tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 22, 2016 2:00am-4:01am EDT
as a general matter with a maximum population deviation, under 10% falls within this category of minor deviations. what we held previously was that minor deviations, for mathematic equality under state legislatures are insufficient to make out a pry ma facia case of discrimination. so that's the holding of the court. and this seems to be within the category of minor deviations where you have to do something more then you would have to do if it was larger than 10%. now, what do you think you have to do? >> i think we have to do what we did, which is to come to the court, come to a district court and present to them evidence that we have a daeviation that was done through minor for an
illegitimate purpose. and there was another issue that required additional scrutiny. we satisfied that burden. >> don't you think this will lead every single plan to be challenged as voter delusion? >> no, i think you would have to have a showing of an illegitimate purpose behind the deviation. >> you didn't just establish it by the fact of the deviation. what kind of evidence did you present to the district court? >> well, i think in this case, this case is a very unique case because as judge wake found in his decent, the chart shows statistically there was systematic partisan mall apportionment done for that partisan reason. just looking at numbers. >> is that the chart at 112-a of the appendix? >> yes. i think that it is the chart that is in color. i think we've also provided.
>> i've got the colored chart. >> yes. it shows the districts were systematically, statistically mall apportioned for that purpose. that shis the kind of showing justice scalia -- >> i thought, mr. herron, that you were saying that the thing that you 45d presented had to do with an impermissible motive? and the impermissible motive was that they didn't have to do all of this for voting rights act compliance. is that right? >> there's two -- the first impermissible motive or illegitimate justification is partsonship, to gain an advantage. but you said you weren't challenging the finlding, that was a subsidiary part of the redistricting. you want to undermine the voting rights compliance rationale. but then i'm stuck on the same question.
what evidence did you present that there was an impermissible motive with respect that, as opposed to different views, as to what the voting rights act compelled. >> two quick answers to that, justice kagan. first is, legally the voting rights act couldn't compel them to do what they did. so that justification is legally invalid. secondly, the burdenship where we've shown and illegitimate partisanship than the task cals the commission to justify that. and i would reserve the balance of my time. >> thank you, council. mr. brnovich. >> thank you, mr. chief justice. may it please the court, fortunately or unfortunately in this case, there are many fact
that is are not in dispute. addressing justice kennedy's questions, the state does not dispute that the independent redistricting commission did draw districts on equal population. all sides say they were not random or incidental. we also know, and the record shows and no one disagrees, this pattern to underpop late minority districts was done to help create further eighty to elect districts. and we also know they did it intentionally. so why are they here today? in the background, this court has always held that equal protection is not a criteria under the factor when it comes to redistricting. but it is, essentially the background which all redistricting takes place. the statement of arizona, the secretary, do not dispute the compliance with voting rights act was a legitimate or illegitimate state interest. and we don't dispute that maybe there was a good motive on the part of drying these districts. the problem is, those motives don't matter when what you have
is an undermining principle of one person, one vote. so in this case, what we have is a violation of equal protection cause. by intentionally underpop ewe minority districts the irc violated the clause of one person, one vote. so, essentially, what happened was by overpopulating the other districts, the voters of the other votes diluted. and by diluting those votes, it violated the constitution. >> it sounds fundamental that a statute cant authorize a constitutional violation. so that even an attempt to comply with the voting re ining rights act is not compliant. have we ever said that in the context of the voting rights? >> your honor, this court has always held that the concept and the principle of one person, one
vote. any attempts to undermine that outside -- >> so we have said that even minor deviations are not permitted if they are statutorily required? >> no statute can trump the constitution. the votes rights act, whichever way it's read, can't be read in a way to violate the one person, one vote clause. that is the state's position. we don't dispute or we're not saying to comply with the voting rights act may, indeed, be a legitimate state interest. what we're saying is when it's done in a systematic way, where you have a one way ratchet where you have consistent minority ability to elect districts, using folks based on racial ethnic classifications and overpopulating other districts and what you have done is undervalued or violated the one person -- >> would you say it's correct
that compliance with the voting rights act, a desire to obtain preclearance is, at least, like other traditional districting considerations like respecting county lines, respecting municipal lines, having con tig would you say districts. do you agree with that? >> yes. >> so if that is the case, is that what you're asking us to say with respect to the voting rights act? the things that were really necessary to obtain preclearance are legitimate. but they went further. they went beyond what was necessary. we would have have to determine whether it's true or not. some court has to determine whether it's true or not. >> in this instance, because of the systematic way the deviations occurred, we have all of that evidence.
however, we do believe that the voting rights act is like any other criteria. so if you get these population deviations and they're incidental, not intentional, and that is the key, i believe, is when you intentionally under-populate and systematically under-populate these districts. >> what if the only way that a state could obtain free clearance when section five was still in force was to underpop late some districts, would that be permissible? the only way you could respect municipal lines or county lines was to underpop late some districts to some degree. >> justice, the irony is in the draft maps. seven of the ten to elect were underpopulated. however, when they went from the draft maps to the final maps, there was a one-way ratchet.
they intentionally and systematically underpopulated those districts. >> but what he's asking you whether or not a deviation is permissible for protecting communities of interest. whether some slight deviation is permissible. >> yes, justice kennedy. if it's incidental and not intentional. >> i'm not sure what that means. >> i had thought -- i thought you were saying that it doesn't matter whether you were doing it to obtain justice department clearance. you cannot do something that is unconstitutional. if, in fact, you don't have equally apportioned districts, it goes beyond what is tolerable. it's a violation. regardless of whether you're actually trying to comply with the justice department. isn't that what you were saying? >> yes, justice scalia, but i think it's important to know that we look at this as a
qualitative, not quantitative analysis. there isn't some magical number. the state's position is that compliance is like other neutral criteria, protecting communities of interest, geographical boundaries. so, in considering that, you may have incidents where you get some districts above or below the line. the fact that a district may be below the line, in and of itself, is not a constitutional violation. the harm occurs when the independent redistricting commission systematically underpopulates those districts and overpopulates other districts. there by diluting the votes of the people. >> i guess i'm just not really sure. let's say that there's a policy that says we want to respect county lines. we know we want to do one person, one vote, but we have basically some leeway up to 10%.
and there's a policy. we want to respected county lines, even though that's going to cause a little bit more deviation on the one person, one vote metric. are you saying that's impermissible? >> justice kagan -- >> it's a policy. it's an intentional policy. >> i guess the road to hell is paved with good intentions. our position is regardless of their intention, if they are doing it in a systematic way, intending to overpopulate certain districts, underpop late certain districts, that is unconstitution unconstitutional. the voting rights act. >> -- everyone though it takes you from 4 to 5% or 7 to 8%. you're not crossing the 10% threshold. but as long as you're going up and you're doing it purposefully in the sense of we have a policy to maintain county lines, that's impermissible. >> yes, justice kagan. the position of the state is when it's done in a systematic
and intentional manner, when you create burrows of certain folks and overpop late other districts that violates the court's win person, one vote principle. >> as a matter of curiosity, how do you end up on this side of the case. you were a defendant in the district court, weren't you? >> the secretary of the state thought the principle of one person, one vote and upholding that principle was very, very important. that's why we felt compelled to be involved in this case. >> only on appeal. you didn't argue this side in the district court, did you? >> that is correct. >> what happened? was there an election in between or something? >> yes. i won overwhelmingly. >> i knew it! >> thanks. thank you very much. i will be up for re-election in three more years. anyway -- >> did you agree with your colleague, it doesn't make a
difference that in the end result, the legislature, the republicans were disproportionately advantaged and disproportionate share of the seats? >> yes, justice. our position is that that really is irrelevant as far as the numbers and ultimately whether the percentage -- >> they would have ended up in greater disproportion of republican representatives. >> ultimately, the number -- this is not a line drawing case. this is overpopulation and underpopulation case. how the lines are drawn and the republican and democratic representative is not important or not key to our argument. our key to the state's argument is this intentional and systematic one-way ratcheting of underpopulating the ability to elect districts. what makes the actions of the
irc unconstitutional. >> thank you, counsel. >> thank you. >> mr. smith. >> mr. chief justice, may it please the court, there's no basis that the modern population along the arizona map violate the protection clause. >> you accept the fact -- accepting fact finding that at least part of the motive was partisan? >> i don't think that's a fair characterization of what the district court found. >> why? >> they found the motive for the population -- >> dominant motive. >> it said there may have been two of the five commissioners who as to one district had mixed motives and did not find the
commission as a whole acted even in that one instance. that district is not one of the ones that is significantly underpopulated. moving the population around to make it more competitive, even if it was motivated by partisanship has nothing to do with the 8.8 deviation. >> i would be very upset if there was any motivation. i wish this case came up before the case we had last term, which approved your commission despite the text of the constitution because this commission was going to end partisanship, get politics out of redistricting. here, the very next term, we have this case, which asserts there has been a lot of partisanship on this devine commission. >> not a fair characterization of what happened. what it found after giving them a full opportunity to try to
prove their claim is that simply not what happened. instead, what happened is that they had these population deviations emerged in the final part of the process as they work to make sure that their map would pass preclearance on the first try, something the state of arizona failed to achieve. >> the district court found, this is on 79a of the appendix to the jurisdiction statement, partisanship played some role. you want us to interpret that if there was no partisanship, everything would have come out exactly the same way, no effect whatsoever? >> the court said it was largely republican leaning district, two of the commissioners may have had mixed motives thinking of aiding the preclearance argument and thinking of bringing the democratic party up closer to parody.
still didn't get the parody. i think to say -- that's a red herring. we don't need to discuss the issue of parody. if you have a system of proportional representation and you get 55% of the vote, you need 55% of the representatives. in the system we have in the united states, with single member districts and winner take all, a neutral district will never produce exactly the same breakdown of legislatures as the breakdown of the votes in the election. that's -- i mean that's a side issue. what do we do with this statement, partisanship played some role. >> your honor, partisanship by itself cannot violate the constitution. if you inflate that far beyond what was intended by the judges who wrote that opinion, the case of gaffney versus cummings --
>> this is what interests me about the case. if we assume, as the district court did, that partisanship is not a legitimate consideration and not like respecting county lines, and if we interpret the district courts opinion as finding that partisanship was part of the reason for the plan that was adopted, then is the test the test which my understanding is, what we normally apply in a mixed motive situation. if an illegitimate constitutional consideration is one of the reasons, the burden shifts to the defendant to show things would have come out the same way, even if that factor had not been in the case or is it what the court said in bush versus vera and other cases in
this context, that's not the test. the test is whether the illegitimate -- >> accepting a lot of premises in the question that are counter factual in the opinion and what was found here and all of that. if you are going to make partisanship illegitimate, which seems like a fool, frankly, it ought to be predominant. you wouldn't want to say the line drawers have to have complete purity of heart. >> are you saying it's permissible to use, as one factor an illegal standard if there are other factors that are also in play? that it's permissible to use an illegal standard in part? is that what you want us to write in this opinion? >> no one thinks it's illegal. >> that's one of the issues in
the case. we'll talk about that later in bipartisanship. if you want to say it doesn't make a difference because partisanship is valid, fine, that's your point. my question is, it sounds to me, response to your answer to justice alito, you are saying it's all right to use an illegal standard, in part, to reduce equal representation. >> for all the same reasons that the court has many times said we are not going to say racial consciousness is enough to validate it. i would think you would want to follow the same approach, even if you are going to adopt the parody and partisan considerations which makes no sense. it's about trying to decide whether it's race or party. when you come to the conclusion that it's party, then it's okay. >> can i put in my notes, you are arguing partisanship is a valid -- >> you can, your honor. you said it last year in the alabama case. one of the legitimate
redistricting criteria they can consider. >> there is -- i'm suddenly waking up here. >> your opinion, your honor. >> how do we write this? two areas that are difficult to write. one is, i know this 10% rule. but it doesn't say we don't look at it at all. we institutionally can't review thousands of pages of record in every redistricting case. so, what are the words there that describe the standard we should bring to this? the second, which is a direct application of the first, is you are quite right. how can we say that partisanship can't be used at all when doing one person, one vote. but the sky is the limit. when, in fact, the sky is the limit when you are drawing boundaries. now, how do we reconcile the
institutional ability with the need to have policing here? and how do we reconcile what we say in this case with what we held in the growing area. those are two questions in the back of my mind. i would like to have -- >> can i answer the second question first? >> 50 words of less. >> seems it would be not defensivable to adopt a rule in -- effect in terms of biassing the map. in line drawing, you have always insisted there not only be a bias effect, but very large. >> i didn't ask what we shouldn't say, i asked what we should say. >> apply the rule in all cases about deviations. is there a rational policy that the state can articulate, the reason why they arrived at this difference. here we have the voting rights, the rational and legitimate.
>> let's talk about that for a second. if action in redistricting or overpopulation would constitute illegitimate can the answer we are doing it to comply to get preclearance legitimize that? >> yes, your honor. the court said a number of times it's a compelling state interest. >> my question is, if the action that is taken would otherwise constitute illegitimate -- in other words, it's an issue of, you know, we said in a case that it's not an excuse, not a complete excuse for intentional discrimination that you are trying to avoid liability under title 7 for diskrigs. i'm wondering if it's different. if the justice department is
insisting on conduct that would institute a violation, if they are insisting on more than they should be, is that an offense? >> the one thing that -- >> i understand that. it doesn't say all bets are off. >> no, your honor. the line the court has drawn is between map that is go too far and maps that don't. where they predominate and subordinate principles here. what you have in this case is the quintessential map where it's not true. >> you are avoiding my question. what are the requirements the justice department asks for for preclearance go too far. >> if the justice department reads the voting rights act in a manner that requires them to do something that would go too far in a predominant sense, there's a constitutional problem. there's no indication that's
what happens. >> so, whether or not preclearance is a defense depends on whether upon the justice department is asking too much? >> it could be, your honor. there's no indication of anything like that here. this is a case where they said -- this is not like the '90s, where you had to create new districts. >> look at the findings. while partisanship played a role in the increased population deviation associated with changing district eight, so, too, did the preclearance goal play a role in motivating the change. it's the first half of the sentence, which is raising the issue that i think people are trying to get you to say how we write that, you know, because it says it played a role. so, we are going to be asked here, by the other side to expand on what that means, play a role. we have to write an opinion. if you win this case, they will
have to be words that support you. so, how do we take this thing? what would you say about the word play a role? >> i would say two things, your honor. first of all, it's a tiny role in this case. seconds of all, even if it were the only reason for a population deviation under 10%, not defensible to say that, by itself, is unconstitutional. the effect on any interest from this difference of population absent in bias in the way they elect a cant. it's not a problem you want to recognize. even if pure motive with partisanship, it's not something that ought to be taken seriously as a constitutional problem. here, the motive is to make sure the districts pass preclearance. less than 50% of the commissioners may have one district where they increase the
deviation slightly, like.2%. not one of the ten that were offered to the justice department. that's a tiny, tiny, tiny sliver of partisan effect. >> if there were a case where the commissioner or whoever was responsible for producing the plan produced or chose between two plans, plan a has a deviation of.1%. plan b, 9.9%. they write a report. it came down to these two plans, we chose b to maximum the representation in the legislature of republicans or democrats. you would say that would be constitutional? >> i think, if that's the only thing that was problematic about the map, you might say it's constitutional. that's not this case, obviously. >> no, it's not this case. >> you said a map that's a
gerrymander. plus, the intentional abuse of the 10% rule at 9.98%. all of that together, you affirm the finding. by itself, i don't know that i would say -- >> that's because there's no constitutional criteria where you draw the district lines. there is a constitutional criterion for how you -- how you weigh voters district by district. there is. one person, one vote. there's no such criterion for where the location of a district line has to be. >> this court said over and other again to give court leeway because representation is better if you give them a chance to make districts within the 10% band. if you allow them to do what's being suggested here, to accuse and bring partisanship in, they can get to court and get to trial by that. exactly what you said is going
to happen. everybody with a political motivation to try to do something to undercut a map is going to come in. itis easy enough to elect partisanship. the only evidence they have and the story of district eight is a pattern. the hispanic districts they underpopulated and the native americans happened to vote democratic. you have this pattern. the chart on 112-a. ice not evidence. it's equal with what the court found happened. they wanted to make the districts more persuasive to get preclearance. they got preclearance. this is a case where you wonder, where's the beef. what are we here for? there's no problem with the map. it's not a partisan gerrymander. everything that is complained about here, it was done unanimously by all five commissioners who adopted the
goal of getting preclearance and adopted the idea that they had to get ten districts, not eight districts. every single change to the ten districts was unanimously voted by all five commissioners. this is a case where there is nothing seriously being argued here that could possibly have gone to a constitutional violation. it seems to me we can talk about whether a pure partisan case ought to, byis isis istself, ify problem is deviation. not do that for the reasons you said. boy, this case is so far from that. i mean, the republican commissioner, appointed commissioners are voting for everything they complain about. they, too, want to get free clearance. the state of arizona wants to have its map go into effect for the first time since the 1960s, when it's covered by the voting rights act rather than the federal court put it in effect
because preclearance was denied. they hire lawyers that work in the justice department. told them, if necessary, redoing the lines go down to the 10% limit. they tried hard to minimize that. one of the things that's important to recognize here is you could have equalized the population here and gotten districts to the same level of hispanic population. you have to draw the kind the court has many times criticize zed. there are lots of hispanic people in the state of arizona not in these districts. they are spread all over the place. if you are going to draw compact districts that represent bounties and communities of interest, something has to give. what gave here was a modest, tiny amount of population variation. it seems not a serious candidate for a constitutional validation on the facts of this case that aren't challenged here.
court has no further questions. thank you. >> thank you, counsel. miss hairington. >> thank you, chief justice. the question in this case is not weather question five compels deviations, the question is whether deviations are permitted by the constitution. this court made it clear when state districts plans are 10% of total deviation from a perfect population quality standard, they are presumed to be constitutional. itis a rule of three principles. if i can take them off, the deviations do not, by themselves equal protection. a 10% leeway enhances citizen zs fair and equal representation by
allowing states to have districting principals. limiting it in deviation cases protects the state's sovereign right -- >> is 10% the minimus. it is misleading. >> it's the term this court has used. >> i know. >> i have never accused the court of being misleading. the point is these 10% deviations from qualify don't have an effect to effect citi n citize citizens? >> i don't think that's contested here. the other side is willing to concede that it's presumptively okay, which means they have to come forward to show that there were invalid reasons why there's this discrepancy. >> that's true. in our view, justice scalia, our
view is the plaintiffs did not make a case of discrimination in this case. the factual findings about the motives aren't relative at this point. -- it means you have to bring in other evidence. it doesn't mean you are out of court. >> it means the state doesn't have to justify the reasons for deviations. so, in this context, to make it in any context to make a case, what you have to do is put in enough evidence from which the discrimination can be made. what that generally requires is the challenger has to put in enough evidence to rebut the presumed reasons for the challenged action. in this case, the arizona constitution sets forth the redistricting criteria to use in drawing district lines. at a minimum, the plaintiff should have come in and said the deviations they observed were not explainable as in service --
>> let's assume the opinion of the district court found that partisanship was a consideration. so, are you saying that that finding can't be sustained because it wasn't based on sufficient evidence brought forward by the plaintiff? >> point of clarification, part of the opinion you read is talking district eight. itis not a finding that partisanship played a role. if you read on in the paragraph, the district court said that the amount of deviation atrip uted to make it more competitive was less than 1%, i think it was.7%. it's really a small, very think .7%. >> was it a factor or not? was partisanship just irrelevant, it played no role, everything would have come out the same wam without partisanship? >> the district court found with respect to one district, two of the five commissioners were
motivated in part bipartisan ship motives. our first position is that this court doesn't need to get to what the actual findings were as to the motive. because what the plaintiffs needed to do was come in and demonstrate at the front end that the lines on the map couldn't be explained as an effort to comply with legitimate criteria. >> is the deposition -- what is the position of the united states on the question of whether it's permissible to intentionally take partisanship, to use partisanship as a guiding principle in redistricting. is that permissible or not? >> we haven't taken a position on that. >> i know you haven't. i makes it difficult to address it. >> it's certainly -- there are lessons that can be drawn from the court's cases. in gaffney the court indicated that certain consideration of politics and partizan ship does not necessarily make a plan unconstitutional. but again in this case i think
in order before you get to the question of what the state's actual motives were, there has to be some demonstration that the motives were not the announced motives in the constitution. >> you're unwilling to tell me whether intentional use of partisanship and redistricting is acceptable or not. >> i think this court's decision in gaffney indicates that it can be permissible. the districts body in gaffney was driven by a desire to equalize partisanship. >> i took it that the position of the united states is at least, since many commissions are nonpartisan because they have two people who are more part zan on one side, two people on the other side and one neutral. so at the least where the commissions -- commissioners don't account for a majority. the partisan motive is not held by a majority of the commission, then it is constitutional or
some members of the commission to take partisan consideration into account where they're not a majority and where the result is under 10%. >> i think that was the district court's conclusion. >> is your conclusion as representing the united states. >> well again we haven't taken a position on how one would analyze a partisanship if there was a finding that you get there -- >> i read the finding as saying well, two members of the commission out of five did have a partisan motive in part. >> yes, sir. >> so i have to -- you have to, i think have to say whether you think that is that situation is constitutional or not. >> well, let me make the pitch one more time for having a robust prema fascia case. the plaintiff needed to come in kourpt and say here's a map, it can't be explained by the criteria identified in the constitution. the very first criteria includes compliance with the voting rights act. if you lock at the map and kp
districts are underpopulated and which are the ability to elect districts there's a perfect correlation. that was a legitimate explanation for why there are deviations in the case. >> i don't understand this two out of five. do you think in four of the justices of the court voted a certain way in the case because they were racists, the opinion would still be valid because after all five of us weren't. would you even consider that? and why is it any different for a commission like this, the mere fact that two of them are -- if partisanship is indeed bad. >> i think we don't have a positionen how would one analyze that question. >> this isn't racist. number two, it's not this court. i don't know any court like that. and number four, if you're going to say, if you're going say that no members of a redistricting commission can ever have
partizan views, i don't know where you're going to get your membership from. i mean, that is that many of these commissions, i would think, would balance people who know about districting and who are also republicans with people who know about it and are also democrats and then you have someone of undoubted neutral -- >> which is not the case here. >> it's not. >> that places a lot of weight on selecting the fifth person who is lily white pure, right? and if that person deep down is partisanship one side or the other, the whole thing goes. >> this court -- >> and that is the allegation here, by the way. >> this court has repeatedly said that politics is always going to be a part of redistricting. >> right. >> you can't -- >> i agree with that. that's a different point. >> you don't have a position on whether that's acceptable or not. because the difference between saying something is a necessary evil and saying it's evil. >> i think this court's decisions have told us that it's
fine to have partisanship play some role in redistricting. that's the lesson in gaffney. >> i'm sfriurprised by the way read the opinion. >> can you give me the page please? >> it's on 63a, running over into 64a. and in the final paragraph that begins at the bottom of the page. the majority of the panel have concluded that plaintiffs have not demonstrated a partisanship predominated over legitimate redistricting consideration. doesn't that mean that they found that there were some ill legitimate consideration or at least -- and they assumed that partisanship was an illegitimate consideration? >> from where you're reading from earlier, it's clear that what they're talking about partisanship played a role only with respect to district 8.
in this court allows the plaintiff to come in and point to deviations -- >> just to clarify your answer. you think what they said in footnote ten only applies to one district? >> yes. that's my reading of the opinion. i haven't heard the other side disagree with that. in this court makes it too easy for the plaintiffs to come in and point to deviation, it's going to wipe away the 10% leeway. >> thank you, ms. harrington. general hearn, you have four minute remaining. >> thank you, mr. chief justice. >> what about footnote ten. you agree with the characterization that the other side has made? >> well footnote 10, no i do not. the portion i would quote was not limited just to district 8. partisanship was rank in this redistricting process and is demonstrated objectively with the chart and by the fact of
district 8 which was not submitted for preclearance. >> i want a finding. i want a finding. i don't want to look at a chart to make my own factual determination. what factual finding other than footnote 10 is there. >> from the appendix of 107a where the statements judge clifton correctly finds that the irc was actually motivated bipartisan advantage and hope for voting rights preclearance. we have a majority finding for that fact. that is two members of the court specifically found that partisanship was tw one of the two motives to explain these deviations from one person, one vote. clearly it was a motive, at that point, as even judge silver noted. >> to what extent? the other side is going to say yeah, that's true, but it's only true as to that one district discussed in footnote 10. >> if that's so, then they would have stopped a adopted the
additional map and not continued to deviate from 4% to 8% for the final map. the initial map, the draft map was a 4% deviation. dr. king, their own expert said that this map complied with the voting rights act and yet they went after that and continued deviating in underpopulating district to get to the 8.8%. that included the mass nations with district 8. if the only legitimate reason was to obtain preclearance, when they would have accepted the draft map and it would have been game over. but they didn't. >> i thought i was because they wanted to make super sure that they complied with the voting act. i think that's why they said they kept going. >> the explanation that was made is that they're quote strengthening the districts by continuing to underpop late districts because their consultant said that does help us get voting rights act preclearance approval. that was the explanation made.
but if their own expert said the original map, the draft map satisfied the voting rights act and the only reason to depopulate the districts, then that shows that partisanship was a very -- i understand two of the members said it was not the primary motive but i certainly was a pervasive motive in the process by choo these districts were drawn. and our position is a very narrow one that we ask the court to hold is that partisanship does not def vat from one person one vote and a mistaken belief that preclearance was necessary to underpopulate certain districts also does not justify deviating from one person, one vote. >> where is the district in which or the state in which partisanship does not play a role in redistricting? >> we think partisanship is always going to play a role. but there's an outer limit
certainly as just sis scalia noted, an articulatable standard of one person, one vote. that's a rule that we can cabin the part shzanship. even if this fifth member ended up being partisan interest for the democrats. that's fine. the problem here isn't that they had partisan motives, they deviated from the one person one vote principle to further the partisan voters. >> if i can ask the question that ms. harrington left with. i'm sorry. >> please. >> if you're saying within the 10%, to go from 1% to 2% or 2% to 3% and then somebody can come in and say that's partisanship, it means that every single plan will be up for grabs in every single place, doesn't it? >> i don't think it does. and the answer would be it doesn't because in this case
there were no other legitimate reasons to explain it. if that is the reason and the only reason to deviate only other legitimate reason to deviate from one person one vote, it is not a constitutional plan. but that is not present in all of the other cases. >> thank you, counsel. the case is submitted. monday the supreme court heard oral argument in united states versus texas on president obama's immigration executive orders. the case stems from a texas courts injunction against the order allowing some undocumented immigrants to stay in the u.s. you can hear the oral argument friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. ♪ c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. and coming up friday morning, politics reporter for the new orleans advocate will join us by
phone to discuss the debate over the removal of confederate memorials in new orleans. however, the city remains divided on the issue. and then hannah smith, senior counsel will be on to talk about the recently argued case. the case deals with religious liberty and the affordable care acts contraceptive mandate. >> and founder member of the band nirvana will join us to discuss the role of fair vote which advocates for a variety of electoral forms. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal -- -- to the middle east and europe. friday mr. obama is in the uk where he meets with british
prime minister. you can see it starting at 11:50 a.m. on c-span. saturday night at 10:00 eastern we'll take a look at some of the speeches by president obama during his two terms at the white house correspondents dinner. this year will mark his final attendance at the dinner. >> turns out jeb bush identified himself as hispanic back in 2009. but you know what? look, i understand. it's an innocent mistake. reminds me of when i identified myself as american back in 1961. join us saturday night at 10:00 eastern. tune in for the live coverage on saturday april 30th, beginning at 6:30 eastern on c-span. next, national highway
traffic administrator rosekind. this was part of a house committee oversight hearing. it's an hour and 25 minutes. ail ask all of our guests to take their seats. we'll now come to order. i'll recognize nifl fmyself for minutes for an opening statement. it's always good to have you here. we look forward to your testimony today. there are a lot of important things that we need to discuss, some things have changed since our last visit here with the
passage of the highway bill. we're grateful you're here today. your ad, the national highway traffic safety administration was established by congress in 1970 to reduce deaths and injuries from motor vehicle accidents and to help make our nation's roadways safer. the important of the agency's mission cannot be understated. 50 million vehicles recalled and a surge in traffic fatalitiefat it's clear that your work has implications that affect the lives of virtually every american. the life saving nature of nhtsa's mission require congress to ensure compliance with the standard and processes. it also requires us to monitor the agent sit's ability to keep pace with technology, keep pace with advancements that promise greater safety and mobility. we've seen over the last few years failure to comply with the
safety standard or a misunderstanding of the vehicle construction design can lead to delays in safely recalls, roadway fatalities and preventable deaths. we've included many reforms in the safety title for which this subcommittee was responsible of the fixing america's surface transportation act passed by congress last year ansigned into law last year. among those reforms include to the national traffic safety administration was to implement the 17 recommendations issued by the department of transportation off of inspector general following a comprehensive audit of the agent sit's internal processes. those recommendations are intended to improve nhtsa's collection of vehicle safety data so that safety defects can be identified earlier and faulty cars can be removed from the road faster. the recommendations are also intended to help the national traffic safety administration
keep pace with complex vehicle technology. nhtsa pledged to implement all 17 recommendations by june 30th of this year. following this hearing i will send a request for a full breakdown of your administration's progress towards implementing all 17 recommendations. the recently passed highway bill also contains a number of other measures intended to protect the driving public, including improving nhtsa's safety recall processes, increasing the availability of vehicle defect information to consumers and keeping congress apprised of the agent sit's activities through the submission of an annual agenda. each of these reforms work together to ensure that the agency remains focused and dedicated to its mission of saving lives. and that the cars american motorists are driving are indeed safe. we also must ensure absolute compliance with safety standards and processes from vehicle
manufacturers, suppliers into the automotive industry. their role in advancing roadway safety is as critical to the goal of reducing traffic fatalities. to that end the recently passed highway bill contains provisions that strengthen remedy and repair obligations among auto makers for vehicles under recall and requires greater accountability from dealers and rental car companies to ensure that consumers driving away from the lots are driving safe cars. in addition to the implementation of the fast act, there is much more to consider today and i certainly do look forward to discussing the status of the ongoing takata air bag recall. back home in texas there was another tragic fatality tied to these air bags. the national highway traffic safety administration established a coordinated remedy program in 2015 to accelerate the replacement of defective
that data air bag inflaters. despite this program, the take rate or the percentage of people issued a recall that take their vehicle in for servicing remains low. always i commit to you that we will do whatever possible for the public service campaign to make sure this word gets out to consumers. i hope to hear about your coordinated remedy program and what additional action nhtsa is planning to solve this problem. i also look forward to discussing how the agency is working with auto maker to protect vehicles from cyberthreats and how the agency is preparing for the agent it's future of vehicle to vehicle communications, autonomous cars and beyond. we provided for a significant increase in resources for the national highway traffic and safety administration in the recently passed highway bill. some of those are contingent upon meeting the performance set forth in the oig report.
finally i would like the say that you have been good about coming in when we ask, you've been good about being straightforward with us in your answers. for that i'm appreciative. it goes without saying everyone should know where their vehicle identification number is located on the car, lower left hand windshield and the driver's post that number can be entered into your database, safe car.gov and find out if that vehicle is subject to a recall. it's important information. our subcommittee vice chair actually had two recalls on his vehicle an it was delineated that way. i encourage people to check the cars yourself or your loved one of your child, someone for whom you're responsible. because it is the responsible thing to do. and i will yield to the ranking member of the subcommittee for an opening statement, five minutes, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i appreciate that really
important public service announceme announcement. seriously. we need to encourage our constituents and our american citizen to do just that. so i look guard to hearing today ou nhtsa is addressing ongoing and emerging safety challenges. last summer i know you administrator road kooisekind we to testify. the fallout from the air bags continue. toyota announced the recall of another 60,000 vehicles this morning. so these recalls keep oncoming. just last week it was a 17-year-old in texas that died when her air bag ruptured during a low speed accident. and consumers are rightly concerned by the expanding class of vehicles impacted by this and other defects that drove 2015 to
be a record setting year for auto recalls. in 2015 traffic fatalities also increased by 9% reversing years of progress. we can't have another year like 2015. nhtsa has made progress in important areas, for instance under a new rule, heavy vehicles will be required to have electronic stability control, at the same time i would like to see more progress in other areas such as rear seat belt reminders. as we work to improve safety, that's why i'm concerned about reliance on nonspecific voluntary standards. the proactive safety principles released earlier this year set out some broad areas for imt improvement. i agree that the industry and nhtsa should be more proactive in examing early warning within increasing recall participation and enhancing cybersecurity. but i worry that progress in
these areas will be limited if we don't have ens forcible standards. the lives of drivers, passengers and those sharing the road are too important to rely on broad principles. we need to ramp up our approach to safety. aalong with the full committee have introduced the vehicle safety improvement act. and our bill would increase penalties for violations of safety standards, double nhtsa -- last year congress considered a surface transportation bill. while i'm glads that we finally passed a long term transportation bill on safety. this bill, i think, was largely a missed opportunity. but we can fix that. bills like vsia are what the
subcommittee would be advancing if we want to make meaningful progress toward reducing vehicle deaths, in addition to current safety challenges, nhtsa and the subcommittee must think about the next generation of vehicles, vehicle to vehicle technology, automated driving have the potential to improve highway safety but there's a lot to test and figure out. and let me just say that consumer privacy and strong security need to be built in to these technologies from the get-go. and nhtsa needs to be provided sufficient resources to adequately review these technologies before mass deployment. that gets to a broader point. nhtsa needs adequate funding if we want adequate safety. we get the government that we pay for. and when our consumer watchdogs don't have enough resources, we shouldn't be surprised when they don't keep pace with our safety needs. we need strong standards coupled
with the resources to develop and enforce them. and without that we aren't going to make the progress we need. e i welcome our witnesses and look forward to your testimony. i yield back unless someone wants almost a minute. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the chair of the full committee five minutes for an opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. auto safety, it's a matter of life and death. yes it is. there are not a lot of issues as important as keeping americans safe on the road. oversight of nhtsa is an essential part of this committee's work in protecting drivers across michigan and across the country. with over 250 million vehicles on the road, today's hearing offers an important opportunity to evaluate nhtsa's efforts of fulfill its core mission in making sure that our nation's
roadways and vehicles are indeed safe. we've seen nhtsa face many challenges. the agency has struggled to collect and take information on meaningful safety data and major recalls have come sometimes way too late and often with unclear messages on how to fix the problem. we have sadly all too familiar with the tragic consequence of safety failures. fixing american surface transportation act signed into law last year included numerous reforms sponsored by members of this subcommittee to address the challenges and improve accountability, transparency and efficiency at the agency. i thank chairman burr gas for his efforts. i would know that while the fast act represents a positive step forward in improving auto safety practices within nhtsa, there is still more that we can do and should do.
with low recall of come pleex rates, the ongoing takata recalls and cybersecurity issue suhs, other reforms have to be considered to prevent further tragedies. one problem that we've seen repeatedly is an agency struggling to keep pace with the next generation of automotive technologies. being from the auto state i understand how innovation and technological advances is developed and introducing greater complexities in today's vehicle. it's tougher. it is. however it is nhtsa's responsibility and obligation to stay on top of the developments to protect the driving public. part of the problem is a lack of good testing and research facilities for connected and autonomous vehicles. facility like michigan american center for mobility will run, critical policymakers, preparation and understanding of these advanced technologies with faster consumer adoption. until we have an accident and defect free vehicle and roadway
system we can never put too much emphasis on safety. you can't have safety without testing and i want to explore how to move forward with critical testing facilities which can see cure america's continued leadership in advanced automotive technologies and also protect american facilities and families on the road. the automotive industry is vital to michigan's economy, as well as the country's. robust auto safety is fundamental to that progress. we have to continue to work together to enhance vehicle and roadway safety for our nation's motorists and i yield the balance of my time. >> it is a prime sporimportance us. we know that government can't guarantee 100% safety but we know it's a goal we all should be striving toward.
and we appreciate your willingness to work with us on safer vehicles and a safer environment for those. chairman burgegess mentioned th takata air bag hearing and we look for an update on that. we're continuing to lock at that and hear about this issue. the driverless cars, the vehicle-to-vehicle communication, i'm hearing more about that, and the automatic braking systems. we know that these are items that have the potential -- my
constituents are concerned about the decisions that you make, the actions that you take and we welcome you to the committee again. i yield back. >> gentle lady yields back. the chair recognizes the ranking member of the full committee, mr. pallone from new jersey, five minutes for opening statement, please. >> thank you, chairman were calling this hearing so we can discuss nhtsa's critical mission of making our road safer and how congress can best support that mission. it's an exciting time in the automotive world right now from vehicle-to-vehicle communication. while some may want to focus the hearing on the future of the automobile, and i do want to hear that nhtsa industry has the tools necessary that deal with the are changing landscape, we must address the deficiencies
plaguing the industries. we've seen massive recalls for general motors ignition switches, that data air bags and toyota unintended acceleration. just last night we learned that yet another death had been linked to a faulty takata air bag. while some recalls may occur, industry must take responsibility for its own failures and do more to prevent safety deficiencies from putting the public at risk. we start with having the willingness and conviction to effect real change within nhtsa and throughout the city. last year we also unfortunately saw a rise in traffic fatalities last year. according to nhtsa projections, deaths increased 9.3% to 26,000 people in the first nine months of 2013, compared with the same period in 2014. there was also a 30% rise in
serious injuries in the first half of 2015 compared with the first half of 2014, up to nearly 2.3 million serious injuries. in january the deposition of transportation announced an agreement on safety principles between nhtsa and 18 major manufacturers. it's severely lacking in meaningful details. it's mo nothing more than agreement to agree in the future. i have serious reservations about the closed door process by which was agreement was drafted and finalized. it lacks ens forcement to make sure that the oauto makers follows through. now is the time for greater accountability, greater transparency and better communication between auto makers and the agency charged with regulating them, as well as the public, not just a set of voluntary principles.
last year congress passed the transportation funding bill, the fast act. that legislation was a missed opportunity to address accountability, transparency and communication. it should have dealt with used car safety, speeding up the recall process and eliminating regional recalls among other things. the vehicle safety improvement act of 2015, a bill that was mentioned and that i cosponsored last year would make those changes and a lot more. our bill is a starting point to make sure that the millions of drivers and passengers on our roads are kept safe. this year is the 50th anniversary of the national traffic and motor vehicle safety act of 1976, the law created nhtsa. the auto alliance stated that the tafatalities are down 80%. we need to continue the legacy. we' on our way to incredible
advances but we need to ensure that consumers get there safely and i look forward to continuing our discussion about how best to move forward. thank you, mr. chairman. >> chair thanks the gentlemen. the gentleman yields back. the chair would like to remind members that all member's opening statement wills be made part of the record. again, thanks to our witnesses on both panels for being here today and taking the time to testify before the subcommittee. we will have two panels. each panel of witnesses will have an opportunity to give an opening statement followed by questions from the members. once we conclude the questions on the first panel, there will be a brief underscore brief recess to set up for the second panel. and our witness pnl for today's hearing includes on the first panel, dr. mark rosekind, the administrator, mr. rosekind again thank you, we appreciate you being here today. we appreciate your willingness
to be able to members of the subcommittee. appreciate your making available the coming to your facility and looking to see what your and your fine folks do on a daily basis. you're now recognized for five minutes for an opening statement. [ inaudible ] >> chairman burgess, ranking member and others. thank you for allowing me to be here. last year was one of the most eventful in this five-decade history and this year promises to be just as significant. in road safety we face a large and tragically growing challenge. we lost 32,675 lives on american roads in 2014. and as you've cited our 0 early estimates show that the traffic
fatalities have appeared to have grown, up 9% in 2015. i believe that the only acceptable goal is zero traffic deaths. every american should be able to drive, ride or walk to their destination safely every time. that is a goal that drives or work. el this year secretary fox announced the president's proposed $1.2 billion budget for nhtsa that includes important investments in nhtsa's behavial safety efforts and vehicle automation. this funding will further support the ertz to build on the progress we've already made. i strongly urge your support for the president's budget proposal. i'm going to begin with the tappic that receives far less public attention than is due. human behavior on the road. hugh mar error is responsible for 94% of all crashes. we know there are hiefly effective methods to combat these behaviors. but doing more of the same will
not get the job done. in a series of traffic summits we challenged stakeholder to develop new ideas. those efforts will continue as we develop short and long term strategies to eliminate traffic fatalities. nhtsa is acting on multiple fronts to raise the safety of vehicles already on the road. nhtsa requires electronic stability control on heavy vehicles and to upgrade rear impact guard on trucks and trailers. we're working on a rule to require the installation of speed limiters on heavy vehicles and a rule on vehicle-to-vehicle communications, a technology that could prevent tens of thousands of crashes every year. we're leading on vehicle safety beyond the regulatory process. last month we announced an
historic commitment to put the automatic braking in all new cars by 2022. this agreement will make this standard three years faster and that the agency had tried to achieve the same goal through the regulatory process. our proposed update to the five-star ratings program will put more information about vehicle safety into the car buyers. the updates will rate vehicles on crash avoidance and how well they mitigate the harm of pedestrian impacts. this year we'll offer manufacturers operational deployment guidance that outlines out the autonomous vehicles should perform on the road. we'll work with partners to provide model authority and make sure that we meet the goal of encouraging safe innovation. while we look to the future, we must maintain focus on safety today.
in 2015 nhtsa had nearly 900 recall campaigns affects 51 million vehicles. nhtsa's launch unprecedented effort to accelerate the takata recalls. a coordinated remedy program issued to takata accelerated the recall recommendty process by two years or more. this is the most aggressive approach in the history. while identified defects and recalling vehicles is an important safety mission, we prefer to avoid the problems in the first place. in january secretary fox announced an historic agreement on a series of concrete commitments to safety including targeting 100% remedy completion rates. this could change the safety conversation from reactive to proactive, helping us catch the issues soon are or preventing them. we were tragically reminded how urgent this work is.
two weeks ago today a 17-year-old driver lost her life as the takata air bag in her car ruptured. the local sheriff said if it weren't for the rupture she would have been able to walk away from that crash. the inflart in her vehicle had already been recalled but the repair had not been complete. we all play a role in making sure another tragedy like this doesn't happen again. you're going to hear nhtsa talk a lot in the next year about proactive safety. about the need of all of us in a role of protecting the public to make safety our highest priority. doing so requires new ways of thinking for nhtsa, dealers with safety advocates and for the public. i appreciate the opportunity to testify and i'm pleased to answer your questions. >> chair thanks the gentleman for the testimony. begin by recognizing myself for five minutes for questions. again, i appreciate you being here today. can you tell us since this last
incident was so recent, and i don't know that i've seen any sort of official write-up of what occurred, but the air bag unit in question was under recall but what was the difficulty in getting the recall information to the end user? >> specific to that case, that was a 2011 recall, actually for a different manufacturing defect. the manufacturer reported sending at least six notices to the family, the family reports not receiving any of them. so that's being investigated right now. >> well, certainly seems like we've uncovered a weak spot in what is -- should be the vehicle notification and the user getting back to get the problem taken care of. is in is problem because this was a second or third owner or was this the original owner of the car? >> we believe it was a used
vehicle. so multiple owners of the vehicle. and you've hit on it, which is as much as is currently being done to notify people, it's not enough. so we have been working with the out mo to makers with had our own programs, we've just established with the independent monitor 19 new strategies, more robust ones for the auto makers and takata to go after people to inform people they're available. we have a dozen activity going on with nhtsa including a new national campaign, safe cars save lives. in spite of those what we know is it's not been enough. i do want to thank you because every time you've been good about mentioning safercar.gov. in we saw a spike of 150,000 to 175,000 checks of people's v.i.n. numbers. every time we make people aware,
they pay attention. i thank you. you've been so good about doing this. >> this was in a recently highway bill that we did about state notification to consumers. state of texas i've got to take my car somewhere and the guy checks the turn signal. i'm happy to comply with it because i can drive my car another year without getting a traffic ticket. is there any way to ade the compliance with the recalls at the state level as part of the things that they check along with pollution and turn signals and tire wear? is it possible to have this information as well? >> yes. thank you for the f.a.s.t. act. this is one example of one of the elements that could help promote better recalls. what you're identifying is a pilot program. right now there is no procedure, there's no technology or funding basically to figure out thou go do this.
when you get your car registered is the way to notify people. it's great about the pilot program, up to six states with work with us to figure out what the procedures need to be, what technology need to be in place and basically how the procedures are going to go to make sure that happens. to give you a feel, the v.i.n. lookup is for consumers with, one person at a time. here you're looking at hundreds of thousands of lookups potentially daily to get the work done. we have to figure out how to do it. a great touch point to inform people. >> somehow when you make it important to people, it can involve money and instead of making a punitive, if there was a proactive way -- this is a question i need to ask the manufacturers, actually an incentive program to comply with a vehicle safety recall if someone has been identified, then i would encourage if there are any manufacturers who are listening today to consider that approach as well. i got to ask you this, because a
little known fact because i'm chair of the motorcycle caucus and you mentioned novel motorcycle helmet problems. i was not aware of that. >> there's a group of manufacturers that put out a novelty helmet that does not meet the standard. so basically people put the mel met on thinking they're protecting themselves and it does not. >> these are sold as motorcycle helmets? >> absolutely. if you didn't know what you were buying and you thought it looked different and cool thinking you were getting the same protection, you would not be. >> is there a requirement that a motorcycle helmet be placarded? would there be any way for a consumer to know this is a nhtsa approved or a safety approved? >> there is a d.o.t. label so you would know it is correct. these are manufacturered and put out there in certain places. >> but no label would be affixed to those. there's no label?
>> it's different depending on how people are producing them. most often there's no label. if people don't know they should be looking for that, they think it's a helmet that should be protecting them. >> i learned something new today and i hope our motorcycle public is paying attention and only buy official helmets. i recognize the ranking member of the subcommittee for five minutes, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you dr. rosekind. the math of ongoing recalls of takata recalls have remained a huge and complicated problem. and as was mentioned just yesterday nhtsa announced 85 million more takata air bags could be recalled unless takata can prove they are save. dr. rosekind, questions about takata inflaters are endless. for example, consumers want to know how we can get accurate information to better understand which inflaters are going into what cars. and recently nhtsa stated that
if a car company cannot meet the requirement to acquire a sufficient supply of remedy parts, the company should continue its quote like for like unquote program replacing older air bag with newer but identical bags. so my questions are these. does that mean that the company will be putting a potentially defective air bag into the car with the hope that it is better just because it's newer and is the consumer told this important information at the time that the air bag is replace snd. >> i need to begin by making smur everybody understand. since their inception, 42,000 lives have been saved by air bags. a piece of safety equipment is putting people at risk. what is now known based on testing is there are at least five different factors that create the risk about a rupture. that has to do with temperature, moisture, time, the driver versus passenger side and
whether it has deaf can't or not, which is a moisture a absorbing ad tif that can be placed in there. at this point we're only seeing ruptures at 7 1/2 years and that is with all of the other risk factors involved as well. so what you're talking about is right now with supplies there are a certain number that have are being replaced that has at least a 7 1/2 time year span available to protect the people in the vehicle. >> is the consumer promised a later date to come in and get a permanent remedy? >> absolutely. when we announced the recall, the hardest part is you've hit on one of the most difficult things. you're talking about people potentially have having to come twice. what you're describing is an interim remedy that will provide more safety but they're going to have to come back for a second time. this is why we emphasized the 100%. you don't want people to get the
first one and think they're done. >> there's news reports that indicate that companies other than takata are making replacement air bags. are those suppliers making the inflaters to the old specifications or the new ones and are the companies required to make the inflaters without ammonium nitrate? >> there are three other manufacturers, producing 70% of the inflaters that are being currently produced for replacement. none of them use ammonium nitrate. none of them have had any safety problems identified. >> and how does a consumer know if her car's replacement air bag is a replica of the air bag. and how does the consumer know whether the new air bag she got in the last two years needs to be replaced? and how does she know whether the new one contains ammonium nitrate propellants?
>> go to safercar.gov. see if your vehicle is under recall. if you go in and the dealer tells you it's the interim remedy, you know you have to be called back for the second fix. >> safercar.gov. >> some automobile manufacturers may be selling new vehicles with potentially defective takata inflaters. what is nhtsa doing to ensure that all new cars are free of the air bags? >> it would be illegal to sell a known defect in a new car. so if you're aware of anything, let us know. that's something we would go and investigate. so there should be no vehicles -- again there a some that are getting like for like. right now the recalls i think are back to 2014. but all of those are being tracked because of the 7 1/2 rupture time line. >> you're unaware of any reports that some auto manufacturers are
doing that? is that you're saying? >> you're saying i should inform you. have you heard that at all? you have not? >> unless it's something we know about. again there are some that haven't been recalled because of the time. >> okay. >> otherwise we're not aware of? >> thank you. i yield back. >> chair thanks the gentle lady. chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois for questions for five minutes. >> thank you for being here and thank you for serving the country in your capacity. chairman, thanks for holding this hearing for us to continue our committee's oversight of nhtsa and the review related saty issues within the automotive industry. i would especially like to thank the chairman and their committee for their support to include my amendment in the f.a.s.t. act. it takes an important step forward to improve vehicle safety by requiring auto to makers to provide more
information, sharing defective part numbers and other identifiable information will improve safety. section 24116 of the f.a.s.t. act requires auto makers to supply additional information in their 575 reports such as the name of the component, a description of the component and the part number. do you have any information about what's the status of implementation of the section? >> important component of this act, name description and part number under way to include that according to what's in the f.a.s.t. act. >> does it require a rule making or not? >> yes. >> has nhtsa reached out to stakeholders such as the automotive repsych hers association for technical assistance and implementing the section in. >> they've been forthcoming. they've come to meet with us to help us be more explicit about
what needs to get done. >> a good relationship? >> very productive interaction. >> has any information been received from oems from this new section of the law? >> any? >> new information received from them? >> we're still in the produce it phase. we'll interact with them to make sure that what we produce is something they can put through. >> do you have an idea of the time line? >> i'll tell you for sure we'll meet the fast act requirement. >> okay. and then how will the information supplied through this section of the law be available to the public or stakeholders? ideally are you going to have it like a static pdf form, electronic database? until you foresee. >> that's the part that's trying to be figured out. that's not just with the re recycle recyclers. that's the part that's being worked on now. >> i appreciate y'all working on it. my office will continue to
ensure that, you know, everything is going correctly and appreciate your service. mr. chairman, that's all i have for this witness. i appreciate it. >> chair recognizes ms. clark from new york. five minutes, your questions please. >> i thank the chairman, i thank the ranking member, thank you dr. rosekind for coming in today. am i pronouncing your name correctly? >> rosekind. >> rosekind. okay. that was the brooklyn pronunciati pronunciation. i think it's safe to assume that cars are going to come equipped with more technological functions going forward, such as on star and built-in entertainment and navigation systems. but as we've heard in numerous hearings in this subcommittee, covering different aspects of the internet, in f the product can connect to the internet, that is going to be a target for
hackers. what is nhtsa doing to ensure that the growing factors don't become new entry points for hackers? does nhtsa have plans to pursue a rule making on cybersecurity? >> let me start with the consequences. last july there was a highly visible hack of a jeep which was at least planned. so there has been known malicious pack. but it's no longer a concept. it's real. and i point that out because without any change in our authorities et cetera within days, defect was call and a recall was under way. we're going to act aggressively and get on those when possible. you're bringing up an issue which is the more connected everything is, the more cybersecurity becomes critical. we've been on this since 2012. this is my chance to thank everybody for their support in the f.a.s.t. act. we have seven engineers on this.
the f.a.s.t. act is going to allow us to add 20 engineers to deal with this. they're looking at a broad range of how you protect things, to researchers looking at what are the data elements you have to collect to see that the hacking attempts were ongoing. an active research program going on. we published a cybersecurity piece in our policy. january we held a meeting with over 300 folks coming together, manufacturers as well as independent and researchers to get to look at these sorts of things. specifically to your question, this is an area where we need to figure out how to sort of cut that middle line, which is we talked about nimble and flexible for cybersecurity. if you come out with a rule today, tomorrow it could be kout of date. yet at the same time you need best practices and potentially rules to establish certain kinds of hard protections. i think this is an area that you're going to have to see a variety of different techniques used to get the full protection
that the american public expects. >> very well. as you referred to the jeep experiment with the two researches, dr. rosekind when it comes to cars, cybersecurity isn't about data. it can really be about safety issue, can't it? a joint bulletin that nhtsa we leased with the fbi a month ago said that consumers should take appropriate steps to minimize risks with respect to hacking. can you explain what some of those steps might be? >> yes. thank you. you're right. our focus is primarily on the safety. and that hack that was done on the jeep last july specifically dealt with control systems of the vehicle. and that's where the safety concern comes. and yeah, thanks for acknowledging the collaboration with the fbi and putting that out. and that added a lot of straightforward things that we can do. be careful what you hook up to your entertainment system. that jeep hack went through the entertainment system, for example.
all of us can think about all of the things that we attach to our vehicles, whether you're nowadays a huge number connected to the web. if you're out there searching, you have a chance not just for a virus to come and be difficult for you but literally to get in your systems. there's a nice list of things in that press release that was put out basically cautioning people. if you think about it, you would want to do the same thing that you do for your home computer to protect yourself. think about your car in your same way. >> i thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back the balance of my time. >> recognize the gentle lady from indiana, ms. brooks, five minutes for questions, please nls thank you, mr. chairman. i consider my district actually the auto auction capital of the united states, car auction services which is headquarters in my districts is the second largest auto auction company in north american, selling over 4 million vehicles a year, employ es 14,000 people in all 50 states. and i also, in north of
indianapolis, i have next gear capital just expanding their headquarters in caramel. i've been to their facility where they serve over 20,000 auto dealers who depend on them for $13 billion in capital to fund their auction. they want to help protect people by ensuring that they know that their customers know of car defects before they buy. but right now safercar.gov only allows customers to search vin numbers at a time to check for recalls. with over 9 million cars sold at auction every year, auto auctions simply don't have the s simply don't have the manpower or the resources to tediously input every single number. and so by allowing auto auctions to run every car in their lot for recall notices in one query, the consumer would be more equipped to make better decisions, higher successful recall rates and ultimately
fewer accidents on the road. and obviously we've been talking about the fast act passed last year, and it studied the feasibility of searching multiple vin numbers at the same time and the fezability of making the search mechanism for the event. can you give me an update on the progress you've made, nhtsa's made with respect to the search of multiple numbers at once and what hurdles you still face. >> and actually, you've just described them, which is the nhtsa lookup is a tool for consumers. and we don't actually even maintain the data base. that's really just tapping the auto manufacturers who control their vin data bases. so we know there's a great need and interest in having batch or bulk look-ups so you can do it as a group. the auction house, new dealerships, all kinds of folks would benefit from that. so we've met with folks and i think the biggest thing we're seeing is the technology challenge. is you're talking about the creation of some mechanism as i just said, ours -- we don't even
keep the data base. we go to the manufacturers. how would you create a mechanism basically technologically to have those bulk requests going to multiple manufacturers in a very short time frame and providing that answer basically to whomever the requester is. i think at most at this point it's a technology challenge and clearly how it would get funded is unclear as well. everybody's sort of pointing to that. there are three commercial entities that exist that do that. car fakz x is one of them. i can get you the other one. we met in july to talk about what might happen. i think technology's the biggest piece right now because no one quite quite has the answer to pull that off. >> but isn't one of our challenges that we have so many people who do purchase vehicles that are moving through the auto auctions and so there are -- so consumers it's very, very difficult for them to know if they are getting one of these cars that has one of these problems? >> absolutely. just two things. one is when i say there's a technological challenge, that doesn't mean we aren't off of
it. it actually means we're trying to be more aggressive to figure out how could you fix that issue. and you've hit on another issue, which the fast act addressed for rental cars but in used cars people can still sell those without having the recalled remedy. that's one of the ways to get to those. and that's why i say we met in july and we're still meeting with them to see if we can figure out what the technological solution could be. >> okay. i certainly hope that some of your engineers working on cyber issues maybe with all of that brain power of those engineers maybe can also be tasked to have that as a topic. i want to turn to a different topic right now. last year, or this past month, rather, griffith high school boys' basketball team was traveling to a state championship. a driver sideswiped their bus and the bus flipped and overturned as they were on the way to their semi-state game. none of the children were seriously injured. however, it reminds us all about
the importance of getting seat belts on school buses. and last september you announced a series of steps designed to move the nation toward providing more seat belts to students on school buses. can you please tell us about the research projects, the data collection, stakeholder outreach? what's going on with respect to this project. >> i can't thank you enough for raising that question. there are so many headlines that people want to talk about. that's one for four decades there's been debate about putting seat belts on school buses. and yes, it's a clear departure for nhtsa to come out and basically say three-point belts would add -- the big yellow bus is the safest way to get to and from. can you make it safer? absolutely. so we've already had one-day meetings to talk about how to make that happen. we've identified the fact that it's not just about seat belts on the bus, it's around the bus. so we're looking at everything from the red lights on the arms to guards that help people pass in front. we're looking at all those
different things including our most recent meeting good b. a month ago where we polled the six states that have laws with seat belts in to figure out what they're doing and how we can scale that to the rest of the country. we're on that trying to figure out what we can do to support three-point belts on school buses. >> thank you for your time. i yield back. >> gentle lady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey. member of the full committee, mr. pollown. five minutes for questions, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as others have mentioned today, in january d.o.t. and 18 automakers reached an agreement known as the proactive safety principles and i'm glad to see auto manufacturers and d.o.t. try to work proactively on vehicle safety but frankly i have doubts about these principles. the principles are simply a promise to try to work together in the future. there's no substance. and even if there were, there's no enforcement to make sure the automakers keep their commitments.
so i wanted to ask you can you assure me these principles are meaningful in some way, that these principles are more than a pr stunt to shift the focus away from the major safety crisis of the past few years? >> and you're absolutely correct. it's not a regulation, and they're not enforceable. and i can tell you in april we had a meet for the very first time to discuss with the automakers 100% recall completion rate as a target. that is now included in that proactive principle. never before has -- everyone's always talked about let's get 75% because that's the average. we're now talking about 100% should be that target. that's in there. can everybody do more? absolutely. but now we have a new target that's already in there. i think the automatic emergency braking that we've seen happen is another proactive one. and in the cyber security area chrysler actually in may is having their own two-day just industry meeting to focus on things. it wasn't intended to be a regulation. it wasn't intended for enforcement. we're going to use all the
enforcement regulatory authority that we have. we're not giving anything up. my concern is the 32,675 and that we're looking at a 9% increase this year. and we all know if we continue to do the same thing we cannot expect a different outcome. so we will continue doing everything we know that works. we'll figure out ways to do it better. but nhtsa is looking for every other tool that we can find that could help save a life. >> all right. in addition -- and i appreciate that because i think that tha even though you're admitting there's no enforcement mechanism per se that you're going to try to use other measures that you have to do that. in addition to the lack of enforcement, know, i also have reservations about the closed door process that nhtsa has been engaging in recently. with regard to the proactive safety principles. were any other safety advocates directly involved in crafting the principles? >> that process started on december 1st when secretary fox
called all the c.o.s in because of all the recall and safety problems going on in the industry. it was clearly beyond just breaking records, an issue of the safety culture in the industry. he called them in and said we need to do something different. and six weeks later that agreement emerged among them basically to come up with these principles in those four areas. so that started with a meeting with the automakers. six weeks later through the holidays, frankly, is when it actually came together. so there was, again, no -- there was not a public process. there was not what are you going to change. that was an agreement that came together. and i'll say it again. it's not intended to be a regulation. it's not intended to be enforcement. but everybody's watching. and we already have some concrete things like that agreement looking to target 100% completion. activities already going on. cyber security already being advanced. we have a safety meeting coming up next week basically where we are going to be looking at how to take aviation lessons learned and apply them to the auto
industry. so in that agreement it talks about anonymous sharing of safety data. that meeting to start that process is actually happening next friday. we're watching. >> there weren't any auto safety advocates directly involved. but how are you going to try to get them involved? what are you going to do? >> that principle -- that agreement is public. it's out there. the activities basically are aware. so anybody can have input into what's going on. and that again was an agreement of the manufacturers to proactively move things forward. >> so there wasn't any public comment period for the proactive safety principles. >> it was not a regulation. it's not intended to be enforced. >> no, i understand. i appreciate your honesty about lack of enforcement, you know, lack of involvement of the auto safety advocates. lack of a comment period. i don't think that's good, but i appreciate your honesty.
how are we going -- we don't want to have a similar agreements like this in the future. i think it's important to involve the public safety advocates. it's important to have public comments, a public comment period prior to finalization. so, i mean, can you make some sort of commitment to us that in the future you'll try to do that? or what can you tell us that makes me a little -- feel a little better about the lack of all this? >> nhtsa's going to look for all the tools that are available. and that means we're going to have as much interaction with a full range of safety advocates for all the activities that are going on. and frankly, some of the processes have clear elements where, you know, notice and comment for rule making. there are opportunities for everybody to get involved for the public docket, et cetera. there are always going to be other activities that go on that certain groups aren't going to be involved in. >> i mean, i guess my concern -- i know my time has run out, mr. chairman. is that these voluntary good practices on the part of
business are certainly something we hope for. but the rulemaking process exists for a reason. and mandatory safety standards have prevented more than 600,000 deaths since the 1960s. i don't want the agency moving away from mandatory standards. that's my concern. >> and that's why i can state absolutely emphatically we will continue to regulate and enforce as we need to. and we are looking at and. we want to expand and add to our tool set that we can try to see progress on safety. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> chair thanks the gentleman. the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky mr. guthrie. five minutes for questions, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman rosekind for testifying. it's my understanding that what is sometimes called the one nation program, referring to fuel economy regulations, was intended to coordinate or harmonize various federal, state -- and state regulations as much as possible. since there are effectively three sets of regulation, epa
nhtsa and state regulation, it's come toto my attention that differences even between the federal programs make compliance more difficult. first you agree that the development of the one nation program was to provide consistency and certainty for automakers? >> yes. among those three groups that you highlighted, nhtsa, epa and especially the california air resource board. >> are you aware of the differences between programs that affect stringency and possible compliance? >> are there specific ones? >> well, one that -- if i'm not mistaken, epa credits can have a usable life of up to ten years versus nhtsa credits having up to five year of life. so because of that difference somebody can be -- an epa credit can be compliant with epa but not compliant with nhtsa. is that a conflict? do you see that? or is that something you -- >> if there's a specific instance where somebody's questioning where that inconsistency is i would love to see that so we can see what's actually going on there. the other question to the
question of consistency more generally, there is a midterm review coming up where we'll be putting out a technical assessment report where we can basically take a look at how that's doing and a draft report will come out for exactly those kinds of comments that people can address. >> somebody came to me and said they have been written up for one or the other but they look at the statement saying there's a potential of being in compliance with the epa and what nhtsa's asking for. that was an example of what i wanted to bring out. so we'll have an opportunity during the comment period to comment on that. that could be an inconsistency if that's the case, right? >> again, if there's a specific intans they should let us know because there is sort of one rule out there they should be going by. if there's a concern they can let us know, we can absolutely take a look at it. but more importantly in that midterm review there will be a draft that everybody can comment. >> we'll follow up specific on that, then. so shifting to recalls and focus on the millions of motorists and occupants who are driving or riding vehicles under open
recall, what is the status of the new media recall campaign you announced last september? >> there have actually been a variety of activities going on. that one is safe cars save lives. and we're doing media buys. and nhtsa's the agency that has click it or ticket, drive sober get pulled over, you drive you text you pay, we have these national campaigns we do. this is a new one focused specifically on recalls. the other two things i'll just mention quickly are -- besides our activities going on. the automobile associations doing research and looking at other mechanisms. things like contacting the insurance companies so when you not just register your car but your insurance company, another touch point. and the independent monitor is also working with takata and all the manufacturers affected. as part of the consent order they're required to give us their outreach plan. we've come up with 20 robust strategies for them to pursue along with the about dozen things we have under way.
>> takata is a case -- the recall obviously is different but there are a lot of recalls for a lot of different reasons. do you look at rehab fatigue, your door handle needs to be adjusted -- i've never seen one. but people say if it's a typo in the owner's manual you get i a recall notice on that. i haven't seen one. but i do see recalls that come through cars that i have. and i'll get around to that one because it's a screw in the chair seat or something like that versus obviously takata that's a safety. is there a way you can concerned about people continuing to get recalls and all of a sudden one's more serious than others and i guess recall fatigue? >> absolutely. and i think that's been the problem with the headlines, is people get so many notices potentially when you're looking at -- i mentioned the number. but last year, 2015 was 900. beat the year before. we're talking about 51 million vehicles being affected. so yeah, just consumers -- just knowing that that's something they need to pay attention to is
a challenge. then if you're getting multiple ones for different cars, that's a real problem. that's why we're trying to come up with new strajs, new approaches. there's a lot of activity going on. i think the tragedy from a couple weeks ago shows we've got to do more. >> absolutely. i only have 19 seconds. but one, you said publicly and your staff has said that auto safety technologies may have environmental benefits that would reduce greenhouse gases. can you give a couple examples of that? in eight seconds. sorry. >> engines that are more efficient. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from oak mr. mullen. five minutes for questions, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. sir, if ythank you for being he. very impressive, your command and knowledge of nhtsa. i think the whole time you've been here i haven't seen you even look back at anybody behind
you or even look at a note. so i will commend you for that. i'm not capable of doing that. i just want to run a little bit on the recalls. unfortunately we heard of the young lady that lost her life and that's been brought up, talked about. there were some questions about how the vehicle was registered. i get that too. but i have owned multiple vehicles over time and i still get recalls from vehicles that i owned years ago. unless i'm mistaken i thought dmvs were supposed to notify or help notify individuals when they were registered with them of recalls. but is the dmv's communicating with manufacturers to let them know the vehicle's changed hands, some way to get the notifications farther out there? what we're having is
obviously -- it's not being effective. and i understand the responsibility of the driver. but at the same time when you buy a vehicle new or used you assume everything's perfect on it. you're not looking for recalls. if you're looking for recalls you would never purchase the vehicle. if there communications with the state, with the manufacturer, with the dmvs? what is that communication like? >> there should be. but you've just hit on a -- besides things like fatigue recalls -- recall fatigue, you're hitting on another issue. which is where in the communication did that break down? because one of the concerns you're just raising is when there's a multiple buyer, you know, you've had multiple -- the used car's been bought by multiple buyers over time, there is the assumption that somehow that transition of ownership has been taken care of, that all the appropriate information has been passed on. that's not always tracked. so now you're looking at the whole system.
dmv, the manufacturer, where the notices go out p even if they have updated information on the owner. and make sure that they're sending it to the right address where you actually live. so you just hit on another issue you're trying town ralph to sort of figure out where those touch points could be. that's why there's the interest in the dmv pilot. because that's something if you're going to register the car we could get you again. and i would actually like to use you in an ad because you've got it. if you buy a new car, used car, rent-a-car, your assumption is that it has no outstanding recalls. >> right. >> not the case. >> the other breakdown too, i have a fleet of vehicles and several mechanics that work for us in our companies. and you can't work on a car anymore without plugging it in to a computer. you would seem that there would be a way for notification to come up on the vehicle and everything connected the way that it is if there's a recall, regardless if the manufacturer is -- it's working at a
certified gm mechanic or the mechanic down the road. you would think that would be a way for it to communicate because everybody's got to take their vehicles in and get the oil changed. very few people are changing their oil now in their driveway. that might be a way. and i'm open to discussing it farther with you of maybe some simple ways that we might be able to come up with more communication, more ways for just the average consumer to be able to get the technology or the information they need. i want to go back to miss brooks, bring up the school bus issue. i have five kids. go to public school. from 12 to 5 years of age. they're going to be there for a while. and they're on a school bus all the time. the question is, though, i don't think any school is arguing the fact they want to put seat belts in the school buses. it's that they can't afford it. so is nhtsa looking at a program to help the schools? because if we just mandate for the schools to do it, they can't -- schools are being --
having issues with revenue left and right. we continuously put mandates on the school systems and you're not going to find a teacher or superintendent or someone elected to the school board that's going to argue the point they don't want seat belts in the school buses. but we've got to have some type of program to incentivize them to be able to do it and funding that goes along with it. >> and we're looking at those possibilities. and to your point, we don't want school districts to make the choice to not provide that safe school bus because of their concerns about the seat belts. that's one of those fine lines we have to tread. that's why we came out with the policy but without the mandate trying to figure out how other states and school systems have done it. and we've met folks where they didn't have the funds but they made a decision in the district to only order new buses with three-point belts. they found a way to pull it off. >> you can order new buses that way. it's the old buses. and we know how expensive the new buses are.
how long is it going to take to get the old buses off the road? you're talking about years at that point. i'm out of time, sir. thank you for being here. really do appreciate it. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair thanks the gentleman. the chair would recognize miss schakowsky from illinois for a redirect. the chair will recognize himself for the opportunity for redirection with the administrator for the national highway traffic safety administration. there is something that has come up relatively recently that i hear on car shows on saturday morning and that is the issue of the seat back integrity. we put our children in car seats. we put them in the rear seat. but in some crashes the seat
integrity of the seatback is what fails, putting the adult then in the compartment with the child where the child is then injured. is this something you're looking into currently? >> yes. and fortunately, severe rear impacts, severe, are fairly rare and then when someone's injured trying to determine the seat back strength is more rare. which just means trying to get the data to figure out the safety benefit and other benefit determinations and things can be challenging. but we're looking at that from a potential regulatory standpoint. and from a research standpoint. so even if we don't have the real world data we're looking at actually a new test dummy that would allow us to collect better data to make that kind of determination, which we would have to do to come up with a regulation in that area. >> very well. then another unusual thing that happened in the north texas area. the day after christmas. we had a very severe tornado.
blew up suddenly, came at nightti nighttime, difficult to let people know it's coming. the greatest loss of life occurred on a tollway overpass. not people getting under it to get out of the path of the storm, which we recognize is a bad idea because of the venturi effect under the overpass. but these are people traveling over the overpass. and they got pulled off the road and obviously there were multiple fatalities. department of transportation has lighted signs that they put up. and as you alluded to, the click it or ticket or don't -- drive sober, get pulled over. sometimes there will be traffic warnings. is there any thought to providing timely weather warnings, hail storm that we just had a few days ago in my area? this tornado the day after christmas. people that are -- i know we'd
like to say people are listening to their weather warning stations at that point but they're not. they're listening to their sound systems. people literally sucked off the overpass and thrown into the lake and again, with great loss of life. >> you've just said it, we use those signs for a lot of different things. and i will go and talk to greg nadeau, who's administrator of the federal highway administration, and see if that kind of information could be added to what's transmitted to the drivers. >> i appreciate that. do you mind if i go to mr. bilirakis first? >> no, that's fine. >> the chair recognizes mr. bilirakis, five minutes for questions. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. i appreciate it. administrator rosekind, where do we stand currently with the v2v? if you can tell me that, and elaborate a little bit how it's going to work. >> sure. let's start with people talk about either or.