses here today. i want to direct my question to secretary mchugh, today and recently at a senate hearing, you said because of sequestration, the army will reduce its end strength to
7:34 pm
unconscionable levels by 2019. likely losing another six brigade combat teams and division headquarters along with associated effects to support infrastructure. fort drum is home to the tenth mountain division which i am privileged to represent. it's extremely unique in terms of its training capabilities, power projection and regional location in order to support our armed forces. this installation has already experienced these devastating cuts firsthand. with the deactivation of one of its brigades. buildings still being used and the potential loss of 16,000 soldier and civilian jobs due to another round of sequestration in the bca. these cuts as you know, would have a huge economic impact on new york and the northeast as a hole. fort drum is a training hum for all service branches and houses the army's most deployed division since 1990.
7:35 pm
because of the potential cuts to training facilities and troop count, due to sequestration, would you be able to give us your thoughts on how these cuts to ft. drum and other installations like it would impact the army's current and future missions overseas? >> thank you, congresswoman, and best wish ses. as i said in my opening comments the reality of sequestration is simply this. every post every camp, every station that the army conducts will see significant reductions. math matticly it's inescapable. and that includes ft. drum. we are blessed as an army to have a great plethora if you will of amazing bases that in places like the north country in
7:36 pm
your district support and provide an incredibly effective training ground and very welcoming home. but what we are faced with as all of us have said here today are the realities of the numbers that the budget would provide. and at 420,000 as you know, we're currently looking at possible reductions for our major military installations of up to 16,000. so that's in play. i think there's an irony here. i went through three base closure rounds i understand how painful they are. i lost a base in plattsburgh new york. thanks to the great efforts of the community that community came back. i understand the hesitency of many members here's the
7:37 pm
reality, without the support of a base closure round. we are forced rather than to take excess infrastructure where we believe it exists and spread these cuts almost in a peanut butter kind of fashion across all bases, across all installations, and it's not just a matter of end strength it is it to the point that you made our ability or inability really to keep up the facilities that are soldiers and their families rely upon and call home. so this is a very dangerous spiral in which we find ourselves, and while ultimately as a military we're most concerned with meeting the nation's defense needs we're at sequestration where the chief and i have both testified we feel we can't meet the defense strategic guidance, it's also a question of the inability at
7:38 pm
sequestration levels of providing a good home and adequate training facilities like we currently enjoy places such as ft. drum. >> i agree with your concerns about sequestration, i've been a strong voice against the sequester in terms of the long term impact on our readiness. and frankly i believe it puts our troops lives at risk. thank you very much for your service, both to the north country but to this country. thanks. >> and thank you for yours. >> thank you, i know it's been a long day. thank you for your patience. our soldiers are confident in the a-10, is that still true? >> i have a lot of questions if you don't mind, yes or no. >> yes. >> your soldiers prefer the a-10, yes or no? >> it depends on the
7:39 pm
environment. >> thank you. you also said that the a-10 is the best close air support platform we have today. do you believe that to be drew? >> in iraq and afghanistan. >> thank you, sir. i want to do a shout out to the a-10 units right now that are deployed in the fight against isis, and the 54th fighter squad is deployed over to the ucom theater right now, to ensure and train our allies with russians increased aggression. secretary james given general odearno's concerns -- is it driven by the budget? >> yes. >> if you had more money you would keep the a-10 in the inventory? >> i would, yes. >> you think your budget request is about $10 billion over the sequester number? or what's -- >> 10 billion, and i have to add that we would need dollars above the president's budget level. >> that's what i'm getting at. how much more money would you need above the president's
7:40 pm
budget request in order to not mothball any a-10s. >> i think the one year cost would be on the order of between 4 and 500 million but please let me check that to be sure. if you look over the five-year period of time it's closer to $4 billion. >> i heard you say 4.2 billion, for next year would you guys get back to me what that cost would be? i'm assuming there may be other unfunded mandates requests above that, if we were able to get you another 400, 500 million, we can keep the a-10 in the inventory. >> we would have to go look at it. it's beyond the a-10. it's beyond just the cost of the a-10. it's 4.2 million. >> thank you and i noticed in the discussion last year this is a very important one. we're talking men and women on the ground under fire in harm's way, making sure they have the best capability overhead, especially when they're in close
7:41 pm
proximity where they need more time and firepower and survivorability, in that environment, that's where the a-10 brings the best capability over head. this is important. i know in the past, there's been a discussion, the a-10 is old, aging, we need new capabilities. i know it's in your testimony that you highlighted your youngest is 53 years old, and you would like to keep it in the inventory until 2014 that would mean it would be 78 years old in 2040. you're keeping an aging airplane that can't survive in the environment, but we've heard the argument in the past that the a-10 is old. we invested a billion dollars in it to rebuild its wings and the avionics. those two things seem to be contradictory. >> we don't have the b-52 and inventory for choice.
7:42 pm
we need 80 to 100 bombers. the same thing is true with the a-10. we don't want the a-10 flying this mission. it's not fair to the sons and daughters of america. >> the b-52 is still flying because we don't have a capability to replace it. the a-10 is being asked to be mothballed but we don't have the capability to replace it, even though it can fly until 2028 and 2030. >> it's been retired because of the budget control. >> got it. >> you have the other aircraft that can cover the mission of close air support? >> not under those circumstances having mentioned flying the a-10 in combat. only the a-10 can save lives, would you not agree with that? >> i do not agree with that. i think there are circumstances where you would prefer to have an a-10 we proiszed ourself out of the game. if we have the funds with the current wings rebuilding.
7:43 pm
is it 2028 still where it could fly until it needs to be retired? . and right now, the plan is to replace the a-10 eventually with the f-35 is that true? >> the f-35 will be the high thread cast platform of the future. >> the a-10 will be replaced by the f-35. >> it will take the place of the a-10 and f-16 eventually. it will replace the a-10 capability near term. we'll augment that with the b-1 when the scenario allows us to. we will eventually have the f-35 as the high end -- >> my time has expired. i know we talked about this before, i don't believe the f-35 replaces the a-10 and the capabilities it brings to the fight to make sure they live to fight another day and get home to the troops. i love the f-35 it's a great airplane, but it doesn't replace those capabilities. >> the a-10 cannot operate in a high threatening environment.
7:44 pm
>> absolutely. >> we're not going to decide this now, but i appreciate the discussion. >> we're going to do this outside. >> thank you all for your patients. i think maybe we have a couple more, mr. jones? >> thank you very much. and really appreciate your service, your leadership and both the appointees by the administration as well as the service chiefs here today and i think if nothing else comes from your financial stress, the stress to our military, is the fact that we're going to have to start having different debates on the foreign policy that you have nothing directly to do with. i looked at this week -- i want to bring this up very quickly. i want to ask a very simple question that you might or might not be able to answer. these are articles this past week between casualties and
7:45 pm
afghan officials sanction murder torture rape this past week in the new york times cia cash ended up in coiffers of al qaeda, that is what is the problem for congress to help you get the proper funding for your military. you follow orders in uniform and you're there because the president selected you to be the service chief. and he -- that is the problem is that we continue to find absolute millions and billions of dollars to spend in afghanistan. and yet we get these articles. you didn't write articles you can't help it. but this is the problem that the
7:46 pm
american people have because they do read the articles. that does not take away from their respect for you and your services. not at all. but when you cannot sell them, i heard general walsh and i agree with you, sir, you said we haven't done much to help with the infrastructure, to build the infrastructure of the air force. we can build the infrastructure of america. but we're spending billions of dollars. that is the contradiction that is presenting the problem with this debate about whether we have sequestration or we don't. i asked general campbell last week. very impressive army general overseas, the military action i guess in afghanistan. i was a little bit taken back. i'll get to you in one second. do you ever get a chance to tell
7:47 pm
whomever you answer to that nine more years in afghanistan spending roughly 25 to $50 billion a year is worthwhile? you get a chance to say, i think maybe in three years we give them benchmarks, and if they can't reach those benchmarks, we say, we're out. and his answer was fine. in fact i got copies of it. he said that he's -- his hope is, and he believes that this would be the start of central asia. every history book i ever read said you're not going to change it no matter what you do. i want to know in informal settings, do you in the military who are here today in uniform get a chance once a month or once a week to sit down with general dempsey take off
7:48 pm
your ties, relax, have a beer or a glass of wine or whiskey and talk about where we're going in this cun this country and how it's impact impacting our military, to the service chiefs, and i have one minute. the service chiefs, do you get the same thing with secretary carter whether you get together in a relaxed session and talk about the foreign policy of america and how our military is falling apart because they're overworked, they're tired and the equipment is overworked and tired? do you all ever get that opportunity, whoever with the military will go first and then one of the service chiefs, please. >> we meet with the chairman twice a week monday or friday, usually at least once every week. we have formal briefings, but at the end we have executive session, we discuss all of these issues in detail. >> thank you.
7:49 pm
>> one of the service chiefs -- >> secretary carter is bringing together all the service chiefs. all the service secretaries along with his department of defense senior leadership this friday, to have the discussion you're talking about. how do we best inform the debates on what's best for national security in this country? >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for your service to our country and thank you for your patience today in handling all these questions. and i guess i'll be finishing up or helping to finish up and i'd like to ask about directed energy and missile defense. the navy has deployed the loss system? a directed energy weapon which can be used against a variety of threats. i believe that directed energy has turned a corner and is one of the keys to our asymmetrical advantage using our security.
7:50 pm
i'm not sure the other branches are as up to date on this as the navy is. is anyone other than the navy leaning forward on directed energy? >> we just put $5$5 million out on laser technology in order to have a competition that will allow us to down size the laser in such a way that we can use it against uavs, mortars rockets. we think there's a great application there and we're into that. plus for us it's about getting it small enough and enough directed energy in order to meet our needs and it's absolutely essential and we think to our future and we just recently invested in that. >> that's great to hear. air force >> we too have a program. i can't quote you the dollar figures. we can get that to you. i was just out the the air force in new mexico, air force research laboratory is doing work out there with lasers and directed energy. furthermore we're testing an
7:51 pm
aircraft defensive system which would have lasers involved and a laser communication system. so we have quite an active program as well. >> that's really good to here. i've been to the air force lab as well and they do wonderful work. on missile defense i'm concerned that some of the services may not be taking missile defense capability as seriously as i think we have to. for example, the navy is cutting -- you thought i was going to let you off the hook there, navy -- is cutting missile capable defense ships from its budget. are each of you committed to missile devils? -- missile defense? >> absolutely. we cut the modernization of some of our aegis destroyers to make them ballistic missile defense capable and we did it a budgetary thing. one of the hard choices we need to make.
7:52 pm
we need a certain number of ballistic capable ships. we have four that will be permanently home ported in spain that take the place of about 16 back here because they are permanently home ported. we are -- we're continuing to modernize the aegis system on our cruisers and destroyers but not as fast as we would like to and it's all because of the, of the budget situation. >> would anyone else like to jump on that? >> i can add. obviously the army with that and patriot is all in with respect to missile defense. it is one of the if not the most high demand low density assets we have. the chief spoke earlier today about the incredible amount of
7:53 pm
deployments we have and even at that we're still not meeting combatant commanders requirements. we would be less than honest if we said we haven't already through the budget cuts we've experienced in recent years particularly in our s and t programs not had challenges to date. our patriot modernization program, our pac-3m sc initiative although continuous progress is not going forward as quickly as we like. we had received 92 missiles. we'll begin to take delivery on those later this year. but as we look across the broad range of threats, again as the chief mentioned earlier we see that demand only increasing. >> thank you. and air force >> air force is heavily involved in command and control from
7:54 pm
missile defense something we've been responsible for for quite some time. we have an awful lot of people who are involved in the collection, analysis and distribution against indications in the morning, collection targets for missile defense and then one of the four pillars of missile defense is operations. our global strike capability is fundamental to that ability when we get tired of being a catcher's mitt. >> thank you all very much. >> thank you all for today for your responsiveness to this committee every day and, again for your service to the country. with that the hearing stands adjourned.
7:55 pm
the head of the secret service joseph clancy respond to members of congress today after they heard it took five days to learn about agents who allegedly been drinking while driving to the white house. he testified before the house appropriations subcommittee. you can watch the whole hearing on but here's a portion. >> i'm frustrated. i'm very frustrated that we didn't know about this. i didn't know about this until monday. i'm frustrated that i can't act until we get all facts because i know that our workforce is waiting what's your action is going to be. but i just don't want to act improperly too soon. let me just say this. the president the first family, they are safe.
7:56 pm
we've moved these individuals to nonsupervisory positions rather than administrative leave where they are getting paid for no work. we can still get work out of them. but in a different capacity. >> they are still getting paid. >> yes, sir. >> no reduction in pay. no penalties financial or otherwise. right? >> no financial penalties. sir, i would say that i'm sure they are paying a penalty right now. >> well, unfortunately, this is the last in a long line of episodes somewhat similar, drinking carousing on and off duty that this agency has suffered these last few years. it's not working right mr. director. >> yes, sir. >> we got to have some changes. all right.
7:57 pm
you got to be the one that makes those changes. and i don't sense at this moment that you have the determination to make that happen. am i wrong? >> sir, i would disagree with you with that with all respect. i would say that there is an element within our agency there's an element within our agency that does cope with the stresses that many of you have mentioned today by using alcohol. there's no question. we had that element. we also have other elements in our agency that go a different route. some go exercise. some go to religion. some go to their families to deal with stresses. we have some that go alcohol. a few weeks ago we kicked off work/life initiatives. there's no excuse for the action. there is to be self-discipline, self-accountability. but we've got to find a way to help some of these people that
7:58 pm
are going towards alcohol to solve their as a coping mechanism. >> well i'm concerned about their health as well. but i'm more concerned about the health of the president of the united states and who is protecting him from harm. >> yes, mr. chairman. >> if we got special agents on the grounds at night in the white house ramming a barricade drunk, it seems to me that the only discipline that you could exert would be caused by the ability of you and your staff to terminate as punishment so that every other agent knows boy i don't want to go there. that director is going to fire me. that's what makes the mind work. what do you think about that? >> i agree with you. i think deep down wind our agency as in others people want to see discipline. people want to be disciplined.
7:59 pm
they want to have people held accountable. i just want to respect the due process as frustrating as that is, and then let my actions speak for how we're going to move forward in this agency. >> we'll be watching. >> yes, sir. >> and waiting. >> yes, mr. chairman. with live coverage of the u.s. house on c-span and the senate on c-span 2 here on c-span 3 we complement that coverage by showing you the most relevant public hearings and public affairs events. on weekends c-span 1 is the home american history tv with programs that tell our nays's story including sick unique stories. the civil war 150th anniversary. visiting battlefields and key events. american artifacts touring museums and historic sites. history book shelf with the best known american history writers. the presidency looking at the policies and legacies of our nation's commander-in-chief. lectures in history with top
8:00 pm
college professors delving into america's past. our new series real america featuring archival government and educational films. c-span 3 created by the cable tv industry and funded by your local cable and satellite provider. watch us on hd. like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. coming up tonight on c-span 3, a panel discussion about employment protections for members of the lgbt community. then the heads of each branch of the military testify about the 2016 defense budget. that's followed by king abdullah ii of jordan speaking before the european parliament. the u.s. commission on civil rights held a hearing monday about workplace discrimination against lesbian gay, bisexual
8:01 pm
and transgender employees. >> we'll go back to the panel. we'll now proceed. i want to first introduce the panelists in the second panel. our first panelist is mr. roger congratulation, president and general counsel for the center of equal opportunity. our second panelest is kate kendall. our third panelist is miss sara warblough. our fourth panelist is miss stacy simmons. and our fifth and final panelist for the second panel is miss winnie stockleberg. i'll ask you all to raise your right hand teen swear and affirm
8:02 pm
that the information you're about to provide to sues true and accurate to the best of your knowledge and belief. is that correct >> thank you. mr. clegg? you have the four. event minutes. >> thank you very much. i appreciate the opportunity to testify today. my name is roger clegg and i'm president and general counsel of the center for equal opportunity which is a nonprofit research education organization that's based in falls church virginia. our chairman is linda chavez and our principal focus is on public policy issues that involve race and ethnicity such as civil rights, bilingual education. miss chavez was once the staff director of the u.s. commission on civil rights and that i was once the deputy assistant attorney general in the justice department civil rights division. the points i make in the written testimony that you all have about the employment nondiscrimination act are six. i'm just going to list them.
8:03 pm
number one, congress lacks constitutional authority to pass this bill. number two, there is no call for a federal role in this area anyway. number three, the bill is inconsistent with free market federalism and personal freedom principles. we shouldn't forget that there's a strong presumption in letting businesses make their own personnel decisions. number four it is not necessarily immoral or irrational to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. number five, legislation would create many practical problems for employers. and number sick, the main purpose of this bill is to try to hard beginalize the views of americans who believe that gay sex is a sin and this is a bad aim. there are some overlap among these points by the way, but they are distinct.
8:04 pm
so that's my written testimony. in my oral testimony today i would like to talk a little more about discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation when it might be rational. the situations i discuss in my written testimony are principally where the employer his other employees or his customers might have objections to working with someone whom they view as engaging in immoral activity. when you think about it there are at least two other groups of situations where discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation might make sense. number one, when the person's sexual orientation might give them insights useful with others of that sexual orientation. and number two, when the fact that the employee might be sexually attracted to another individual is relevant either positively or negatively to the
8:05 pm
job. on the first class of cases i myself am not a great fan of the notion that it's important to be a member of a particular group in order to know how members of that group might think. for example, diversity proponents will frequently argue that to market a product to this or that group a company needs be sure that it has employees who belong to this or that group. i generally don't buy this but some companies do or at least they say they do, seen it is ironic that liberals now want to pass this bill under which those companies would be forbidden from giving a preference to hiring say gay employees if they wanted insights on how best to target gay customers for this or that product. here's another example which i like better. marriage counselors. for straight couples might be
8:06 pm
more credible if they too are straight and married. and marriage counselors for gay couples might be more credible if they too are gay and married. there's a second category which would include situations where it might be relevant whether an employee will be sexually attracted or might be perceived to be sexually attracted to some other individual. for example, suppose your company provides caregivers to disabled or elderly individuals. those individuals might not want someone in that position whom they perceive as someone who might become attracted to them sexually. thus a woman might be more comfortable with a caregiver who is a straight woman. or even a gay man than with a caregiver who is a straight man or a lesbian. similarly, if a job requires
8:07 pm
close contact with lessons parents might prepare straight men to work with males and straight women to work with adolescent females. if you think i'm wrong and no rational employer would ever discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation it does not follow that this should be passed. there are all the other objections to it that i discuss in my written testimony. plus another one. if discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is always irrational, then employers that engaging such discrimination will be at an economic disadvantage. and the market will punish them. they are not hiring the best qualified people. that's bad for business. indulging their taste for discrimination will make it more likely that they will be driven out of business by their more rational competitors in the marketplace. this is a point that was made years ago by the late larry beck ear professor who won nobel
8:08 pm
prize in economics. so if it's true that rational employer ever engages in discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation you don't need to as if nondiscrimination act. thank you very much, mr. chairman. happy they try to answer any questions that the commission may have. >> i'm sure we'll have them. >> good morning. mr. commissioner miss vice commissioner, it is a pleasure for me to be here. i'm kate kendall executive the director of the national center for lesbian rights. we're a 38 year organization based in san francisco that does national, legal and policy work all over the country. now in that 38 years it is fair to say that we have seen enormous changes in the place of lgbt people in this culture and in society and as commissioner castro pointed out this year
8:09 pm
alone we hope we'll have a ruling from the u.s. supreme court in june that will once and for all give this country finality with regard to the recognition and full dignity and respect for our relationships through the recognition of marriage nationwide. we applaud the gains that we have seen. but one of the most intractable deficits remains in the place of employment. almost every day we hear from lgbt individuals who suffer either some sort of negative employment action or terminated from their jobs or harassed on the job based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. even here today you'll hear from a former nclr client lisa howe who was separated from employment at her private christian college when she came out to her players, her soccer
8:10 pm
players very successful soccer coach celebrating the pregnancy of her wife. to be free from negative job action, to be free to be able to be employed and to be judged only based on one's ability so that one can provide for one's self and one's family is at the heart of one's quality of life and being able to live fully in civil society. both methodologyical and anecdotal information reinforces that lgbt particularly transgender employees even in this moment of great acceleration for lgbt rights suffer in the employment realm. now we've heard from the eeoc, from the department of labor we know the department of justice, we know office of personnel management and the obama administration all support an
8:11 pm
interpretation that title vii cover gender identity but sexual orientation and yet we also know that the case law is decidedly mixed with a number of cases, particularly on sexual orientation holding sexual orientation discrimination is not sex discrimination under title vii. therefore, making it totally free for employers in 28 states to openly discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and in many cases on the basis of gender identity as well. we need federal protections. and we ask that those federal protections be further in whatever way is possible by this commission. we also want to assure, though, that federal protections do not include overly broad religious exemptions or a license to discriminate which is why nclr among other our colleagues no longer support the current
8:12 pm
version, the previous version actually there's a new version, the previous version of the employment nondiscrimination act which contained overly broad exemptions that went beyond the exemptions in title vii. exemptions which i want to be clear we support. in the wake of a possible imminent positive ruling on marriage and certainly in the wake of a wave of victories at the district and circuit court levels, we have seen a number of states enact laws to encroach on the recognition of those relationships by claiming that religious liberty is infringed by acknowledging and honoring and respecting these relationships as legally-binding and as legally recognized. this is nonsense. and it is offensive to people of faith. it is offensive to lgbt people
8:13 pm
of faith in addition to the broader lgbt community and people committed to principles of equality and fairness. nothing has changed in regard to first amendment protections for religious faith and belief which we support 100% and unreservedly. in fact, in the wake of the hobby lobby ruling there's greater and to some degree questionable protections for religious relief. no church will ever be forced to recognize or perform a marriage that they disagree with and we would be first front line defending a minister or a pastor if he or she were compelled to perform a marriage that he or she disagreed with. what we're talking about is incursions on the ability to participate in all realms of civic life. that's the permission that some of these amendments and bills are seeking.
8:14 pm
our commitment to nondiscrimination trumps private prejudice. that is the history. that is the balance we have engaged in this country. for the participation in civic life is free to all individuals. and we are concerned that incursions on nondiscrimination protection will give protection that were afford individuals who have suffered or made vulnerable based on who they are or how they identify. the utah example is an important one to note. utah is my home state. i was raised mormon in utah. some would say good girl gone bad. but what i understand about utah is that it is near as near to a theocracy as we have.
8:15 pm
utah was found by one religion. it's dominated by the lds faith. utah law already contains broad religious exemptions. there was no compromise made in gaining the protections for lgbt people in utah and applaud the law that was passed. sexual orientation and gender identity were imported into existing nondiscrimination law which already contains broad religious exemptions because it's utah. it is not a federal model. we have a federal model. it's title vii and that's the law that i want to see equally protect individuals based on sexual orientation or gender identity. thank you. >> mr. chairman, mshs of the commission thank you for having me today. i'm sara warblough. i'm the legal director for the
8:16 pm
humaning rights campaign. i'm honored to be here before you today. following the recent economic recession families across the country have faced unemployment and under employment every day. lgbt workers and their families are experiencing these tough financial realities alongside the rest of america. but for many of these families daily discrimination on the job serves as one more barrier keeping them from getting back on their feet. although the advances in equality for lgbt people over to last decade can't bedee need employment discrimination is a barrier for too many hard-working americans. 29 states offer no protections from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and 32 states offer no explicit protection on the basis of gender identity. according to a 2011 survey nearly 40% of lesbian, gay and bisexual employees who are open about their sexual orientation
8:17 pm
had experienced discrimination in the workplace during the five years prior to the survey. transgender people face an even starker reality with 47% of transgender people reporting discrimination in the employment context. the impact of this discrimination is clear and harsh. discrimination on the job and during the hiring process results in lower earning for lgbt people across the life span. in recent years the eeoc and some federal courts have interpreted the sex positions of title vii of the civil rights act of 1964 to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. specifically in 2012 the eeoc held that an employee complaint could be covered under title vii prohibition of sex discrimination. most recently jayne of this year, the eeoc determined that walmart's denial of spousal
8:18 pm
health benefits to a same-sex spouse, an employee, was unlawful discrimination under title vii. federal courts have cited and relied upon the precedent set by the landmark case price waterhouse versus hopkins. the 6th circuit and 11th is your kit applied this decision of sex stereotyping to apply to transgender employees who allegedly were fired because of their gender identity. although these court decisions and eeoc policy sent a powerful message to employers regarding the reach of title vii, lgbt people are not protected as a covered class of employees under the act. in the absence of clear protections lgbt people may be forced to file a lawsuit in order to enforce these protections. a luxury that most in our community cannot afford. the obama administration has taken meaningful steps to protecting work frers discrimination. in particular i would like to highlight the executive order signed by the president in july
8:19 pm
of 2014 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in government actions, contractors and subcontractors. this is one of many examples that under scores the administration's recognition of government's clear and compelling interest in ending this harmful discrimination. while the government has a clear compelling interest in eliminating discrimination it balances the religious rights of the employers. religious employers already benefit from ample exemptions from federal nondiscrimination provisions. specifically title vii provides strong protections for religious organizations including exemptions for religious employers in the context of hiring and firing. for example, the ministerial exemption examined by the court exempts religious employers from
8:20 pm
discrimination prohibitions. this exemption has been extended by the courts to include many other nonministerial employees whose jobs serve a religious function including professors, lay teachers and even cemetery personnel. additional exemptions are not only unnecessary but could lead to adverse consequences for discrimination protections. nondiscrimination provisions protecting lgbt workers from discrimination on the job will not infringe upon the religious beliefs of employers. employers have these ample protection both under the first amendment and through explicit statutory exemptions. the courts have not been shy in applying these exemptions and the rights library ralgly. supreme court noted u.s. constitution gives special solitude to the rights of religious organization. the supreme court has already recognized that government has a unique compelling interest in
8:21 pm
protecting against employment discrimination. writing for the majority in burwell versus hobby lobby justice scalito said it could be cloaked to escape legal sanction. the government has a compelling interest in providing equal opportunity to participate in the workforce. america's top corporations and small businesses support comprehensive nondiscrimination workplace protections. because they know that in order to remain competitive they must recruit and retain the best possible talent including members of the lgbt community. the civil rights community also stands behind comprehensive nondiscrimination workplace protections including a coalition of more than 200 civil rights, religious, labor and women's rights organizations. hrc and our coalition partners support the introduction of comprehensive nondiscrimination legislation that will protect lgbt americans from
8:22 pm
discrimination not just in employment but also in housing education, public accommodations, jury service and credit. thank you so much for the opportunity to testify today. >> thank you. miss simmons? >> good morning, mr. chairman, members of the commission. i would like to thank you for inviting the national lgbt task force to participate in this briefing to examine workplace discrimination that is faced by lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender americans. i'm the director of public policy in government affairs for the national lgbt task force the nation's oldest lgbt advocacy organization. today's testimony will examining the scope of federal regulations against lgbt employees. lgbt americans face high levels of employment discrimination. there's an estimated 5.4 million
8:23 pm
lgbt workers in the united states. discrimination against lgbt people in the workplace persist despite the increasing visibility of these communities, improved local and statewide protection against anti-lgbt prejudice and violence. data indicates that employment discrimination can lead to a significant impact on the economic, social and physical well being of lgbt people. over 50 study of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual people have been conducted and then lie nitd data shows lgbt people face significant bar towers equality. even fewer studies have been conducted about discrimination against transgender people and to address this gap in 2011 in a joint effort with national center for transgender equality the task force was published at every turn a report of the national transgender discrimination survey. this documented the discrimination entrenched in people experienced in
8:24 pm
employment, education, health care and many other areas. our key finding is this. the state of the workplace for transgender workers in this country is abysmal. discrimination and employment against transgender people is a nearly universal experience with 90% of the survey sample recording mistreatment or discrimination on the job or taking actions to hiding who they are. half lost their jobs or denied a job or proemergencies as a direct result of being transgender. survey respondents experience ad series of negative outcomes many of which stem from the discrimination they face in employment. later you'll hear more about this important survey and the finding from that landmark research that we conducted. a point about data collection was made earlier which i would like to reiterate. additional data collection is essential because lgbt people
8:25 pm
face staggering levels of discrimination in employment housing, public accommodation and other areas. and as these policies change we expect discrimination to decline. however, in order to measure the change in discrimination, and to create interventions that more accurately respond to the needs of the lgbt community we need to collect more data on lgbt people and in the coming years as the eeoc receives complaints, as the second nation study of transgender people is administered and data on employment discrimination will be collected there may reflect the changes in levels of discrimination but put simply these measures are not enough. more comprehensive data collection is need. every federal agency should be charged with collecting information on sexual orientation and gender identity in all of their surveys. this effort can be spearhead by a presidential executive order calling for agencies to determine the best methods for
8:26 pm
integrating these demographic questions into their instruments and for example workplace discrimination data can be collected through the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity questions and population based various like the american community survey and varioused fielded by the bureau of labor statistics. with respect to cases of discrimination incidents of discrimination accure in all sectors, various feeshlgds sectors and positions and stories that highlight discrimination in hiring, firing and workplace harassment were included in our written testimony to this body. lgbt workplace protection exist as we heard from earlier testimony but explicit protections are needed. in recent years lgbt workplace protection have gained momentum and received broad public support such that we have 19 states in the washington, d.c. that have employment nondiscrimination laws that
8:27 pm
protect employees. an additional three states that cover only sexual orientation. the eeoc recognized title vii prohibition on sex discrimination. federally this grants protection to lgbt and transgender nonconforming people. in 2014 the president issued an executive order protect federal employee, foed contractors from discrimination. however, to ensure that workplace termination against lgbt employees is eradicated we need inclusion in federal legislation prohibiting employment discrimination. without establishing sexual orientation and gender identity as protect classes employers are likely to be unaware of the protection under federal law. also likely unaware of their right to be free from discrimination on the job or take recourse. passage of such leverage
8:28 pm
acceleration would serve to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in the same way that title vii of the civil rights act of '64 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. in conclusion workplace discrimination is a pervasive issue that prevents employees from meaningful contributing their talents to our nation's workforce. workers who encounter anti-lgbt sentiments or actions are faced with a perilous choice of either hiding their identity in the workplace or risk being discriminatory treatment and harassment by disclosing their lgbt identity. while eeoc protection take shape and agencies issue guidance it will take firm employers and employees to recognize the legal protection available. we hope that more data will be collected as we await a new legal precedent.
8:29 pm
on behalf of the task force i would like to thank the commission for this opportunity to provide a statement on the workplace discrimination faced by lgbt americans. >> thank you, miss simmons. >> it's an honor to be here. i'm winnie stackleberg. cap is an independent nonpartisan educational institution dedicated typical floifgs of all americans through progressive ideas and action. as an institution and as americans we believe in the right of all people to equal opportunity in society and equal protection of the laws. yet today in america it remains legal in 29 states to fire an individual because of their sexual orientation. in 32 states transgender americans like basic explicit protections from discrimination in the workplace. despite the historic progress we have seen on marriage equality in 16 states and counting
8:30 pm
same-sex couples can be legally married and legally fired for doing so all on the same day. workplace protections lie at the center of america's nondiscrimination laws. for marginalized communities these protections serve as an integral part of the american dream and a gateway to equal opportunity and financial stability. the lack of binding and enew mr.ated federal employment protections for lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender workers remains central need for our commune in order combat the pervasive discrimination faced in all areas of life, including and particularly in employment. in june of 2013 the center for american progress in collaboration with our partners at the movement advancement project and the human rights campaign released a comprehensive report outlining the broken bargain for lgbt workers that leaves many unable to provide the basics for
8:31 pm
themselves and their families. the report demonstrated what many of our families know too well that lgbt workers face serious barriers to both gaining and keeping a job due to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. among less began gay, bisexual and transgender individuals between 11 and 28% reported being denied or passed over for promotion because of their sexual orientation while one in ten reported having been fired from a job in the last five years because of whom they loved. the rates of discrimination are even more alarming for transgender people. 47% of whom have reported being fired, not hired, or denied a promotion because of their gender identity. of that 47% roughly half have reported being fired from a job, they already had because they were transgender. for lgbt americans with jobs many report experiencing unequal
8:32 pm
pay due to their identity. gay and bisexual men make 10 to 32% less than straight men with similar background in comparable jobs. similarly transgender women see a dramatic pay decrease after transitioning, contributing to a poverty rate for transgender people that is significantly higher than the general population. while employment laws remain at the heart of our push for nondiscrimination protection any discussion about ensuring fair and equal access to a job cannot be limited to protections in the workplace. the ability to find a work does not begin and end with the application process. it also includes the ability to gain a quality education in a safe school, secure stable housing, and have equal access to the goods and services that every american needs to live and thrive. this past december my colleagues at the center for american
8:33 pm
progress released a report entitled we the people which outlined the discrimination faced by lgbt people in employment housing education, credit and public accommodations. the report called on congress to join the growing number of states in passing a comprehensive lgbt nondiscrimination act which would provide protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity in vital aspects of life. lgbt americans are routinely denied shelter more than half of lgbt students feel unsafe in their schools and lgbt customers are too often refused equal access or treatment in our nation's marketplaces. without protections combat these instances of discrimination along with protection in employment, too many lgbt americans will be denied the basic tools necessary to gain employment. despite these alarming instance of discrimination both in and
8:34 pm
outside of the workplace considerable progress has been made on the federal level to utilize existing civil rights protections combat discrimination against lgbt americans. two years ago the eeoc rightly determined that discrimination based on gender identity and employment constituted illegal sex discrimination under title vii. today the department of justice is utilizing that same rational rationale. in the single largest expansion of lgbt workplace protections in our nation's history president obama added sexual orientation and gender identity protoex the executive ordering banning discrimination by federal contractors. in the end whether we achieve these protections through the courts or through the legislature, or most likely through some combination of the two, the fact remains that the force of these laws relies on adequate resources, and tools
8:35 pm
for those tasked with their enforcement. while many believe that discrimination is a relic of the past, the number of overall discrimination charges filed by the eeoc has reached historic levels. despite this increase in complaints, the eeoc has nearly a quarter fewer full time employees than it did 20 years ago. the same trend is occurring in many other offices charged with enforcing our nation's civil rights laws. many of these offices like the eeoc are already proactively protecting many in the lgbt community. the fact that they are doing so with diminishing staff is unacceptable, and as we continue to push congress to expand protections to include all americans, we also will push for the necessary appropriations needed to ensure that all current and future nondiscrimination protections are fully enforced. in conclusion as our report
8:36 pm
notes the american dream rests on the promise of a level playing field. a society where all people have equal access to the central pillars of opportunity. with the significant rates of discrimination faced by lgbt americans it's abundantly clear to ensure that level playing field lgbt americans both need and deserve the same protections that are currently lyly afforded to all others. the time has come to ensure fairness for all americans regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. thank you very much. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. thank you all for taking your time to be with us. my question is for miss simmons. as we look at existing workplace protections, which one day could include, we heard from an
8:37 pm
earlier panel some of the numbers on the complaints regarding employment discrimination. some might describe those complaint numbers as rather small, others might call them miniscule. in your testimony you said that discrimination in employment is universal. you said that with workplace discrimination, it's a pervasive issue. address for me please the argument that some might make that the figures that we have available don't support the regard strong description that you've given regarding the pervasiveness of discrimination? >> certainly. thank you so much for that question.
8:38 pm
two key points the data that i was offering in terms of near universal discrimination was from our national transgender discrimination survey and that was a survey that was limited to over 6,500 transgender individuals that were surveyed across the nation and across the u.s. territories. and so that was particular to transgender and gender none conforming individuals. the second point with respect to the filings that were referenced from the department of labor, i think it's critical that we continue to examine the, examine the levels of filings and examine what types of discrimination are happening because the two aspects are happening simultaneously in terms of the public becoming aware of their rights and their ability to file such claims, and the ability for government
8:39 pm
agencies to be responsive government agencies such as department of labor to be responsive to the types of claims that are being filed. in addition i think that a point that was made earlier with respect to the marketplace is another clear indicator that the trend is moving in the direction of affording protection providing a safe work lays for lgbt employees and what we're simply looking for is a way to have the numbers go in an opposite direction in terms of the prevalence of discrimination by creating a workplace that's more affirming in support of lgbt individuals. >> thank you. >> commissioner achtenberg. >> i have a question there was reference there were over 50 studies of discrimination that have been under taken, the
8:40 pm
conclusion of which studies were that employment discrimination against lgbt people is significant and pervasive. in 2007 an analysis was done by the williams institute which drew the same conclusion. it's my understanding that for more than 40 years your organization has made available to lgbt people a nationwide advice and counselling line. i'm imagining you have gathered statistics over that period of time as well. could you discuss how the conclusions of the 50 stew dips and the williams institute analysis compares to the statistics that you have gathered over this period and
8:41 pm
could you also identify the kinds of discrimination that your callers identify as pertinent to this particular inquiry that we're undertaking here? >> yes. what we see is very consistent with what the studies and the reports see and so to your question and also to vice chair's question many of the calls that we get are from individuals in these 29 states where there are no protections. if they live in a state where there are protections it's an easy answer for them. we encourage them to file a complaint. we refer them to attorneys that do lgbt employment discrimination case. there is recourse they can take. then our resources really just to hook them up with the knowledge base and with someone who can be their advocate. most of what we the calls we get are in states where there is
8:42 pm
no protection and it's only been recently in light of the eeoc's macy ruling that we've seen an expansion of title vii perhaps being available as a vehicle. many, many times the most difficult answer we give to people when they call they say they suffered some adverse employment action soil sorry there's nothing we can do. there's no protings yourection in your state. i want to point out numbers are very significant the parent is the whole gamut. of the most calls we get are probably along two tracks. either an employee is going along fine in their job, doing a good job getting good performance reviews, doing well, being promoted, and then something happens where they are discovered to be lesbian, gay bisexual or transgender. somebody sees a facebook post. they do get married. and a couple of people in the
8:43 pm
office attend the wedding and then the rest of the office realizes wait we didn't know we had a gay or less began or bisexual person working for us. or in some other manner they come out to someone and then that's told to other people and then all of a sudden things go straight downhill. either they are fired outright or all of a sudden the performance evaluations, the documents two minutes late documents, you know, bringing in coffee when you're not supposed to have coffee at your desk, all sorts of things start to happen and very soon they lose their jobs. or the second track that we see the most of is harassment on the job. and the irony here is that many employers will go through a very long period of either open harassment or death by a million cuts sort of negative adverse job actions thinking that they can't fire the individual simply based on their sexual orientation when they would be perfectly free to do so. so many times the employee is
8:44 pm
tortured over a period of time, either harassed openly based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. it can be anti-gay harassment and eventually they quit or terminated from their jobs opinion we get about 7,000 calls a year about 30% of those are employment related and the bulk of those are in either one of those two broad scenarios. >> thank you. >> commissioner. >> thank you, very much mr. chairman. i want to thank the panel and the previous panel that appeared today and i want to apologize for my absence today but i've been knocked down by the flu and my doctors do not want me to travel. with that being said this is an extremely important topic for me personally. it's something that i wanted the
8:45 pm
commission often years ago, i even campaigned we talked about how we could try to bring these types of issues before the commission and it's taken a long road to get there and we're finally here and i want to thank all my colleagues for that. the question i have is directed to the panel from something that mr. clegg said. mr. clegg thank you for being here. you and i quite vigorously spar at these hearings. but there's something you said. i wanted to go towards the legal basis for the nondiscrimination act and the impact on interstate
8:46 pm
commerce. i would like to hear from the advocates on the panel today about why you believe that this does have a substantial impact on interstate commerce and justify the commerce clause in pushing forward these changes in the law. >> anybody want to start? >> more so than ever, our economy is interconnected. we no longer live in a world in which goods and services are produced in one particular area. they stay in that area. mom and pop shops are virtually a thing of the past when you're talking about production that is sold within a given area. instead, even small businesses purchase their goods that they sell to their customers from all over the world not from just
8:47 pm
within the united states. congress has had ample opportunity and has passed many laws that ensure nondiscrimination not only on the basis of race and sex, but also on the basis of religion and disability. the supreme court has weighed in on these issues time and time again and never has the court reached the conclusion that congress did not have a the right pass laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. as i mentioned in my testimony, just very recently one of the most conservative members of our supreme court, justice alito found that there was a compelling government interest in having nondiscrimination laws in place in the employment arena. if he felt that that was not true or that congress did not have a right to pass these laws to begin with he had ample opportunity to do so. and instead we see the courts
8:48 pm
upholding these laws. >> anyone else? mr. clegg >> i'll just refer to my written testimony and the cases that i cite there. supreme court said that there has to be a substantial effect on interstate commerce in order for the congress to pass a law under these circumstances. and as i read united states versus morrison and united states versus lopez i think that congress is going to have a hard time meeting those standards. the kind of chain of events that miss warbelow pointed to is something that the supreme court warned about in its decision in morrison and i would add also that with respect to the other e
8:49 pm
enumr. enumerated cites, the florida case is a substantial hurdle for congress to clear. >> may i make a comment here as a nonlawyer on a panel of august lawyers and smart people. to go back and someone who was involved in 1996 during the senate debate around the employment nondiscrimination act, the vote was on september 10, 1996. someone along with my colleagues involved in the debate around the end the last time it was brought to the senate and other debates, i think it's interesting to note that democrats and republicans in particular did not bring up the issues that mr. clegg is mentioning in terms of the constitutionality of the employment nondiscrimination
8:50 pm
act. there may have been disagreements about the law and sexual orientation and gender identity and whether that's something that should be protect. when you go back and look at the record and the debate it's something i'm all too should be protected. it was not part of the constitutionality. >> let me say that i don't doubt that. i think that unfortunately, congress -- and this is true both sides of the aisle -- frequently thinks that it can do whatever it wants. and i think that the senseitization of congress that you need power before you can act is something that has only recently taken hold unfortunately. i remember just about the time that you're talking about that time period. i was talking with a senate
8:51 pm
staffer about this problem, and he said, well you know, i think that we would have to be absolutely convinced that no court would uphold this before we would -- before we would hesitate to pass a statute. it was an appalling mind-set for someone to have. i think that somebody -- and this is a congressional staffer. i think that the mind-set should be that unless a congressman believes himself that there will be a substantial effect on interstate commerce, he or she should not vote for the statute. it's not up to -- i don't think that the mind-set it's up to the courts to keep us honest and that therefore we're not going to worry if we have an unumerated power or not.
8:52 pm
while widespread, it's not the right attitude and is the kind of attitude that i would warn against in this context. >> i would just like to say that i strongly disagree with the characterizations of this in the supreme court's position. first of all, the common cause has been widely used and has been recognized as widely used by congress. [ inaudible ] i think that in the testimony here today and later on this is not an isolated population. this is not a small population.
8:53 pm
these are americans throughout every state in every community, in our room here today who are part of the life blood of how this nation works and to say that to any section of that population, that you are not a welcome member, or because of the way -- that someone perceives who you are, or who you're with, can negatively impact your economic earnings your ability to move freely between jobs, i think it's clearly within the purview of congress -- there's no -- [ inaudible ] i don't believe that there's this imaginary high bar here
8:54 pm
when in fact, even if there was a high bar, i think that high bar is easily cleared by the facts presented by the people here today and by the people who i've worked with over the years. and certainly the history of the common clause with regards to the civil rights act would want you to believe that this is nowhere near an insurmountable hurdle. the insurmountable hurdle is more to the points of some of the things you said in your testimony, it's something that you can't erase bigotry from the way people think. but what you can do is make sure that they act in a way that is non-biggoted towards those individuals, no matter what you're trying to change -- hearts and minds. >> okay next we have
8:55 pm
commissioner kirsa no aanow aanowkirsanow. i thank the panel for their testimony. i would note however that we strive on the commission to have balanced panels. we've been doing that for at least a dozen years now, and i'm a little chagrinned that we have a dramatic imbalance in terms of those who would support a broad or a federal statute and those who may be skeptical about the use of congressional power on a nationwide basis. and i think that derigates what every report or briefing we may have and that's unfortunate. it really affects the legitimacy of that. my question would be to mr. clegg. practical perspective, when we have employers dealing with new statutes, there's always going to be some type of dislocation. sometimes those dislocations are
8:56 pm
very much merited and they're going to have to deal with them. and it may be merited in this particular circumstance if an enda was passed. given that with erosions over the course of time to the course of at-will employment two questions. to what extent to you see enda, or whatever iteration of enda we're at right now, having an impact on the nature of at-will employment? and second, how would this differ if at all from protections against race discrimination? >> well, one of the points that i make in my written testimony is that i'm afraid that -- and also i think i repeated it in my oral testimony -- is that i'm afraid that we're moving away from the general presumption that we ought to have, that
8:57 pm
people should be able to use their private property in a way that they want to use their private property, and that employers should be able to make personnel decisions without interference from the government. this is something that goes along with at-will employment. and there should be a presumption against the government at any level stepping in and saying that, well, we know better than you whom you should hire and whom you should promote. and there should be an especially strong presumption against the federal government passing a law that second-guesses employers in this
8:58 pm
regard. and one reason for that, i think you alluded to this in your question is that the laws -- laws become reality in this area through litigation and regulation. and those are very expensive and distortive media. you know, you don't just pass a law and magically have the principle that you think is embodied in that law become reality. it has to become reality through a lot of bureaucrats making a lot of decisions and bossing a lot of people around, and through a lot of lawyers and a lot of lawsuits and a lot of judges bossing a lot of people around. and this is a very
8:59 pm
unsatisfactory way to do business in an economy that's supposed to be based on freedom and free markets. you know i don't doubt that you know, many times employers do things that a majority of americans might find to be unfair, or wrong-headed. but it doesn't follow from that that therefore there should be a federal law passed, saying that no employer shall ever do anything that is unfair or unwise. that law will have costs that are far higher than any benefits that it would have. and it's the same situation here in this specific instance. i think that the problems that you will inevitably raise by
9:00 pm
you know passing a law that says that you can't discriminate on the basis of gender identity, and quote gender identity means the jernt-related identity appearance, or mannerisms or other gender related characteristics of an individual with or without regard to the individual's designated sex at birth. well you know, you just know that lawyers and bureaucrats are going to have a great time interpreting language like that. here's another part. >> do you say that as a lawyer and a former bureaucrat? >> i do. absolutely. i remember, this was the fair housing act one time and y'all know about the fair housing act too. i remember, we were in a meeting and it was just what i described, mr. chairman.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on