tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 8, 2015 4:00am-6:01am EDT
prediabetics and diabetics have, is not being able to respond to carbohydrates. 52% of the people being prediabetic, this is the wrong diet to recommend. when you say it's a general diet, that's great. but shouldn't it be with a caveat that ms. hartford mentioned. i mean, this is pretty serious stuff here. somebody mentioned we weren't as fat when we were kids and we were eating more fat. were eating more fat. were eating more fat. were eating more fat. were eating more fat. were eating more fat. were eating more fat. frankly, it's not an exercise thing as far as i can see. because i'm experienced with it. if you eat a lot, you can exercise it all off. you have to get it right.
>> your time has expired. >> i'm sorry. i could go on, but. >> 30 seconds. i would say a that the nel website will provide you the information as to why certain studies weren't selected. if you get us specific information, doctor, we will be able to provide specific answers to specific studies. >> mr. allen for four minutes. >> yes. i'll just follow up on that question. as far as nel was concerned, you know, the -- as far as the dietary guidelines, advisory committee did not use nel for more than 70% of their research questions. why is the -- why was the nel not used in this -- in these guidelines? >> for certain issues like food pattern analysis that they needed to do to understand what we are eating, an issue that has been brought up a number of times in this hearing, that is not information that would be available there. and they need to turn to other sources to understand what is it actually americans are eating. the sources for that are different. there are some other issues. if that's not where the source of information can come from, there are certain data analytics
and places where systemic reviews have been done. while they do their own systemic review, they consider the other systemic reviews. so i don't think those are counted in that percentage. >> the only other thing i can say is the review process goes through a series of mechanisms to try to provide an understanding of what the best science is and least biased science is. the collaboration, academy of nutrition and dietetics. the aging for health care research and quality. that's the other parameter we have to work under that congress has given us direction under the data quality act as to how this is to be managed. >> well, the nel is basically science based. very little ideology there.
they go by exact science. i'm not quite sure -- i didn't quite understand why you -- still don't understand why you're not using them as more of a resource in these guidelines. >> they are used extensively. >> extensively. it's only when a question can't be answered. of the data analytics, what everyone is eating now, are different sources why the advisory committee didn't use it. that's the kind of -- >> they didn't have the information on more than 70% of the research? >> i think there are a number of other places that the advisory committee has to turn to other things, and they do that. >> regarding sodium, obviously, you know, there's some of us who retain fluid and there are others who do not retain fluid. sodium, you know, back in my athletic career, i took salt pills. and i had a hard time retaining
fluid. of course now it's the opposite. i'm on a sodium diet. all of this stuff is very personal. it pins strictly on your dna and that sort of thing. in my opinion it's very dangerous to set forth guidelines when everybody has a different dna and different ages you have different requirements. of course we already talked about it. it doesn't apply necessarily as much to children. and i think the mistrust here is this one size fits all thing. because, you know, folks are get a lot of bad -- our snap program. they are really not getting good information. and then the consequences are this epidemic of diabetes that we have particularly in georgia with folks who do not know how their diet works and how it fits. is there any way to get this
more locally based rather than washington, top down? >> i think we want to get it to the place where it is useful. i think that's a big part of the conversation. with regard to issues like sodium, we do take care to not put a standard -- it is the standard for everyone, not the standard for individuals. and then i think this is about how one implements in terms of if it is the standard. but if you have a certain disease condition, then we need to figure out how we, in a public health setting, can provide the right information for you. the iom said 2,300 milligrams of salt. perhaps right now for you in your current state, that's not accurate for you. >> i'm less than 1,000. >> chairman's name has expired. >> we have to make sure we have a form in which we can communicate so you know where to turn, together with your physician. >> four minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, secretary vilsack. my apologies for my voice.
it still hasn't gotten better since yesterday. i wanted to just a couple of things that i've heard, especially you secretary vilsack, stating today is that you don't want to assume what we'll do with with the guidelines. you don't want to predetermine what the outcome will be. is that a fair assessment. >> the process hasn't been completed yet. >> and then one of the other themes i heard you say was that more public input you have, the better decisions you will have. is that a fair statement? >> yeah. >> one of the concerns i have about the process that you're currently following, my understanding is you have the dietary guidelines that are based on the expert report from the advisory committee. that's translated by you and your staff into -- or your departments into actual guidelines. is that -- >> that's one aspect of it, congressman. it's not the only thing we rely on or look at. it is one piece of a large puzzle.
>> okay. well, the concern is -- i know that we've had a comment period to date. and it seems that right now the process only allows for the american people to comment after the committee releases its report but does not allow for public comment after usda and hhs release the final dietary guidelines. i appreciate you did extend the 60-day public comment period by an additional 15 days following the release of the report this spring. but as you can tell from the hearing today, there's still considerable criticism of the report. and there is a provision in the fiscal year 2016 agricultural appropriations legislation that if enacted requires a 90-day
comment period after the dietary guidelines are formally released. this approach, this process seems more in line with the act which long predates the process you're using for the dietary guidelines. considering the fact that more than 29,000 comments were submitted on this report, while only 2,000 were received on the 2010 report, it really shows that there is a great deal of interest in this by the public. and it seems to me that the should have a final opportunity to comment on this report before it is finalized. and i guess my question is would you agree to give the american people another comment period given the fact that the 2015 committee report generated the most comments in the history of the guidelines? >> well, i would -- first of all, i would point out there were a number of places where the public had input in this process before even the public comment period. as the dietary advisory group was meeting there were opportunities for people to have input and the like. there's also been continued opportunity to have input in the process. the challenge i have,
congressman, is is when does the process -- you have to have a finality to it. you have to have a stopping point to it. and in order for us to be able to factor into the various other decisions we have to make that are in some place based on the guidelines. i'm concerned about how long you extend this process. and the last thing i would say is the public does have a way of commenting on this. they could decide not to follow them. they could decide to be critical of them once they are proposed. there is an ongoing debate and conversation about this. i guess it never ends. >> my concern is right from the start you made the comment and i appreciated it. you didn't want to prejudge what the guidelines will be. it's not complete process.
you're taking in feedback now. but the reality is is once you publish the guidelines, that is the guidelines and there is no avenue for the public to have input on that. and that's troubling. >> i would disagree with that in the sense that there have already been several places where they had input. they continue to respond to the 2010 guidelines, which are part of the foundation and information we take into consideration. it's an ongoing education process. i don't think ever stopped. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you. >> mr. king, four minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks to the witnesses for testifying today. a few questions still come to mind after all this discussion we have had here. the first one that i have is that when i look at the data on students that are obese or overweight, do we have any evidence which direction their direction has gone? first to ms. burwell. do we have any indication on whether this program is reducing the overweightness of our children in school, or whether it might be working against us?
>> so with regard to the specifics of programs in school, i'll refer to my colleague secretary vilsack. i think what we know in younger children we are starting to see overarching across the board. we are starting to see the numbers go in the right direction. with regard to the specifics of school programs, i would defer to the secretary. >> i would prepared to redirect that question after your response. i will tell you we saw the obesity rate of high school decrease 9%. in the four years after that, the obesity rate increased by 16%. have you seen any data like that from the center for disease control control and does that cause you to wonder what the result of this might be? >> congressman, i would be happy
to take a look at that information to better understand it. but u think there is no question in my mind this is not a situation where we're going to see fundamental change in a year. i think it will be a generational process. and i'm convinced that from a generational process we're going to see progress. and i think secretary burwell is correct that we have begun to see progress, particularly among younger children. >> let ask you another one. this says the opposite. we went to the four years prior. it was the longest period of time we would have balance. four years before and four years after. four years before, obesity went down, according to cdc. and four years after went up 16%, according to the cdc. now, i don't know how to explain that. i'm getting more and more complaints about not enough food for these kids. we're all very well aware of the complaints as this was implemented in the fall of 2014.
now we're well into the school year in 2015. have the complaints gone up or down? in comparison to the year earlier. >> they have gone down. some districts that left the program have come back into the program. >> i'm glad to hear that. how is that program doing in rhode island that was spawned by the waste? the program in rhode island is the north smithfield, rhode island, where they are feeding 3,000 pigs from the waste from the school. an industry that is is created. i still get a lot of complaints on hungry kids. that question. and then is there evidence that our students k-12 getting overweight because of the lunch
program or are they eating food from somewhere else? any evidence that it came from school lunch? >> congressman, the rudd study at university of connecticut, a study at berkeley, university of california, berkeley, suggesting that kids are eating more fruits and vegetables. no more food waste. in fact, are eating more of their entrees than before. we are focused on the food waste issue. i'm sorry, your second question? >> was there ever any evidence prior to 2010 they were getting overweight on school lunch? >> that is sort of an interesting question. it can be answered yes and no. yes, because it was part of the overall caloric intake that a
young person was taking. if they overate, then everything they ate in a day contributed. if we fit it within the standard, it shouldn't contribute to obesity, especially if we are reducing the fat, salt, sodium and sugar as we are. >> my time has expired. thank you. >> mr. neuhouse. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you for being with us this morning. appreciate your time. i've got a couple observations but also some requests. i'll try to get through in four minutes. i have spoken with a lot of impacted constituents, and also through my own review it seems clear that this dietary advisory guideline went outside their
scope in developing their recommendations from taxes to local restaurant zoning to food labeling and sustainability policy. according to the underlying statute, there was a sole product of this back in 1990, each report shall contain nutritional and dietary guidelines for the general public. secretary vilsack, back in march, "the wall street journal" reported you saying, and i quote, i read the actual law and what i read is our job ultimately is is to formulate dietary and nutritional guidelines. and i emphasized dietary and nutrition because that's what the law says. i think it's my responsibility to follow the law. there are forums and places for that to take place. i was pleased to hear your comments. but what concerns me is the lack of evidence that suggests that neither of the agencies exercised any effort to instruct the advisory committee on their
scope or mandate. secretary vilsack and secretary burwell, your predecessor, established the committee you did so that it was objective and available to the public. members of are full time employees and rely heavily on staff to carry out their duties. higher meat consumptions for the mediterranean diet. or when i can see recommendations onned aing sugars versus national sugar like the institute of medicine to reach conclusions. i worry greatly about the process and the guide answer and oversight they have been given. so i think it would be helpful for the committee to provide these committee evidence in
writing to confirm that your agencies did, in fact, make an attempt to oversee the advisory committee once it became clear they were delving into public policy. in response, i would like to see that your agency provided directions to the make sure they were staying focused and not straying into matters outside their scope or mandate. likewise, documented evidence of the instructions agencies provided to the committee on the public lot to help them understand the report must be based on the preponderance of scientific and medical knowledge that's current at the time of publication. finally, i would like to welcome your comments on any advice you could give future secretaries as to future advisory committees and how they could stay focus on
their charter and produce a recommendation that really stays coloring within the lines. i would appreciate a response. thank you. >> we will certainly provide response to your questions, congressman, as we are bound to do and will be happy to do that in writing. i think my advice to secretaries will be to continue the process of educating people about what these are and what they are not. and the distinction between the report and the guidelines. there seems to -- again, i have said this several times today. there seems to be a misunderstanding that the report equals the guidelines. that is not the case. the report is one aspect of our consideration. one aspect of the data and information used to formulate the guidelines. to me this debate has been helpful, i hope, in getting a better understanding precisely what the recommendations are.
i think it is also healthy as it relates to what is the purpose of the guidelines, is it focused on treatment or both. i think that's a healthy discussion. >> the gentleman's time expired. mr. thompson, four minutes. >> thank you, chairman. thank you, both secretaries. really appreciate you being here. my first question is very specific. it is an area i care a lot about. why do americans, especially children over the age of 4, fall short of the dietary guidelines recommended servings of milk and nutrients and vitamins and what can we do to promote policies to enhance milk consumption? >> basically, we're taking a look at those issues right now, congressman. and i think the goal here is as we learn more, as we understand more, as we relearn lessons of long ago, that's going to change
the direction and focus. that's the whole reason and purpose that we do this ever five years. it is an evolving process. as our information evolves, our policies will evolve. we are taking an issue of milk and the ways in which milk can be introduced in a variety of different ways. >> i appreciate those efforts. how much of a factor do you think it is is that we publish these guidelines once every five years. as you said, five minutes before you publish, there is new evidence that probably is contrary to what you're publishing. and i would assume -- i'm assuming, correct me if i'm wrong, that the rate of research within nutrition is significant, which is a really good thing. so the fact is as soon as you publish these guidelines, to some extent they are in can accurate. the longer they are in, the morin accurate they are. when you publish them, doesn't that influence the markets? i would argue -- i think.
i'm not going to argue. but i would think when it comes to milk, at one point the guidelines discouraged milk. took all the flavor out of it because fat was bad for you. i know the science shows contrary to that. you take the fat, you take the taste out. somehow these guidelines we do every five years that are never really totally accurate and increasingly more accurate towards the end of the five years increases the impact -- impacts the ag commodity markets. so my question for you, given the fact these were -- i may be wrong, under president carter, late '70s when i was originated, are americans more healthy or less healthy since the guidelines have been published. haven't they somewhat failed? we're talking about increasing obesity. the pentagon is more concerned than ever approximate having access -- having kids that would be able to serve in the military. we haven't -- have these
guidelines been really successful given the disease and chronic illnesses and conditions? and my second question is then how do we use these in a way that they could be successful? because they don't seem like they are accomplishing the objective, as you two very well articulated today. >> so i think we do want to. and i think the issue of obesity is one that has a number of different elements. and the physical activity guidelines, which are something that congressman dated -- >> as a former rehabilitation guy, i'm all in on that. >> that is another piece that i think we need to focus and we need to make sure these things are being used. you're right to reflect. the question is what is the critical path issue and what is the counter factual? that's the other thing that i think we all can't answer. we're on the wrong trajectory. but would the trajectory have been worse? >> let me make a suggestion and get a response the few seconds i have left. it seems once every five years,
this doesn't work because it changes. it can negatively impact commodities that -- irresponsible to tell people not to eat certain things when the next round says eat more of it. can't we share the best research with folks. a place where people can go to to get the best possible information in terms of eating and knowing that that changes all the time. once every five years, i don't think this is effective. sorry, chairman. >> honestly, this discussion suggests that there is some extraordinarily bright line on science, over here there is the real science and over here there is not the real science. the science is evolving. >> that's my point. that's what science does. >> it does. so you have to have general
guidelines that proceed some parameters. >> do we have static guidelines once every five years? >> you could theoretically go through this process every year. five-year period is good. obviously it gets better informed. and i think this issue of obesity is far more complex than saying because we have these guidelines that somehow we have become an obese nation. it's got to do with the fact that an average kid spends seven hours in front of a screen every day. that's part of it, right? it is portion size. that's part of it. it is a variety of factors. the guidelines -- i suppose if every american followed the guidelines it might be a different situation. but we don't. >> gentlemen's time has expired.
>> but it doesn't mean we shouldn't have them. >> thank you for being here today. ms. burwell, let me follow up on what mr. thompson was saying on that as well. we have been hearing eggs are bad. it turns out eggs are okay later. then you hear beef, red meat. and high protein diets help you lose weight. somebody was talking just over the weekend, a constituent lost weight but they're staying away from fruit. because fruit has carbs and sugars in it. how are people supposed to know when the guidelines are changing all the time. i guess following up on the five-year thought. is it good to have a hard and fast five-year timeline on changing the dietary guidelines, or should it be less frequent, more frequent, or change what you know to change and have -- leave the rest alone? what do you think of that? >> i think making a choice on
five years probably made a good choice. and the reason for that is, while we heard from some of your colleagues about extending the period, you know, let's think this took 18 months for the advisory committee to do its work, then you have an additional 75 days with a period of comment for us to receive comments on that. and then you have the period for us to review and get out. when you add that up and you think about that timetable, if you tried to shrink that, the question is, would you have relevant change? >> i guess what i'm looking at is maybe most of the guidelines will exist for a long time. when you have schoolbooks, they throw out the whole school book and you're buying a new one where most of the math lesson is fine. maybe you're just changing the almosts in there since it's electronic and not doing something every five years. so let me follow that up with should there be a legislative change we should reduce that would help this process? >> i don't know there should. i think we are like the school books.
most of this is consistent. i think you reflected in terms of where there were changes. the things that there are key recommendations have been relatively consistent since the 1980s, in terms of the importance of fruits and vegetables. the importance of a balanced ape approach that provides nutrition with fewer calories than the nation currently consumes. in several select areas it is is fair to appropriately reflect the science has changed. but the dominant picture is a very similar picture over the periods of time. and so i also think it is important to distinguish between the dietary guidelines and what is happening in our popular culture with regard to different diets that are proposed by different people in different ways. i think distinguishing that is also an important element. it gets to what are the guidelines and what are they not.
>> certainly a lot of overlap, a lot of different messages being sent. it can be seen by the people as confusing or difficult to follow. do you think the 2015 guideline will be more straightforward, giving people more straightforward ideas of how to follow the pattern for what they needs. is 2015 going to be an improvement over that? >> we will work to make things as simple as we can. the real way people interact with these things, the implementation of school programs. or the labeling issues. that's how most people interact with what the dietary guidelines are in terms of how they get their advice, what they are going to eat and that sort of thing. >> since most of the efforts say to follow or be consistent with the guidelines, what does follow the dga mean to you, madam secretary? >> there are these guidelines.
when we apply a perspective of the federal government to certain programs they are the basis that we think about promoting the programs, whether that's meals on meals, or as we think about our million hearts initiative at cdc to reduce by a million the number of people with heart attacks. an important element is understanding what the dietary guidelines say. >> thank you. you have had a difficult job the last year. thanks for coming. >> the gentleman's time expired. before we adjourn i will ask david scott, any comments from the ranking member? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. the first thing i want to say is how much we appreciate both of you cabinet officials coming before us at the same time. that's a rarity, and we really appreciate it. agriculture is indeed our most important industry. it is the food we eat, the water we drink. it is our survival. and i think you've got the
feeling from this committee of how important this is. and i hope that what we have discussed today that you all will take back in the manner and the spirit in which we have given it. because this is the single most important industry in the world, our agriculture. my hope is that you will take back and understand even go back and review a bit. secretary vilsack, you hit the nail on the head when you stated that they sit there before the screen. that's exactly right. when you and i were coming along, folks would say, daddy or mama, can i go out to the playground? that's a phrase we don't even here now. they're going upstairs, downstairs, or going in the room
and get on the internet and sit before the screen hour after hour. that's why it is so important now that we use our science to make up for that. and that's why i hope that you will take my suggestions to go back and look and make sure we have -- we're using the strong scientific evidence. and if they are saying things like the low calories sweeteners where studies have shown it will lower obesity, go back and review and explain why you don't use that. or maybe you go back and you look at it and you say, you know what, i think we can use this and make a difference. and that's why i think, mr. chairman, this has been an extraordinary and very important hearing. and i thank you for calling it.
>> i thank the gentlemen. i also juan want to thank our witnesses. it is a big deal to get both at the same table at the same time. we appreciate that. restoring trust if there needs to be restoring trust, if there needs to be restored trust. hopefully the next time the key is asked. you said guidelines don't change much from issue to issue. is that a bias that if i'm a scientist and i have a body of work that is -- comes to certain conclusions and i'm going to be hard bent to change my conclusion against new evidence, that's going to be an issue that's there. hopefully the next time the question will be asked, are the guidelines themselves contributing to the problem. the emphasis on carbohydrates,
the impact it has had on these issues we are talking about with obesity, diabetes and other things. do we have anybody who will live these five years to see what it did to them. i know you guys tried to gather a that information. but the guidelines are important. they are voluntary for me. i'm going to go have lunch and i will decide for myself. they are not voluntary in school lunch programs, snap and they become the law of the land. so it's very important that we get it right. and i appreciate limiting the criticisms about the sustainability, taxes. you laid those to rest. the emphasize on staying within the scope. i appreciate that. i appreciate your work trying to clarify these were guidelines. you have work to be done between now and december. the idea of perhaps the proposed rule were might have some value. i understand, tom, getting it finished is an important process as well. so i appreciate the spirit of which you came.
campaign. washington journal is live every morning with your phone calls, tweets and facebook comments. thursday, the head of volkswagen michael horn testifies about allegations that volkswagen used software that circumstance vented emissions requirements for some of its diesel engine cars. live coverage starts at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span3. and i think every first lady should do something in this position to help the things she cares about. >> i just think that everything in the white house should be the best, the entertainment that's given here. so of course is our feeling for children. i think it is good in a world where there's quite enough to divide people that we should cherish a language and emotion that unite us all.
>> jacqueline kennedy's 1,000 days as lady were identified as fashion icon, young mother and advocate for the arts. as television came to age, it was ultimately the tragic um manages of president ken' that cemented her in the public mind. jacqueline kennedy this sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "first ladies. sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. the house republican conference will meet thursday to choose their nominee for the next speaker of the house. we get an update from a capitol hill reporter.
>> danielle new houser writes that the house freedom caucus backed webster for the speaker. daniel neuhauser with us. why did the freedom caucus endorse webster for speaker. >> he is the former speak are of the house and he prides himself on having, in his words, reformed the process of how bills were passed in the house there. and he's been going door to door caucus to caucus, delegation to delegation here on capitol hill making that exact case. he said, you know, i did this in florida and i can do it here. we recognize the process is broken and i want to fix that. i want to enpower individual members. he's been talking about a power pyramid that he wants to do away with and allow individual members to have more of a say in the legislation that comes up
and how it ends up getting passed. >> so you say this quest for the speakership comp cates things for kevin mccarthy. what is the impact on majority leader mccarthy as well as jason chaffetz, the other person in the race. >> we're not sure how much support he has, only a handful of members if even that many who have publicly endorsed him. he could get a few as well. the freedom caucus is comprised of 30 or 40 members and if they vote in a block, that promises at least something like 30 votes to webster. in the immediate term it's not going to have a huge effect because mccarthy is going to be probably the recipient of a wide majority of the republican votes behind closed doors tomorrow. where this matters is october 29th when they go to the house floor. and this's a big unknown.
on the house floor mcconsider thy needs 218 votes to be named speaker. he can't do that if 30 or more republicans vote for someone else. you need 218 republicans and there's 247 in the conference. it makes it infinitely tougher to get there. >> so is the freedom caucus not committing to vote for whoever comes out as the winner in tomorrow's nominee election? >> my understanding of their decision is they're committing to only tomorrow. and i think they view the rest of the month as a sort of trial run for mccarthy. you know that you have got all of these different issues coming up, a cr has to be dealt with in december, the debt ceiling in november, highway bill, other complicated issues that they hope to exert their influence on. if they are not happy with how mccarthy handles these things, they could potentially vote against him again on october
29th. but it's possible they may do that anyways. >> walk us through the process on thursday with the conference. how will the election for their nominee to be speaker work? >> so they go behind closed doors at noon. each candidate has to be nominated by another member of congress and then there has to be a second. there essentially has to be two people who support the member. after that the candidate gives a short speech, i think five minutes or so. and then members cast their vote by secret ballot. it's not -- the tallyies are no given out. the individual votes are not relayed to the press or the other members. the votes will be counted up and whoever emerges with the majority, you know, will be who the conference elected. >> now the other leadership positions in the party initially supposed to be voted on on thursday, that's been pushed back.
why? >> that's right. it's unclear what the sort of back room reason is. but i think that the sort of public reason is, you know, it's recognized that there's a lot of dissent right now. they don't think that the majority leader and position should be voted on another somebody is actually named speaker on october 29th. it's possible that, you know, this vote could go on for days or who knows, weeks. i mean, anything could happen if nobody can get to 218 votes. so i think they just don't want to jump the gun on naming somebody to a position that may actually not be open. >> daniel neuhauser of national journal. he is on twitter. thanks very much for being with us. >> thank you. baltimore mayor stephanie rawlings blake spoke about the national press club about her
around in-custody deaths or police-involved shootings but also around the day to day interaction of the police with the community which i think will be helpful. >> this questioner says the police commissioner said he was stunned by the level of poverty in baltimore and in part attributed that to crime. why hasn't more been done to address poverty in baltimore? what can be done at the city level? >> poverty is a problem that exists in baltimore and cities around this country. it's not just a -- not even an american problem. it's a global problem. i don't know of a city that's solved the issue of poverty.
and while many work to eradicate the disparities in income, raise your hand if you know the city that's fixed this problem. it's an intractable problem that if you're looking -- if a cure to it is success, we'll never be successful. but i think the work we're doing every single day to improve our schools. i'm standing here next to one of the biggest advocates in the country for excellence in education. when we provide excellence in education, we're creating pathways out of poverty. my dad grew up in the projects, and he made it very, very clear to us growing up that education was his key out of poverty, and he wanted us to understand that education would be our key to whatever we wanted to do in life. my dad was an elected official. my mom was a pediatrician.
we had access to a whole lot. but i said if jordache made encyclopedias, we would have had them, but they weren't spending money on stuff that wasn't going to help our education. there was no designer jeans, there was no -- unless our grandparents got them -- designer tennis shoes. we had the same black-and-white tv, i know you know what i'm talking about, old school, you turn it with the pliers because their resources were going to making sure that their children were educated, and so education is a key. focus on creating jobs. that's why it frustrates me so when we've made the infrastructure investment a partisan issue. those are jobs that could help bring people out of poverty today if those resources were put there. so i think that the work to
eradicate poverty is ongoing work. it's work that i think will continue to the end of our time. i think there's a way to continue to make progress, and i'm pleased to say there are many mayors doing a lot of good work making progress on this very, very challenging issue. is it perfect? no. but we have mayors, including the work i've done in baltimore, that are fighting for progress everyday. >> you mentioned in the introduction that you have said you're not running for re-election and that's -- you've got a full -- more than a full year in office yet. how has your announcement affected your ability to work in the city? has it helped or hindered? sometimes lame-duck is limiting but other times as john boehner is showing he seems to feel freed up. so how is your announcement
affecting your work going forward? >> i'll say i'm very focused on the work at hand. fighting for progress every single day. while i've made it clear i'm not seeking re-election, i've made it clear to everyone that works with me and for me that that doesn't mean we're on vacation. that means there's a lot of serious work that needs to be done. and boehner, obama, you can go down the history of people who have been where i am and see that they are great examples of leaders in the -- running up to the end of their term who have been unfiltered, you know? unchained, unrestricted. i think for me, i have the benefit of every single thing i do not being viewed through the lens of campaigning or politics, and i have the freedom of being
able to be more intentional when i'm talking about those things as well. when i see politics is standing in the way of progress. so i am determined that these -- there's more than a year that i have left on my term that will be made every single day pushing for progress for baltimore's families, and i have no doubt we'll continue to make progress. >> this questioner wants you to put on your dnc hat, and they wonder, should there be more sanctioned debates? why or why not? >> it's interesting for me what things kind of get traction and what don't. this notion of more debates or not, i won't really weigh in on that except to say that we have the same number of debates this time as we did the last time we had a contested democratic
primary. so then it leads me to the question -- and it wasn't the issue last time. the number of debates seemed to be fully satisfactory. there wasn't this push to have more. then the question comes, what's different this time? is it that we have some candidates that have -- that have a lot of resources and that are highly ranked in the polls and some that aren't? what are those issues that created this debate controversy? i know that the -- our chair, debbie wasserman schultz, is working with the leadership of the dnc to look at that issue, and i'm sure that if there is a consensus that we need more debates, i'm sure that will happen. i still have this question of why, when you have the -- a
contested primary and a contested primary why this time the number of debates we have is seen as insufficient. >> can you tell us who you're supporting or in your dnc job, do you have to wait until there's a nominee? how does that work? >> so the officers of the dnc, we have this neutrality provision that we can't participate in the presidential primary, so i get to ignore that question. >> here's a question at the intersection of presidential politics and local issues. are you concerned any presidential candidates may try to limit or eliminate the municipal bond tax exemption? what case are you making to the candidates or to congress to preserve the exemption? >> that's one of the things when i talk about infrastructure investment, i try not to get too upset about it because it really frustrates me.
that issue really frustrates me as well. i don't know who's telling anybody that we should be balancing the budget on the backs of american cities. who's telling anybody that it makes sense to restrict the capacity of cities to make significant investments? it just doesn't make sense. so we have a group of mayors that have taken on this campaign, and we will continue to be aggressive in making sure that the municipal bonds are protected. >> this is a little early, i acknowledge, with a full year left, but the questioner says, what is your biggest regret as mayor, and what would you say is your biggest accomplishment? >> biggest regret? i don't know. i always feel like there's always going to be opportunity to have a bigger regret than any
i've had to date. i will say -- i can say one of the things that i felt the most proud about is the work we've done when it comes to school construction and fighting for more than a billion dollars to come to baltimore. baltimore has the oldest school facilities in the state. and when i toured our schools, it was embarrassing and it was -- you know, to see some of the classrooms with the ceiling tiles coming down, the windows were fogged. you know that kids are cold when they should be hot and hot when they should be cold. you can't drink from the water fountains. i always would joke that the boys' bathrooms you wouldn't send your mother-in-law into except for somebody told my mother-in-law so -- [ laughter ] it was deplorable. deplorable.
so when we were able to bring that level of investment -- i don't know of another city in the country that has that level of investment going on in capital improvements, building new schools. when the governor signed that piece of legislation, there was a sense of calm that i had that i didn't -- i wasn't expecting. and that calm came from the fact that i knew that if god -- it was god's will that i died that day that i was a part of something that would transform my city in positive ways for generations to come. so i said as far as biggest accomplishments, i'm really grateful to have been mayor at a time we could do something huge like that that far after i'm gone will have changed the
trajectory of baltimore's future. >> and, of course this is a question along those same lines, you've got a year left. how do you see yourself being involved publicly after you're done being mayor of baltimore? what kind of work do you see yourself getting involved in? >> i guess i should be thinking about that more because i get that question every single day. but i have so much that we're doing in the city. i'm sitting here looking at my team from housing. we're rocking when it comes to our blight elimination. this is an issue that many cities don't even attempt because the problem of blight and vacant housing has piled up for so long. many have given up because the challenge is so big and local foundation just took a look at our blight elimination plan which is called vacants to value
which is having our five-year anniversary next month. you're welcome to come to baltimore november 18 to 19 for a nice summit. they said it's the most comprehensive blight elimination plan the city has seen in more than 40 years. that's big stuff. and to be able to continue that work every single day to transform neighborhoods. you know, when i -- i noticed that since the death of freddie gray and the nation's eyes have been fixed on baltimore and some of baltimore's neighborhoods and challenges and you hear from people, my god. there's so much abandoned property, and there's so much neglect. absolutely, and it didn't get that way overnight. the frustrations we've seen, we've been living with this for decades. the difference is now there's hope that something better is coming. because we've had fits and starts of blight elimination
plans that department give hope that there was real change coming. but with vacants to value, we've seen our efforts, our market-driven efforts transform neighborhoods. when you can do that, when you can look in the face of someone who is looking at green space instead of trees coming up through vacant properties and see the fact that -- it's like they say that we know that you see us and that better is possible and better is coming. that's the kind of stuff that i'm going to focus on for these -- and i'm glad i got a head nod from my housing team. that i'm going to focus on. because it is important work to bring hope to our communities. and we do that when we focus on making sure that government does what it's supposed to do for the citizens that we serve. >> this question in many respects pulls together everything we've been talking
about. some would argue that without the unrest and protests experienced in places like ferguson and baltimore, none of these issues that you mentioned would be even on the table for discussion. how would you suggest that citizens who feel their interests are ignored get their concerns on the national agenda? >> i think that might be true at a national level, but the issues of police brutality weren't new to me. we've been able to drive down the number of excessive force complaints. we've been able to drive down discourtesy complaints and lawsuits that have been brought against the city because we've been focused on improving the culture at the police department and confronting that culture in the police department. so locally, while i think the nation's eye has been turned to
baltimore in the wake of the freddie gray -- the death of freddie gray, this is something that is not new to me. people are acting brand new. some people feel they're jumping on the bandwagon now. like i said, when i was in annapolis fighting for reform of the law enforcement officers bill of rights, it's great. but it would have been lovely if they would have done that in january when we could have shown the public that we were willing to confront the police union and fight for progress and reform to hold officers accountable. so nationally, i think in many places, whether it's freddie gray or eric gardner, michael brown, these issues are creating opportunities for dialogue in
many places nationally that to might not have had those conversations, but this has been an ongoing work that we have been doing in baltimore and it didn't start with the death of freddie gray. >> you mentioned the police union. there are a couple questions specifically about the police union. considering the reaction of the police union based upon the charges into the freddie gray case, how does the city government work long term to gain the cooperation of the rank and file? >> i think you're talking about two different things. the rank and file and the police union are two different entities. i think the rank and file officers, you know, we have officers that very, very proudly serve the people of baltimore. the vast majority of the officers we have in our city serve our residents with distinction and respect. the oath that they took and the
uniform that they wear. the challenge that i have with police unions is that they are unwilling to evolve, you know, to -- when i was in annapolis fighting for the reform of the law enforcement officers bill of rights, i remember having a conversation with the leadership and union, and i said we might not get this passed this year. might not be next year. but it's coming. change is coming. if you can't see it, you're blind. there is a wave in our country that is unrelenting that will hold officers more accountable for wrongdoing. and i said -- i remember this conversation like it was yesterday. i said that you are uniquely positioned. i said you can be the first in the nation to be a part of
crafting what that looks like. you can do the same thing that you all have done for decades in the past, which is to just say no, to block any type of progress, and see where that gets you. and i will say that i think that the action of our police union and many across the country has made them -- has really devalued the power of that union. i don't know of -- based on the rhetoric that they have been spewing in baltimore, who would want the endorsement of the fop. and they did that to themselves by the way that they have chosen to deal with the charges in the police, the way they have chosen to deal with our efforts to reform. all of those things. and it didn't have to be that way. they had with me a partner that was willing to work with them to
address these issues. i was very open in trying to find solutions. but you can't just go back to those knee-jerk entrenched behaviors and think that it will work in 2015. >> we're almost out of time, but before i ask the mayor the final question or questions, i have some housekeeping. the national press club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. we fight for a free press worldwide. to learn more about the club, go to our website. that's press.org. and to donate to our nonprofit journalism institute, visit press.org/institute. i'd like to remind you about some upcoming speakers. this friday, october 9th, gop presidential candidate and neurosurgeon dr. ben carson will
address the national press club luncheon. on thursday at our annual fourth estate awards gala, the national press club will honor gwen eiffel, manager of "washington week" and co-author and managing editor of "pbs news hour." and on friday october 23, oscar-winning director and actor kevin costner will be here to discuss his new book. i'd now like to present our guest with the traditional national press club mug. >> thank you. >> so the last few questions in the time that we have remaining. can the ravens, now 1-3, turn it around? >> yeah, i'm a huge ravens fan.
so much so that i blocked one of those losses out and i've had arguments with people, no, we're not 1-3, it's 1-2. they were like, no. i was like no. i have repressed a whole game because i cannot allow myself to think that we have started this season 1-3. we have to turn it around. there is no other option. i cannot envision a world where the ravens don't make the postseason. so we have to turn it around. >> we have someone at the head table who is quite interested in books. interviews authors frequently in fact. question, what is your favorite book? >> i don't have a favorite movie or a favorite book. i will say that i have a favorite author, and that is james baldwin. i remember -- and i go back to his books often just because of
the way that he wrote. it really speaks -- it really spoke to me, and i can remember when he came to baltimore to speak to students at a local college, i squeezed my way in just for the opportunity to hear him speak. and it was one of the things that i hope that i will never forget in my life. because he had a sensitivity and a way with language that is unparalleled in american literature. as far as useful books, i've read -- and you know what i mean. not -- books that, you know, aren't for just enjoyment. the enjoyment of literature. it was a book that i keep in my office, and i think it's by alan deutscheman called "change or die." and it's a book about what it takes to change an individual, what it takes to change an
organization. and i've been -- it's been something that has intrigued me about individuals' unwillingness to change even if it's in their self-interest as well as organizations. so that's something that -- a book that i go back to a lot. >> ladies and gentlemen, how about a round of applause for our speaker. thank you. [ applause ] i would also like to thank the national press club staff and its journalism institute and broadcast center for organizing today's event. if you would like a copy of today's program, or to learn more about the club, go to our website, press.org. thank you. we are adjourned.
on the next "washington journal" -- "washington post" political reporter robert costa on the election of the next house speaker. then the authors of a biography of former congressman and presidential candidate jack kemp. we'll also discuss the 2016 presidential election. "washington journal" is live each morning at 7:00 eastern with your phone calls, tweets and facebook comments. thursday the house judiciary committee hoilds a hearing on planned parenthood practices and abortsion services. that's live at 2:00 p.m. east owner c-span3. this sunday night on q&a, former senator and presidential candidate gary hart on "the republic of conscience," comparing the current government to the republic our founders intended. >> the founders used the
language of greece and rome and warned against corruption. and their definition of corruption was not bribery or quid pro quo money under the table. it was putting special interests ahead of the common good. and by that definition, washington today is a massively corrupt place. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's q&a. our c-span campaign 2016 bus is on the road to the white house tour. and this week was at the comcast studio xfinity store in chicago. shoppers visited the bus to learn about c-span's online interactive resources for following campaign 2016. to keep track of the bus tour, follow the bus on twitter and instagram using @cspanbus. business owners from north dakota and texas testified that
the national labor relations board joint employer decision would negatively impact their companies. this hearing of the senate health, education, labor and pensions committee is an hour and 35 minutes. >> the senate committee will come to order. kwee have a hearing about the recent national labor relations decision that threatens to steal the american dream from franchise businesses and millions of contractors. we'll also discuss the legislation i've introduced to undo this decision and restore the law the way it was before the nlrb decision. senator murray and i will each have an opening statement.
we'll introduce our panel of witnesses. we thank each of you for coming. after the witness testimony, each senator will have five minutes of questions. last week i met a man named oslom khan. he's an immigrant from pakistan. he started out as a dishwasher at church's chicken and today has become a successful owner of church's chicken franchises. he talked about achieving the american dream. he said it was possible because of our nation's "free entrepreneurial spirit." on august 27th, the nlrb made a decision that threatens to destroy that free enterprise entrepreneurial spirit. the labor board's new joint employer standard will make big businesses bigger and make the middle class smaller by discouraging larger companies from franchising and contracting work to small businesses.
it's the biggest attack on the opportunity for small businessmen and women in this country to make their way up the economic ladder that we've seen in a long, long time. i'm committed to fighting it with legislation. that already has 45 co-sponsors in the senate and a total of 60 co-sponsors in the house, including three democrats. for three decades, federal labor policies have held that two separate employees are joint employers if both have direct and immediate control over employment terms and working conditions. that means two employers who are both responsible for tasks like hiring and firing, work hours, issuing directions, determining compensation, and handling day-to-day recordkeeping. under the new joint employers standard adopted in august, a 3-2 nlrb majority said indirect control or unexercised control of work conditions could
make a franchisee or franchiser joint employers. that means for all these franchisers n contractors who worked so hard to build their businesses in their communities, meeting payroll, paying taxes, trying to make a profit, they'll no longer be considered their worker's sole employer. rather, they are just one of the worker's employers. and for the businesses that have franchised their brand or used subcontractors to haul their waste or clean their offices and are now considered one of the employers of these company's workers, there will be a huge incentive to retake control of those franchises and retake control of those contracted tasks because if you're going to have all the liability of being the borss, you might be much better off being the boss. that means cost goes up. less ability to invest capital. joint employers, business owners forced to engage in collective bargaining and share liability
for labor day violations. the change also harms employees. millions of employees will lose the ability to negotiate pay hours and leave time with their direct supervisors. most decisions will be made between the larger employee and the union. as one employee put it in an interview with a denver news channel, i would be just another number to a corporation. i'm a person to my employer now. franchising will be particularly impacted by this decision. 780,000 franchise establishment across the country. they create nearly 9 million jobs. last week i met with a chattanooga, tennessee, coup whole started their own franchisee location of two men and a truck, a moving company. the hard work and commitment they've been able to grow their first franchise into six locations. i'd like to continue to grow but this new nlrb decision is causing them to put their plans on hold. two men and a truck say good example of how franchising
allows entry into business owner in the middle class. was started in michigan by a mom with two sons who she was ready to put to work. her first franchisee was hir daughter. it's grown to 220 franchisees, 8,000 jobs, 38% of their franchisees began by working on a truck. successfully franchising a franchise business is one of the most important ways to climb the ladder of success. women owner or co-own nearly half of all franchise businesses. minorities own about 20%. why would we want to cut off this business model? the protecting local business opportunity act that i have introduced along with 45 co-sponsors would roll back the nlrb ruling and reaffirm that an employer must exercise actual direct and immediate control over essential terms and conditions of employment. this is the common sense standard. that's been applied for decades. we have 45 co-sponsors of our
bill. i hope we'll add more. i hope that will include some democratic members of the senate. this is an issue that's important. i believe it's time for congress to act as soon as possible to stop a destructive policy that damages middle class growth, the middle class growth that's made this nation what it is today. i hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will agree. senator murray. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. our economy and our workplaces in our country should work for all of our families, not just the wealthiest few. i assume everyone agrees. we can't make that happen without considering the massive changes in the labor market over the past 30 years. many big corporations increasingly rely on temp agencies, franchises, and other third-party sources to stay competitive and lower labor costs. and sometimes corporations still maintain significant control over the workers performing their day-to-day operations of franchises and subcontractors.
now some of these corporations work very hard to ensure workers are treated fairly and have access to the protections that they deserve. unfortunately, when some other parent companies maintain this control, it can often come at a huge cost to the workers and to small business owners alike. for example, some of the biggest corporations can dictate a franchise's pricing and store hours. they decide how many people are on a franchisee's staff. they sometimes even have a say in how much employees can earn. yet these parent companies can escape all liabilities for poor work conditions and rock bottom wages. in some cases, workers have tried to exercise their basic rights to join together and improve wages and workplace conditions. when those workers sit down to negotiate, they find out that not all of the people who have control over the terms and conditions of their jobs have to show up at the bargaining table.
take for example a worker who worked for a temp agency that supplied workers for a warehouse in california. in a report from the national employment law project, he said he and his co-workers barely made more than minimum wage. they never knew when their shift would end, and they never had a set day off of work. that made it impossible for them to plan their lives. but when they joined together to form a union, the company that owned the warehouse threatened to close that temp agency and fire all the workers. now these employment arrangements can be bad for small business owners as well. take for instance a man named sayeed. he'd come to the u.s. from india. he'd been a franchise owner for nearly a quarter of a century. over time, the parent company had enacted tighter and tighter controls over his business and
that has really limited his ability to free up resources to treat his workers better. he said, and i quote, when i lived in bombay, this is not what i thought that was meant by the american dream. while there are many responsible corporations, other parent companies put all liability for low wages and poor working conditions squarely on the shoulders of the small business owner. i believe we need to help our workers and grow our economy from the middle out, not from the top down. and that means that we, as a nation, should not turn our backs on empowering workers, especially since that's the very thing that's helped so many of the workers climb into the middle class. there has been an overwhelming amount of disinformation out there about the nlrb browning-ferris' decision. before hearing testimony, i want to get a couple of things clear. when workers want to join together with their co-workers, they are not looking for special treatment. they are simply exercising their
basic rights that are guaranteed by law. secondly, one of the board's responsibilities is adapting to the realities of today's workplaces to make sure workers can exercise their right to collectively bargain. some of my republican colleagues have claimed that this decision is somehow an overreach. given the changes in the workplace, the board is carrying out its duties under law. and this might be the most important point. i've heard some opponents of this decision use sweeping language about the scope of this decision. let's be clear. this decision does not change the relationship between a local business owner and her employees. if she was deciding who to hire and who on her staff deserved a raise before this decision, she will continue doing that going forward. the browning/ferris decision only clarifies if another company also has substantial control in the critical terms of
employment, like who to hire and fire or how much to pay franchise owner's employees, the nlrb is going to take it at its word and treat it as an employer as well. workers can only exercise their basic rights, rights that are guaranteed under the constitution and the national labor relations act, when all of the employers who have a say in the working conditions are at the table. again, the labor market looks a lot different today than it did 30 years ago. rather than using these trends to end basic worker protections and undermine the fundamental fairness of due process, this committee should study those trends and discuss what we can do for workers and small business owners. to keep the american dream in reach of all families. i hope this committee can find ways to look at those trends. grow the economy from the middle out and ensure our country and workplaces work for all of our families, not just the wealthiest few and the biggest corporations. thank you, mr. chairman.
>> thank you, senator murray. i'm pleased to welcome our four witnesses today. ms. clara stockland is the founder of mode stores. headquartered in fargo, north dakota. founded in 2007, mode now has nine franchisees operating boutique stores across six states. ed martin is the president of tilson home corporation in austin, texas. tilson homes is a family owned build on your lot custom home builder that's been in business for 80 years. mark kusicki is an attorney. he's represented clients in some of the most significant cases. he's a member of the american bar association, section of labor and employment law committee on practice and procedure under the nlra. mr. michael rubins