tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN January 7, 2016 1:30pm-7:01pm EST
more today are the white house coverage coming your way today with carly fiorina, the republican presidential candidate hosting a town hall meeting in meredith, new hampshire. watch it live starting at 6:30 p.m. eastern on our companion network c-span 2. and more from the campaign trail tomorrow with ohio governor con kasich who is also hosting a town hall in new hampshire. he'll be in exiter. watch that event live at 5:15
p.m. eastern time on friday on c-span. is. of course next week, president obama delivers his last state of the union address to congress. that will be live tuesday the 12th at 9:00 p.m. eastern on our companion network c-span. looking at news from capitol hill from "roll call" today, one day after president barack obama unveiled his unilateral actions to combat gun violence a senior senator invited the attorney general to answer for the proposals he considers executive overreach. senator richard shelby of alabama chairman of the commerce, justice and science appropriation subcommittee asked attorney general loretta lynch to testify at a january 28 hearing on the president's actions which obama argued were legal and necessary in the face of congressional inaction on gun control. shelby's subcommittee overseas the department of justice's budget. students around the country
are working on c-span's student cam documentary contest, telling us the issue they want the presidential candidates to discuss. through social media, we're following students as they produce their videos. here's a tweet from indiana, canterbury schoolteacher tweeted "canterbu "canterbury/fort wayne students were addressed to hear ben carson address gun control." and from maryland, the principal at eastern middle school tweeted dwlt week two students interviewed former attorney general eric holder for their c-span video project. wow." also illinois representative john shimkus tweeted "i was interviewed by students for their c-span project." there's $100,000 in prizes with a grand prize of $5,000. the deadline is january 20, 2016, and the winners will be announced marge 9. for more information, visit our web site, studentcam.org. the american constitution
society held a plan discussion yesterday to outline an upcoming supreme court case dealing with teacher's union. friedrichs v. california teachers' association will be heard monday, january 11. the supreme court will decide whether fair share fees paid by non-union members is unconstitutional. this is 90 minutes. >> hello, everybody, can you hear me? great, okay. i would like to welcome you to our briefing today on the upcoming supreme court case "friedrichs v. california teachers' association" which is going to be argued next monday, january 11. i'm caroline frederick son, the president of the american constitution society. before we begin, i'd like to give an extra special thank you to judy scott who is the general council of the service employees
international union where we are sitting today and seiu itself for providing with us this wonderful space and hosting today's briefing. it east so great to be here among so many friends. for those of you who may not be familiar with the american constitution society we were funded in 2001 and we are a network of judges, lawyers, policymakers, academics and law students who believe the law should be a force to improve the lives of all people. acs works for positive change by shaping the debate on vitally important legal and constitutional questions through the development and promotion of high-impact ideas to opinion leaders and the media and by building networks of those dedicated to those ideas and ultimately by countering the activist conservative legal movement that has sought to erode our enduring
constitutional values. today's expert panel will discuss the critically important case, "friedrichs v. california teachers' association." the crux of this case is the question of whether public sector unions can collect what are known as fair share fees that cover the cost of collective bargaining and contract administration for non-members. and mr. whether those fees constitute speech under the first amendment our panelists will discuss these issues as well as the role of stare decisis, the role of collective bargaining in maintaining labor peace historically and the prospective impact this case may have on workers and public sector employment in the short term and long term. to understand these issues and talk about what is at stake we have a wonderful moderator
today, professor garrett epps. garrett teaches constitutional law at the university of baltimore school of law. he's a contributing editor in the "supreme court correspondent" for the "atlantic." a contributing editor for "the american prospect" the author of several books and now, i have just learned, among them two novels. so if you're feeling inadequate already, even more so. most recently garrett published "american justice, 2014, nine clashing visions of the supreme court. he's also a former staff writer for the "washington post," he's written for the niemt, the new york review books, the nation, and the new republic. he has an llm in comparative and international law and a jd from duke. a ba from harvard where he was editor of the harvard "crimson." maybe most importantly and i'd say for us certainly at acs, he
is a great friend to the american constitution society. so please welcome garrett epps and our esteemed panel. thank you, garrett. [ applause ] >> thanks for the introduction. and thank everybody for being here. we have a great panel today on the issues in "friedrichs" and its importance in first amendment and public employment law and it is such a good panel that even though i am a law professor i am looking forward more to listening to them than to talking myself. let me introduce them quickly and then we'll launch the discussion. we'd like to talk, get some back-and-forth going for about 50 minutes to an hour and then have time for your questions.
will i try to stay out of the way in the discussion but we did agree that panelists would try to keep their comments to a couple minutes so we can do back and forth and it's possible if someone forgets that i may start going like this. here are our panelists. immediate will to our left, the deputy solicitor general for the state of new york. she has been -- served in the civil division of the u.s. department of justice, the white house counsel's office, and the office of the white house chief of staff. mary ann parker, to her left, is associate general counsel here at seiu and lead counsel in the public services division. she's also practiced law with the d.c. firm of brettoff and keiser and was coordinator at the carnegie endowment's moscow center. i best there's some stories that could come out of that.
to her left n a sense is jeff harris. [ laughter ] he is a partner at bancroft specializing in supreme court advocacy and has litigated a number of important cases in front of the court in the last five years or so. during october term '08 he was a clerk for chief justice john roberts. and finally andy pinkus, parenter parent er partner at mayer brown who focuses on litigation and the supreme court. former assistant solicitor general, andy has argued 25 cases in front of the court so as you can see there's a lot of knowledge lined up here to the left. and when we conferred before this panel i asked each panelist to imagine that they got a phone call from someone very important, either justice kennedy or adam liptack, which ever you consider to rank higher
and who said i have one question for you and what one question would they want this person to ask them. each person is going to give a grief answer to his or her question then we're going to move into more back and forth so starting with you annisha. you said you would like to fill this person in on the interest that the state of new york and other fair share fee states feel they have in collective bargaining as it is now practiced and its utility to them. so go ahead. >> that's exactly right. i would want the caller to understand the benefit that public employers and not just the state of new york but public employers generally get from union representation arrangements and the role fair share fees play in those arrangements. these benefits include increased efficiency in the provision of government services but the
benefit i want to focus on is the disruption of the provision of core government services. and many of these services are not provided by by that private sector at all or not provided by by the private sector at costs that are afford to believe the vast majority of citizens. so we're talking about public safety, public education, public transportation, institutional care for the elderly, the disabled, and the mentally ill. welfare services for the needy. and the experiences of new york and many other sates showed us that in the era before public employees had a forum to air their grievances and their concerns about their workplace conditions there were often expressions that resulted in work stoppages, strikes, and disruptions in the workplace that in turn caused disruptions in public services in ways that had dramatic effect for the
public and following on the model of federal collective bargaining, states, many of them chose to adopt collective bargaining for public employees. the important second piece of the putz is fair share fees and how fair share fees support these modes of collective bargaining and from the perspective of a state employer, what the state is looking for is a negotiating partner that's in a position to negotiate effectively and to address employee concerns at the source. and that requires expertise of all different kinds, economic expertise, legal expertise and managerial expertise and that costs money and what fair share fees do is they go towards defraying those costs. i think another piece of the puzzle is why the experiences of
right to work states or the diversity of different approaches doesn't undermine this story, but i think that fits better with the federalism portion of our discussion so i'll leave it for that part. >> that's great, thanks. maryanne, you indicated you would like to talk to this caller about the fact that society -- our society wright now at this moment is in the middle of a very complex and painful debate about increasing inequality and that it would be worthwhile to see friedrichs within the context of that debate. >> i would want this caller, who can call any time -- [ laughter ] -- to step back and to consider that we are living at this moment in the worst of times and arguably the best of times. i mean, we're here at a time when our american economy is out of balance with wealth and opportunity accruing to an
increasingly smaller group of people and interests and people are working harder than ever and they still find themselves struggling just to provide for a decent life for their family. 42% of working people, 464 million american workers, earn less than $15 an hour. so these are game facts but it still feels like the rules continue to be rewritten to favor the wealthy few at the expense of the rest of us. and yet it's a time of incredible hope and change, the fight for 15 is a national movement, a couple of years ago it began as this audacious demand for $15 among fast food workers. and since that time over 11 million people have won themselves a raise at work. in addition, there's a grange understanding that it's just a demonstrated fact empirically and in many other ways that when
workers come together, when collective action thrives in a workplace opportunity and economic mobility are the result. so we've seen time and time again that in partnership with employ yerz, public sector workers have built middle-class jobs, they have closed wage gaps for women, for people of color, for lgbt workers and they've brought their front line expertise to solve real world workplace problems and helped their public sector'm i ployers with issues of reducing cost. increasing efficiency and quality and these are problems as every bit as important to solve in the public sector as they are in private, arguely more important. an astonishing study came out this fall, a national study by many well-respected economists and it was looking at income mobility, particularly for children born in the bottom quintile of our economic system and there was an incredibly vigorous showing that where they lived, if they live inned in an area of hyun i don't know
density they had considerably more hope of moving up in the economy. this was true even if the child herself wasn't from a union household. it's proof worker banding together lift all boats and improve entire communities. so we're at this incredibly brought moment, a time of great inequality but a time of great opportunity and we're here to discuss a case that would limit the power of working people to come together and do the work that has been done effectively in many workplaces where they have the capacity to do that work so i really see this case as part of a much larger attack on the ability of working people to be effective and to band together and provide a key resource in the fight against inequality that so many of us are engaged in right now. >> thanks. jeff, you said you'd be interested in talking to this person about the overarching theme of the first amendment as
it has developed in front of the supreme court and whether there would be anything anomalous about a decision for the petitioners in friedrichs or about a vic victory for the respondents leaving in place the precedent approving fair share fees and whether there's only one first amendment or a whole lot of different specialized areas. >> sure, thank you for that and for having me. i think the one overarching point i would make is that there is only one first amendment and it does not contain and exemption for labor law. there's no exemption 1-a that creates an exemption to the prohibition on compelled speech or association just because individuals are being forced to associate with a union as opposed to some other type of private organization. and i think to illustrate that, it's help to feel look at two other contexts, one in the government employment context and one out of it.
first, think of a political patronage system. imagine the texas governor said from now on we only want to hire active dues-paying republicans for government employment because texas is a small government low-tax state and we only want people who share our values to be doing the public's work. now it's pretty well established at this point that a political hiring process like that, at least for mid-and lower level employees, would be unconstitutional. but once we accept that, i don't see how we can allow states to coerce people into financially supporting a union as a condition of public employment. spoet situations involve compelled payments to ideologically charged private organizations that many people would not join if they were left to their own devices and i think the issue of mandatory agency fees -- and it's important to remember, this case is not about the right to collectively bargain, this case is not about
exclusive representation, it's only about the compelled payments to the union and so i think the problems with that are even clearer when we take another step back and get outside the employment context all together. so stick with texas for lack of a better state and say texas is now worried about children spending too much time indoors on computers so texas makes the boy scouts and the girl scouts its official outdoor education providers. nobody is compelled to join the scouts but if you have a school-aged child you have to pay them $100 a year for access to these outdoor education services. i don't think that would be constitutional because you would have the government telling is parents to support a private organization whose commission they may disagree with and the state can't make it
constitutional just by saying well, we're going to also have the boy scouts give you a service in exchange for your compelled money. so i think -- again, my big take away for adam liptack is be thi skas about unions, but once we accept is that the government has this extraordinary power to compel individuals to subsidize a private organization, i think it can lead to lots of other things that would not sit well with progressives, as well. >> thanks. and andy, you were also interested in the first amendment context from a slightly different point of view. mostly discussing how the first amendment currently applies in the public employment context and whether there really is something anomalous about the fair share rule. >> yeah, it might be good for jeff and i to have a conference call because there would be a pretty good exchange of views on the first amendment.
let me back up and say although of course there is only one first amendment, it's quite settled that it does apply differently in the public employee context just as there are a myriad of different first amendment standards for different contexts, there is a special first amendment standard in the public employee context and the court said a bunch of years ago in a state called pickering the state has interest in regulating the speech of employees that differ significantly from those it possesses in the citizenry in general. so clearly government acting employer is different. so whatever the rule might be about forcing people to join the boy scouts, i personally didn't like the boy scout, a little too militaristic for me when i was a kid, but i think whatever the rule is about the boy scouts, and i think jeff is probably right that the government couldn't force anyone to either join or pay them, that has nothing to do with what the first amendment standard is in the public employee context.
and let me talk briefly about two examples. one started with this case called pickering and it dealt with the question of what is the government's ability to regulate workplace activities that constitute speech of government employees. after all, a lot of what an employee does in his or her daily work is speech and there could be complaining about workplace complains, there could be an unwillingness to sign on to certain employment tasks because the employee disagreed with the policy and didn't want his or her name associated with it. and so the court has developed a special standard for assessing the extent to which the first amendment regulates the government's ability to act as employer with respect to speech conduct of employees. and that test basically says if the speech is not about a matter of public concern, then the government -- there is no first amendment balancing at all. the government can do whatever
it wants. if it is on a matter of public concern, still the very strict first amendment compelling interest restricted means test doesn't apply to the government's action. the government's action is measured against a balancing test. and it's a balancing test where the court has several times said there shouldn't be a lot of second guessing about the government's interest as employer typically in running an efficient workplace that government employers advance in arguing against first amendment rights in this context. so in the workplace speech context which seems the most analogous to what we're dealing with here which is another first amendment claim related to the individual's status as an employer, we have a very different and very differential first amendment standard. jeff mentioned the patronage cases. there, too, very differential first amendment standard. what the court has said is the
test is whether or not it's reasonable for the government to require political affiliation as a condition of employment. there was justice brennan tried to sell a much more restrictive test in the '70s, but the current court most recent opinion by justice kennedy talks about reasonableness as the test. again, a standard that would never apply to actions burdening nonemployees in the first amendment context. so i think it's important to look at the issue here in the context of these other first amendment rules and recognize that what the court said and what the rule has been for 35 years is exactly the same principle that the court adopted in the workplace context, which is to say obviously contract negotiation deals with a lot of workplace issues, wage, grievance condition, grievance standard, lots of them. we will treat them in the employment context, we'll
recognize in the employment context that there is no first amendment protection for the employee as an actual speaker. so in the association context, the government can require financial support with respect to those very same activities. that seems pretty equivalent. even if sometimes labor negotiations might move into areas of public concern, even then there is a differential standard and the question is the government -- does the government have an interest in efficient operation of its workplace which justifies the fair share requirement. and i think the briefs filed by new york and other states make a very powerful point that here there is a great interest in having an effective negotiation partner, first of all, in the negotiation context, but even more in the fact that in connection with that representation and bargaining activity, the unions take on
significant obligations in terms of administering grievance procedures, in terms of workplace safety partnership, in terms of training for employees. and particularly in the first responder category in terms of providing for rehabilitation and other services for injured first responders that otherwise employers would have to take on. and so there is clearly a huge government interest in that. but i'm sure we'll get into that a little bit more. >> thanks, andy. i do want to say before we go on that i actually spent three years in the boy scouts as a second class scout, which is a literal category because i couldn't pass the first class exams. and so you talk about compelled speech, i'm not there. but i think that what we've heard here sets up a really important issue that is being advanced in this case.
and that is this suggestion which is made by the petitioners and the amici that support them, this is compelled speech in violation of the first amendment because any activity by a public employee union, any clegt difference bargaining by a public employee union, is inherently political because it has do with the conduct of public affairs. i know maryanne you indicated you had some interest in talking about that and i'm sure probably everyone does. do you want to tackle that first? >> sure. in reviewing the cases, it seems clear that the law here just simply is not unsettled. we have a standard whereby nonmembers cannot be compelled to pay for political speech by unions a unions. and the first amendment aspect
really isn't in question. six years ago there was a decision upholding the general first amendment principle. so what we've seen is an attempt to characterize more of the work that happens in labor/management relations as political. abboud is not an anomaly. there is not some thing that has to be fixed here. just a different way of seeing the world. and we have a particular impairment in this case because we don't have a record. this case came up to the supreme court in a particularly odd way. it's reached oral argument in less than two years from when it was filed. and this is because the petitioners asked the district court and then the ninth circuit court of appeals to rule against them because they knew there was no law on their side. so those courts obliged them and ruled against them. and as a result, we had no discovery, we have no record, we
have very abstract conversation going on. and we are required to accept the pleading. so what is on the record in terms of what the union actually does is the truth of this case and the facts of this case. but we also have a great deal of content in the amicus brief. and on the question of whether or not the court out to decide based on no record, that everything worker representatives do is political, there is just an awful lot of evidence in the amicus briefs to the contrary. and in particular i wanted to draw attention to a phenomenal brief done by the two largest public health systems in the nation, los angeles department of health services and new york city's health and hospitals. collectively they serve almost 2 million patients a year. this brief was done jointly with sciu, largest union of health care workers in the country.
and when you read this brief, you understand the extent to which the work going on is not entirely political. it's inherently about the business of running a hospital. and what is happening at ladhs and new york city health and hospitals is what is happening at kaiser, a private sector hospital chain that has figured out that it is a very good business decision to engage with front line nurses and doctors and cleaners, to reduce infection rates, to make sure emergency rooms get turned around quicker so they can get more patients in, to reduce wait times, to make sure there is less recur repses of pediatric asthma. all these things are measurable. they are done through labor/management partnerships and they cannot be done without a well resourced union that has the act to take on the work that it requires. there is another fantastic brief in this case from 27 cities and counties and another 28 public officials at sttesting to the w they do with their unions, some
of the work that andy alluded to. everything from putting less garbage trucks on the route to figuring out how to invest in a water authority over the course of many years. figuring out how to reduce health care costs and pension costs. these things are done more effectively with a well represented worker force. not every city and county in the country signed on to this brief. we know there with 25 states that don't allow these kinds of arguments. but the 23 states plus the district of consume bee a covering half of the population in the united states do. and they're doing so pursuant to a very well established law and in rely apartment reliance on that law. >> i think probably everybody will have something to say on this issue. >> i don't dispute unions do lots of wonderful thing, but so does the aclu and naacp and so
does the american constitution society and shall people would say so does the national rifle association. and i think there is a couple reactions. i know there are some circumstances where the union is providing some sort of extra insurance or extra benefit. if that's the case, then that seems like a perfectly compelling reason for people to join the union voluntarily of their own ad accord. the other point i would make is that there are lots of private organizations that do lots of wonderful things thatad accord. the other point i would make is that there are lots of private organizations that do lots of wonderful things thatd accord. the other point i would make is that there are lots of private organizations that do lots of wonderful things that accord. the other point i would make is that there are lots of private organizations that do lots of wonderful things that support themselves through private vol until tak voluntary contributions. and the third point, if the union is not able to pay for these things, the government can always pay for it itself. the hospital system will always establish a program in coordination with the union. so i don't disagree with any of the good things that maryanne was just talking about, but i
don't think it follows that we need to be compelling people who don't support the why not to pay for its activities. >> anisha, have you got a dog in this fight?not to pay for its activities. >> anisha, have you got a dog in this fight? >> yes, and from the standpoint of a public employer, a lot of these things we don't perceive as political or ideological. and although in an ideal world it would be nice to think people are always willing to open their pocket it is pay for the things that help them, the reality is that free riding is a problem whenever the rules allow it because people may underestimate the benefit they get from important public services. and collective bargaining is no exception to that. in circumstances where fair share fees don't have to be paid, people sometimes don't contribute for the benefits they get. and that can cause workplace
tensions. the supreme court has discussed this in a number of its case, but it's also just a matter of common sense. that people feel bad when they are paying for something that they're not 2k3wgetting the ful benefit of or conversery when thly when they see someone else benefiting from something that they are paying for without making a contribution themselves. so in addition to supporting these collective bargaining structures, fair share fees are important to give everybody skin in the game in a way that reduces workplace tension. and from the employer standpoint, this is a benefit to public employers. public employers wouldn't want to necessarily rely on the good will of people to determine that core public services could continue to be provided. >> andy, do you want to take this on? >> i'll pick up on a couple of points. i think just to take maryanne's
point about the argument of the petitioners being sort of everything encompassed within the collective bargaining discussions is political, if that's true and that's the basis for ruling for the petitioners in this case, then the court really is going to have to grapple with the fact that that totally undermines the legal structure it's developed for dealing with this many, many hundreds of workplace speech claims that are filed annually. probably thousands. because as i said, there is a threshold question, is this on a matter of public concern or not. many of them are dismissed on the ground that over time wages, grievance procedure, all of these things are not matters of public concern and therefore there is no first amendment right, no need for balancing, case dismissed. if everything that happens in the work place is a matter of public concern on the theory that somehow it ultimately
impacts for example government expenditures or government decisions because everything is in some sense a government decision, then that first prong of this jurisprudence is gone and all of those cases will then have to be assessed on the balancing test theory. so i think in terms of whether abboud fits into the court's first amendment jurisprudence, it clearly does because the lines that it draws are consistent with how the court deals with these workplace speech issues. and on the other hand, if abboud is found to be inconsistent with the first amendment, there is going to have to be some massive restructuring of all of these other areas of the law. and interestingly, although we're here talking about government as employer, and there are some -- there is a very special legal principle there, the abboud principle has been applied not to the aclu and
acs and nsap, but other organizations that everybody up hoo here cares about and that's bar associations. the bar associations are performing important duties, is this a regulated profession and therefore those exactions even though there are some lawyers who would not like to associate themselves with their local bar association, too bad, you still have to pay. as in abboud, they can't engage in political activities. but in terms of engaging in activities relating to the administration of the legal profession, they can do that and lawyers can be forced to pay for it. so if our rule is nobody can be required to pay for anything that entire line of jurisprudence will have to be reconsidered which is why one of
the amicus briefs were filed by two dozen d.c. bar because that has been a significant issue in the d.c. bar. >> i think this all tees up the abboud issue very nicely. and just for those who are a little unclear, there is a case from 1976 called abboud versus detroit board of education that on the grounds that unions have to represent as designated bargaining agent, they have to represent the interests of all the workers whether they are members or not. no one can be required to join a union as we all know up here. but can be required to pay a fair share fee for the services the union directly gives them in terms of negotiation and collective bargaining and grievance and so forth. because the court said otherwise there would be the problem of free riders, that people would
simply say i want the benefit, but i don't want to pay. the petitioners in this case insist that abboud must be overturned, there is no conceivable way they can win if it's not. let's talk about the free rider rationale. jeff, i bes you have an interesting take on that. why don't you go first. >> sure. so a couple points about the free riding rationale. i guess i'm starting from a place where i think this is -- there is a very serious associational interest here in compelling someone to financially support a union. free riding you have to view through the lens of this has to be something so compelling or important to sort of override an individual's right to decide how to direct his will or her own money. and i think -- i don'till or he money. and i think -- i don't thil or money. and i think -- i don't thi or h
money. and i think -- i don't thi or h. and i think -- i don't think this gets to that level because i don't think anybody contends it will cripple unions. just means they might have less money or operate more efficiently. but i don't think there is any reason to believer the sky will fall. and i think we have several natural experiments to prove that. so the federal workforce, there are hundreds of thousands of federal workers who voluntarily join union, and i dues and are full committed members even though agency fees are outlawed under federal law. same thing with the u.s. postal service and nearly half of the state where is there are public and private workforces with no agency fees. and so i think -- again, i don't think this is an existential threat to unions. again, i won't dispute that maybe it would be a little harder or maybe there would have to be a little more pavement pounding to get the fees needed to get back up to the same level
where they were without agency fees, but i don't think this is an existential threat. and the only other point i would add is i think the free riding rationale proves too much because by the same logic, all of the people who do not make the political contributions under abboud and hanson and streit are just free riding off of the members who to pay for the union's political activities. so when a union uses its political funds to negotiate stricter retirement plan, even those who checked the box and got their political fees back will free ride off of that for lack of a better word. so i think empirically it doesn't hold up. and i think it also would get us to a point where it would justify compelled political speech, too. >> maryanne, how about that, is free riding not really a problem? >> there is a lot of assertions
on the petitioners' side. so i wanted to -- free riding, these are all pretty basic intro econ type topics and i won't expound on them because we're lucky to have a brief in the record from into of the leading xi economists explaining the nature of the problem and that free riding while it may for the petitioners in friedrichs be related to some objection to what the union does and its public role, often times it's just a result of the economic paradox that if you don't have to pay for something, you tend not to pay for it. so i would refer you to this brief and america works together do the us is a fantastic resource for this case and it has all the briefs on it. so i think i would leave it at that and turn to anisha.
>> some are not quite comparable in the sense that states and the federal government have taken many different approaches to managing their labor relationships and those different approaches then have implications for the cost of collective bargaining. so in one sense the federal example actually proves the point about free riding because federal employees don't have to contribute for the costs of collective bargaining. and so only a third do. but on the other side, one of the reasons why this doesn't have a dramatic impact on the efficacy of collective bargaining in the federal con test is that the scope of collective bargaining is much more circumscribed. federal employees aren't allowed to bargain about wages and certain other things like the number of employees in their workplace. and then another thing is that federal law actually subsidizes collective bargaining activities
by permitting individuals who are providing union services to do so on their official work time. so there is a kind of in kind subsidy being provided there. in terms of the right to work states, i think it's useful to note -- it's not helpful to see in this where some states have gone all the way and some states adamantly oppose it. states have taken different approaches in terms of the issues they put up for collective bargaining and the kinds of 34r0iemployees to collectively bargain and those have implications for the costs. in some of the right to work states, they actually allow certain kinds of employees like public safety employees or public schoolteachers to collectively bargain because they made the decision that they don't want to face disruption of those kinds of services.
saying we'll have no bargaining, we'll set the terms of employment unilaterally and that's it that. you want to work for us, that's great. if you don't, no. and i think people here know more than i do, but there are all kinds of varieties in between. and i think one of the issues here is saying when talking about the policy, free rider or not, could these services be provided by the state as opposed to the unions, these are choices that the elected officials of the states are making on a policy level about what works best for them. so on a policy level, it seems very odd to say the constitution
should dictate that unless there is obviously an important constitutional right that would be infringed. which takes me back to the sort of legal nerd point which is are we going to change the rules essentially and say in this context there is an important constitutional right. and i go back to the comparison with the workplace issue in terms of the intrusion on first amendment interests. here what is being required is a financial payment. the individuals who disagree can speak to the rooftops about how terrible they think the union's position is and they think the union is off on a tangent and isn't either on one hand isn't demanding enough from the government or maybe on the other hand is demanding too much or focused on the wrong things. there can be a vigorous public discussion in which those people can participate and air their views. in the workplace speech context, this is really about silencing
people. a much greater intrusion on first amendment rights where the law is settled and nobody here seems to be challenging it. and again, in legal nerd world, looking at that it it just seems very odd to say in this context where to be sure there is a compelled support, but there isn't a limitation on what people can say, we're going to limit even greater what the state can do compared to dialing with actual speech. >> the federalism issue really is a sleepner in this one becaue states have made
they choose to to authorize public employee unions to charge fair share fees. states aren't compelling this. it's a negotiated process between the union and the employee. and states that have chosen not to go that route don't have to. and one important part of this freedom and this is something that andy alluded to, it's that these decisions about how to manage the state workforce are really fundamental policy judgments that go to all sorts of considerations that states have to balance when thinking about how to provide public services, how to ensure employee retention, how to ensure the quality of government services. and there are lots of very komptly indicated variables in the mix. and so it's a balancing process that each state has gone through
for itself based on its own experience and its own local conditions, many of the right to work states didn't experience the kind of labor unrest that new york and some of the other states that have adopted collective bargaining models experienced. that is bis one factor. and another factor is that to suggest to states that they don't have the freedom to do what public employers do would conflict with many of the things that the supreme court has said in its cases that the first amendment isn't a mandate for lesser government efficiency, that when governments are acting as employer, they have more latitude than when just regulating in a vacuum because the court has recognized that we all rely on government to perform certain basic functions
for us. and if every miniscule issue has to be debated through the kind of organization to organization negotiation that collective bargaining allow, government would grind to a halt and that wouldn't be good to anybody who relies on to provide them with basic services. >> jeff, what about this, is there a federalism issue lurking here that the court may steam past without know something. >> sure. a couple points. absolutely there a federalism issue, but i think we've already crossed that bridge. it seem tsz like at the very least we need a coherent approach to this and once we accept that states are not allowed to manage their open workforce with respect to political patronage, i think we've crossed the bridge of allowing the laboratories of democracy. and at this moment it looks like the court has said that these are situations that inch s thas
the first amendment. i think it was justice holmes has said everybody is proitecte by the constitution, but not everybody has the right to an police man. that's not exactly, but i think you know what i mean. at the very least, i think if california and new york get to say you have to join a union in order to be a public employee, i don't know why texas and arizona can say you have to join the republican party to be a federal employee. baker v khar overturned precedent. and a massive intrusion into some of the core functions of state government.
so obviously federalism is important, but it's never stopped the court from vindicating a core constitutional right. and a quick note on pickering which andy mentioned. it's an interesting issue. pickering unquestionably gives the government a little more lee ray when it's regulating employee, but the union is supposed to be adverse to the -- the union is supposed to be on the other side of the table. they're supposed to be advocating them. so whatever pickering mean, i don't think it follows from the fact that the government has a little more leeway in regulating employees while working that you get to a point where the government is telling employees to subsidize an entity that is supposed to be adverse to the government. i hear the pickering argument, but i don't find it persuasive. >> let's ask maryanne about that. is that the idea, we're forcing
workers to subsidize that force that is adverse to the government and will fight it tooth and nail at every step? >> well, i think it makes sense to return to again the perceptions of this case, what the petitioners would have us believe is that they're here to fix something that is an nonhusband, something wrong in the law, that there is this impression that despite many, many cases clearly establishing the contrary, that nonmembers are supporting union political activity, they're not. so it's really not about cases that have an obvious citizen ship advocacy con tetext and no connected to workplace issues. states have chosen to allow them
for certain categories covering certain scope of issues. what we have right now is a great deal of leeway for public employers to choose what works best for them and they will do it for workforce relevant reasons for the reasons that i described about the incredible value of having your front line workers participating in projects that improve the efficiency and quality of public services and just the delivery of a public business task. that's one very good reason. but there are others that are policy reasons. all of this has been -- these things have been vigorously debated in the public square. whether wisconsin or michigan or ohio, these are absolutely matters that people are shouting from the rooftops about. and sometimes the decision is to go with the system that will enable some really important changes in who we are as communities and who we are as citizens. for example, unions, especially
in public service, it's well documented they provide a launching point for real strong middle class jobs with decent wages and decent benefits. there this has been a particular poon o boon to women, to people of color, to lgbt workers. for women it's 79 cents earned for every dollar that a man earns. if you're a public sector worker with union representation, that difference is cut in half. so there are policy reasons why they want to be sure that they have in place mechanisms in place to achieve goals that matter to our communities. >> can i jump in and say there were a couple amicus briefs filed that discuss the kinds of benefits that come from the employer/union relationship. so they go to the point i guess, jeff, that you made about adversity or this adversarial
interaction. and in fact one very important thing that public employers get there union, unions can help them identify all sorts of efficiencies that have saved money. so i think there were a number of local government briefs that were filed in addition to the say the briefs and we all discuss our different experience with these, cost savings, changes to benefit structures, logistics of the way work has been performed that result in millions of dollars of savings to local government entities. and that is money that they can use for other purposes. >> can i respond on the pickering issue is this i think t i think the states are actually laboratories. with respect to patronage, the test is reasonableness.think th laboratories. with respect to patronage, the test is reasonableness. some states can say we think this class of employees should be subject to political party affiliation. other states can say broader,
narrower. there is certainly an outside limit of reasonableness, but there is a lot of leeway within that. and abboud gives themselves a lot of leeway with respect to this issue. so really the question is that leeway going to be limited in a pretty drastic way. and i guess with respect to pickering, what i'd say is what pickering says is government as employer is going to essentially be able to act the way private employers can subject to some limitations. that's sort of the theory. and that is true in the first amendment, it's true with respect to the fourth amendment. the government can act in terms of the intrusion on fourth amendment protected privacy interests vis-a-vis employees in a much more significant way than it can in other contexts. so that is really the principal here. and so this isn't a question about creating a system where the government is financing its enemy because that is not really how collective bargaining works.
the government has decided that having a long established bargaining partner will, a, lead to laboring peace and, b, will enable the coops kinds of achies in terms of work place safety and other things that are possible when you have somebody who has the ability to take on those kinds of things because they have a financial base. and i think that is the problem with the idea that this will all be voluntary. put aside the free rider problem. if you're an employer negotiating with a union, you can't be sure with a three year contract, who knows what the membership base in a friedrichs world would be. so the union certainly would be very foolish to say, oh, we're going to agree on take on these obligations assuming that we'll have sort of 90% sign-up because who knows what will happen.
and so the entire thing sort of collapses if you have that. and i just want to make one last point about the existential threat. because i wouldn't want anyone to sort of think about friedrichs as a one-off case and if these petitioners win, everybody will be happier and government employee union law will be set for generations. this is a first step or intermediate step in the next step toward the next step which is already being litigated in some cases which is to say it violates the first amendment for states to designate an exclusive bargaining representative. and if you look at the briefs on the petitioners side, much of the language is about how terrible it is and what a first amendment violation it is for individual employees not to be able to bargain themselves with their government employer and instead to have that bargaining sort of funneled through the union. so it's true that right now this particular issue, others know better, doesn't mean the death
of unions, but i think it would be a mistake to not recognize hat lawsuits coming down the pike and hoping to build on a ruling for the petitioners friedrichs will seek to eliminate all exclusive bargaining representation for government employers and that of course really will mean the end of unions in that concontext. >> we're coming to the end of the presentation period and we'll go to questions. but maryanne i think wants to give us a thought on this issue and then we'll go to questions. >> i think there is something we've taken for granted in this conversation about free riding, about the consequences of essentially eliminating these 50 or i would say 51 as a proud district resident laboratories for how to get this done. the public sector is pretty much adopted our private sector labor management model that not the only rests 307b exclusive representation, but of course rests upon a duty of fair representation of everyone in
the unit. and so we are getting right into the heart of what that model is. and given that duty of fair representation, it's imminently reasonable for a public employer to decide that that duty ought to come with some kind of shared obligation with regard to providing the services that are germane to collective are bargaining. >> well, we could go on and on. i frequently do. but i think instead we will at this point try to take your questions. so if people have questions, could they please raise their hand and wait for a microphone. and also try to ask questions. that would be great. microphone?
>> point of information for mr. harris. when he says there is no practical -- i would ask him to look at wisconsin [ inaudible ] -- down by approximately 40%. that is a hell of a lot of free riders. i want it go back to the first amendment. [ inaudible ] briefs of the california teachers association and it seemed -- i said i've seen the briefs for the california teachers association. i'd like to know how each of you would approach that if you were standing up there at the podium for the court. >> great question. and someone was mentioned by name in it. who was it? oh, yes, jeffrey. so why don't you go first.
>> i guess on wisconsin, you know, one just wonders and i guess it's an empirical question that i don't have the answer to, but i think it's probably an ex-allege race to say those are were all free riders. some, certainly. but, i don't know, i think it has to be apan exaggeration to say going from 100% to less than 100% is evidence of rampant free riding. >> so how would we decide the first amendment issue beginning with anisha. >> i think it is important to recognize that this is not being decided in a vacuum. there is a very well developed body of first amendment case law concerning government employees and government employers. and government employers rely on that case law.
so just in the same way that we rely on abboud when entering into collective bargaining arrangements, government employees rely on their understanding of what the law is when determining what the parameters are if their relationships with their employees in the speech context. and that is one of the big things that the decision for the petitioners here could do. it could upend the first amendment case law in a way that leaves government employers uncertain about how to deal with various different kinds of employee activities or different proposals to employee activities that we've always understood are okay. >> maryanne. >> i don't think there is a first amendment issue in this case. the law is well settled. it's workable. this precedent has endured for
overhanging this case is a precedent that has been on the books for 35 years without ever being challenged and applied by several courts over those 3 1/2 decades. so i guess my reaction is, you know, a lot of kroefr ruoverrulg or a little overruling, there is still something very serious for the court to consider about the standard that it should apply in that context. and the extent to which, you know, we'll talk more about stare decisis. but the extent to which reconsidering things that have been settled is appropriate in the absence of significant changed circumstances which is what the court has looked for before. and there certainly are a lot of other contexts in which affirmative action sort of opting out with respect to constitutional protections is
the norm. >> jeff, what about opt in/opt out? >> i guess i think in terms of will the court necessarily reach abboud, i don't think so. and it's a little bit -- i mean, i don't necessarily think so. it's a little bit of a gamble p for the petitioners to include the smaller ask because they're giving the court that out in case the court doesn't want to overturn abboud. so the case that always comes to mind is the halliburton case where everyone thought that the fraud on the market they are was go theory was gone. and they ultimately didn't go all the way and they entered sort of an intermediate holding. and they ultimately didn't go all the way and they entered sort of an intermediate holding. and they ultimately didn't go all the way and they entered sort of an intermediate holding. i don't think it's a high chance, but the opt in/opt out issue is there and they might have hurt themselves on the
broader argument by raising it. >> maryanne. anis anisha, do you want to say anything about the narrower result question? >> our multistate amicus brief really didn't address the issue because i see it as a piece for federalism. the opt in/opt out are just part of what are the different ways you choose to structure your collective bargaining arrangements, what do you say in terms of what the union can and can't do. just in the same way that a multitude of states have chosen to adopt some form of cexclusiv representation, some have gone with opt in arrangements and some have not. >> questions? it's over here. this gentleman here. >> is there any political or
expressive component in this case that could be separated out and leaving just the direct services to the employee? >> could you hear? i couldn't hear the question, i'm sorry. i think the assumption of the case law right along has been that you can, but that's very much challenged in this case. who wants to discuss that? >> from my perspective, the one thing that gives me a little bit of pause is the notion of grievances. but i guess i still don't -- because the grievance seems like something that is senator of a direct service to the individual where they're getting sort of a tangible direct benefit.senator direct service to the individual where they're getting sort of a tangible direct benefit. in response to that concern, i guess i would say first the union still has a lot of power to decide which grievances get
advanced and which don't. so even though it's technically this person'sgrievance, ultimately the union will only advance it if it serves the union's interests. if it turns in to a problematic situation, there could also be an fee for service for grievances. if you are a nonmember and you have a grievance that has to get processed, you pay whatever the mar gain begin al cost is for that. yo i don't think it's a full obstacle, but that seems like the most dregt sort of service rendered. >> maryanne, you said earlier that we have is thhave this dec it has worked since being a bud. te abboud. tell us more about that. >> the hudson case sets fort the procedures by which public secretator unions represent wha they're doing, processing of
grievance and dispute resolution authorized under collective bargaining agreements and separates out the activities under the member organization. so that ensures that nonmembers do not support political activities of unions if they choose not to. so with regard to the -- i feel like i wanted to pick up on a thread of something you said. >> grievances. >> right. with regard to grievances, there are states where arrangements are in place. again there are states who will make the decision that they do not want to have a great deal of individualized litigation over workplace problems or workplace speech. and of course a great danger lurking in this case is that a decision for petitioners on the abboud question would constitutionalize workplace speeches and grievances in n. a way that would prove very
ineffective and inconvenient for public employers. so to the septembextent grievan a part of the process and part of the agreement that employers and working peoples representatives make to have an efficient productive workforce, they're a part of what laws like the law of new york or california or montana or kentucky facilitate for public employers. >> anisha or andy, either of you want to take a look at that? >> i'll just say going back to the benefits that public employers get from this, i think to say that a fee for service arrangement would work in every instance is to say that the employer should be perfectly happy if a grievance isn't resolved, that the only person who has a stake in resolution of a grievance is an employee. and i think the experience of states that have been really riddled with labor unrest is that that is not true that
resolving employee grievances and ensuring employee satisfaction can be very important to ensuring the uninterrupted provision of government services and also to reducing employee turnover. that is something that i've wanted to say at various points here but just in thinking about it, there are lots of different ways in which adopting a system where the only voice employees have is take it or leave it, if you don't like it, that's fine, don't come and work for us can be up helpful for an employer because what that means is that as soon as an employee experiences dissatisfaction even if it's on a very small thing or something that is important to that employee but pretty particularized, the solution should be for that employee to work. but there a public employer standpoint, that may not be the best hinge at all and what you want is a well trained workforce that isn't it turning over santaly. so resolution of grievances is very important to that.
>> andy, no? another question? >> should petitioners succeed in somehow overturning abboud, one co scholar has win that a solution is to have public employers fund the unions entirely and reduce employee salaries in order to fund it. that doesn't strike me for being quite right for a couple of reasons, but it certainly is their suggestion to solving the free rider problem. and i wonder what you all think about how that would work. it certainly runs against the federalism idea that states should be able to structure this in the way that they would like, but if the supreme court doesn't agree, and whether or not that will actually satisfy petitioners in this case, maybe for the reasons andy mentioned it might not.
>> who would like to take that on? so further deponents say it not on that one. okay. go ahead. >> i think i'm familiar with the piece that you're referring to, but i don't see any reason why -- even jeff has suggested i think rightly that there are a lot of different ways public employers can meet their goals. they can hear from front line employees and incorporate their expertise and information into the process of improving services. and there are instances of that. there are entire countries who depend on a model like that for labor/management relations. i think we're going to see a lot of new models over the coming years regardless of the outcome of this case as has been mentioned, there are a lot of challenges and attacks and
reshifting of our economy in how public services are delivered and we'll see a lot of different models for ensuring worker voices are in the mix and contributing to the effective delivery of public services. but i think also we need to bear in mind that one of the things that makes a workplace organization of employees effective is the fact that it is a work lays organization of employees. and in some of the labor/management partnership work we talked about, one of the reason why the union's involvement has been effective is because the front line workers understand that they can participate, give critical feedback because they have a strong representative that has their back, that protects them against retaliation. that is a really important part of the mix. so whatever happens in terms of public funding of labor/management, i expect the models that come next year or 20 years or 50 years will always involve some component of strong worker self-organization.
>> in terms of the what comes next if the petitioners win, it's important to keep in mind that both the exclusive representation and the collective bargaining ability, that is an extraordinary power. i mean, the aclu and the naacp and the nra have no authority to compel the government to sort of sit down and talk to them to sort of help promote their interests. and so i think just sort of the nature of the power at stake, i mean, if something is in the interests of 51% or more of the employee, i find it hard to believe that there wouldn't be a sort of vigorous engaged constituency of employees who will both voluntarily participate and be willing to fund that because of course only the members of the union get to part patie participate in the process of the bargaining and representation. so i find it hard to believe that there wouldn't be more than
enough both funding and time and resources to make that continue to happen. >> andy, i saw activity over there. >> i was just going to say, i mean, no one is compelling the states do anything. do anything? the states have decided to adopt this because it's in their interests to have someone to bargain with who is funded and supported -- and can be an effective partner as often is the term across the bargaining table. i mean, obviously they have dramatically opposing views, but the best labor management relationships are ones where there is very active give and take, but hopefully people hammer out a contract as in other contractual situations that works for both sides. but no one is compelling the states to do this. the states have decided this is good for us. we would like to have a partner to do this with. if they don't want to decide
that, if their elected representatives don't want to decide that, they don't have to do it. but i don't want to lose the idea that if the petitioners here were to win, you know, the very next day you will see a reinvigorated effort to get rid of exclusive bargaining on the very same theory. and so the idea that this is some abstract thing we can separate, no. if the first amendment applies here, and prohibits this, then i think people are going to say, well, that decision clearly means that silencing an employee's right to bargain for herself or himself is even worse. and so employees won't be able to band together. and i think you just have to look at history to see that when employees can't band together, they generally are -- don't get the kinds of working conditions that they would like to have. and whether or not they do it certainly even in the private sector where there aren't
unions, the ability and the fact that employers know that unionization is possible is a threat that's out there. if you're in an environment where it can never happen, that's going to be i think a pretty unfortunate environment. >> we have just a few minutes left, and i want to exercise moderator's prerogative here to ask one last question that i think everybody may have something to say about. and just to recap a little bit the history of this issue, this case comes out of dictum in a case called knox versus service employees union in which without particularly the question having been presented, justice alito in his opinion said, by the way, there is a case called abboud that supports these public employee unions. i happen to think the case is a complete anomaly and the first amendment and probably should be overruled. immediately the opportunity was presented to him in a case called harris versus quinn during oral argument he said due
to the attorney for the union in that case, are you aware that many people have -- thought abboud was wrongly decided on the day it was decided and think it should be overturned? to which the person said something, i don't remember. but in his opinion in harris versus quinn, the opinion is devoted entirely to trashing the abboud precedent and saying that it is a violation of the first amendment, and then there's a paragraph at the end but saying i don't have five votes and so we're going to have a more limited result which is simply that these particular workers cannot have a fair share fee arrangement. so, possibly some of us might be forgiven for thinking that there's some possibility that abboud might be overruled. i don't know. but what i want to ask this group is what do you think? is there a chance for a surprise? is this result baked?
what should we look for when we read about or listen to oral argument on monday that might indicate that something's going to happen that we don't anticipate? who wants to go first? andy, what do you think? >> well, i think anyone who thinks, you know, anything is baked in supreme court decisions is just -- hasn't had a lot of experience with the court. i think, you know, jeff referred to the halliburton case where i think most everybody believed there was going to be a significant change in securities class action litigation rules and there was a very, very minor change. so, i think no one knows what can happen. i do think to sort of expand your question a little bit, you know, the court has a serious question to confront in terms of overruling and the standard it's going to apply. you know, its precedents say merely a current court merely viewing that a precedent wrongly decided wasn't enough. there's some factors the court
looks to in terms of changed circumstances, whether or not the decision has been questioned. and i'm a little biased because they in the amicus brief addresses each factor. it's very hard to say that those factors are met here. this is a decision as i said 35 years without being questioned applied unanimously a number of times, relied on in the bar association cases. so, i think, you know, you have to step back, and i think, you know, people who care about the court have to say, gee, you know, we're in this incredibly polarized era where all of our institutions are sort of viewed skeptically and the court for the most part, with some ups and downs, escaped that. but i do think that, you know, there's a real risk that overruling a decision, you know, by what would almost certainly be a 5-4 vote in these circumstances really risks making the court appear to be an institution where it's all about the personnel and not about the legal principles, which is sort of the reason why we have stare
decisis to avoid that. think of the knock-on effects in terms of confirmation and it's really going to about, you know, what are these people's views and what can we discern because it sort of reduces the court to an institution of more akin to a political operation than to a court. and i think that would be a terrible, terrible result. i think that's going to be on the minds of a number of the justices. >> jeff, what will you be looking for on monday? what would surprise you? what would indicate to you that the case is going in a direction we don't anticipate? >> so, i think -- i mean, just similar to the answer to the question in the front row here, i think, you know, if the second issue is getting play, i think that's a sign that it's in play. i think it's entirely possible that we see all through the whole argument and the second issue isn't even sort of brought up. but if it looks like especially, you know, kennedy, the chief, i
don't think justice alito is in play but, you know, if justice kennedy's asking a lot of questions about opt in, opt out, i think that's a sign that's seriously in play. >> maryann, what will you be looking for? >> certainly i agree with everything andy said with regard, you know, to the extent they're asking questions about the implications of pulling this brick out of the wall of first amendment precedent, that will reveal some reluctance to overreach in this case. but also one thing we haven't talked about at all are the tremendous reliance interests in terms of the disruption that would flow from this decision. i mean, we're talking about 23 states and the district of columbia who would have to -- their laws governing public sector labor management relations would be, you know, undone. we've got other states like even the state of wisconsin that still allows for agency fee collecting and collective
bargain in many context. other states like that who would find themselves many limited contexts would find themselves at sea in terms of what the governing rules were. and then we've got those thousands and thousands of contracts. and justice kagan alluded to that in her dissent in the harris case. but i don't think -- or i hope that they're not going to be receptive to this assertion essentially that these causes would be severed out and business would continue as usual. i don't think that's the case at all and we'd see a huge amount of reopening and renegotiations, much as we did following the harris case. also learning from the experience of the harris case, litigation for backfees which will involve multiple employers and unions alike is going to be an incredibly disruptive force. so, these things should be on the mind of the court when it's reconsidering a precedent without a record, without any particular reason to do so. and then one other thing just to come back to where i started on this, is that i don't think this case -- i very much hope this
case will not be seen as, you know, a technical discussion of agency fees and the first amendment and what allows and doesn't allow. this case should be viewed as what it is, which would be a result in favor of petitioners would create -- create and place substantial limitations on the ability of working people, many of whom are struggling to get by in our country to effectively advocate for themselves for the services they provide and for the communities they live in. that makes this case part of something much larger. in and of itself, the legal issues are not as interesting to me as maybe they should be as a legal nerd, but its place in what's going on in our country in the moment we're at is very important and i believe the court will be thinking in terms of what kind of a legacy it wants to provide. >> we have three or four minutes left, do you want to tackle that question? what are you looking for? what would raise interest in the
argument? >> well, i'll be looking out very hopefully for some kine that the court appreciates the government interests that are in play here as set forth not just in new york's multistate brief but in the many government-side briefs that were filed in this case by all sorts of different entities, including the united states. and i think -- when i think about harris versus quinn, i think one really important aspect of that case is that in my mind the holding rested on the fact that those individuals were not full-fledged government employees, and a lot of justice alito's analysis pointed to that and the implications of that, the reasons why the rationale of abboud wasn't being served in that case, that the kinds of considerations that abboud had looked at in terms the provision of services and what it's like to experience disruption in the government workplace weren't in play in harris versus quinn. and this case very squarely presents those same questions, and i think all the government
briefs here have really tried to elaborate not just the many tens of thousands of contracts that rest on this, but also what the day-to-day experience of being a public employer is and how a decision for the petitioners would change that. >> well, with that, i think we will segue out. i'd like to thank, first of all, the seiu for this wonderful hospitality, the american constitution society for organizing this panel, and most particularly this -- this panel, which i think is extremely -- has been extremely well informed. i certainly know a lot more about this case than i did walking in, and i thought i knew something about it walking in. so, turns out i didn't. but i think we should all thank them. and i thank you for taking time in the middle of your day to come and hear the panel.
join us later today for more from the road to the white house with carly fiorina, the republican presidential candidate is hosting a town hall meeting in meredith, new hampshire. watch that live starting at 6:30 p.m. eastern on our companion network c-span 2. and we have more from the campaign trail tomorrow with ohio governor john kasich who is also hosting a town hall in new hampshire. he'll be in exeter. you can watch that event live at 5:15 p.m. eastern friday on c-span.
and, of course, next week president obama delivers his last state of the union address to congress. it's live next tuesday the 12th at 9:00 p.m. eastern on our companion network c-span. this year marks the 75th anniversary of president franklin d. roosevelt's "for freedom" speech which he gave during his 1941 state of the union address. here's some background on that event -- >> this year marks the 75th anniversary of president franklin d. roosevelt's "for freedom" speech, the core part of his state of the union on january 6th, 1941. and we are joined by the director of the fdr presidential library and museum, paul sparrow. what was the "for freedom" speech, paul? >> well, it was really an opportunity for him to try to explain why america should care about the war that was raging in europe and the war that was raging in the east, in asia. and it was a way for him to try
to look at the future and say what are we going to be fighting for. the "for freedom" freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion, freedom from want and fear. he felt these were the things that define the difference between democracy and the dictatorships that were at that point running rampant throughout the world. and the american public at that point was still fairly isolationist, they didn't want to get involved in the european war. they were still angry they hadn't been repaid from the loans for world war i, and he was trying to help them understand it was a global world, it was a global village and people that were happening overseas directly affected them and would impact their ability to enjoy these freedoms that were so vital to american democr democracy. >> it's part of the january 6th state of the union speech. what was the reaction by congress and the rest of the american public to that speech? >> well, it's interesting. there was a little bit of a
delayed reaction. i mean, at first, you know, there were some critics who sort of panned the speech. and, of course, it really is only the last 2 1/2 minutes of a speech that ran over 30 minutes long where in the first part of the speech is a fairly traditional, back then it was called the annual address to congress, but it was a fairly traditional state of the union address, here's what i've done, here's what's going on in the world. but what happened is the four freedoms really gained momentum over time and became a central rallying cry. obviously, you know, norman rockwell created the four paintings several years later which went on to raise $180 million in war bonds. traveled the world. they became very famous. it generated a four freedoms park and four freedoms awards that are given every year, international awards, so it really created the foundation for what the world came to think of as these essential freedoms and, of course, it motivated eleanor roosevelt when she was drafting the universal
declaration of human rights for the united nations in many ways formed the foundation of that seminal document in the post-war world. >> your website mentions that fdr went through some seven drafts of this. how do you think -- how do you think -- what was his inspiration, fdr's inspiration for these four freedoms? where did he find that? >> well, i think the core inspiration was obviously the first amendment. i think he understood the power of the first amendment, but the first amendment, you know, in addition to speech and religion, it has, you know, assembly and petition and things that were a little hard for people to understand in the contemporary society. so, he wanted to draw from the strength of the first amendment this idea that government cannot interfere with these core freedoms. but it wanted to expand that so that the idea was that you had this freedom from want, that people shouldn't starve to death, that the government has some responsibility to take care of their people. and freedom from fear, you know, in the sense that government should not be able to just invade neighboring countries,
that there should be a sense of sovereignty and that people should be able to live in a safe and secure world. this was the underpinnings of his whole philosophy about peace, about global peace and why he felt so strongly bet krooikroo i creating the united nations. only when you had a consortium of countries working together could you prevent the kind of horror that they had experienced in world war i and that was now unfolding in asia and europe. >> flash forward 75 years to 2016. how do you think the concept, the four freedom speech, fits into today's world in today's political climate here in the u.s.? >> well, it's quite extraordinary. almost everything that the roosevelts fought for 75 years ago is relevant today. it's on the front pages of the newspapers. it leads our television shows, this idea of religious intolerance is driving much of the violence in the middle east. the idea of freedom of speech and expression is underpinning all of the issues where you have toe talltarian governments still trying to repress the rights of their people to speak.
in china very recently they changed the laws to make it harder for bloggers and people to comment online. obviously this freedom from want is critical. we've seen a fairly dramatic increase in the quality of life across the world. there are fewer people living in abject poverty today than at any point in recorded human history, so there has been progress made. but i think if uf think about freedom from fear, americans right now are being inundated with the messages of fear, the messages that we are in danger. in fact, it's a safer world now than it has ever been. but there are these terrorist organizations out there that are inflicting terror and the way media operates today relatively small events take on global significance. i mean, if you think about, you know, in 1941, you know, more than a million people were killed by the nazis. you know, the level of physical violence, the level of death and destruction happening then was
so much greater than we're experiencing today, and yet the fear factor today is extremely high. so, i think the idea of creating a world in which people are free from fear, then you would eliminate things like the syrian refugee crisis. if people felt they could stay in their homes and they would be protected regardless of their religion, they would have an opportunity to earn a living and protect their families, then you wouldn't be seeing the greatest refugee crisis since the end of world war ii. >> paul sparrow is director of the franklin d. roosevelt presidential library and museum. thanks for being with us. >> thank you very much for having me. >> and up next, here's a look at that four freedom speech. part of the 1941, january 6th, 1941, state of the union address. >> the first is freedom of speech and expression everywhere in the world. the second is freedom of every
person to worship god in his own way everywhere in the world. the third is freedom from want. which translated into world terms means economic understanding which will secure to every nation a healthy, peacetime life for its inhabitants everywhere in the world. the fourth is freedom from fear. which translated into world terms means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against
any neighbor anywhere in the world. this nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women. and its faith in freedom under the guidance of god. freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them. our strength is our unity of purpose to that high concept that can be no end, save victory.
william sheer of the government accountability office testified before the house small business committee yesterday on his work overseeing the management of the small business administration. many of the panel members questions focused on trouble stemming from the administration's special loan program for small businesses affected by natural disasters. this is an hour and 15 minutes.
>> good morning. i call the committee hearing appropriately titled attention needed mismanagement the sba to order. i also want to welcome back a frequent witness before this committee bill shear of the gao, the general accountability office. federal agencies have been required to operate using rational decision-making procedures. that's the expectation of taxpayers whether it's the law or not. congress made that sensible idea and the expectations of
taxpayers the law when it enacted the government performance and review act back in 1993. to operate in the manner demanded by statute, agencies must make extensive efforts at strategic planning and actually carry that planning out. today, the committee will hear an assessment from the gao on the sba's, that's the small business administration's, efforts to deliver effective assistance to entrepreneurs in an efficient manner. with $100 billion loan portfolio, $100 billion, the taxpayer has too much invested in this agency to allow mismanagement to continue. barriers to effective and efficient operation of the sba include, the failure to address long-standing management challenges, failure to develop a human capital plan, failure to institute sound acquisition methods, failure to revise outdated policy directives, and
failure to assess the structure of the agency among other things. the gao's conclusions are clear. the sba needs a complete overhaul of its operations. finding a resolution of these problems will not be easy. gao has taken the first step, identifying the problems at the sba. the next steps are significantly harder. meaningful solutions usually are. problems that have existed for decades will not be resolved overnight. it will take the dedicated effort of agency officials and the watchful eye of those on this committee to right those wrongs. this committee's efforts will not end with the review of this report. we will convene multiple hearings over the next few months to examine sba programs and their implementation by various branches of that agency. the hearings may reveal other barriers to efficient and effective operations of the sba that will require further examination by this committee and by the gao.
if the report examined today subsequent hearings, investigations by the committee and additional reports by gao continue to reveal problems that the administration will not fix, the committee will not hesitate to take legislative action. the sba plays a significant role in providing assistance to america's entrepreneurs. the problems that have festered far too long must end so that small businesses and taxpayers can rely on an effective and efficient sba. the taxpayers of this country deserve no less. i would now like to yield to the ranking member for her opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. of the many responsibilities this committee has, one of our most important is overseeing and examining the small business administration. it is absolutely critical that we conduct this oversight.
doing so ensures that tax dollars are spent efficiently and appropriately. gao has been a long-term partner of this committee's oversight work and has helped us identify and solve a wide range of issues affecting the agency's programs. today's hearing, however, does not focus on a particular program or initiative at the sba, rather it focuses on the overall management and strategic vision of the agency. i along with prior chairman graves requested this broad view of the sba. gao reported several key findings, many of which cite issues already raised by the sba's own inspector general over the last decade. at the top of the list are organizational matters which are critical to the agency's ability to serve small businesses.
gao found the agency structure to be overly complex and that workforce planning was not up to date. such redundancies and deficiencies can ultimately lead to poor service to entrepreneurs. in addition, gao found that risk management and i.t. security are being improperly administered. such core activities and internal controls are central to the functioning of the sba, and without adherence to federally accepted standards the agency is suggesting itself to unnecessary risks. perhaps the most troubling issues raised by the gao come in two areas, procedural guidance and program evaluation. with regard to procedural guidance, gao reported that as of march, 2015, sba had determined that 74 of its 165
standards, operating procedures revised -- needed to be revised and 31 needed to be canceled, an additional nine needed to be issued. without guidance, it is impossible for program participants or even the sba to know how a program should operate. this makes it difficult for small firms to work with the agency, and given that these sops are not issued pursuant to notice and come in rule making frustrate those that want greater transparency in how government works. the report shows that sba has some work to do in improving its overall management of the agency. with that said, i was glad to see sba has agreed with nearly all of the gao's recommendations and has begun to take action to address these matters. today i'm looking forward to hearing from gao about whether or not they believe sba is
carrying through on this commitment. this committee stands ready to examine the sba and its program so that small businesses and the taxpayers benefit more broadly. it is a vital role and one that i want to ask all committee members to take part in. i look forward to hearing the gao's testimony, and i thank mr. bill shear and his team for their continued work on our behalf. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you very much. the gentle lady yields back. and we would ask that committee members who may have opening statements prepared, if they would submit them for the record. and just to explain very briefly our rules here and the time limits which mr. shear is very familiar i'm sure. we operate under the five-minute rule where the witnesses get five minutes to testify, in this case we'll give you a little bit longer than that if you need it, since there's only one witness, we generally have four, we won't let you take 20 minutes, but if
you need more time, that's okay. and we'll limit ourselves to five minutes in the first round and we'll determine whether we think it's necessary to do a second round. we have a light system. we'll let you go a little bit further than that as i indicated. and now a brief introduction, mr. shear, who is our witness. he's the director of financial markets and community investment team at the government accountability office, most of us refer to it as the gao around here. and we look very forward to your testimony, and you're recognized for five minutes or as i say a little bit longer. >> thank you. i'll keep it under five minutes. >> okay. thank you. >> thank you. chairman, ranking member velasquez and members of the committee, i'm pleased to be here this morning to discuss our management review of the small business administration. my testimony is based on our september, 2015, report and related updates on the status of our recommendations.
rather than focusing on individual sba programs, we conducted a comprehensive assessment of sba's structure, processes, and systems, including its efforts to address its management challenges. in september we reported that sba had not resolved many of its long-standing management challenges due to a lack of sustained priority attention over time. many of the management challenges that we and the sba office of inspector general had identified over the years remained, including some related to program implementation and oversight, contracting, human capital, and i.t. sba has generally agreed with prior gao recommendations that were designed to address these issues. as we stated in our report, the agency had made limited progress in addressing most of these recommendations, but had recently begun to take some steps to address them.
for example, as of july, 2015, sba had implemented four of six recommendations from the 2010 gao report on its business development program. in our report, we made eight new recommendations designed to improve sba's program evaluations, strategic and workforce planning, training, organizational structure, enterprise risk management, procedural guidance and oversight of i.t. investments. sba generally agreed with these recommendations. we also maintained that the 69 recommendations we made in prior work have merit and should be fully implemented. as of december, 2015, sba had implement eed 7 of the 69 recommendations from prior reports that were identified in our september report. for example, with respect to disaster assistance, sba revised
its planning documents to adjust staffing and resources available for future disasters by considering the potential effect of early application submissions for disaster loans, as we had recommended. in addition sba officials told us about actions the agency had initiated in response to the eight new gao recommendations. for example, the sba officials told us that the agency had established an economic impact evaluation working group, which according to the sba officials was developing evaluation plans for several program offices. this concludes my prepared statement. i would be happy to answer any questions. >> thank you very much. and you definitely kept it under five minutes. >> okay. >> thank you. i'll now recognize myself to begin the questioning. mr. shear, in the last year we've seen the federal government hacked in a whole series of breaches.
opm, the office of personnel management, had millions of fingerprint records stolen, social security numbers, addresses, health records, financial and biometric data were all taken. we've seen the irs hit. the state department. even the white house. now, in your review of the sba, the small business administration, you've listed a whole range of efideficiencies, areas where the sba has fallen short, just not cutting it. and the one that worries me the most is in the area of i.t. security. first of all, the information that they keep on individuals and on small businesses can be pretty sensitive information. is that right? information you might not want a rival business or your neighbors or the chinese government to have access to. would you agree with that? and would you like to comment?
>> and, chairman, you raise a very good point. here one of the things i just want to say procedurally that when you take such an extensive operational view of an agency like this, we certainly partnered with sba's office of inspector general, and we greatly appreciate the interactions we had. and you see in our report that we refer to the ig's work quite liberally, and some of the issues raised. the issue of i.t. security is one where we relied on and we reported on the ig's findings. it's a, you know, so basically there are issues identified by the -- by the ig that require -- require attention. it's a very serious issue. and it's one of the -- it's one of the issues -- >> if i can.
despite the logical concern that individuals or small businesses who deal with the sba might have, the sba has failed to implement more than 30 of the office of the inspector general's recommendations related to i.t. security, is that correct? >> that's what we report based on what was available in september. we note that information technology security's been identified for well over a decade as a long-standing management challenge. in its most recent report that came out recently, there wasn't a report of the number. but it certainly is one of the long-standing management challenges. so, i can't attest to exactly what the number is at this time. >> okay. got two minutes left, so let me move to a couple other areas. >> thanks. >> that are in your review and that i also find disturbing. i'll again quote from the
review. and i quote, in our september, 2015, report we found that the sba has not resolved many of its long-standing management challenges due to lack of sustained priority attention over time, unquote. and you went on to say, quote, this raises questions about the sba's sustained commitment to addressing management challenges to keep it from effectively assisting small businesses, unquote. now, the principal purple of even having an sba is to assist small businesses. and it's our responsibility as the committee of oversight to make sure that the sba is living up to their responsibilities to small businesses. so, would you like to comment on the fact that they lacked, you know, the long-term attention to this issue that it deserved?
>> it's disturbing when an agency -- you know, we've been here, you know, with you, mr. chairman and ranking mek ining velasquez, these challenges have been around, and it's very disturbing to us that these challenges still remain. and they go down to some very basic functions. and with all the program audits that we've done at sba, one of the reasons why we even, you know, suggested to the committee the idea of undertaking such a review is that we saw that certain recurring themes happen over and over again when you look across the agency that affect all aspects of its operations and its programs. and so we think that there's some major work to be done here. and we're looking for some commitment to deal with many of these issues.
many of which are internal control type of issue, which we pay very close attention to. >> thank you. i've got more questions, but in order to impose the same five minutes on myself as everybody else, i'll stop there and i now yield to the ranki ining member. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and mr. shear for being here. in the report gao found that the sba still has not implemented disaster program reforms, which this committee authored when i was chair in 2008. what are the major reasons why sba has not established the major disaster assistance program? >> when we've done work, repeated work, you know, and appeared before this committee on the disaster loan program, there seemed to be some positive movement in the period after the act was passed, the establi establishment of a plan or office of disaster planning
within sba. there appeared up until, i'd say, early in 2010 some collaboration that was going on between the office of disaster preparedness, the office of disaster assistance and the office of capital access, to try to stand up a pilot program for idap as a first step to try to move into these areas to better serve the disaster victims. i use the expression the ball was dropped by sba. this collaboration when we did our work on sandy, this collaboration just seemed to fall apart. and we haven't seen any evidence that there's really a collaborative effort, which i think is what's necessary here, for sba to try to develop these three programs, including idap. >> to what degree do you think these reasons may be symptomatic of some of the more general operational challenges you found in your management review?
>> i think that it's a great question, because one of our concerns -- and sometimes we use a simple word like silo effect. sba has a complex organizational structure, and you have reporting relationships that differ from working relationships, and you have different parties that are involved here. and the idea with disaster assistance, it involves a number of parties, and it just seems like what i'll call a silo effect as far as the inability to work across the organization. it's relevant to the work we did on enterprise risk management. the failure to identify risks that are common to the agency and working on those risks across the agency. it just doesn't seem like that collaboration is there. and i really have to be critical about our first interview dealing with the three private
loan programs. when we were doing the sandy work where i was told that there was a conference call after sandy occurred with three lenders. and the lenders couldn't even be named. it wasn't a documented interview, but the three lenders didn't like idap. well, that was a case, i had to direct to sba the people that had been involved earlier that were part of this collaborative effort to try to stand up idap. and that never came to the table, so even seemed like there was -- you know, almost like if it was something that was developed or that was working on a development by previous people in those positions, that that had also kind of fallen off the table. >> so, i -- since the tri-state area was affected by sandy, hurricane sandy. >> yes. >> would you tell us that based
on what you have seen that if there is another large-scale disaster such as hurricane sandy, that the administration, sba, will be prepared to tackle the challenges that we saw during hurricane sandy? >> i don't think sba has a real plan for addressing it. and especially when you have a congressional mandate to create three private loan programs, it was a rationale to those programs, much of it, like, for example, idap, there is certainly in the gulf coast with katrina and based on our work and our really work on the ground with constituents in the tri-state area with sandy, there was certainly appeared to be demand for things like a bridge loan type of program and things like that. and i don't think sba's really
put itself in a position to serve those needs. >> have you conducted any other management review with any other federal agency? >> as an agency we did a lot of broad management reviews in basically the 1980s and 1990s. and now this was one time where we thought, sba was an agency, because of these recurring problems, that would require one. we currently have an ongoing general management review of hud, and so that's one. we've done other things that aren't -- wouldn't be called general management reviews but are pretty broad looks at agencies including one we did a number of years ago at sba. >> the gentle lady's time has expired. the gentleman from missouri who is vice chairman of this committee is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chair, your report is quite damning and quite concerning from the standpoint that, you know, it looks like we have an
agency that is mismanaged from top to bottom. you know, i represent the district in missouri that just got hardest hit in our state with regards to flooding this past two weeks. so when i look at the office of disaster assessment and then because it couldn't really figure out what to do, they created the office of disaster planning and now because they can't coordinate that, those two with anybody else, they'll create an office of disaster inner agency affairs. this is an example of government run amok. we've got one agency that can't do the job and we create a second agency that can't do the job and now we've got a third agency. am i misreading what's going on here? it creates more agencies which continue to be inept? yes or no works for that. >> okay. thanks. i see your concerns. you raise a very good point.
and basically what we look for generally with the way sba operates, including assessing the risk of meeting its mission, that you just need more thorough plans on how to do this. and just creating additional entities isn't necessarily the way to do that. you really need to develop a plan and think strategically about how to deliver this assistance. >> well, through your -- through your discussion and your report, you talk about, you know, the gao had -- or their own ig had 11 different challenges and after ten years, you know, only seven of them still existed. and some of them, as the chairman alluded to here, one is extremely important, the security of the data that this agency holds. other ones in there, improper payments. i mean, this is a pretty basic function of the agency, i would seem -- i would assume. do you know off the top of your
head what the past due rate is for the portfolio? >> i'm sorry, what? >> the past due rate for the sba portfolio. >> no. if you want to make a question, you know, for the record, i would be glad to address that. >> i was curious if you knew off the top of your head. >> no, i don't. >> i was wondering if it was going up or down. it's an indication of management problems as well as economic times. also ul talked about they develop strategic plans and yet when they get the plan done, nobody is able to review it. am i reading that right, within your report? >> the strategic -- >> they develop strategic plans but yet there's no follow-up to seeing if the strategic plan is followed, whether there's an evaluation of its effectiveness, whether it was accurate. >> the strategic planning, the deficiency we identified and it's consistent with other work we've done on individual programs, has been that the lack of evaluations of its programs for its effectiveness, you know,
consistent with the chairman brought up gipra and i'll refer to the gipra modernization act, that there's a lack of evaluations and the evaluations not really being incorporated. and it's hard to really have an effective strategic plan if you don't have a concept of how well the various programs are working. >> well, coming from the private sector you need to have a strategic plan to know where you're headed. you need to have a review of the strategic plan on a regular basis so you know what you did right, wrong, and how you can improve. you can have plans, fine, but if there's no follow-up actions it's a waste of time. it's an exercise in futility. also, you talk about the standard operating procedures here and rules and regulations would seem to be either ignored or they just create them and they just kind of go off on their own tan gegent, there's n coordination. can you elaborate on that a
little bit? >> the standard operating procedures are not kept up to date and they might be relied on too heavily because there's a lack of specificity for operating programs, but if you put the different pieces together from what we've done, you have staff that are in district offices. they're referred to as the boots on the ground. so, you have staff in district offices that aren't being well trained to really -- to conduct their functions. when you have that, when you don't have clear guidance, we found it with individual program audits, clear guidance for how those regulations are supposed to be carried out and then you're doing kind of things in a makeshift manner, that the -- the sops don't reflect current practices, you're going to have what we've observed, which is a lot of inconsistency and incomplete oversight of its programs. >> i appreciate that.
and just one moment of indull jedge indull jedge by the chairman it would seem if we have this kind of reckless regard for the reports sent out and reckless regard for the recommendations there seems need to be some punitive action by this committee. freezing of their funds and rules and regulations if they can't do their job now, they can't do anything further. i would be willing to work with you along those lines. >> thank you. the gentle lady from california is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair. mr. shear, from this report it seems that there's some general agreement between sba and gao on the recommendations that gao has made to address important problems at the agency is facing. it's of concern that of the 69 recommendations that only seven have been met. however, it's also clear that
sba has taken steps to address at least some of the issues at hand. in preparing this report, did you find disagreement between sba and gao on what gao recommendations should be considered completed or fully implemented by the agency? >> over the past year i would say roughly since last april or may, there's been a lot more focus at sba in looking at our open recommendations. which is a long list. and it's -- we reported to this committee before. sba's track record over the years in addressing open recommendation s has not been very good. the comptroller general actually in november sent a letter to the administrator like he did to other heads of agencies, and in this case sba's implementation rate, the way we calculate that rate is around 58%.
and most of the government is around 80%. so, this is -- this has been a concern of ours. we've seen some attention and movement on this. and there's been i think a push from senior management, i'd say roughly since last summer. and we've had multiple meetings at sba including senior leadership over our open recommendations. so, it's a positive sign. so, the idea was this actually represents an improvement. as you see in my statement that seven were implemented since issuance of our report is a positive change from what had occurred before. and there were a few that were implemented, i'd say pruf rough last summer, for example, i made reference in my statement to some recommendations we made in a report on the program in 2010. so, there's more attention to
this. there are certain times where we get information from sba and here it is, we think we've implemented the recommendation that requires a lot of follow-up. and there's certain times where we just don't agree. there's certain times we explain in excruciating detail why we don't agree that a recommendation is implemented. sometimes there's a back-and-forth. i'll give an example. on disaster loans, the one dealing with, you know, the early submission of applications, that's one where it required some back-and-forth but i'd say james rivera and his team worked very well with us, saying, okay, what do we have to do to convince you that we're addressing your recommendation? and we went through the different pieces of what we needed to understand. so, it's a very collaborative process between us and sba. there's more attention to make it now, but the agency is still very challenged in terms of addressing these recommendations.
>> there were seven recommendations that went to full completion. can you tell me why you believe sba chose to prioritize these over the others? and what was it that that made these recommendations rise to the forefront? >> i think that there was one of the things that the chief of staff said there was an emphasis in looking at the aid program. the associate administer who is relatively new to the position reached out to us with the idea that she was taking these recommendations seriously and wanted to better understand what those recommendations were. and, you know, they're somewhat dated, but they're still we think very relevant. so part of it was explaining in context the recommendations and the nature of what they were and
it had to do with how the program was operated, you know, when we were writing the report. so, there was a fair amount of back-and-forth. and, you know, as we stated that just prior to issuance of our report four of the six recommendations from the 2010 report were implemented. so, i think there was a focus by both senior management at sba and also, you know, likewise by the associate administrator herself of the program. >> okay. and if there is disagreement, how -- how do you move forward if there is disagreement between the sba and the gao? >> a lot of times it isn't disagreement, but it's just kind of a question does this do it for us. and sometimes the focus becomes very much we need documented evidence that you've actually conducted a change. like, for example, there were many times where we stated that
district office staff needed better guidance for how to carry out their responsibilities. and they would provide us, like, dates where training -- where they're stating that training occurred. and we just say, okay, so tell us what the training entailed. we have to see some substance as far as what's happening here. so, it tends to be a back-and-forth process, and sometimes we reach resolution, you know, a lot of it is just having a focus on these issues that there's many of these issues that there's a real focus and a determination. they're not simple issues. they'll take time to address. but without the focus on the issues, it's not going to happen and i think you see a situation here where many of these issues have not had that focus. >> thank you. the gentle lady's time has expired. the chair would just note that if you had a teenager and told him to clean up their room, they had 69 things sitting around the room and they cleaned up seven
of them, that might be in the positive direction, but i don't think most parents would be satisfied with that. and i certainly wouldn't be inclined to give them an increase in their allowance. mr. kelly is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, mr. shear, for being here. it's my understanding that during any interviews with their employees that they require that their general counsel be present during this. in your experience, has that been the same routine with other organizations or other -- other agencies when these experiences are -- when these investigations are conducted? >> no. the idea of having district counsel present when we are interviewing district -- you know, nonmanagement district employees, it's an experience we haven't had with other agencies. >> as a former prosecutor,
generally when people lawyere d ed up so to speak when it was a routine talking to, there was generally something behind that. it's so important when you have an sop to understand an sop and putting on my military side of experience, we have sops in the military for every single thing we do. and if you don't understand and use that sop, it's really not an sop because it stands for standard operating procedure and if you don't know and understand it and use it, it's not an sop it's just a bunch of guidelines. is it your experience that the sop the sba has basically just a bunch of guidelines or do they actually use and understand and update and continue to update their sop? >> you've asked a few questions. and the easiest one to answer is have they been in the process of updating sops and bringing them up to what their current practices are and trying to, you know, creating the guidance that
the district office staff, for example, need is the idea that i think is well reported for us, that as far as the procedural guidance, this is one of the major deficiencies. one of the major i call it new deficiency that we identified in this report. the s.o.p., there's an issue of how specific they are, so for example, no matter how good the s.o.p. is, because it is -- they are pretty general, the idea that when we had district staff saying well, i was made a business opportunity specialist and i was handed the s.o.p. and that was my training, i might be reporting anecdotal evidence from one or two people but that within itself isn't sufficient for somebody to really care out their job duties. >> now i want to talk about what's important to military side which i don't see
[ inaudible ] that's risk management. obviously you have to understand risk first of all. it's my understanding they don't have any strategic plan, they don't have a risk management program which is ample to determine what the risks are and the do you know of any way, do you think they kranl of understanding the risk and second of all, if they do understand it are they capable of addressing the risk that they have experienced? >> it's a great question. as far as the strategic planning, i think we did find many elements of a positive strategic planning process. the part that we really see as deficient is the role of evaluation in a strategic plan. with respect to enterprise risk management, it's almost like well, they have identified the pieces of what would go into enterprise risk management but it requires a very cross-cutting approach across the agency. they have created a board which
is to say that at least in principle should be addressing these issues, but it was first, you know, there was unofficially a risk officer named at the time it was the general counsel in 2009 and here we are years later and you just don't have the elements of a robust enterprise risk management system to really identify the risks not only from a financial standpoint but the risk having to do with carrying out the agency's mission. like for example, in disaster assistance and the other pieces of the agency. so you know, sometimes you can look at enterprise risk management and say you know, even before it was invented there was some basic common sense business practices that really, you know, where you could find similar types of language, but in terms of the enterprise risk management, that is becoming, you know, looked
upon more by the office of management and budget, it just is at a very premature stage. >> just a final comment, i find it kind of funny for their personal risk they made sure they had counsel present at all interviews with employees, but they don't pay that kind of attention to the organizational risk and risk management plan. yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you. gentleman's time has expired. gentle lady from new york, the ranking member of the agricultural, energy and trade subcommittees, is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. wanted to -- there were several long-standing changes identified at the agency. of course, those that you delineated, which are the most important when it comes to service delivery and more tangible and immediate resources for our small businesses? if you had to? >> as far as the long-standing
business challenges, i would really focus on human capital. the need to really assess skills gaps, to identify training that might be necessary. and all these different pieces fit together in the sense of, you know, there are certain issues that are associated with say contracting programs that require participation across the agency and the various parts of the agency, so they all kind of fit together in a certain way. but if i had to identify one that really stands out, it would be the human capital challenges as far as the long-standing challenge. another one that's come up here which, whether you call it long-standing or not, is this,
the need to be able to document decisions and to evaluate how well your programs are working and to document those decisions. so these are some of the things that really stand out based on our work. >> the report notes that the sba has made significant process when it comes to the loan guarantee process. do you believe that the sba in addressing human capital has helped it begin to turn the corner on some of those concerns? >> the concerns with lone guarantee, i'm sorry. >> developing, implementing a quality control program for the loan centers to verify and document like compliance with the loan process? >> i don't know whether i can link it to human capital or not, but among the work we cite from the inspector general, there have been certain actions to
address those long-standing challenges. i don't know whether it can be linked to any particular type of training or not. i just don't have an answer for that question. >> thank you. i yield back. >> gentle lady yields back. the gentleman from florida, mr. curbelo, chairman of the subcommittee on agricultural, energy, trade and hover boards, is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you for recognizing my unfortunate injury over the holiday break. i'll reserve all my comments about hover boards. thank you very much for coming in today. there are a lot of specific questions that have been asked and i think they are all very important, but i want to ask you more broadly, is this just a cultural issue that is going to have to be addressed beyond the specific fixes that you may recommend? is there just a cultural,
structural issue here that we should really focus on? i don't think congress is particularly well equipped to get into the details of how an organization is operating, but we can certainly lay out a vision and at least suggest a structure, and i'm wondering if you could give us some guidance in that regard. >> you ask a great question so i'm going to stand back from what i'll call the detailed auditing here and how pieces fit together and some of them fit in with enterprise risk management, and some of the other matters we have talked about. i used the word earlier and it's been used over the years with sba of it being siloed and the idea that you can have certain reporting relationships and working relationships that are different, and part of that is that you don't have the collaboration that would occur across the agency so whether
you're trying to do enterprise risk management or just manage just roughly, how do you put together an operation that has this many pieces to it, that there has to be a way of having a collaboration across. you have to have more of a culture where bad news can flow to the top. i really think that the idea that over the years, that there hasn't been that much focused attention on either our recommendations or i think i can say that for the i.g. as well, that there has to be an ability for information to flow up and across the agency, and to some degree, if you step back from enterprise risk management, that's what part of this is. in terms of the concerns that sba had with us interviewing, the question came up of interviewing non-management district office staff.
the idea was a concern was raised, we were giving a platform for people to complain. now, this might just come from one or two people in sba, but i just say i don't get the sense that employees at sba feel that they can offer honest feedback to their leadership, and i know from all the efforts we have at gao to really embrace employee feedback, that that is part, you know, all these things kind of fit together and they fit together with the organizational structure, so stepping back from basically this very detailed audit work, these are some of the observations that i would make. >> i thank you, because we're focusing on a lot of symptoms and of course, that's important, but i think the root cause and i agree with you, is a breakdown in communications at sba. i look forward to having the
administrator in here tomorrow and figuring out with her and with all of my colleagues what we can do to promote a culture of communication where people feel free expressing how they feel, what their frustrations are and how they think the organization can work better. thank you. >> can i add one more point? >> please. >> okay. one of the things that we didn't do a general management review, but like earlier in president bush's administration, something was called agency transformation. it didn't work out real well, then there was when steve preston came in as administrator, there was more kind of like business process reengineering, he called it, so there were certain actions there. a lot of that stretched toward the end of that administration, and so one of the things we were very conscious of when we reported on those efforts was that there's really a need for
someone to really -- someone or some group of people in senior positions, because by its very nature, political appointments change with each administration, even when you don't have changes in party, so the idea here is that we were kind of looking like what senior executive service career people might be in a position to kind of take hold of some of these efforts and to expand them, and i think that's one of the issues that this committee should be thinking about and that sba should be thinking about. because there's about a year left in this administration. >> thank you. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentle lady from new york, miss adams, is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair. i'm from south carolina. that's my state. thank you, ranking member velazquez as well and mr. shear, thank you for being here and for
your testimony. as an enthusiastic supporter of the work that sba performs for our nation's small businesses, it is critically important that the agency is run both efficiently and effectively. i'm sure you would agree to that. but the gao report noted that sba is considering expanding sba 1 and expedited application process to include the 8a program which is critical for minorities to gain a foothold in the federal procurement marketplace. do you believe that this is a move in the right direction? >> it is a move that, you know, can be a promising move from the basis of our audit work, one way i would bring our audit work as far as a major consideration when much of the improvements that are being sought, you know, such as the use of technology, you know, in this case, for the
program, that the office of management and budget has very specific requirements that we have used in our audit work, our i.t. team that worked with us on this, used as far as analyzing existing i.t. and in terms of requirements for investing in new i.t., and sba is engaged in a number of activities which sba states that, you know, that might be sufficient for their i.t. outlook, but these very specific requirements are there for a purpose, and we think that if sba is really -- wants to use technology to improve program
delivery which is a good thing to be thinking about, that it should have a more rigorous method for following the requirements that omb has for i.t. investments and for the operational analysis of existing investments. >> thank you. gao found that sba had not conducted regular interviews of its operational investments to assure that they continue to meet agency needs. why is this significant? >> for example, over time you might have certain systems that you have in place that either become redundant with new investments, so that's part of the forward looking that i just mentioned in answering your question about sba 1, and it's significant that way, and it's
important to know, especially when you have systems that have been in place for a long time of whether they still are effectively meeting the needs of the agency in delivering its programs, so you're running a little bit blind if you don't go through these steps. >> thank you. in its report, gao found several issues that sba has not resolved so what are the key actions or management changes that sba need to take to address these challenges? >> i think that we reiterated that at the time it was 69 recommendations from early reports, now it's down to 62, but we had eight new recommendations. we think they are very substantive recommendations that are really necessary to be addressed to try to improve the operations of the agency. >> okay. let me quickly ask, the review
found that sba field office employees are primarily evaluated on quantitative measures, not qualitative. gao also reported that employees found technical problems with reference to the system. as a result, many field office employees feel they are not being properly evaluated. what is sba doing to correct this problem? >> it's something that i think it's a good question to ask the administrator because i really think that among these issues, a lot of it comes down to having, you know, in terms of our work, it falls into the pieces of the human capital planning, the training that's involved and the appraisal system, where we do note that the system seems to be heavily dependent on quantity,
like how many events did you hold rather than the quality of those events, and the development of performance standards that really gets at the quality issue, that all government agencies have a challenge in this area, but i think sba has a way to go this way and i hope they are developing responses to that. >> thank you. i'm out of time. i yield back. >> thank you. the gentle lady yields back. the gentleman from new york, mr. hanna, is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you for being here. i appreciate that. i don't know where to go with this. there's so much to talk about, especially the new american dream and the old one, right, that people say is disappearing, was always built by small business and according to walter meade, who has written widely about this, that it is the key to the future and the small business plays such a critical
role in this. we are going to have the administrator here tomorrow to talk about this. it sounds like they are just ignoring you, that they don't regard you as either -- your agency either knowing what you're talking about or they don't consider it important because it doesn't feel like there's any urgency to this, yet we know that about 2% to 3% of business loans in this country flow through them and that number's growing. and we have authorized more money to go into those programs. what do we really do about this? it sounds like we are going to have this same meeting again next year. >> i think oversight is important. i'd say there's been a slight change at sba. i don't know how extensive the change is. we'll kind of see over time. but the idea that last summer,
you know, it included major efforts, it wasn't just by me and our team. it was by managing director, it was the new chief of staff at sba of convening meetings -- >> did they take you seriously, though? do you believe they agree with you or that they want to implement what you are asking, or it sounds like they're just stonewalling you. >> it's one that we see some positive movement, so unlike all the other times i have been here and say well, sba seems to always agree but then it's very rare, it's in certain pockets and certain programs where you might have an associate administrator who is really in tune with our recommendations that an action is taken. there seems to be some movement but i think time will tell and i would hope -- >> is that the case you have no levers to pull to make them do and follow your recommendations? all of this polite conversation?
>> we find that -- so let me go back to what we do as an agency. just recently, the comptroller general testified about the importance of agencies implementing our recommendations and making improvements to the functioning of government. this was all tied in again with him sending letters to the heads of agencies on recommendation implementation rates. we do get a lot of movement in the sense that government-wide, 80% of our recommendations are implemented. we just don't have that track record at sba. we haven't had it. there's been some positive movement. >> you said they are at a 50% productivity level compared to other agencies that are closer to 80% or more. >> yes. >> so the proof is in those numbers, that they are not highly functioning. what would you ask the administrator sweet tomorrow when she's here?
i can imagine, but. >> what would i ask? many of the questions that you are asking me today are probably good questions to ask, but part of this is that -- for example, for sba to come back to us and say during the course of this, saying have you assessed your organizational structure because our analysis indicates that there's a lot of challenges associated with it. so either you have to change the structure or you have to do things to address the challenges -- >> what you're saying is they just don't care. >> -- but then we get a response at the agency comment period and then we get response now in a 60-day letter saying we have
evaluated organizational structure. so really, the idea of really establishing very firm kind of like plans that would extend into the next administration, what plans does she have for what she -- >> -- long-term structural changes that are permanent based on the changes in command? >> yes. i think that's it to really focus on some of the organizational structure issues and the associated, a lot of these things fall together. the human capital issues, the training needs. all the different pieces i think what's your plan for getting the agency to be a more highly functioning agency. >> thank you. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts, ranking member of the health and technology subcommittee is recognized for five minutes.
we will go to miss rodewagen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, mr. shear. during the gao's investigation of mismanagement of sba, did you find that any regional offices took on more responsibility than other regional offices? for instance, there are two u.s. territories that do not seem to have regional representation, let alone a district office. would it be accurate to say that sba has neglected certain regions while perhaps overserving other regions? >> you ask a great question. i wish that i could say that we did audit work to see what
representation there was at regional and district offices in a specific outreach but we didn't try to geocode the different activities of the various district offices in particular. so it's a very good question, but our audit work just doesn't address it. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> the gentle lady yields back. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. if not, i think the ranking member has another question and we now yield to her. >> mr. shear, you know, i can't help but feel frustrated because we have been on this predicament for so many years. i have been sitting in this committee for 23 years and the disaster loan program has been one that i care about, because it has impacted new york city and since katrina, we work on
legislation and here we are today, passing a new law that i authored to reopen the disaster loan programs because the percentage of declining loan applications were so high. i'm happy to see that the administration is moving to provide the assistance that people deserve, the victims of hurricane sandy. but tomorrow we are going to have the administrator. we are going to have to ask the tough questions that need to be asked based on the review that you just conducted, and my question to you listening to my colleagues here and the answers that you have provided, is that it looks like someone needs to be in charge of watching the store, right, and it goes to the issue of the organizational
structure that could survive the fact that pretty soon, we are going to be looking at a new administration in the white house. so how can we address that? who do we hold accountable in terms of making sure, because you said that the 8a program, well, there is an associate administrator that cares about making sure that the recommendations that were suggested are implemented to make the program run better. so beyond the administrator, if there is anything that could be done at the organizational structure of the agency that will be accountable in making sure that all these recommendations are implemented.
>> the organizational structure level, one of the most basic things that we said was there's nothing magical about having the ten regional offices and 68 district offices and different lines of reporting, you know, in terms of working relationships and reporting relationships. there's other ways the agency could structure itself. we don't feel that we have the basis for saying this is what the organizational structure should be, but we certainly identify that there are these challenges and you know, when we reported on the 8a program, it's a symptom of a situation where you have district staff that aren't necessarily sure what their jobs are in terms of continued eligibility and things like that and the oversight that's needed. but from a standpoint of organizational structure, you know, there was a consultants
report and when it wasn't given to us we didn't feel that was that important because the important thing, what are you doing, sba to address if you are going to keep your organizational structure largely intact, how are you going to address these issues that are associated with it and we still haven't seen anything. when we followed up with them last month, we still don't see anything in terms of what are you going to do about the structure of this agency or if you're not making structural changes, how are you making changes to make sure that people are accountable and that people are trained to do their jobs and they understand what their jobs are. i think those are some of the more fundamental issues that we really have here. you can put all these other things aside, you say that's some of the more fundamental issues that have been around for years. there's a lot of things we've talked about over the years with individual programs and even looking more broadly across programs that now fall under the
rubric of enterprise risk management but that actually gives a pretty good rubric as far as saying how do you really define what the mission of the agency is and how you put the pieces together. and then the other piece that we recently discussed with this committee and with you over the years, the need to collaborate across agencies, whether it be usda, world development or these working groups that office of management and budget have set up for collaboration in delivering assistance, things like that, a more collaborative approach. these are the things that really stand out when i just step back from all these individual recommendations. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> gentle lady yields back. time's expired. just one quick question, mr. shear. what's your assessment of the
sba's response to the gao report that was submitted to chairman chaffetz and the committee on oversight and government reform? >> you asked for a short answer. one of the things that it does note, i think that i would expect in a 60-day letter, i have read enough 60-day letters and comments on our draft reports from sba, enough to know certain common things, common themes, such as we agree and we're taking action. some of the things that reflect something positive that's in my statement was even though it might be a small number of recommendations, a relatively small number over the last year, that there is at least some focus on those recommendations and i hope it's not just viewed as a fire drill within sba that we're trying to do this over a short period of time, but we're trying to create a culture and a management structure that can work over time, even into the
next administration, on working on those issues. so as far as there's a lot of activity going around and a lot of what we found in doing this work and that we found in looking at other programs, particularly the contracting programs over the years, there's always a lot of activity around things that are somehow related to certain things that we're finding. but the idea of going the extra mile, it isn't quite there. there's a lot of initiatives and activity that's gone there, but you know, it's a matter of take it to the next level. let me just mention two things that are in that letter where i just say that raises a little bit of concern. one is that i have already referred to, that the agency has conducted an assessment, organizational, you know, organizational alignment.
it isn't just for the purpose of documentation or for our audit work, that we see really documented evidence of a thorough evaluation. it should be an important living document over time that sba, for its current leadership and future leadership, can rely on in terms of addressing the issues of the agency and this idea that there's been an assessment, you know, it doesn't really matter to us whether we see the assessment or not. what's important is that there's documented evidence of a thorough examination of the organizational structure. and then the other one, there was reference made to doing the operational analyses of the i.t. and this is one where the requirements that omb has are very specific and our i.t. team relies on the omb guidance. this is one where really, there's a statement in there
that, you know, that we and our i.t. team take some exception to that, you know, we haven't seen documented evidence that the required operational analyses so there might be good things going on in the agency in terms of oversight of its i.t., but we just don't see documented evidence that meet these very specific requirements that omb have. >> would the gentleman yield? >> i yield. >> on the i.t. issue, and you say that there has to be oversight, omb, do they conduct any oversight? >> it's one that i'd like to follow up with the committee on that and really get the full input. i know that my colleague, our director in the i.t. team, has testified before this committee and i would want to follow up with that on specifically the oversight of omb.
my simple answer to your question is yes, omb is involved in conducting oversight. i would have to refer whether it's a question for the record or whether, you know, with committee staff of following up with dave and his team who have collaborated with us so much on this work, i think that could give a more complete answer than what i can give you. >> okay. reclaiming my time. i will just note that we have heard the shortcomings, the deficiencies, i could i don'tus of other words but the problems that are going on at the sba at this time. the administrator will have an opportunity tomorrow to address the committee, then to take questions as well and we would invite both members on both sides of the aisle and the public to attend, and hear the response tomorrow as well. it's at 11:00 in the morning. i would ask unanimous consent
that members have five legislative days to submit statements and supporting materials for the record. without objection, so ordered. if there's no further business to come before the committee, we're adjourned. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. c-span takes you on the road to the white house and into the classroom. this year, our student cam
documentary contest asked students to tell us what issues they want to hear from the presidential candidates. follow c-span's road to the white house coverage and get all the details about our student cam contest at cspan.org. join us later today for more from the road to the white house with carli fiorina. the republican presidential candidate is hofting a town meeting in meredith, new hampshire. watch it live at 6:30 p.m. eastern on c-span 2. and more from the campaign trail tomorrow with ohio governor john kasich, who is also hosting a town hall in new hampshire. he will be in exeter. watch his event live at 5:15 p.m. eastern friday on c-span. on the next "washington journal" jim mcgovern discusses a recent report on hunger and federal nutrition assistance programs. after that, texas representative
louis gohmert looks at the oregon militia standoff and president obama's executive action on guns, plus your phone calls, facebook comments and tweets on "washington journal" at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. here's a look at some of our featured programs this weekend on american history tv on c-span 3. next tuesday, president obama will deliver his last state of the union address to a joint session of congress. this saturday and sunday, beginning at 1:00 p.m. eastern, we'll feature four state of the union speeches by former presidents during their last year in office. on saturday, it's president jimmy carter followed by president ronald reagan. on sunday, president george h.w. bush's final state of the union followed by president bill clinton. also, saturday morning at 10:30, playwright and star of the broadway musical "hamilton" accepts the book prize and
achievement award. saturday on "road to the white house rewind" lwe look back to the 1984 presidential campaign. >> whom we elect to replace that man has to have the trust and confidence of the american people and it has to be on matters spoken in public and in private. private promises and public statements for the american people being the same. it has to be for all our people. >> for our complete weekend schedule, go to c-span.org. . today marks the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack against the french satire magazine "charlie hebdo." next, the newseum hosts a panel discussion including journalists and first amendment lawyers who discuss the impact of the attack on freedom of the press and other free expression rights. on january 7th, 2015, islamic extremists attacked the "charlie hebdo" headquarters, killing 12 people. the magazine has published a
32-page special edition to mark the one-year anniversary. this event runs just over an hour. >> good afternoon. i'm the chief operating officer of the newseum institute. i would like to welcome you to the knight studio at the newseum. welcome to those of you here at the studio, those of you watching the live stream at newse muchld in newseum institute.org and those of you joining us on c-span. glad to have you with us. the newseum and its programs and the institute, its outreach and programs partner comprise the only organization in the world dedicated to free expression and the five freedoms of the first amendment, religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. we work to ensure that those fundamental freedoms remain strong and protected both today and for future generations. our exhibits, education efforts and programs online and in person, we hope inform and remind all of us of the
importance and yet at the same time, the fragility of those basic human rights to express ideas, to express our opinions, to worship freely and we hope that we help you explore the freedom and the meaning of freedom in an age of continual technological innovation. by embracing the role as a neutral forum committed to open and robust discussion, the newseum and the institute engage in the central debates of our time including the future of investigative journalism, the role of religious freedom and the role of a free press and free expression worldwide. we gather today to recall that one year ago on january 7th, terrorists invaded the paris offices of the french weekly newspaper "charlie hebdo" and in the name of i believe the terrorists said punishing the staff for publishing cartoons of the prophet mohammad, 12 people died. were murdered. but in that process, in those
murders, the concept of free expression worldwide was challenged. for that initial terror attack, there were many reactions, most immediately millions in france and really around the world adopted the slogan as we see on the teeshirt or sweatshirt here, "i am charlie" as an expression of support for both those journalists and others who died in the attack but also for the concept of free expression and even perhaps the right to offend. elsewhere, those deaths if we are honest were seen as the inevitable outcome if not the appropriate punishment to a perceived blasphemy and in the past year those responses have all continued. they have been as varied as calls for increased support for free expression but also restrictions on muslims in france and elsewhere in the world on how they practice their faith, new laws on freedom of expression and even immigration and at times, in the u.s., in terms of the first amendment, even a call to reexamine an old standard that has kept the
government from restraining free speech. a standard called clear and present danger. in which is there a need to revisit at a time when terrorists can reach out via the web rather than being physically present. before we move into our discussion we should also note that this is the 75th anniversary of another event, one that marked a more hopeful moment if not period for freedom and free expression, and that is u.s. president franklin roosevelt's for freedom speech delivered on january 6, 1941. of course, at the time, those four freedoms that roosevelt enumerated, speech, worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear, were voiced at a time when the world stood on the brink of what would become world war i and the battle had already begun in europe. america would enter it only about a little less than 12
months later. but those four freedoms symbolized what the goal of the united states and ultimately the allies and what was to become the united nations stood for in that fight. they were incorporated in the declaration of human rights adopted by the united nations in 1948. a former colleague of ours, paul spar row, heads the fdr presidential museum in hyde park, new york and he wrote as leaders should once again result to brutal oppression and terrorism to achieve their goals. as democracy and even journalist are under attack from extremists around the globe and as even surveillance and technology threaten individual liberties and freedom of expression, fdr's bold vision of these four freedoms is as vital as it was 75 years ago. i would only add that those five freedoms of the first amendment and our ceo jeffrey herbst noted after the terrorist attacks in
past, for a nation and city intrinsically tied to liberty, those cowardly acts still seek to diminish our democratic rights and our freedom of expression. the institute reporters without borders and the washington foreign law society are pleased to present this program today and really, we hope to discuss the issues raised by this terrible incident one day short of a year ago. it is for me the embodiment of the best response to these attacks, that the marketplace of ideas still exists and that we can have a robust discussion worldwide about the very basic rights and freedoms of humanity that held true in 1791, in 1941 and again in 2016. with that, let me present our moderator. delphine? >> thank you, gene, and thank you for all your amazing work and all the amazing work of your colleagues here to champion the
first amendment freedoms. thank you for hosting us. thank you for co-organizing it with reporters without borders to commemorate today the first anniversary of "charlie hebdo" tragedy. as you know, reporters without borders is the largest press freedom organization in the world. we report on violations all around the world thanks to a network of local journalists reporting for us in 130 countries in order to monitor all violation. actually, one year ago i was working at our paris office in paris on january 7th and one year after i still don't have the right words to express the shock. and attacking a newsroom with automatic weapons in the heart of paris was something we could
hardly imagine and actually, paris was attacked again and we were even more hurt just a few months ago. at nsf actually we observe that these last years have been marked by an extreme level of violence targeting journalists. we all have in mind carefully staged beheadings of journalists, now "charlie hebdo" attacks or the increase of kidnappings. 110 journalists have been killed in 2015, 110. the deadliest countries were syria, iraq and france. so i look forward to our discussion today with such prominent panelists. i really want to thank colleen from paris, i want to start with her today, but i want to thank
robert, gene and others. thank you so much for being here. so in a sense today, we want to discuss what has changed for freedom of expression, freedom of the press and liberty of religion in france, in the u.s. and around the world since "charlie hebdo" attack. how does the press cover religion, what is the difference between freedom of speech in france, in the u.s., what are the red lines, are there difference, how has a national security law impacted basic freedoms, how should we respond to the information world launched by groups such as isis on social media. so those are some of the questions i really look forward to discussing with you all. but to start, i want to introduce you to a very well-renowned journalist.
she is the editor of a magazine, and a former contributor of "charlie hebdo." you just published an essay in praise of blasphemy, why "charlie hebdo" is not islamophobic and this is a vitally important book. actually, the book is available in english on ebook so i invite you to read it, because it's vitally important to read it. so actually, you know just after the attacks, "charlie hebdo" has been portrayed by some people as islamophobic but when -- came here in the u.s. to receive the pen america awards, actually they pointed out that in ten years between 2005 and 2015, out
of a total of approximately 500 "charlie hebdo" issues, only 38 covers were dedicated to religion, and seven to islam. so i just think it's important to start by explaining what is "charlie hebdo," how important are cartoons in france, how if you can tell us how "charlie hebdo" staff is today, are they still under police protection, and then i will ask you to talk to us about how the french press reacted and more about your essay but first, yes. can you explain briefly what is "charlie hebdo" and how is "charlie hebdo" staff today? >> yes. thank you so much, delphine, for giving me this opportunity to speak about this legendary newspaper. it was already a legend before last january, before this drama.
it's not only the newspaper that you know today, they cry islamophobic because they dare mock extremists from all religions, including islamists. "charlie hebdo" is known in france as one of the most -- newspaper. during the '80s and the '90s more, because before it was individual, but during the '90s, all the movements against racism in france took their cartoons from people who are dead today, and not only dead, are described
as islamophobic after they're dead. this is extremely painful. you cannot imagine. it's like if they are dead twice, actually. when i asked to explain again and again how much those guys were open-minded, were deeply artistic and strongly open to every culture and the most brilliant, talented and funny guys i have ever known, and people can twist their intention, twist their cartoons, put them out of their context to aid the propaganda of the killers because this is actually what those people are doing. and i really want to point that out. i really want to insist on that, it's not only unprofessional for example as journalists to describe "charlie hebdo" as islamophobic. it's not only wrong and false, it is dangerous.
because this word, islamophobia, was confusing the intention, the fact that a satirical newspaper ought to be able to laugh about fana fanaticism, described as racist against muslims by calling them islamophobic, it is really, really dangerous. it is putting a target on the head of those journalists, on those cartoonists. it's already killed those people. it's maybe going to kill tomorrow the other who have been called islamophobics to today. to answer your question how is "charlie hebdo" today, how they are living today, they are living like prisoner. they are living hell because they are all under police protection.
you know that the shop has been already really targeted by al qaeda. now it's targeted today not only by terrorist group, also by, for example, very famous politician who said he will pay for everyone who is going to kill this. we are in this crazy situation today. that's why it is so important first to stop to call artists or cartoonists islamophobic when they are just who they are, is important to stop using that word. if you want to target the real racism, we do exist and that "charlie hebdo" is denouncing, is fighting, then you should say
anti-muslims. it's not same phobias against islam but phobia against muslims and phobia against muslims is really speaking against racism which is something we all want to fight. yes. >> thank you. i just want to go more into what you explain in your essay and in your essay i think you talk about a global intimidation. can you tell us what you mean exactly? >> i mean that one of the most danger that journalists are facing today in the world is not only censorship or intimidation coming from states. we know that. we know how to react to that. but i would say probably it's
even worse, it's the intimidation coming from movement on the ground, maybe like isil terrorist state, and who can kill to silence you, to forbid you to speak, to forbid you to criticize, and today, among the journalists who died this year that you did mention, most of them have been killed by terrorist groups and not sen censored by states. so we are really in the middle of this tornado because we are facing the necessity of defending freedom, freedom of speech, freedom also to fight sometime when states are thinking of force majeure against the freedom to fight against terrorism, but at the same time, the first priority today even in france is to stay alive. and when you are a journalist
who as you -- including for "charlie hebdo" i did many papers on the salman rushdie affair. i did follow so many cases of accusation of blasphemy but what did change this year is that before, i was used to consider that those lives were in danger in pakistan. -- in danger in india which is a democracy and salman did face those threats long before us in london. so you see more and more, it's not only living undertheocratic state is dangerous, living under democracy is dangerous for jurnlg journ journalists and i would ask which is more dangerous. which is the more painful part,
not only that have you to face this and to live under police protection and not to be free anymore but when you're hearing commands or attacks coming from the democrats, not only coming from the fanatics or those who are playing their role but when democrats are helping the terrorists by accusing people of again, being islamophobic or going too far or of being provocative unnecessarily when they are just defending freedom of expression. >> i think it's a great transition point to the point i wanted to raise with robert. he is one of the u.s. leading first amendment lawyers and recently, actually, you worked on many cases related to limitation of free speech on american universities campus. which could seem very weird, having france to hear about that but actually, there is a lot of
limitation of free speech on the campus this last years, so would you say that the u.s. are becoming excessively politically correct, or how did you see freedom of expression and freedom of the press evolve in the u.s. these last years? >> great question. thanks for that. and i think there is a real connection between what's going on on american campuses and what we are seeing as a global phenomenon and discussions about the meaning and extent of freedom of expression. the question comes down to do you protect the right to offend or do you protect the right not to be offended. and the first amendment to the u.s. constitution is predicated on and decisions have reinforced the notion that we don't have freedom unless there is a freedom to offend. and that has been decided in cases involving many different scenarios over the years, that all of our freedoms depend on
being able to protect the rights of people who offend us the most. but i think it's important to stress that freedom of expression is a much bigger concept than just what the first amendment provides. the first amendment is our local ordinance in the united states. we are very proud of it. we think it's a model for how you protect freedom of expression. but freedom of expression is both broader as a concept than just what the law provides. and legal systems around the world have various kinds of protections for freedom of expression, including the ones in europe under the european convention for human rights which provide more of a balancing approach that balance other interests against the primary concern in freedom of expression. but to measure the impact on free speech overall i think it gets back to this issue of global intimidation that we heard about. that's bigger than a legal issue. and to really assess the health of freedom of expression, you have to look first at the legal structures, but secondly, at the
level of courage that citizens are willing to exercise. you know, there are very frightening and intimidating factors. what was known in american law as the hecklers veto has become the assassins veto. the assassins veto. it's a concept that evolved in the civil rights era where people would threaten to silence civil rights marchers and the notion developed in the law that we can't permit the hecklers to limit the rights of those people who are trying to make their point. but now it's become much more sinister and much more deadly with the notion of the assassin's veto. and so i think it's a natural question to ask, how courageous are we being when it comes to these expressions. i mean, it's one thing to wear a charlie button, it's quite another if your editorial board decides not to publish any of the images from "charlie hebdo" as most u.s. newspapers have not in the wake of all of the events in paris.
so, i think it's important to -- >> how do you explain that? >> people are scared. i think that there is a global intimidation. i mean, you can see it not just in that example, but you can also see it in example like the disruption of the premiere of the film "the interview" after north korea threatened retaliation if this silly parody made american theaters. i bought a copy of the cd. i figured it was my duty to do so in light of everything. and not a great movie, but i'm glad i bought it. i'm glad i saw it. and so, you know, you have to ask yourself, what if other basic freedoms were threatened by threats of violence. if foreign powers or individuals in foreign governments decided that other aspects of the first amendment were simply things that they couldn't tolerate. what if, for example, a foreign government or a foreign terrorist decided it really offends them if people attend church services in the united states. or anywhere.
how would we assess the behavior of people if they decided, oh, well, i'm sorry, i can't go to church, they said they'd hurt me. you know, it's understandable to be afraid when there are real threats, and there are real threats. but if we don't find some kind of collective courage, then we lose freedom of expression, regardless of what the law says. >> thank you, thank you, bob. i would maybe turn now to the other frenchee at the table with me by skype. you are an adjunct professor at american university washington college and from the french institute of high judicial studies. you recently translated into french justice breyer's latest book. and i guess with your background with the washington society to promote knowledge and understanding of international legal matters, i wanted to come to the professor in you and ask you to explain to us the
differences between freedom of expression, freedom of the press, in france and in the u.s. tell us about these hate speech prosecution we are seeing in france and how "charlie hebdo" has been prosecuted many times. can you explain that very simple to the students we are. >> so, i think the beginning is actually to look at the texts themselves. i mean, if you look at the first amendment congressional parlance that's very unique way of expressing freedom of speech. then when you look at the declaration of the rights of man, you have a very different form of expressing freedom of speech. i can read just, i mean, article ten of the declaration which is no one shall be dissuaded in the accounts of his opinion, their manifestation does not disturb public order. and article 11 which is more on point about actual freedom of
speech, it ends that saying every citizen may speak right and praying with freedom but shall be responsible forch is abuse of freedom as shall be defined by law. you have a very, very different way to express those basic freedom. then what happens is, in fact, you have, i mean, the law, the statute of 1881 which is the framework, the framework statute, on freedom of the press. and what you see is that statute has remained quite unchanged until one very important date i think is 1990. and 1990 is new statute, and it adds in the statute, i mean, so created that negation of crime
against humanity. and in article 24 of the statute of 1881, an offense of inciting racism or racial hatred. it all proceeded with very good intention, except that i think that explains why there is -- it is extremely dangerous to legislate marynnner of freedom expression. because it creates a situation where basically gradually we went to a situation which now is characteristic of the problem we face with islam phobia. and it's the threat to extend de facto kredcensorship to matters race and religion and even to the expression of political act done in religious name. so, that's why you have right now in france that chilling effect of islamophobia,
everybody criticize me, not criticize islam in general but we are criticizing that it is not labeled racist basically. it's -- in fact, the muslim which are, i mean, they are as centralized as a whole unique community, in a way they are the new [ inaudible ] in what we see right now. they are -- they are the ultimate expression of racism. now you have, i mean, in fact, it develops more within the french left is islamophobia. you have that chilling effect of people say, no, no, even you cannot -- you cannot criticize
this. and you add on top of that another tendency which i think here is something that, in fact, arrives more from something from global attitude and from an american posture which is this kind of fear of any interruption of religious flows. it flows speech of many, and, in fact, when you see that money is equated with speech, you have basically all that flows which stick late freely around the world. and, in fact, it's considered the moment, i mean, to say you need to limit the flows that come from saudi arabia is, in fact, limiting freedom of religion and i think that is extremely dangerous. so, we see some perfect illustration of the slippery
slope. >> so, bob, would you say that there's no limits to the first amendment freedoms or what are the limits? >> no, of course, there are limits. and, you know, some critics of the first amendment will say that people are too interested in an absolutist view of the first amendment. it's more of pejorative than it is an argument. because i don't know of any court decisions that defend the first amendment as an absolute freedom. and i frankly i don't know of any serious people who defend it on that basis either because obviously it doesn't protect simply the use of words. you can't go to a bank and hand the teller a note and say give me all your money, and say you are protected by the first amendment because all you've done is used your words, so there are limits by the rule of law. the way that line has been drawn by the courts has typically been whether is the threat of violence, the realistic threat of violence, so the test for encitement, for example, is
whether or not the speaker intends to bring about an immediate violent breach of the peace and whether or not those words are likely to cause that immediate breach of the peace. there are certain very specific categories that the court has said are unprotected by the first amendment over the years. cases have refined that list and narrowed it quite a bit over the years. and that's in sharp contrast to what you see under the european convention of human rights, for example, where instead of having a limited list of words that are types of speech that are not protected you have sort of an amorphous and possibly expanding list of concepts that are not protected by the first amendment. the government's ability to regulate speech in the united states based on its content is governed by a standard called strict scrutiny which puts the burden on the government to prove that there is a compelling need to restrict speech and it requires the government to use the least restrictive means of restricting speech. whereas in europe the concept is called proportionality. and you have a measure of
appreciation that where the european court of human rights will sort of err on the side of government being able to enforce laws in favor of whatever the national interest was that prompted the restriction. so, there are different ways of looking at the two. the difference is that in the american system, we err on the side of protecting speech rather than err on the side of government power. and so it's not an absolute view. but it is a more speech protective view than you find in the rest of the world. >> so, maybe let's go to the media reporter here. you were born in tel aviv and you covered media industry and the political area. i'm curious to hear your views on how religions have been covered during this crazy u.s. election campaign. i mean, from donald trump's comments on muslims to religiously correctness, where are we exactly?
or how do you see this debate in that perspective? >> before i start, i do want to say if you want to read an excerpt of the wonderful essay politico.eu, i work for politico, we actually just today published it. i highly recommend but buy the e-book as well. it has been an incredibly fascinating time on the campaign trail. things you never thought would be said and said by candidate and candidates that would somehow still be candidates after they said them has really been fascinating. and in a way you find yourself almost -- it's almost like this -- we've said a tornado, a catch-22 where on one hand obviously a lot of these candidates want to protect -- they say they want to protect free speech and freedom of religion, but they're calling for databases of a certain type of religion. and in terms of how the media
covers it, i've never -- granted, i'm young, i haven't covered that many elections. i don't think the media has ever been in such a situation where they find themselves wanting to be objective and cover things straight down the line but having to cover something with a straight face that they might find obscene. and only in the last couple months have i started to see the media actually start to react in calling what some people might be calling a spade a spade, and yet you still see them restricting themselves, holding themselves back a little bit because of this sanctity of the objectiveness of the press in the united states. which is different from europe, where people -- where reporters i feel feel like much more willing to, you know, state what they view as ridiculous or not. whereas in the united states we have this -- you could almost consider journalism, this objective journalism a religion. you have some people who adhere
to it who say, nope, i'm an objective journalist, i'll never say who i volt for, i will never say whether i'm registered. and then you have the new journalists, we've seen them at buzzfeed where the editor in chief has said, do you know what, you on social media, you oo are allowed to call donald trump a racist if you believe so because he is a racist. >> do you think donald trump could have been prosecuted for hate speech in france? >> definitely, yes. >> gene, you are -- i'm a big fan of gene, i have to confess. but gene is now the head and the chief operating officer of the museum institute, but he has been a journalist for 45 years. you are one of the founder of "the usa today." and you write a weekly national column called "inside the first
amendment." so, let's go inside the first amendment. how do you see this danger of religious correctness in the media? is this a real threat to journalistic freedom to this freedom to make us love to this freedom to offend? >> well, you know, it's interesting and mentioned this religion almost of objectivity, that's certainly be the religion that most journalists adhere to throughout my lifetime. there was always journalism of opinion. we started out with journalism of opinion actually and the first amendment was adopted to protect these very vitriolic editors that were sometimes funded by the candidates themselves. i disagree just a touch on the idea -- >> please do. >> thank you. that editors didn't publish the cartoons either in 2005 and '6 when they first came up to the danish press and then in europe and then again around the time of "charlie hebdo," because i think that the editorial process
there and it's the first amendment's freedom to publish that almost in a perverse way allows you not to publish. because if we're really honest particularly in 2006 after the initial publishing in denmark of the cartoons about the muslim prophet muhammad, much of that publication came about to show that you could. either to stand up to laws that were in place or laws that had been in place and repealed, but which someone would fear would come back. so, there was almost a lack of ajourna journ journalistic reason to publish. i can publish this if i want for all these reasons. having the right to publish also gives you the freedom to decide not to publish. >> of course. of course. how do you tell that story without publishing the cover of "charlie hebdo" after the massacre? >> after the cover -- after the killings, you have to show that cover. and we did here at the museum. i participated in that -- >> but many did not.
>> but i think the decision initially and to some degree with the cover was to say what editors always do, which is it will offend a sizable or some portion of my readership. i can describe it -- i can describe those original cartoons in a manner that let people understand them without having to necessarily publish them. and repetitive publishing. i also draw a distinction i guess between on cable news where this thing was repeated over and over and over and over again where i'm utterly familiar with those cartoons and it's the 107th time they're being shown where there was no need there for understanding, there was no benefit of understanding. so, i think the first amendment basically says to editors and still does in the united states, you have this right to make a decision about what you'll publish. when it comes to religious -- to blasphemy, we have no effective blasphemy laws in the u.s. and i think the solution has been, unlike in europe, where
there is -- and it worries me a little bit about, again, this call to re-examine your clear and present danger standard, that there is a necessity for the law to step in. we've relied on the market place of ideas, no matter offensive, no matter what the repugnant language or imagery that might be put out, absent that clear and present danger, that immediate threat, that realistic threat, the answer is more speech, not less. the restriction inevitably glorifies the speaker. i think over history it's shown it's ineffective. particularly in the age of the internet, you're not going to stamp out an idea. if i didn't publish the cartoon, if i didn't publish it in moline, illinois, and maybe you did if you're looking, but if you didn't, you did that with a certainty that there was absolutely no barrier to 95% of your audience seeing that
imagery somewhere. and, in fact, some editors chose to take the issue that we won't put it on the front page image or an image that's static that you pass by that you're not a willing rim ing recipient of t information but we'll give you a link to the website and be an active participant. some people criticized it as cowardly or ducking the issue. i think there was some purchase from some editors who said if i'm in the rack or a table or invisible somewhere people can be an unwilling person seeing that, if you make the conscious decision to look, fine, and we'll provide it for you. >> gene, if i could just pick up on your points about editorial standards. first the notion of whether or not journalism must be or must have the pretense of objectivity. i mean, i wonder where is h.l. mencken now that we need him so desperately. can you imagine him covering this presidential campaign. it would just be priceless. the closest thing we've had to that is jon stewart and sadly
he's no longer on "the daily show." with respect to your points about the right not to publish, obviously, the right to speak involves the right not to speak. and when newspapers or other publications make editorial decisions, that's editing, not censorship, okay. it's important to draw a distinction there. but there is a serious difference between that, between having an editorial policy, for example, that says you're not going to publish four-letter words even though you have every right under the first amendment to publish them. and not publishing something because there is an external threat saying if you publish that, we will kill you and that's the situation we have here that makes it so radically different from anything else we face. >> just before you answer, i just want really to -- i like this fact that blasphemy allegation are used to restrict free speech all over the world in bangladesh and russia, and
countries have actually laws penalizing blasphemy, and eight of these countries are members of the european union, but, of course, we think of beangladesh saudi arabia where the blogger was sentenced for insulting islam to 1,000 lashes. so, we are talking about these laws against our sel self-censorship. >> lest we forget just in this year we've had people in bangladesh hacked to death in different circumstances for raising questions about religion. so, the intimidation is not -- as you really would note, limited to just journalist being afraid, but i think now there's this larger threat of anyone that speaks out. >> and let's not just focus on islam because the sort of anti-blasphemy notions infect all kinds of national laws. in october of this last year,
polish supreme court upheld a fine against a rock performer because she said the bible was written by people drunk with wine and smoking some stuff and that she believes more in dinosaurs than in the bible. and that, by the way, was upheld as being a perfectly acceptable law. the monty python classic "life of brian" was banned in certain countries. as a matter of fact, it was banned in norway and in sweden they ran ads saying it's so funny it was banned in norway. and so you have these kinds of laws that exist. and the kind of malleable protections of freedom of expression under the european convention uphold those kind of laws. again, it's not confined just to islam. >> if i can round out my observations about why editors didn't publish at the time. as we see it wasn't just the threat of the moment, i think there is probably more necessity to say i'm going to publish. i'm generally in favor of publishing everything, but i
suspect editors now would say balancing that idea of offending someone in their audience, it's such an ongoing and continuing and growing threat across the line that i think now editors would probably make somewhat different decisions than they might have made a year ago because the context is so different. the necessity to stand up what is clearly now not just an isolated incident or two-time kind of -- but now this constant push to restrain, restrict and intimidate, i think as an editor you probably will have a different decision in terms of that. >> can i ask a question? >> yes. >> what do you -- what is -- in your opinion do you understand newspapers such as "the new york times" not publishing the cartoons, and do you -- or do you feel as though in the aftermath, i know you refer to this in your essay, but do you feel in the aftermath they should have in a show of solidarity or do you see where they would link to coverage of it elsewhere so as to publish it
themselves? >> no. i will explain to you why. when we decided with "charlie hebdo," i think there was a problem with the sound. >> yes. >> when we decided in "charlie hebdo" in 2006 to publish the danish cartoons of the prophet muhammad, it was absolutely for the pleasure, absolutely not. just for you to know myself, i've seen those cartoons three months before the panic started worldwide, because an iranian colleague of mine did show me those cartoons and ask me does "charlie hebdo" publish them and maybe it's really cartoons for the danish debate. but in "charlie hebdo" we have our own publication, we don't need to publish those cartoons. but when three months after that, when the campaign to kill the danish cartoonist, the death
threats astas started and not o denmark but worldwide when some embassy did burn, in syria, in iran, and that all actually the danish cities were on the death threats because of those cartoons. our decision in "charlie hebdo" was first journalistically, one, it's just going to say we're going to speak about this polemic but how can we speak about this polemic without showing the cartoons it's just not making any sense from the journalist's point of view. and ten years after when my colleagues have been killed in the name of publishing and showing those cartoons, when i've been myself personally and many others arrested by journalists from usa, journalists from uk to see the cover of "charlie hebdo" was going to answer to that slaughter. and when they see the cover was
really the sweetest one in the world, i mean, again, this muhammad saying i love charlie and crying and saying everything is forgiven. when they see the cartoons, they did start to criticize it, without showing it. so, sorry, this is my cat. i found myself in the strange position after a very, very hard day being interviewed by skynews hearing for the 1 millionth time more critics about these cartoons that nobody were showing, that people could not have legitimate about that. and when i tried simply to show it because as a journalist mostly i wanted just people to have their own idea on the cartoon. they did cut the live. they censor me. and plus, they did express their huge -- they did express -- they apologized actually not from cutting me from the live but for the believers who could be
shocked by the -- almost the view of "charlie hebdo." can you imagine -- can you imagine what is the message of that? the message is what "charlie hebdo" is doing is deeply wrong. they are doing something so, so horrible that you cannot even see it. we cannot show it in tv. and to itself, to your question about "new york times," "new york times" during the cartoon's affair about the danish cartoons about muhammad, did unbelievable papers against "charlie hebdo." some that i believe personally that put us in danger, because they twisted completely what we have done. and they refused to show the cartoons, of course. but, for example, when there is a polemic another blasphemy case, when there is a cartoonist who didn't attack a painting in the usa, what did "the new york times"? they speak, they did speak about the polemic and, of course, they
did show the painting was accused of being blasphemied from those extremists. so, my question is, why "the new york times" is showing the cartoons or painting when they do defend extremists and why is not doing it when it do offend muslim extremists. the only explanation to that is fear. is the cost of the -- the fact that you can be killed for that. and i don't have any problem that they are saying it. they didn't show the cover of "charlie hebdo," my colleague have been killed because they did support the custom and they were not able to show the cover of "charlie hebdo," because they are so, so in danger. they are so afraid, but at least they admit that they didn't show the cover of "charlie hebdo" because they are too afraid. and this is the only honesty. we asking for it, actually.
>> gene? >> i just want to say that we received some criticism and when we posted that cover the day after it was published. and the only explanation or -- not even explanation but answer i had was that understand we're publishing this for the purpose of information, not insult. and we have an obligation. we're not a news organization, but we post front pages on the front of our building every single day that are news worthy and tiparticularly when we chos the international publications and it was particularly news worthy and we haven't been subjected that you have faced and your colleagues have faced. i thought it was an important distinction to make. that our intent was information. whether it's satire whether it's to provoke discussion it was a legitimate purpose to inform people and we felt it had to be out there along with the other front pages around the world reporting the incident. >> actually there's one last issue i wanted to discuss with
all of you which is the kind of national security instinct and impact and consequences that we've seen since the "charlie hebdo" attacks but also the terrorist attacks in november. and actually "the new york times" yesterday published an opinion piece expressing its extreme concerns towards the push to diminish civil liberties in france. and really i want to ask the question of -- are we going to a worst french patriot act? did we learn anything from what happened in the u.s.? and have you seen in france and in the u.s. national securities laws abusing basic freedoms and how it impact journalists. should we start with carlin, bob? >> start with them. >> i'm curious in terms of the election, since you're covering.
we've seen this some candidates come out and say they would restore the now limited surveillance proposal. i suppose we're all over the map but is there a general trend what candidates feel they must say about national security even at the costs of limiting some freedom? >> i think the trend that i'm seeing is they would do whatever it takes to keep people safe. the theme of the election is fear. it's the fear of the unknowns. it's fear of muslims. it's fear of, you know, black lives matters activists. it's just fear. >> intimidation across the board. >> it's fear which translates into anger. and so that's -- that's the overall theme that we've seen is, like, it doesn't -- we will do whatever it takes to keep you safe. now, when you get into the nitty-gritties of it has to when candidates and when voters get uncomfortable. because they say i don't want you tracking me but at the same time after an attack happens,
they say, how did we not know this was going to happen. >> why didn't you track them as opposed to me. >> fear always erodes first amendment values. we've seen it after any number of national crises and we saw it after 9 11 and the national security agency apparatus that was built up to vacuum in all the metadata from phone records. and while it looked like we were on a course towards some correction toward that, we still had a current administration that was issuing more subpoenas for journalists than any in history and threatening prosecutions under the espionage act and so on. and now finally the nsa program has ended. that debate has been refreshed by the attack in paris and other events so that you now have presidential candidates saying that it's absolutely a mistake to rein in the nsa, that we need to have all kind of limits and including having registration for people of a certain faith and so on. so, fear definitely is the
theme. and it definitely has an adverse impact on civil liberties. >> how do you see the debate in france in the french press of, like, national security versus basic freedoms? >> first, as you said that the press love to debate. debate a lot about those terrorists du jour. it's kind of honestly most of the french today are really more concerned about facing the next attack and prevent it. because we know that we have fatahism, probably radicals, almost 3,000 in syria who can come back and do a terrorist attack. and we know that -- the cat again. and we know that -- it's a terrorist cat.
only for -- honestly the first priority of most of the french is to have a better intelligence service who can prevent that. but on the left, mostly the left, of course, we are very concerned about not going too far in the name of this fear and this really important security situation. for example, there is a big debate about shall we or not put the emergency state measures inside the constitution. so, yes, we will continue to debate. honestly from the journalistic point of view we're quite well protected. today if i compare my situation to the situation of many friends i have who are algerian journalists and i know that in the '90s they did face this crazy, crazy times where they were under the threat of the terrorists and at the same time they were with this authoritarian state under the
head, we can really do a lot of abuse in the name of fighting terrorism. we are not today in that situation. we can trust the state to be quite balanced about all of this. the situation we're more worried about, of course, if it is one day we can imagine that -- we can imagine that if the terrorist attacks are commenting every month, in a few years i don't know if we can -- we will be able to continue to stop the rising of the extreme right. i don't know. people are going to be really exhausted. can use some law very, very badly. but i want to just fill you more because i'm hearing a lot of worries about france in the u.s. media. be sure of that, even in france you cannot say some things like
donald trump just said in your campaign. listing people because they are muslims, of course, he will be sued, of course, he will be under persecution from anti-terrorist organization, it's just not something we can even think during a campaign today. it's more than extreme right. it is just insane. >> so, you studied pretty precisely the danger of this new security laws in france. so, what are your main concerns about this? >> in fact, first, i mean, i think it's -- it's massive what's going on right now because you have a project of reforming the constitution which basically was announced a couple of days after the attack on november 13. that project contains two important measures. one which could strip minorities of their citizenship and another which i think which is even more
important creating the search and seizures at night. that was a taboo in french law, no search and seizure between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. and they want to shield the search and seizures from judicial control. this is -- this is really something -- something -- it's heavy. then, i mean, if we look at the number of statute that have been passed in anti-terrorism, it's actually one statute anti-terrorism per year and we have a new one which is announced for next year. but we have i mean, a statute on intelligence that was passed in april which basically allows the french government to place secret algorithm opponents have called that a black box at the internet provider, basically to
access all the metadata, that means right of surveillance of all the french public. then you have, i mean, the statute on december the 2014 which was statute passed to -- because a lot of youth are -- a lot of young radicals are going to fight in syria. and that statute, in fact, created the offense of individual terrorism. i mean, which basically for american -- an american audience is basically to say that conspiracy requires only one person. that's how inventive the government is. and then if you look, i mean, you had another statute after the case in france that was, i mean, those assassination of soldiers and jewish population in 2012, you had many, many,
many statute. at least, i mean, i think you have four and another four just a anti-terrorism. the point between all those statutes and that's where we see the biggest threat is, in fact, more and more we are moving to criminalize not activity, not -- but intention. >> yeah. >> this is where you are, i mean, this is where we are engaged on a very slippery slope. and it's -- it's changed from criminal law which was based on deterrence, retribution, to a criminal law which is based on some form of what we call government authority, it tries to basically preempt the act. it tries to.
it's a predative criminal law. if you look at the statutes it's about collecting more information to preempt the act. we don't use, for example, in the law another statute, november 2014, which extends the state of emergency until february 26 and authorize certain measures against individual rights. you have change of term from the prior law on the 1955 and the state of emergency. the important term is to substitute the term activity for behavior. now, it's mean if you have serious reason to determine that not an activity but a behavior is potentially dangerous, you can intervene, you can order
search and seizure. this is much more of a problem and i think -- >> i think we will have to say good-bye to our c-span audience, but, of course, now we can welcome questions from the audience. if there's any questions. >> we invite you to come to microphones on the other side of the room if there are questions. if i could perhaps while people are gathering a thought. you mentioned activity versus intention, and in the u.s. i think we phrase it conduct versus ideas. >> and beyond that. you have a continuum from conduct to words to thought. >> to thoughts. and, you know, i think, again, one of the examples in our own history going back to the sedition act but going back to attempts by the great liberator lincoln to restrain newspaper editors to restrain ideas around world war i, world war ii, we see these attempts to respond to fear by this sort of governmental intention to limit somehow an idea by preventing or jailing or imprisoning or
banning the practitioners or the people who propose those ideas. and over again and again, we learn the best and dotidote is express the ideas we do like and have some kurgcurrency. we had a program on the ability of isis to capture the attention of the world through the internet and we've done a program with the fbi director here about their counterterrorism efforts and you come back to one essential fact. the more information that is positive, that is at least truthful, is the best counter to all of this. that the attempt to restrain, to restrict, to ban is either ineffective in the short or in the long term and we've learned that in our history. and i think that's one of the great things as we take the lessons of "charlie hebdo," even facing these tragic murders and acts by terrorists is that we cannot surrender that idea of safety over the idea of freedom. it has to be our ultimate
defense. and we know from history that that ultimately is what triumphs. >> and that idea translates beyond just safety, but also to the question of offensiveness. >> yes. >> i mean, i think if you take the notion of the antidote to bad speech being more speech and you take an example like the westboro baptist church this, of course, for people who aren't aware of it is a little cult from kansas that believed that all of the ails that we fales as a nation are due to the fact that we're too tolerant of homosexuality and their method of combatting that was to protest at military funerals and other venues saying very hateful things. and the supreme court addressed whether the speech was too hateful and harmful, and it takes hate speech and distills it into a very pure form. the question is how do you deal with that. to begin with, you have to ask yourself are they really persuading anybody of anything. you take those messages out there and it tells you the
marketplace of ideas isn't just their message that goes out unfiltered. the market place of ideas is not just what they say but what others say in response and what the audience here comes away with. so, you know, allowing these people to spew this hatred, didn't slow the drive in the united states towards marriage equality. it didn't cause people to be less tolerant. instead people saw them for what they were and made their own decisions. and in terms of the best antidote for hate speech being more speech, i think, well, two things really well illustrate that with the westboro baptist church, whenever they would protest you would see people with signs with really funny and outrageous things in response. but more importantly when the patriarch of that church died, outside his funeral you had protesters, not even protestors, but people standing with signs saying we're sorry for your loss. what better response could there be? >> yeah. >> i think we will take the question and then i will
probably ask you to do some closing remarks with your last points you wanted to make today. sir, please? >> yes, i'm robert destra, i'm a fellow here at the museum institute and a professor at catholic law school. i wanted to ask you about coverage and, you know, the -- most of the discussion today has focused on the victims. and what i'd like to ask you to address is why haven't we seen more coverage of the criminals. i believe, you know, the professor mentioned the question about these are criminals who are doing this, they are murderers. you know, they attacked -- the same weekend they attacked a jewish grocery store, you know, why aren't we seeing in-depth coverage of who isis is? the assumption appears to be that they're right-wingers but we don't really know who they are. what i wonder is why the press isn't really covering who isis is.
>> i would argue that the press has been covering who isis is. maybe -- i think one of the biggest barriers to it perhaps is the access, you know, it's very difficult to get into syria and iraq where a lot of these militants are. but i would argue that there has been really great coverage. one that pops to mind and maybe because i'm friends with the author the huffington post published an investigative piece about the mothers of some of these european sons who have gone into -- who have become isis militants and how that process happened and why it happened. i think we're starting to see more of it, but i think, you're right, that there should be more coverage of it. but i think a lot of it is just the barriers to being able to go there and live through it and being able to go there and get access to them. but i think certain outlets like vice news has done a lot of great coverage of actually getting in there, buzzfeed as well. >> ""the atlantic"" did this big
investigation what isis really wants. >> and also there's a real change in the posture of the ability of journalists to function across the planet and we're seeing it in this year the reporters without borders and the committee to protect journalists and terrorists was down 40%. and journalists in the past were the mechanism by which your message got out and so they were sort of a neutral party even if they weren't truly neutral. but they were seen as a way to get your message out and particularly if you were an insurgent group where you didn't have the power of the government to control or to at least insert themselves into the media of a country or a region, you needed those reporters to come in and talk to them and reporters could go into an encampment of a rebellion or to a group that -- even a terrorist group, be invited in because that was how you got your message out. well, it's not even a neutral circumstance for journalists anymore.
might have been needed in the past. not just neutral, they're now an antagonist to your ability to control the message about your group and go directly via the web to take that message out. so, one of the limitations that's come up ironically as a result being able to communicate more information faster to a greater audience is this ability of individual terrorist groups or whatever to get their own message out. so, if you're a working journalist, you're no longer that necessity, you're really a threat. and i think that's also prevented a number of people from going into places where the ultimate violence is a daily occurrence. >> actually, as reporters without borders we just published a report on monday describing how isis and alshahab and boca haram in nigeria are restricting the access to journalists, controlling the media, developing their own media and how actually journalists becomes targets and how violence become a message
especially violence against journalists. and actually in this report we published a kind of commandments of isis towards journalists and especially iraqi and syria journalists in the zone they control. and one of the first amendments or commandments say journalists will write against the islamic state are considered enemy soldiers. so, that just puts you in the perspective of these groups. >> i have to say that, in fact, it was only proposed within the pentagon on how to have what we would -- grown to call embedded journalists, actually identified journalists as potentially combatants because of the potential for them not to write on script. it was withdrawn. someone did propose that within a report on how the u.s. developed its own media relations guidelines, so it obviously was a lot less pejorative and you only banned from going, there was no intention of harm.
but still there was the attitude that the media is now the antagonist and the flow of information, the free flow of information is somehow to be feared. >> a couple of words. i mean, in fact, you have had a lot of portrait of the lone wolf particularly, i mean, there have been many reports. so, in fact, what i would really recommend to you is to read the articles about who is a candidate for radicalization. he identified that, in fact, it's -- he's meant this to say that it's not -- it's not a radicalization of islamic -- of islamism but an islamization of radicalization. and, in fact, he explains that you have two particular groups that are concerned from french people actually in europe,
that's more like the second generation. and the convert. which already a convert in the '90s they were allowed part of those who were going to fight in global jihad. so, i think the thesis is very interesting in this respect. >> so, i think it would be time to conclude. i want to thank you, again, for staying with us through skype. i wish you would have been with us, but i know you're really very demanded these days. and i really give you my best regards and all the best for the days to come in france. a lot of commemoration to come. thank you, again. i don't know if you have a few words to say. but i want to thank bob, gene, and renault for all being here today for this discussion. and i want to thank all of you for following us today for this discussion. and hopefully we will continue
to discuss these freedoms actively. thank you. c-span takes you on the road to the white house and into the classroom. this year our student cam documentary contest asks students to tell us what issues they want to hear from the presidential candidates. follow c-span's road to the white house coverage and get all the details about our student cam contest at cspan.org. join us later today for more from the road to the white house with carly fiorina.
the republican presidential candidate is hosting a town hall meeting in meredith, new hampshire. watch that live starting at 6:30 p.m. eastern on our companion network c-span 2. and we have more from the campaign trail tomorrow with ohio governor john kasich who is also hosting a town hall in new hampshire, he'll be in exeter. you can watch that efent live at 5:15 p.m. eastern friday on c-span and, of course, next week president obama delivers his last state of the union address to congress. it's live next tuesday the 12th at 9:00 p.m. eastern on our companion network c-span. this year marks the 75th anniversary of the four freedom speech by franklin d. res velt which he gave during his 1941 state of the union address. here's some background on that event. >> this year marks the 75th anniversary of president franklin d. roosevelt's four freedom speech, the core part of his state of the union on
january 6th, 1941. and we are joined by the director of the fdr presidential library and museum, paul sparrow. what was the four freedom speech, paul? >> well, it was really an opportunity for him to try to explain why america should care about the war that was raging in europe and the war that was raging in the east in asia, and it was a way for him to try to look at the future and say what are we going to be fighting for. the four freedoms, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion, freedomen from want and freedom from fear. he felt these were the things that defined the difference between democracy and the dictatorships at that point running rampant throughout the world. and the american public at that point was still fairly isolationist. they didn't want to get involved in the european war. they were still angry about the fact they hadn't been repaid from the loans from world war i. roosevelt was trying to hem them understand it was a global
world, it was a global village and things happening overseas directly affected them and would impact their ability to enjoy these freedoms that were so vital to american democracy. >> it's called the four freedoms speech. it's part of the january 6th state of the union speech. what was the reaction by congress and the rest of the american public to that speech? >> well, what's interesting. there was a little bit of a delayed reaction. i mean, at first, you know, there were some critics who sort of panned the speech. and, of course, it really is only the last 2:30 of the speech that ran over 30 minutes long where in the first part of the speech is a fairly traditional, back then it was called the annual address to congress, but it was a fairly traditional state of the union address, well, here's what i've done, here's what's going on in the world. but what happened is the four freedoms really gained momentum over time and became a really central rallying cry. obviously, you know, norman rockwell created the four paintings several years later which on to raise $180 million in war bonds, traveled the
world, they became, of course, very famous. it generated a park four freedoms park on roosevelt island in new york, and four freedoms awards are given every year, international awards. so, it really created the foundation for what the world came to think of as these essential freedoms and, of course, it motivated eleanor roosevelt when he was drafting the universal declaration of human rights for the united nations in many ways formed the foundation of that seminal document in the postwar world. >> your website at the fdr library museums mentions that fdr went through some seven drafts of this. how do you think, what was his inspiration, fdr's inspiration, for these four freedoms? where did he find that? >> i think the core inspiration was obviously the first amendment. i think he understood the power of the first amendment, but the first amendment in addition to speech and religion, it has, you know, assembly and petition and things that were a little hard for people to understand in the
contemporary society, so he wanted to draw from the strength of the first amendment this idea that the government cannot interfere with these core freedoms. but it wanted to expand that so that the idea was that you had this freedom from want, that people shouldn't starve to death, that the government has some responsibility to take care of their people. and freedom from fear, you know, in the sense that government should not be able to just invade neighboring countries, that there should be a sense of sovereignty and that people should be able to live in a safe and secure world. and this was the underpinnings of his whole philosophy about peace, about global peace, and why he felt so strongly about creating the united nations, that only when you had a core shore shum of countries working together could you prevent the kind of horror that they had experienced in world war i, and that was now unfolding in asia and europe. >> flash forward 75 years to 2016. how do you think that concept the four freedoms speech fits into today's world, in today's political climate here in the u.s.? >> well, it's quite
extraordinary. almost everything the roosevelts fought for 75 years ago is relevant today. it's on the front pages of the newspapers. it leads our television shows, this idea of religious intolerance is driving much of the violence we see in the middle east, this idea of the freedom of speech and expression is underpinning all of the issues where you have the totalitarian governments still trying to repress the rights of their people to speak, you know, in china just very recently they changed the laws to make it even harder for bloggers and people to comment online. obviously this freedom from want is critical. we've seen a fairly dramatic increase in the quality of life across the world. there are fewer people living in abject poverty today that any point in recorded human history, so there has been progress made. but i think if you think about freedom from fear, americans root now are being inundated with these messages of fever, with these messages that we are in danger. in fact, it's a safer world now than it has ever been, but there are these terrorist organizations out there that are inflicting terror and the way
media operates today, relatively small events take on global significance. if you think about, you know, in 1941, you know, more than a million people were killed by the nazis. you know, the level of physical violence, the level of death and destruction happening then was so much greater than we're experiencing today. and yet the fear factor today is extremely high. so, i think the idea of creating a world in which people are free from fear, then you would eliminate things like the syrian refugee crisis. if people felt like they could stay in their homes and they would be protected regardless of their religion, they would have an opportunity to earn a living and protect their families, then you wouldn't be seeing, you know, the greatest refugee crisis since the end of world war ii. >> paul sparrow is director of the franklin d. roosevelt presidential library and museum. thanks for being with us. >> thank you very much for having me. >> and up next, here's a look at that four freedoms speech, part
of the 1941, january 6th, 1941, state of the union address -- >> the first is freedom of speech and expression. everywhere in the world. the second is freedom of every person to worship god in his own way everywhere in the world. the third is freedom from want. which translated into world terms means economic understanding which will secure to every nation a healthy, peacetime life for its inhabitants everywhere in the world. the fourth is freedom from fear.
which translated into world terms means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any. neighbor anywhere in the world. it's placed in the hands and heads had and hearts of its millions of men and women. and its faith in freedom and the guidance. of human rights everywhere.
support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them our is our unity of purpose for that concept that can be no end saved victory. in his first question time of 2016, the british prime minister answered questions on climate change, incentives for first time home buyers and aid for flood victims. members acknowledge the 400th re anniversary of shakespeare's death. this is 35 minutes.
>> thank you, mr. speaker. this later morning meetings and shall have further meetings later today. >> karen lumbarly.rists >> confirmed that while he's prime minister of this country condemning terrorists attacks will not be a bar to holding tegh office.e. >> i would say to my friend is condemning terrorist attacks is an essential component of that s aspiringho to high office in th country. and that should be the case whether you're a sha e doe minister or a minister of the crown. it is just worth recalling what it is that the member of southeast said. e he said this. terrorists are entirely responsible for their own actions. no one forces anyone to kill innocent people in paris, blow up the underground, behead aid workers in syria. he was absolutely right to say that.
frankly i think it speaks volumes he can't sit in the shadow cabinet with the leader of the >> topposition. l >> jeremy corr ben.service >> i would like to thank the firefighters, rescue services, police, armed services, engineers and workers and localn governmentds workers for the ry. volunteers. for all the work they did in keeping safe thousands of peopla from the floods that have affected this country. inime, january 2014 following tq devastating floods at that timee now two years ago the prime minister said, and i quote, there are always lessons to be t learned and i will make sure they are learned. were they? first of let me join the leader in thanking the emergency services, police, fire service, also the search and rescue teamt who spewent from around the couy
to areas that were flooded. thank the military for the s work they did.y as he says, what we saw was communities coming together and volunteers carrying out extra d order nar work. let me deal directly with this besue of lessons learned.d. my own constituency badly have flooded in b2007, having had h floods as being prime minister, i think a a number of lessons have been learn ed. this time the military came in before.er than ever the scheme was funded a at 100%, not 85%. more money was got to communities more quickly. so a lot of lessons have been learned. are there more to sur learn?e i'm sure there are. there always are. that's why we'll mreview everything that's been done. let's be clear.conomn as we do that that we will make money available because we have a strong economy to build flood resilience in our country. in 2011 flood defense project in the leads was cancelled on a th grounds by the government.mitted
1,000 homes and businesses were flooded in recent weeks. the government is still only committed to a w scaled down version of the project worth a fraction of its total cost. when the prime minister claimed that money was rel no object wht came to flood relief. when he meets the leader of leads council in the near go ar future, willom he guarantee thel full, scheme to protect leads tf from future flooding? >> first of all, let me answer one point. it is worth putting on record before we get on to flood defense investment. this was the wettest december d for over 100 years. in leads and york shire, it was the t wettest december ever on record and that's why rivers in yo york shire wasf a meter higher than it's ever been in its had b history. in terms of flood defenses, no
schemes have been cancelled since 2010. 2 the investment in flood defenses was i$1.5 billion in the last labor government. 1.7 billion in theion inis govep i led as a coalition government it over $2 billion in this parliament.he it's gone. up and up and it's gone up nees because we have run an. economy in e we're able to invest the things that our country needs. and one more point. econas not forget this. we inherited the plan for our economy for a 50% cut in capital spending and it was not a a protected department. we protected that spending skpin creased. quest >> of course, the rivers were high, but the prime minister still not answered the questions
on the leads flood protection scheme. i give him an opportunity to do so in a moment.in in in 2014 county council applied for funding for new schemes, both were turned down. mis the schemes were also a mistake. >> we're spending more on floode defense schemes and are stacking up a series of schemes that we'll spend more on. schemes let me make this point.ing if he's going to spend 10 billions of pounds, where's he going to find theat money for ub flood defenses.s when i the idea that this individual would be faster in responding to floods when it takes him three days to carry out a reshuffle io frankly laughable.he since i walked into the chamber this morning, he shadowed run defense minister and he couldn't
run anything. >> mr. speaker, it's very strang when i have asked a question about leads floods defense the prime minister still seems unable to answer it. can he now tell us if there's going to be funding for those schemes? in october professor collin the head of the regional flood and coastal committee warned the government about funding cuts tp flood defenses being formally discontinued. can the t prime ministerhat nows us is he going to reverse the ra cutss in the defense that have taken place to make sure that l those cities and areas are inc protected in the next round g on floods, which will no doubt fit come. >> we have continued to in.s crease the spending on flood g defense. we're spending more in this parliament and for the first time it's a enses.six-year spenf
perspective with just 2.3 billion. pounds e extra on flood defenses. ofney that wouldn't be available if we trash the economy in the way that he proposes. of course, after every incident of flooding you goat you back an look at what you've spent, whats you have build. m built, what you're planning to spend, what you're planning to build and see what more can be done. the headary toe a of the enviro agency was absolutely clear he had the money necessary to take' the actions necessary.more but we can only do that with a strong economy. an economy that is growing. where more people are in work, o paying taxes, we have the w strength. to solve this problem of floods, and we will do it in a proper way.g] >> mr. speaker, the prime minister hasn't answered on e im leads. he hasn't answered on the bee warning from the professor. m like him last week i met peopled in york, who had been affected
by flooding. i met a young couple whose home had been flooded over christmas. it wasn't very funny for them. this young couple lost many of their possessions. wa fphotos, toys, schoolwork and e they have the foul stench of flood water in their homes as many families have all over this country. they are asking all of us legitimate questions. why was it that the insufficient pump capacity again alerted to e in 2013 by a government report was nott dealt with and those pumps were not upgraded.ar thus people were flooded in york and their possessions and homes severely damaged.>> with those people want answers from all of us and in particular frot the prime minister. >> i have the greatest sympathy
with anyone that's been flooded. we have to do what it takes to o get to communities back on their feet. that's why we put record sums in more quickly to help communitiet in cambria and now in york shird and will continue to do that. i on the pumps, that was about to be tended for extrap investment. that will now go ahead because the money is the there. so we're putting in the money., the military got involved more quickly and to thatl couple whor got flooded, we're also doing d something that previous cavernments have talked about whichn is an insurance scheme td every single household in our country can get insured. now that's not been done beforee lessons been learned, yes, they have. are there more lessons to learn, there always are. we don't need a lecture from the honorable gentleman. s >> mr. speaker, the reality is
that flood defense scheme after flood defense scheme has been cancelled, postponed or cut. many more homes have been flooded and too many lessons have been ignored. looks why can't the prrmt support our calls for a coordinated cross party approach to flooding that looks at everything including upper management to making people's homes more flood resilience and more protection e schemes properly funded. such does the prime minister agree at least with this. the fire and rescue service havr done such a great job over the last few weeks in all parts of s this country should now be given a statutory duty to deal with floods to help us through any crisis that might occur in the future. >> i think this is the best i can say is to coordinate his own party to come and have a word rd with yme. have t on the issue of a statutory
duty, everybody knows what they have to do when floods take he place. that's why there was such a a magnificent response from the emergency rescue services. and they have our backing to do thed vital work and we'll go on investing in flood defenses and uncrease the money because we got a strong economy and a strong country that can back the action that'sg] needed. >> 2016 sees us mark the an v s anniversary of william shakespeare's passing away. friend agree with me that our country should unite to commemorate his works. there are special events. can i invite my friend the whole house and the world to come and
celebrate the greatest. >> i think it is a very good moment. the 400th anniversary of the death of shakespeare. c ate force to celebrate everythi he has given to our language and our culture and to the world.e it's beginning to be a fantastic moment for pop to come and visit wiitain and see all the otherer places that have shary such a g association with shakespeare.onr i find that shakespeare providet language for every moment. consider what we're thinking about at the moment. there was a moment when it looked like this reshuffle couls go into its 12th night. concl it was a revenge reshuffle so it was going to be as you like it. we can conclude it's turned into something of a comedy of eras, perhaps much to do about nothing. there will be those that worry.r
>> thank you. thank you very much for the warm welcome. doctors in scottland are not planning to strike. why do they think they have good relations? we i think heapproach raises an nhsortant question.'v we have taken a different approach to the government in scotland. . onhave increased spending scottl e ar the enhs by more than the havin government in scotland, which i think is the right approach. we're determine d to deal with thes issue of having a genuine seven-day nhs. everybody knows, doctors know, f
make sure we have new contracts including with junior doctors te make sure not that they work longer hours. under our plans,s,do manyct wil much less hours. not to reduce doctors pay. no one who works r legal hours g willo see a cut in their pay. 75% of doctors will see a a paye rise. so we think this is a a good deal for a good advance in the nhs. i'm sure m in sc scotland they will b be looking at itee too. >> mr. speaker, the government workbeen investing record levels of funding in the nhs in e rel scotland and also works hard tow havei the best possible relatios with the doctors and nurses and all of the nhs stuff. will the health sector speak too his scottish colleague to learn how to resolve the situation in england and stave off strike action which no one wants to see, least of all junior
doctors. unit >> there should always be good e discussions. health a ministers in the hs administrations. obviously one thing we think is important when we make a inn19 more i hasse funding the nhs as we have done, 19 es billion pounds more in this parliament, that has consequences for whals and ssing scotland under the formula. i find it very depressing that it the welsh have decided to spend less. >> my constituency both in the west continues to strengthen withth even surer and lab rates both relocating and hgrow.erit ing in westtrading horton. pound we're also seeing a heritage trading frames investing in
million pounds in equipping a new factory in lost stock and s trojans utilities winning new er contracts and more staff with ah prime minister agree with me that the northern power house isn't just about our great northern cities. it's also about our great northern towns. >> my friend is right. it's instructed that they don'tt want to hear goodim news about o businesses and jobswe and out t investment that are happening ie our economy. sometimes it can sound as if the plan for a northern power house is all about the cities of the north of england. by linking up the cities, you also help thee towns in the northwest and across our country. you also help the rural areas because you're orebalancing ou economy and increasing opportunity in the north of our country. >> thank you, mr. speaker. respo >> in 2014 a response to the flooding of the valley, the the prime minister said c that mone would be no object.
in the lougt of his cuts to the flood defenses, his cuts to the fire and rescue service, the cuts to the environment agency, can he o say the same to the t people of york, or one rule for his constituents and another for ours in the north. >> she's completely wrong about the funding figures. i 1.5 billion to 1.7 billion to 2 billion. the point is what we put in place under this government is s not funding 85% of what they spend, but funding of 100%. what i said absolutely stands good. >> simon? >> it's been a staunch supporter of the welsh tv channel set up under thee cha com government. gouf used this opportunity to reenforce the support for the channel>> and the l commitment have made to safeguarding its funding. >> iu amlar very happy to do th. it's an important part of our e
broadcasting wstructure.ke it's very popular and well liked in wales. i want to makee sure we meet bh the wording and the spirit to make sure this continues to be a strong channel. >> thank you,u,ou, mr. speaker. with homeownership down to its e lowest level in a a generation since he he became prime minister, why did they vote against labors amendment to the housing last night which would have presented the publicly funded discount for new starter homes for future buyers. isn't that better value for money for first time buyers and for the s taxpayer. yes or no? put the proposal for starter he homes is a conservative party put into our manifesto opposed throughout by the labor party. ofis is only happening because we put a housing bill through the house of commons. t
woer taking every step to get on the housing ladder. in london he represents we're ra help to buy now funding 40% of the home people want to buy rather than 20%. we're going to see 200,000 's starter homes bullet during this parliament. because we're managing our economy properly, interest rates are low. it's easier for people to get. a mortgage. with our help to save scheme, there's every opportunity for people to put aside money to help them with the uteldepositi sut. we arerethe absolutely on the sf the homeowner, but those people that want to get on the housing ladder, we're helping with jobs, help to buy, helping with help to save and crucially helping b. building more homes. >> on boxing day, it's my s and constituency suffered the worstn floods in memory with homes andl businesses. join with me in praising the efforts of everybody who pulled together to protect their honei community. will he ask by his honorable frd
the border to review the decision by the environment agency u to switch off the f memps? >> let me pay trubt to her t constituents who work around the clock with this high level of rainfall. emergency services for all the work they did. after floods like this, there are always questions about which pumps were used, which flood ny gates were open, what decisions were made by the ex. perts on the commuground. and it's very important having seen many communities flooded i, my own wor constituents.e learn important to hold meetings with community after community to go through those decisions and work out what lessons can be learned and what decisions were made. i pledge that should be done. as
for households and businesses, the schemes after 2013 that the money is paid out as quickly as ofbe. >> thank you very much, mr. speaker. in light of cou last month's pa climate agreement at which all countries agree to increase their ambition and to keep p global warming well below 2 degrees, does the prime minister agree we must begin the process ofrget strengthening the eu's 2 green. house gas target to a50% below 1990 levels at the very least a position which he argued for at the europeanhat council? >> a very big step forward es a because previouss agreements l. didn't include action by china e or america and now you have all the big countries, all the bim big as part of the deal. we did argue that the eu should go further. the we achieved an aggressive tances
package, but that was the best we could do in the circumstances. it helped. to bring about the agreement and no one should be at any doubt britain is playinga atistic major role. brita there's a great interest in this. e percentage of solar panels have been installed since this government took office in 2010 . expecting the answer might be 50%. the answer is 98%. >> thank you, mr. speaker. yesterday it was announces that the housingone zone would receir 313,000 pounds of government funding to kickth m starte workg build thousands of new homes in the city. with the prime minister agree this funding will help to abou reverse the lack of house building under the party opposite and enable struggling families to get on to the property ladder. >> i'm delighted to hear about e the development in his constituenc constituency. we built 700,000 d houses since 2010. there's a lot more that needs to be done.
. sometimes it's specific bits ofs infrastructure or specific planning permissions or disagreements between councils that need to be sorted out. but we shouldn't forget the faca that the developers will only go wiead with house build figure theyth believe it's a benign economic environment with a strong and growing economy and stable interest rates and all the things we need. it's the key to the success in housing. >> kevin?ses to >> the prime minister promised to cut the number of special advisers and the chancellor wants to limit pay increases to public sector employees to 1%.es how does he possibly square tha. with now having 26 more speciall advisers than in 2010 and a 42% pay inkrecrease for the image om consultant. >> there are fewer special advisers under this government than there was under the last government.
>> it's more than a matter of regret that the defense secretary see fit to take a donation and ambulance chase in lawyers who together with public interest lawyers specialize in handing out personnel in iraq. is it time we remove the latter of the human rights act and ye, commitment for a british bill of rights. thi >> we should honor our commitment for a british bill os rights. i look forward o to making progress on that. i do think this organization does have some questions to answer.rt they were deeply involved where a whole lot of claims completeln fell apart and there was that
evidence that could have shown that those claims were false. d it is instructive that we have lost a shadow sector of defense who believed in strong defense, who believededappare in our nuc deterrent and instead we've got someone who takes funds. that leaves us with serious questions to answer.uth. frankly, it goes to a bigger truth, which is one day this itf reshuffle will be over. and we will be left with a collection of politicians who signed up to unilateral nuclear disarmament, to racking up taxes, debt and spending and one of the left wing programs in living memory. this is a collective act they would have taken part if n. we shouldn't lab acting. the question is what on earth is a member of others doing in this labor party government.
>> there's also a shakespeare connection where midsummers nights dream was written. i wonder whether he will lend l his support to the proposal for aa shakespeare of the north as i celebration of the work of shakespeare. >> i think this sounds like excellent proposal. we shouldn't try and constrain shakespeare to stratford. we should be making sure this is a national and international celebration. i will look carefully the at the proposal he makes. >> maggie. >> the county council have announced plans for four homes including the hill crest as well as -- this is clearly an attack
on the elderly and vulnerable by u an authority with a proven track record of wasting sixpayers' money. will he lock at the situation s between the residents have roblm access to the levels o of care.t >> i'm happyhi to look at the problem and the issue that my ag honorable friend raises. a obviously, this is a labor d controlled council taking these decisions. what i would urge them to do isd look at the proposals that we made in the spending review, that counsels areecogni able toe surcharge on the counsel tax to fund additional social care and thenen recognize that their job instead of playing politics should be serving local people. >> last year the imf warned is t the most defining challenge of our time. ft it's guessing worse and slows economic ngrowth. by last night chief executives will have paid whol more for fi days work than the average t
worker will be paid for the tha whole of ve2016. getting a pay rise of 50% while the average worker had an average pay rise of 2%. will the prime minister support trcommendations to publish data on top pay to average pay.ose ar >> income equality has fallen i where itwe went up under labor.c those are the facts.equality . one of the biggesthe things we' doing to help with income inequality is to bring in a national living wage. this is the year that we're ist going to seehe people paying no tax until they have earned re 11,000 pounds. this is the year we'll see a te national living wage at 7 pound. 20.0. those are big advances. >> nigel? >> thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to pay tribute to the
countless numbers of rec people organizations who helped out during the recent floods. know yesterday i spoke with the chairman of the new insurance scheme and i know that people who have been hammered by the floods will welcome the fact their premiums will be squashed and won't meet accesses. but he told me it's not going t9 cover any houses built since l 2009 and it will not cover businesses either. will the prime minister look again at the scheme to ensure it is properly comprehensive. >> we are looking very carefully at the scheme, particularly on the issue of the businesses. what we have heard so far is a number of stories about small businesses saying it's going to be difficult to get insurance. meanwhile, the insurance companies are telling us they won't turn down any small business. s. we need to get to the bottom of this. ab sloutly key before we get the final instruction in april of
this year. >> thank you, mr. speaker. it was good to welcome the prime minister and the president of china to the airport in my constituency to talk about investments. but what's in the north's interest is extra capacity in the southeast. why does the prime minister continue to procrastinate? >> first of all, can i thank him and everyone who helped to welcome the president at the excellent lunch that was held io manchester and the very good visit at the airport.dle orde the point i would make in hi response to his question is ther environmental order committee o of this house and indeed the author of the original report both said that the problems of air quality do raise new questions that the government has to answer.ing t i'm in favor of answering those questions and then making a decision.hou >> two years ago, i think, ntari
tomorrow the house lost a superb parliamentary and colleague. aff we remember him with affection and respect and we also remember and think fondly of his widow and their children, who are all wonderful human beings. e we wish them well for the future. >> thank you, mr. speaker. th myankker as ortedr knows, constituency was decimated by gu the recent floods. it was reported in augusthat earlier this week that the bradford district would not receive any of the extra funding the prime ministerre. announcedr yorkshire for flood defenses. will he take this opportunity that that isn't the case, that whatever money is necessary to protect my constituency from futurere s flooding will be spent u and if he's struggling to find u the money, perhaps he could money from the aid budget because i'm sure he believes
that victims of flooding should not be discriminated in terms of flooding in other parts of the world. >> let me say we will do what ie takes to make sure that familie and communities and businesses can get back their feet.cord that's why we have invested more quickly into the areas that have been affected. sometimes the schemes have been bureaucratic, too much time uil has been taken.ther so whether it is building new bridges, repairing roads, whether it's building the flood went defenses, whether it's examinink where the water went this time and what more can be done, we b will make sure that work is carried out in bradford as prim everyone else. > thank you, mr. speaker.fe is the prime minister aware of the valuable work of the national wildlife crime unit in not just enforcing the law but proemoting animal welfare and part of thethe international eft against the trading. is he further aware that thed i funding for it expires in just a couple month's time and they
have yet to make a decision to continue it.make can i ask him to provide his friends to ensure that this is important and valuable work is continue d. >> my understanding is that we have kept thehisganiza funding organization.d itomest does important work domestically and in terms of overseas. i'll look carefully at whatdebad suggests. i think there is a decision to be made about the future, but wi backed this organization fully. >>. thank you, mr. speaker. >> my friend knows that the legacy still hangs over 500 people in our country today.ri the last parliament the prime us minister showed strong support to get a fair solution it the problems. th renew that pledge and work withat the old party group to ensure a just outcome. c >> prime minister? >> i'min very happy to make th
clear. the last parliament i met with my own a constituents who were affected and had a number of things theygo wantedind lia parliamentaries to do. i'm happy to continue to work with them in this parliament. >> order. on the next washington journal, massachusetts congressman jim mcgovern discusses a report on hunger and federal nutrition assistance programs. after that texas representative louie gohmert looks at the standout. plus your phone calls, facebook comments and tweets all on washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. here's a look at some of our featured programs this weekend on "american history tv" on c-span 3. next tuesday president obama will deliver his last state of the union address to a joint session of congress. this saturday and sunday beginning at 1:00 p.m. eastern,
we'll feature four state of the union speeches by former presidents during their last year in office. on saturday it's jimmy carter and ronald reagan. and on sunday p george h.w. bush's final state of the union followed by president bill clinton. also saturday morning at 10:30, lynn manuel play right and star ofham the on to accepts the book prize special achievement award. and sunday morning at 10:00 on road to the white house rewind, we'll look back to the 1984 presidential campaign and a debate between eight candidates in iowa. >> whom we elect to replace that man has to have the trust and confidence of the american people and it has to be on matters spoken in public and in private. private promises and public statements for the american people being the same. it has to be for all our people. >> for our complete weekend schedule, go to c span.org. we need to know how many
people are reading us. we need to know how they are coming to us. so for example, if they are not coming directly to our website and they are coming to us through facebook or google or twitter or snapchat or through any of these other venues, we should know that. >> sunday night on q&a, "washington post" executive editor talks about the changes at the post since he took over in 2013. he also discusses the depiction of his work in "spotlight." >> the movie is faithful to the broad outline of how the investigation unfolded. i think it's important to keep in mind that it's a movie, it's not a documentary. so you had to come press within two hours seven-month investigation including things that happened afterwards. you had to introduce a lot of characters and introduce the important themes that emerged over the course of that investigation. >> sunday night on q&a. next a discussion on how thy
iraqi people view their government and their views is toward extremist groups like isis. held byindbourg the u.s. instit peace, this is an hour and a half..s. >> thank you for joining us. i'm the president of the u.s. institute of peace and i'm delighted this afternoon to have this happy convergence of being able to hear at usip present some very important research byp an organization that i used to serve as president for, mercy corps. so this is a wonderful coming -- it's worlds colliding in the best way and i'm happy to see a number of you here. bec a lot of practitioners, people who know iraq well because i think this is a good opportunity for us to take a hard look at what is working and how to make progress in iraq so many years into this.s usip is an independent federal s institute and we are tasked by congress to develop very
practical solutions for preventing and managing conflic and so for the last 30 years we have done so by applying the best research, field work, and techniques and training and today's event is very much a o part of our commitment to showcase and to learn from the kind of research that has policn and practice so thank you for joining us. mercy corps's report comes at a critical time as everybody here knows where you have three million people who are displaced in iraq. you have many parts of the country overrun still by daesh, an active conflict under way. it's a country that is very muct at the mercy of many regional interests and regional powers and, of course, we're all in watching the news very closely r and seeing how the latest episodes in the middle east wilf further affect iraq.
i was there in september and i a -- in the midst of all of that was struck by two things. the first is i had an s and opportunity in both erbil and in baghdad to meet with many civilt society members and civil society leaders and it -- they made it clear to me that over ng the past decade there has been this important emergence of a ds strong and vibrant civil society that simply did not exist underd saddam hussein. and that is an important realization and a game changer for us all to keep in mind.ere secondly while i was there, there were street protests in baghdad and cities across iraq by youth who were rallying day -- on a regular basis not to protest sectarian-related issues, but very much to demand more inclusive, more accountable, more effective , government and this is a very hopeful sign that we all shouldl take note of and what today's report is very much looking at in a systematic evidence-based way.
so i'm delighted to have with u, today dr. jacob shapiro who's aw associate professor of politics and international affairs at s princeton university and served as an advisor to mercy corps in this report. we have michael young, who is o. mercy corps's senior advisor on thought leadership and the two e of them will present the reporth and walk us through their he rer research and findings. we'll then have a panel e two discussion with the two of them and our own usip director of middle east programs who joins us here from beirut and then i'm sure this will be a very livelya conversation and we will have ot time for questions and commentsm from all of you. and to get us started, i'm going to ask the moderator of the m panel who is also our usip senior program officer for the
middle east and africa and he leads our work in iraq who's a r valuable member of our middle sa east team and he's really helpeq guide our iraq program forward for the past five years so please join me in welcoming sarhan. [ applause ] >> just make sure the microphone is working. yes. and i have the pointer for you, it should be all set.reamed t thank you, nancy. just before we get into introducing the panels i have a few points event is live streamed through usip's web sit and mercy corps's web site and also the event is carried live through c-span so welcome to us,
watching us online or through live streams and we have an event hashtag for today " #governanceiraq" or if you'd like to join the conversation via twitter, #governanceiraq iss the hashtag and i'll try to take questions throughout the rsatio. conversation.becaus it is a privileged for me to be a part of this distinguished panel because it provides rich t experience on iraq, rich the experience on the topics that will be discussed. there's data from the field. they bring in the vous svoices and realities of iraq and the ae situation over there so this promises to be a great d the discussion and this is our firsi vaq event of the year. for those who have been dat following us, we try to make sure the voices of iraq that realities of iraq are reflected
in our conversation and the data -- the iraqi voices are presenti through the data and through thy work and just to quickly -- the presentation of the report will be done as nancy mentioned by rf michael young first and she gavs you a brief background of theirt bios so i will not get into that again and the bios are outside, you can pick them up but they definitely come with a rich fine experience and michael will go first, then we have professor shapiro also comment on the report then doctor ilia. michael? pro >> shall i take the rostrum?shap >> it's up to you. >> i'll take the rostrum. all right, thank you. unithanks very much to the united states institute of peacm for this opportunity to talk about mercy corps's new research. and to all of you for coming os
along and hope to hear about what we've found out about the governance, sectarian identity and armed opposition groups in k iraq and hopefully to have a bracing discussion about what these findings might mean for ll all of us as policymakers and e policy shapers. s first of all, i want to make ann upfront shoutout to usid and the u.s. department of state, ble. particularly the labor section of the department whose support for civil society work in iraq has made this research possiblet secondly -- lastly, as an introductory note i want to rept point out the real author of the report in the audience and she'll be here to sign your copies.happy [ laughter ] and also to answer any difficult nasty questions. all right. re what am i going to do? i'm basically going to take you
through the headlines of the research findings and what thost research findings might tell us. i'm going to talk a little bit i const the research methodology involved. professor shapiro will go into more detail about why that amicn methodology is considered so t robust and allows us unique ettm insight into the interplay of geese dynamics. i'll set out the we research ngf findings in a bullet point headline manner and hopefully we can get more deeply into the findings in the q&a afterwards and i'll highlight the take aways from policymakers and for shapers from those findings and hopefully they'll serve as starting points if ar deeper and wider discussion.the core okay so this is what we did in v conducting this research. it's important to note that the core of this research, the quantitative part of it, the a surveying, was part of a usaid 5 funding program called broadening participation in civil society.
it was a $5 million multiyear program that mercy corps t of implemented in partnership with international and iraqi organizations over the year. every year as part of that rm program mercy corps and an independent polling firm basically surveyed over 5,000 wr iraqis across the country. 2014 and 2015 it wasn't truly nationwide for obvious reasons, couldn't get into anbar, couldn't get into ninawa and to the same extent but it's a goodr solid representative sample. t iraqis were polled on a number of different questions but ublic broadly captured their attitudes towards government, civil society and public goods like 20blic safety, electricity, access to the job market and opportunities add as part of the surveys in 2014, there was kind of a happy accident in that right in the middle of the surveying in august, 2014 the former premier, nouri al-maliki,
anounced his resignation. lod this allowed mercy corps and surveyors to look at how opinions changed from before resignation to the period ink immediately after the resignation. and here i think the most reteresting findings, particularly for this discussion is focusing down in one group of respondents which is the people who identified as sunni iraqis. so what did we find?the so first of all note that between 2013 and 2015 the surveys broadly found that in key indicators about iraqis' attitudes towards governance, civic engagement, et cetera, those indicated worsened, sly seriously worsened across the g three years. that was a broad finding so whether it's about perceptions buts of corruption, perceptions buts of health care provision,
electricity provision, vast majority of iraqis thought at tr things were basically getting worse in their country. so kerkryes in general also felt that their ability to influence government was weakening. that lawmakers didn't properly e represent them and this the government itself was discriminatory towards them or unfair towards them because of s their ethnic or sectarian a identity. a so, however, in august, premier al-maliki announced his whsignation and opinions changed quickly and dramatically in the wake of that resignation engthe announcement and what's really y interesting, it led to an uptick in people's expressed hope for strengthened government performance and government delivery and that changed most annoatically among sunni respondents. so across the board, sunnis expressed after the announcemeny and resignation much stronger
hopes for government and governance and there was only actually one key indicator that went down and this is where it gets interesting because the indicator went down and it almost halved from 49% to 26% is sunni respondents expressing yg sympathy for what might be broadly called armed oppositions groups. what's the upshot of all of that? so, first know we're not saying it's a magic bullet for in ir stability in iraq but what these findings tell us, what these findings are are sign posts to indicate what might be effective delusions in terms of governance and stability. so what you might say first is that sectarianism, which has gained a lot of attention and is presently right now gaining a huge amount of attention globally is probably overplayed in the as the driver of conflict and stability in iraq.
secondly we can tell you from is what iraqis themselves have tolf us is that poor governance and injustice are important drivers for conflict and stability.n tem so iraqis themselves have made that explicit link in terms of survey information and informant whyerviews conducted in september of last year.ticula so a little digression, why that resonates for us in mercy corps is we've done other research int other fragile conflict affectedw brates in situations around the world that tell us broadly the t same thing, that the same kind of linkages, for example, were found among young people in somalia, afghanistan and colombia when they were saying the linkages between their yingt expressed support for armed groups like al shabab or the afghan taliban or farc, for them directly sprang from a sense of injustice.m them so the same kind of expressions of feelings of injustice and
support for arms groups. so it resonates with the eally e findsings in iraq. therefore, it seems to suggest that getting governance right may well be more powerful in , preventing or countering violent extremism than previously been v iraqd upon. so -- and what it also tells us from other information within the surveying, within the othero halied research done for this report is that part of getting govern nantz right is actually fostering a vibrant and active civil society in iraq. so the conclusion being we all d have a stake in assisting iraq and iraqis regain stability in their country. in doing this, we need to pay attention to issues of those a governance and justice and
within that it's not only about increasing state capacity, not only rebuilding public infrastructure and public services but it's about uctive investing big in civil society d as an actor able to change citizens' perceptions buts of governance and help iraqi government authorities have a constructive relationship with an active civil society and anc. widen the space where they can have dialogue so citizens can see that dialogue bears fruit and delivers what's really important to them and addresses these issues of perceptions buts of injustice and weak so wha governance. so i'll stop there thank you. s >> i'll use the podium so i have somewhere to view some notes i s ims taking during the presentation. so what i want to start by highlighting is really what's unique about this study and e
there are a couple things that r think are very important to take into account. one is this is a piece of research of unusual scale when it comes to evaluating civil sug society programs. treme you have these three nationallyd represented, each large enough that you get resolution down to the province level if you want u it. n you can look at lots of subgroups and you carry this oua over a period of tremendous g pi political flux in iraq and that's a unique thing and i think mercy corps has done a great deal to learn from that i the report. so let me talk specifically about the value of the natural b experiment embedded in the approach. mercy corps was in the field, it's a large survey so they were in the field for a long period of time. basically spring and summer twurt and during that period you have the maliki resignation.
what that lets you do is it letp you rule -- do two very the rtant things. first, because no one expected e the specific timing of the ort, resignation, the only factor ery differentiating survey respondents before and after is this change in national-level bi government so you get a clean ow measure of how important politics are to people's perceptions buts of what's going on in the country.signatioin the buw important those national-level politics are. and you learn from the report, a, that that result is very big. but what's not in the report but is in the underlying analysis is t andmarkably robust. basically, you can take any timt window you want around that resignation, they show you in the report 2014 to 2015 but you can bring that time window downt to one week either side of the z resignation or move it out to re basically the entire wave of the porvey and you still find that change.nes. there's a dramatic and durable change in attitudes. so you're sure that's because of national politics and that's an amazing thing. you never get that when you're studying views of conflict -- politics in conflict zones.
the second thing you get from that is you don't really believn that, like, 49% of sunnis support armed groups when they i respond directly to that because there are all kinds of reasons for people to disacceptable when they respond on a survey. termthere's no reason that the incentives to lie would change s dramatically between immediately before the resignation and immediately after.betw so you can take that difference of about 50% in support and benchmark that and say that's credible and then take other wk things in terms of what we thinf of as maliki resignation units. men and women, rich people and poor people, sunnis and shi'as.m you can benchmark those differences in terms of the quantity you know is right and that's a big deal from the perspective of understanding what's going on. so, for example, the response iy call of perceptions buts about how much civil society can help increases by roughly half of a maliki unit.e, all so that's telling you that's a huge difference. over that year period people's e attitudes change as much as nt having this incredibly polarizing figure leave the national government.two ot
that's quite valuable. now, being an academic i want to do two other things. i want to say grumpy stuff ow recause that's our obligation and then i want to mention how this relates to other work. and so on the lightly grumpy side. the claim at the end of the report is that civil society evd investments are important. you don't quite have evidence of that in the survey or in the ln results. you know there's a link between governance and attitudes about t civil society and you know the e changes in governments can dramatically change support. but you don't yet have the link that says the kinds of things that outsiders can come in and support will lead to changes in perceptions buts of governance h that will be consistent with big-level national political changes so the next challenge is to figure out how to make that link. how do you make sure you can it attribute the kind of changes s
you see near the kinds of programming we can do?ompared that's a challenge for mercy corps and usip and lots of folks in the room. the last thing i want to talk about how s how this relates to other work and the research here is massive in scale compared to most other things we have but it's small compared to other ationa survey efforts in iraq. the u.s. military during the iraq war funded tens of massive surveys and in particular one h we've worked with multinationale corps iraq.hdad the unit responsible for ground toss in iraq. it ran surveys of basically everyone in baghdad. the and if you look at those data you see a couple things that are very consistent with what the mercy corps team found here over a long span of time and the two suppgs i want to highlight is first that the way armed groups treated civilians had very clear impact on their support for olea armed -- for non-state armed groups. so people who lived in little neighborhoods that experience violence at the hands of either
the insurgents or the coalition in subsequent periods down to sy ery small time periods, a week, 30 days, were more or less her. negative towards those groups in the same way you would expect from the results here. them wen the government or coalition forces did and support for the s unsurge ents went up. critically though and i think te mat is theac important thing w learned from that, thatuc reactn was not uniform. the reaction during that time period was much stronger among the poor, the young and the uneducated than it was among the wealthy, the older or the better educated people. and so what that suggests is a very encouraging thing for the kind of programming that mercy court is doing which is that the populations you're targeting are the populations whose politics will respond.04 to even very large stimulus like eo havingli ati large attack in yo neighborhood, in 2004 to 10 wasn't changing the political attitudes of peoplele in baghdar who were kind of wealthy, well
educated. that's not who you're going after in s a lot of these o programs. ethink that's a veryy encouraging point. t just to end here i want to say it's fantastic to see this kinds of research supported and from e the perspectiven of the researct side, we've -- i've been part os a team that has been pushing sen folks at aid and folks in other parts of the u.s. government for years to engage in these kinds of long-term surveys. it's fantastic to see that when that's done and when mercy coret executes on that you get results like this that are really teaching us something we didn't know before about politics in the important conflict area. >> thank you. >> sure. don't h t good afternoon. in terms of expectations, i don't have an academic background and i don't have a lot of experience in research. i spent most of my time in the field so i'll try to convey a
few observations from my field experience.ing i would like first to start by thanking mercy core for this r organizing thisep event. i would also like to praise the work that mercy core did on this report. it's a very outlinespot-on repa very useful policy tool, especially in that it outlines the different layers of the conflict and many of the ually drivers.d in however, for my presentation i n decided to focus on one dimension that is usually not addressed in in many of the literature that's being written about iraq and the rest of the region. there's no question that the bes conflicts in the region have multiple layers as the report describes them, and each layer is also driven by a multitude of
factors. so it's not only a religious conflict. it's not only an ethnic one. it's not only sectarian or a social one but all these intertwined all together and ts they make these conflicts, as i said, multi-layered. based on this analysis, a lot oa recommendations and interventions are adopting approaches that would focus on i one'm or many of these conflict drivers which is definitely needed and i'm not questioning this approach. however, what i'm questioning is the fact that one element that's usually unaddressed is the ers underlying conditions that make these drivers activated or thata make thesell drivers affect a given conflict.ten to make myself clear, we all know that poverty is often liza
associatedti today with terrori, extremism, whatever you want to call it, or radicalization. but i know and i'm sure you do know a lot of poor and excluded povg people who didn't become terrorists. so it's not -- there is no causality between poverty and terrorism but there are rad underlying conditions that makes it possible in some cases for people to becomee radicalized o extremists.ing condmarize this underlying condition in the region can be summarized as thee praise of violence. n the social level in the middle east, people praise violence as ing. a virtue. in it's not considered as a bad thing. it's considered as a good thing not only in politics, it's also considered as a good thing in their personal life. the same communities that are
suffering fromom isis and other radical groups today have embraced violence at different times of their existence, whether in smaller conflicts between tribes, between families or even within the same families and as i said at the personal level. so this is what makes -- this is what -- the fact that violence is praised underlies the condition of violence of an conflicts in thee region. when i usually bring up this st, issuee in front of an international audience, people -- some people at dont -- try to deny it by saying, no, we met young peoplee in yemen and beirut and they te don't look to be praising ople w violence, but the issue is that usually the people that we are o
exposed to are the educated people who have embraced a western style life-style, but they do not represent acessarily the majority of people who think that violence is a legitimate tool to achieve gains. a con and when you add the social value of praising violence as a legitimate tool into a context of political marginalization, te social exclusion, poverty, et cetera, this is where the factors driving the conflict are aggravated. this iscal not to say that work should not be done on governments, on poverty, on political participation and on education, et cetera. tak what i'm saying is that if the programs that are addressing these issues social do not tak account the fact that there is a need for a social -- for a change in the social paradigms in the region, then the gains that we might be achieving will
be short-lived. we can work on government programs. we can work onemain a poverty. we can work on education. but if violence will remain a e legitimate tool, at least this is how it's perceived by the majority of people in the region, then whatever progress we can aim at, as i said, would be short-lived. at usip we are trying to include this element in int our interventions. intervene, for example, in ba12 in a region between the christians and the shabaq. basically at that time what we s told them in the first place isc thatoi there is a better way to address the issue of coinciding religious dates than dealing or adopting violence to solve it.td
not only we told them that violence is not going to help them to address this issue, but we also helped them to find the middle ground to celebrate bothk christmas ands ashura during the same week while preventing violent attacks from both groups. in the aftermath of the massacre, we also explained to o sunni and shiite describes that this will not advance the judicial process and it will end in a perpetual cycle of violencp and will not keep any of the sunnis or the shia safe. we so we adopted a similar approach in other smaller scale conflicto when we facilitated between a ee
group of localnt public work contractors and the governor or more recently in northern syriac between kurds and arabs.native basically what we're trying to do is to demonstrate to the acople, to the communities, that there are alternatives to violence whereby they can achieve what they want without e necessarily going into unacceptable compromises. g so a we also tried to demonstrate the high cost of violence, and by doing so, as i said, we aim at a triggering a process of social transformation whereby violence is not considered anymore as a g legitimate tool but as somethint that is counter productive in most of the cases.this now, this might look trivial atd first, but my assessment makes me confident that this work is
essential and should be a core element of any intervention in the region. of course, this involves policyi decisions at the level of the international community to highi mainstream this dimension and the programs but it also g involves and as the report highlights, the role of the t local actors including civil society in this kind of work.e because at the end of the day the agents of changes have to be local. the international community can support but the change has to happen through indigenous actors. the initial question for this event and for the report was weo that if good governance can erode the support to militantsyl my point is that the answer to e this question is yes if, so it's a conditional yes,