tv Today in Washington CSPAN February 5, 2011 2:00am-6:00am EST
are all appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate. we are appointed by a politician and we're confirmed by 100 others in the senate, so there's politics there. pol it ticks does create public policy. politics can have a dirty connotation, but at the end of the day the root definition of politics is a good one. >> you should have a fixed term, just so we can be clear. the president can't dismiss you because he disagrees with one of your decisions. exactly. >> or congress can't as well. >> that actually helps tremendously. so we have a fixed term, but we can only be removed from office by impeachment from the senate and thankfully that hasn't happened yet, sothat does give you a certain amount of autonomy. congress can pass legislation and the president can sign it to make us do something or prevent us from doing something. they can restruck our budget to keep us from pursuing a certain
goal and politics is always there. we can be called up to capitol hill before relevant committees and be browbeen and people can complain and voice to us and that's a healthy part of the process. sure, it's political for all those reasons,but there is that degree of insulation from it as well. everything we do is ultimately public. our decisions are written and available to the public and available to appeal to the court so there are a lot of cecks and balances so the commission can do what it's not authorized to do. so there are building blocks for the basic foundation of the system is in place and it's again going back to that matter of how do different personalitieshape the philosophies and that ultimately is what decides how each mmission acts and how it produces a public policy. >> okay.
that's an excellent segway into my next question about the reference to how different philosophies shape different decisions. maybe before i ask the next question i have in mind, let me just -- and i think you did this a little bit before, but this will lead ino the discussion of all the substantive topics we want to talk about. just how do you know? you said you relied on competition, i think, as a guide in making decisions. am correct? >> that's the goal. >> so let's look at the markets and see what's competitive and see ifhere's market failures and see if there are bottlenecks. >> i guess the economists out there, you actually got the fcc's chief economist here in the audience with us, jonathan baker. so my question is how do you know when a market is
sufficiently competitive that you don't want to regulate it? >> well, maybe it's a little bit like an obscenity when you see it. i don't think ere's going to be a strict test. it's going to be -- every situation's going to be unique. you look at the facts of each situation and you follow the laws to what you're empowered to do as an agency, but look for concentrations of market power and abuses of those power, and of that power and if you need a remedy to fix it and make it narrowly tailored and make it sunseted and go from there. so you have to take each case as it comes to you on its own facts. >> okay. i just want to remind the audience for those of yo that weren't with us this morning that we want to have questions in this session as we did throughout the morning session. so as we're having our conversation, if you think of questions, keep them in mind and you'll have an -- we are going to have an opportunity to have a
q & a. so i invite you to do that. okay, your last answer leads me to this question. when chairman jankowski came in, he had data decision making -- it had a nice ring to it, beta-driven decision making and in fact, he repeated it so much it became what i might call a mantra, almost. so, you know, a lot of data comes in to the commission, of course, as we all know. so here's my question. you and chairman jankowski, you hopefully have the same data, but that leads him to come to a very different conclusion than
you do on certain issues, say net neutrality when you're looking, presumably, at the same data and i mean, that's puzzling to me if you have a beta-driven commission, except if you take into account the regulatory philosophy must matter, i guess. how do you bring together those two ideas and tal about how they lead you to reach a different decision from your fellow commissioners. >> it was probably like any other collaborative policy-making body whether it's congressor a panel of jges and other agencies. so your philosophy will have a lot to do of how you look at the facts and also you have to look the law. so when in doubt, read the statute and that was always a helpful place to start. look at the court cases that might govern that particular area as well, and go from there.
it could be that you completely agree with the policy outcome, but we currently look at the statutory authority to do so and the courts may have said otherwise. >> those are pieces of data that probably everyone -- you know, the statute is the statute. the court decision, you migh agree on, but talk about it a little bit in terms of -- i'm thinking more of market data or, you know, pertence in about the future or whatever. sort of that type of ct all material that the commission considers in making decisions. >> it could be that sometimes the commissioner or chairman, they come in with the agenda and they look for facts to help support that agenda. >> there are other times when there's a new issue brought to their attention and they'll open the record and they'll balance the facts. it's hard to set aside the premis and we'll set aside the statute in the crts and that's
what gets the commission in trouble on appeal and i try to make sure that i'm as faithful to that as i can be. >> okay. so let's move into our discussion of some of the substantive issues because i think we've got an appreciation of how you approac decisions and your philosophy and, surprise, surprise, the first issue i want to talk about is net neutrality. i mean, frankly, i've been talking about net neutrality for maybe seven or eight years and i don'see any reason to stop right now right at this moment, even though i know the commission has just reached a decision, but now, everyone in the audience, i'm sure, in this audience has read your -page dissent to the commission's net neutrality decision, maybe even memorized parts of it, for all i
know. >> hopefully not. >> but let's talk about it. just to set the stage, you called the fcc's action, quote, one of the darkest days in recent fcc history. now, do you really believe that or were you justtaking poetic license for dramatic effect after just having quoted shakespeare before that? >> well, when you're writing a 30-page dissent with 30 footnotes, you have to put something in there to keep the reader's attention. a little bit of rhetoric doesn't hurt any now and then, so -- >> i want to quote again from your decision and obviously have no fear. we're not going have time to explore all 33 pages, but -- and of course, a lot of it turned on the -- on your analysis of the
commission's legal authority with which you disagreed with the majority and the commission had authority to promulgate these rules. we may talk a little bit about that, but put that aside. i just want to give you a quote and then just ask you to explain because i think this quote gets to the nub of the matter perhaps. commissioner mcdowell sai quote, using these new rules as a weapon, politically favored companies will be able to pressure their potical appointees to regulate their rivals to gainompetitive advantages. litigation will subplant litigation, instead of reinvesting in tomorrow's technologies, precious capital will be committed to pay lawyers' fees. the internet regulatory arbitrage has donned, closed quote. that's a pretty stiff charge. >> the donning thing does
indicate the darkest day of the year part, doesn't it? so -- sorry about that. >> i thought it was all just part of the poetry myself, but anyway, i thought that gets to the -- i know there are a lot of different ways to think about it, but that gets to the nub of the matter. so just take a couple of minutes to explain what troubled you so much about the commission's decision, again, and just put aside for now the question of the legal authority which we preciate. >> i can't, you know. >> let me just ask. we'll get it outecause -- even assuming you reached the conclusion that the commission haduthority to do what it wanted to do under your reading of this statute, would you have been fine with the regulations that were promulgated? >> let me go back to the first part of your questn, which is the most frequent requests
sometimes we get at the commission from industry players was please regulate my arrival. >> my arrival's running too fast. cod you please slow him or her down? and the legal analysis of -- >> they don't say it quite that way, right? >> they don't come out and say it. >> they usually say we need a level playing field. >> we, there are lots of ways to say it, i guess, but that's at the essence of a lot of requests that we get. this will actually help consumers if you wing late my arrival,et ra, but it comes in the competitive marketplace, so it wouldn't be a rival. part of the concern with the legal analysis is there is no limiting principle in the majority's order from december 21st, no limiting principle on the commission's authority to regulate. so if it's truly unlimited power to the point that the commission has the authority to limit
rates, terms and conditions which the commission has already been on record that title one gives the commission that authority, then there's no end. so it just takes three voteso determine the basis of the, mran complaint. so what we're doing is opening up the commission for a new tool with the competitive strategy and where it is knocking the stuffing out of each other in the marketplace and the competitive marketplace. now you're coming to the government to help pick the winner or a loser, and that -- that is troubling, and i'm not sure -- i know that the order is not going to stand on appeal. we can talk more about that in a minute, but that uncertainty that's injected now into the marketplace is all rolled into that quote that you were in. i have a concern over that
uncertainty. >> and maybe this is part of the same thing you're talking about, but let me just ask and have you elaborate. the commission seemed to place an awful lot of emphasis on the purpose of the rule was to protect -- what it called edge providers, meaning application and content providers rather than network providers. i mean, it drew that distinction d there was a lot of talk about how the -- how one of the chief purposes of the rule was to make sure that the edge providers are protected so they can innovate, but i want to ask you what you think about this distension between the edge providers and the network providers and you know, number
one, is it a durable distinction at all and does it make sense? >> i don't think it is a durable distinction. let me outline the prile of the company for you that i'm thinking of. >> it has thousands of miles of fiber optic connectivity. it's got hundreds, if not thousands of servers and soft switches. it offers video, voice and data services. is that company, a, at&t, microsoft, c verizon, d, google? >> the answer is it's all of the above. so as consumers are demanding and the marketplace i demanding more convergence of technology, i think the law has to respond in kind. now one can make the argument that the difference there is two of those companies have last model facilities. well, since i've been at the f
and we've been working ha to have more last-mile competition, whether it's our december of '06 video franchise order to make it easier to get competitive fiber into the ground, whether it's trying to free up more spectrum for wireless broadband which is the fastest growing segment of the broadband market, whether it's our white spaces, proceeding which started under chairman michael powell and all of those try to injct more competition in the last mile. so that you could have more market players there in the last mile due to distinctions with the edge provider and a core provider is that's already an antiquated concept. i put out there that that concept was becoming antiqued. >> okay. i want to move on to a legal question which is this. i argued myself for about five years that the net neutrality regulations that were being considered could well violate
the fit amendment rights of the information providers themselves. i have to say not that many people hav listened to me as i've made that argument, but maybe you'll be more persuasive. the commissi majority seemto accept the notion which i think is upside down that government-enforced net neutrality mandates promotes free speech values and therefore they're nsistent with the first amendment. if you think that's wrong, just explain briefly why. >> there's a lot there. i think it is upside down. first of all, as a threshold matter, we need to understand the bill of rights was created as a bull work to protect individual rights against intrusion of government. it is not designed to strengthen the power of government. it -- the bill of rights was constructed to contain the power of government.
so what's sensitive is let's look at the fact all situation of the internet right now which is the internet is open and freedom-enhancing now and has been since itas privatized, right? freedoof expression really abounds. it is really sort of a libertarian heaven, in that regard. when we look around the globe the concern is not with private sector mischief, with the internet. it is with government meddling with the internet and egypt being the most current example of that, right? so when you give the government more control over internet network management or call it what you will there are countries across the globe, be it egypt or saudi arabia, or china or iran or others all in the name of serving the public interest are trying to justify more control over the internet.
there is a ben phied movement afoot which gaining momentum for the u.n. to establish an overarching international regulatory body tt would have sway over internet governance, domain names and network management and all the rest. so once we sort of dloos rube con into the idea of more government intervention in this space, you start to lose the moral high ground. we then put oursees into position as saying, no, no, no, other country that's acting badly, don't have the government intervene in that way. have the government intervene this way rather than startin at the very premise which was a fundamental hlmark of the clinton/gore administration to say the government should not be involved with these things to begin with. we should continue to let mooez bottom up, internet governance
groups that are non-governmental in nature and are multifaceted and the multistakeholders running them to manage these issues. we can rely on competition law, antitrust law, section 2 of the sherman act, section 5 of the federal trade commission act and others that would address and remedy every single part of the parade of horribles that comes up, that's brought up by net neutrality advocates. so, you know, back to the first amendment, i did include a section on that in my dissent, on the back of the dissent because they did not address constitutional issues either if they can help it, but it is there and freedom of expression abounds on the internet and continues to do so. what we need is more competition and not more regulation. >> okay. you and i are on the same page on that and maybe we'll convince even more people. now, i want to move -- we're just going to touch on a few more issues and then i'm going
to open it up to the audience, and, you know, as the network anchors like to say this will move closer to the lightning round. it never seems to work there, but we're going to try and see whether we have any questions, but i wanted to talk about universal service and a carrier compensation reform. >> have they served the coffee yet? >> yeah, but our c-span audience. we did talk about that. >> it's after lunch. >> understands all th ins and outs of that. here is my question. you and i know, probably 90% of the people in this room would agree that reforming universal service regime and associated inner carrier compensation regime, the way e telephone companies pay each other for
interconnection, it's long overdue. without going into details or subsidies that exist in the system intended for universal voice telephone service, which has now been achieved as nearly as it can be, but the money is still being collected. by the way, customers see on the bill 15% universal service fees, so there's a real impact for the subsidies. my question is this, without going in -- because i don't think we have time to talk about the way it should be reform with that much precision and all that. sort of goes back to my question earlier about the fcc and its role. this should have been done long ago. how come it hasn't been done
before? i think this was frankly -- and this will be the last time i'm sure his name will be mentioned but it was sort of in this context our friend was saying he could sure use the help of free market conservatives like you and others to really get out front on this issue. >> so your question really is a compound question there, counselor. it really is why hasn't the commission received universal reform. in the fall of '08, we were very close to deciding a lot of the thornier issues. by the way, for the folks watching at home universal service is an $8.8 billi a year subsidy program, one of the largest subsidy programs
administered by the federal government. it's money that doesn't go through the treasury asaybe farm subsidies do, it's one kind of telecook user subsidizing another kind of telecom user. we were close in the fall of '08 relving the issue. two republicans, two democrats, i was one of them, commissioner was another. the two of us were on the commission. we agreed in principal if not detail. it didn't happen. you'd have to ask the chaian at the time as to why that is. >> did you ask him? >> i was there. >> what did he say? >> i didn't have an answer. we got to deadlines that moved out until the end of the term. that was that. that was a missed oortunity.
that's a good question." it does become a political issue. it's an independentagency. that's our job. congress is set up with the house, primarily urban and suburban in nature and the senate that's more responsive to rur rural. so the house represents nature payors. the senate represents, generally speaking, the net recipients of universal service. it's very hard for congress to actually act on this. it's hard to get any kind of bill to compromise. it will be 1 years old on tuesday. it gives us great leeway. it's ambiguous in the classic chevron deference kind of way. it's the purpose of ab independent agency to try to do the right thing a tat arrows
if necessary. so that's our job. we should go forward. i'm hopeful we can rekindle the spirit of '08. we'vhad many conveations about just that and i'm very optimistic we can go forward. having said all that, we're in sunshine, the sunshine period right now. that's a blackout period. because it's washington we call it a sunshine period. i can't get in the details of that item. >> okay. i'm going to ask if anyone has questions for commissioner mcdowell. why don't you proceed to the micro phone and line up. we can get to those in just a moment. the comcast nbc universal
merger, e fcc just approved that a couple weeks ago. there was a year long review at the fcc. >> just under a year. >> just under a year. the commission approved it but did so with 33 pages. or thereabouts conditions they attached to the merger. you and commissioner baker issued a statement, concurred in the merger but expressed concerns about the process and the decision. can you just briefly explain what your concerns were about the way the commission handled that merger? >> i've expressed concerns about other marriagers as well, xm,
sirius, some others. we have a vague and broad uty. we only have jurisdiction if there's transfer of a license, wireless license. so that broad standd can encompass, interpret as being different from the antitrust review, either done by the department of justice or federal trade commission, depending who has the possession arrow at that point. so i subscribe to the philosophy we reallyhould only look at specific harms produced by the merger, whatever merger it might be. what can we do to cure those harms, assuming we can. if we can, we attach limited conditions that cure those harms and move on. my concern with that particular merger order as we lay out the
joint statement with commissioner baker is there were a lot of conditions and upfront concessions that really had nothing to do with the merger. they might be noble goals, good corporate citizenship but nothing to do with the merger. extending broadband, very noble. did it have to become something a matter of law which was essentially a vertica rger. you had a distributor of content buying a producer of content. and so over the years, i think the commission more and more has been looking to resolve or achieve other ends, garner support for items on a personal agenda or political agenda when merging comes come before the commission and are vulnerable. they need them to go through. it's become a cost doing
business for those companies. if you want to enact policies, then go ahead and open rule making. let's do it that way. >> by the way, i agree entirely with that explanation. okay. we're going to open it up to questions now. we're going to follow the rule we've had throughout the day. i appreciate your just asking a question in the form of a question and we're going to try and roll through a few of these. and identify yourself, plea. >> hi, eliza from pol"politico, can you respond to rate of return, regulations and explain your position on it. >> you're over the blair limit by my tally, so we're locked out. actually, i didn't hear what he
had to say. >> he has essentially sed rate of return, rate of regulations if i understand correctly as they apply to the rural tell co and usf is a form of corrate subsidies we should no longer be tolerating and a free market republican like yourself needs to get behind that. will you do that? >> before you answer, i believe to be fair he said if you don't do that, then you're putting yourself in the company of stalin and and woodrow wilson. i don't know which one of those you wouldn't want to be in the company of. at's the way he put it. i think this will be an answer at makes some news on friday afternoon. >> the stalin comparison. i get that a lot, randy bolshevik ties.
this red and blue is a bipartisan tie. >> blair, how does it feel to be talked about like you're not in the room. first of all, let's put all options on the table. where did you go, eliza? you're typing. want me to speak slowly so you can trans scribe this. let's, apostrophe s, put all options on the table. put your name on it. we're in sunshine, blackout. so i can't go into details with regard to tuesday but there will be ample opportunity, i thnk, perhaps to mr. levin's delight to comment on many ideas just such as that. let's put everything on the table and let's work together to try to achieve the best result.
>> next question, please. >> this was in some of the questions. for those who haven't read your opinion, i just wanted to ask, does the government have the authority to regulate the internet? and if so,where does that authority me from and what is it? >> that's a broad question. certainly there's criminal acts -- you mean the government or just the fcc. just the fcc. the government does this authority with criminal things going on. as we come up to the anniversary of the telecom act, internet is mentioned in that act a few times. not a lot but a few. i think when congress did not act to explicitly give authority for the regulation of internet
network management, that was evident the bept of section is deregulatory. 706 has been used most recently in the internet network management order of december 21st to justify those regulations. i think it's clear from the language and the legislative history and judicial interpretation of it that does not give the commission the authority the majority was seeking. so i thi the commission is hard pressed to find the authority to support its rules. >> okay. the this will be the last question, because i promised commissioner mcdowell that we would end at 2:00. under fcc, tom, we're still close, so we're going to do that. >> the clock stopped. >> lynn, identify yourself and i get the last question. >> no pressure.
this is the last question. >> assuming that the fcc -- >> and you can't include the initials b.l. >> i'm going to not mention the gentleman sitting over here. >> okay. >> assuming the order adopted in december is ever published in the federal register. >> a little sarcasm there. >> in the interim before a court rules on it, what would your position be on anyone who challenges someone unde that order? would you treat the order as being in effect and interpret the order, or would you be more inclined to say this order should not exist and i'm just doing to vote against anybody who complains under it? >> excellent question, actually. it's a very good question. you've covered me since i got to the commission. i think you'll know until a court says we don't have the authority to do that or strikes it down or stays it, i think there's a better than average chance it could be stayed if a party moves for that, that that is the rule on the books.
and you know, we will have complaints before us, i'm sure. and we'll look at those complaints case by case as the chairman has outlined. but at the end of the day, i think the order goes down in flames. >> that was a very good last question, by the way, so congratulations. >> how many times do you get congratulated for a question like that. >> for doing your job? >> i think that a of you will agree this was a terrific conversation. each year we seem to have a conversation at this conference that gets betternd better. i want to thank commissioner mcdowell for coming over. >> thank you for having me. >> before we give you your round of applause i have a free state foundation coaster i'd like to
give you. >> good. >> commissioner baker took hers this morning so i'm presuming there's no issue. i told her if the general counsel happens to rule that this is impermissible under any or all of commissioner's rus, i'm sure you could donate it to the cafeteria downstairs. i do want to take it as a token of our appreciation and thanks for coming. >> thank you, randy. >> so with that i want to thank the audience for coming. again, once more want to thank c-span for being with us. we will consider the conference adjourned. thank you. >> thank you very much.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] 1] >> tomorrow on "washington journal" the latest on job numbers. after that, a discussion on the federal guidelines for the new dietary standards. and we speak with the government accountability office on the u.s. and canada border. that is live at 75 eastern a.m. on c-span. tomorrow, former vice president
dick cheney is the speaker at a banquet marking the birthday of president ronald reagan. it is taking place in santa barbara, california. watch this at 10:15 p.m. eastern here on c-span. sunday on newsmakers, homas security -- homeland security secretary janet napolitano. that is 6:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> the c-span network provides coverage on american history. it is available to you on television, radio, on line, and social networking sites. find our content in a time on c- span video library. we take c-span on the road with our video box and local content vehicle. this is washington your way. the c-span network.
created by cable, presented as the public service. >> former alaska gov. sarah palin had a tribute to president ronald reagan in santa barbara, california. touching on his 1964 speech, a time for choosing, she talked about his political philosophy, size of government, and you as energy and economic policy. she is introduced by the vice- president of the young america's association, which sponsored the event. this is about 35 minutes. >> there is a lot of excitement.
with our keynote speaker, we all would like to jump up and give her a big high five, a hug, and tell her we love her. we cannot do that, because we need to get her to the podium. please stay after for the photo line. i know you are all lovely and gracious and in the spirit of ronald reagan, we will do that. thanks very much. it is now my great pleasure and honor to introduce to you hover keynote speaker for the night. -- our keynote speaker for the night. [applause] sit down. i am going to do better than that. you will have to suffer through. can i have everybody's attention please? anke. who among us does not remember what it was like to be a conservative just a few short
years ago? it was tough. it was probably reminiscent of what it felt like to be a conservative around 1976. not so good. but in 1976, we emerged from our despondency as conservatives. we did not win the white house. he was a champion of our founding principle. he emerged as a champion. he was expanded libertine of government. to connect with and inspire the american people. he spoke with conviction not from a teleprompter. [applause] that champion was ronald wilson reagan. he did not win an election that year. but he inspired a movement to
return to its founding principles, to champion our founding principles of limited government with enthusiasm. his ideas were marked and little by establishments on both the left and the right. he was personally delighted in taunted. the media of the lanais tim. far from timbering him, he was inspired, strengthened, and only fought harder. in 2008, conservatives felt that we have lost our way. we had strayed so far from the vision of ronald reagan. the media and many on the left, even declared the end of conservatism. then, seemingly from out of nowhere, in another leader emerge. a woman from humble origin, self-made and hard-working. she was married to her high- school sweetheart.
a woman who had taken on the establishment time and time again and won. she became a near in the then governor. not for the glory, but this busy mother saw jobs that needed to be done, and she knew how to do them. she sacrificed and easier way, because she loved her state and her freedom and more then she left her comfort. because of her courage and sense of right and wrong, she called for freedom in -- even when she was told to sit down. time and time again, she ignored the establishment on both the left and the right. she did what she believed was right for her family and her country. without even intending to come she led the largest spontaneous grass-roots movement our nation has ever seen. she brought other hard-working, taxpaying, god-loving americans
who would never consider being civic leaders by saying, enough is enough. because of her coverage and the fire she sparred in others, our nation sent a profound philosophical message that transcended party lines to its leaders. change course. what thanks has she got in for it? those feminists that say they want to see more leadership -- women in leadership positions, they led an assault on a good and honest person that we have seen in the public sphere. for her outspoken coverage and believe in the founding principles that reagan champion, she along with her family have faced scorn in derision. it has not stopped her. it has just made her stronger. [applause]
abo a speech he delivered soon after his triumphant 1981 inauguration. he was speaking a large group of conservatives, many of whom are in this room right now. and of the conservative allies, president reagan said, "these were my people, the people that fought for individual liberty and freedom. they were the people that persevered and i can't tell you how much admire them for their tenacity and their hope. he said i also can't tell you how embattled we felt over the years. they treated us as if we were some kind of neanderthal. we developed barely enough to come in and out of the rain. we were ridiculed and usually
have a seat. i appreciate the opportunity. thank you so much. thank you for allowing me this honor to share with you have the celebration of ronald reagan's centennial. i can tell you how humbling it is to get to be here. it was simply overwhelming and inspiring. to get to be tre riding horses. [applause] riding horses on trails that ronald reagan had cleared. i have to lead men, we are more comfortable writing snow machines that horses. asked bristol how her experience went. it makes you stronger. it was overwhelming.
to know the work that ronald reagan had put into that ranch as he had loved and cherished that land, there we were, riding horses on the trail that he had cleared. feeling the breeze in my face and feeling that warm, southern air. overhead. i knew instantly, i knew instantly why ronald reagan love that ranch. after riding horses, we went a bit further up and we got to look over the pacific ocean. i knew why it was he felt so inspired in that place. he loved that place and not just in visiting, and he loved it in caring for it. building defenses with his own hands and chopping wood.
clearing the trails. the ranch is unmistakably the home of the western conservative uncelebted our pioneer spirit. they seem to be able to see clearly in the wide-open spaces of america's frontier. i consider myself the western conservative in the spirit of ronald reagan because i know that he understood the small- town spirit and values of hard work and rugged individualism. those are the value that he grew up with. those are the values that ronald reagan in body. today, there are hundreds of places in his name, but the ranch is one of the few have you been distinctly feel his
spirits. this is his home, of course. it still points to a turning world. and what a turbulent and turning world these days. in 1964. remember when gave his fams speech? it was on behalf of goldwater's campaign. it came to be known as the speech. it gave birth to the reagan revolution. it was more than a campaign address,t was a call to action against the fundamental threat of freedom. a former democrat was a former union leader who left his party because his party had left him. reagan saw the dangers in the great society. he refused to sit and be silent.
there was an out of control, centralized government. there was an utter disregard for constitutional limits. he saw the nation at a critical turning point. we could choose one direction or the other. collectivism or individualism. in his words, we could choose to the swamp or the stars. not atypical jovial speech of reagan's that he gave that day. we got used tot hearing more of the chipper gipper. we heard more of his jokes and his humor that he was known for, but not that day. the vision that he laid out for us, it was a vision that was quite stark. it was more somber than normal.
that vision was big on the fact that unlike others, reagan was able to look over the horizon and see what unsound policies of big government expansionism and foreign policy of soviet appeasement would ultimately and, and that was in the speech. he wanted to know if americans still had the courage and the will to endure but to a arrived , 60, and sore. he asked us whether we still believe in our capacity for self-government or if we abandoned the american revolution and confessed that a little intellectual a leak in a far distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can?
those were strong words. the country was not quite ready to hear them. but his message did catch on slowly. he was mocked and ridiculed and criticized. he was able to handle the criticism. i talked to some of his former colleagues about how he handled that criticism. they said that he let it roll off of his back like a duck with water off its back. but not when it came to nancy. he said, don't touch my auntie. great respect for that. [applause] his message did catch on. the conservative movement heard him. calirnia listen to him. finally, the nation listened to
him. in 1984, the whole world heard him. [applause] by the time he left office, ronald reagan had defeated the ideology of the great society. those ideas were never gone for good. we have seen big government slowly encroached on us again. it was a subtle at first. encroached with language of progress. the financial crisis erupted in 2008 and no subtlety there.
they declared itself the solution to the problems. determined, of course, t left is, to never let a crisis go to waste. a devastating 14 trillion dollars national debt. a $1.50 trillion deficit. a 17% real unemployment rate. and a heartbreaki 2.9 million home foreclosures. americans learned to appreciate like never before. he said the nine most frigening words in english language are, i am from the government and i am here to help. [applause] big government tell is
destructive. that is no more evident than here in california where the fertile farmland and the livelihood of thousands of farmers are destroyed because of some faceless government bureaucrat took away their lifeline. they claimed it was in order to protect a bunch of fish. where i come from, we call that bait. [applause] there is no need to destroy people's lives over that period
if president reagan were alive to see what is happening to his beloved golden state, the central valley would be filled with outrage. that outrage, that moment of rage came with the passage of ha obama care -- of obamacare. they stop at nothing to get it passed, not even the constitution. and they sowed the seeds of their defeat last november when the american people rose up and rejected a big government. we don't want it, we can't afford it, so we fired the people that forced upon us. enough is enough. in the state of the union address, the message was sent at the ballot box and it was an
historic election. we were just told that the era of big government is here to stay. and you will pay for it whether you want it or not. but they can't sell it to us. so this new version isn't just the state of the great society, it is much worse. it is couched in the language of national greatness. that is their version of american exceptional as them. it is an exceptionally big government. [applause] it declares we shall be great and innovative. but not by individual initiatives.
it is the same tax-and-spend policies, but it is borrow, spend, tax. they di't call led government spending, they call that stimulus. it did not stimulate anything but a tea party. [applause] the now, you have asked yourself, if government overspending is investing, there should be a sign of economic strength. it just isn't so. they have all sorts of half baked ideas of what to spend or invest our hard-earned money on. their idea of national greatness -- as we struggle to
merely prove it, thonly thing these investments will get us is a bullet train to bankruptcy. [applause] to me, it is so odd that the answer to our problems is green energy. it plays a big part in these investments. the energy idea i am fineith. all of the above includes conventional sources of energy that we actually use today. oil, for one. [applause]
and natural gas, coal, nuclear. they have done everything to stymie domestic drilling. that means hundreds of thousands of jobs will not be created. it means americans will pay more at the pump. we are continuing to transfer hundreds of billions to foreign regimes to purchase energy from them. this is dangerous. this is insane. [applause] we are told green jobs are the future and they will save us. they can't sustain any more because they are investing in green jobs. it has brought nothing but
massive debt and more unemployment. for every gen jobs created, to traditional jobs are lost. this is not an economic policy or an energy policy, this is social engineering. my fellow americans, this is not the way to national greatness. it is the road ruined. big government, big business collaboration, they can afford to hire the lobbyists in their favor for these investments. in the interest of certain special interes, the government invest our money in technology, but venture capitalists tell us those are nonstarters.
in t interests of big government, they don't cut spending so they will freeze it. freeze it at historically high levels. it stifles our economy and the free market with overreach andvertaxation. it makes it impossible for anyone to get ahead. our economy is so complicated that only government can plan it for us. the government created the problem, and it tells us is the solution. they tried to let that little intlectual elite win it for us.
president reagan says he can't move from big government for the little guy. big business, big labour, they have seats at the table. the little guy doesn't. this is not the way it is supposed to be or the way that it must be. american exceponal was and is not exceptionally big government. reagan reminded us that yes, america is a great nation with great purposin the world. but our greatness is not in government bureaucracy. history has proven again and again that when government picks winners and losers, we are stuck with the loser and the taxpayers subsidize the
failure. and the taxpayers subsidize the failure, and at a crisis point, we do not have the option anymore of subsidizing any more failures. this ia time for choosing again. it is just as dark as it was in 1964. we must look at the horizon. we must see that the policies will ultimately end. we face the same crisis now as we did then appear in homely now, we are in worse shape. we are not the power house we once were. we are no longer a critor nation. the federal government is spending too much, growing and
controlling too much. and it breaks the back of our economy. reagan would say that there are no easy answers, but there are simple ones if we have the courage to confront our problems. we have to stop spending and cut government back down to size. we must reform entitlement programs to honor our current commitment while we kp faith with future generations. and we desperately need jobs. it comes from the free market and the work ethic of ordinary people. we need a vibrant economy. [applause]
we need a vibrant economy that actually produces and grows things again. a strong, vibrant america that is not grounded just in the service sector, but in a manufacturing and agricultural base. not just providing families with jobs, but with livelihoods'. they are the key to starting the economic engine. americans say that manufacturing is not caused by high labor costs. it is caused by overregulation. and some of the highest corporate taxes in the world. if you enter a marathon with a 20 pound weights, you are going to lose. [applause] we are shackled. we are shackled with those tax rates.
there is no reason that we cannot win. it is clear now as they were in 1964. these of the principles the country was founded on. do we surrender to big government and a corporatism agenda. or do we need vernment to take care of us and plan for us. do we still have the courage and the will to not only in door, but to succeed. will it be america's glory or our shame? these are not easy questions.
there is fear in the air. the individual american equipment d afraid in the face of challenges. remember, got this not give us that spirit of fear. we can have the courage and confidence to make sound choices. [applause] friends, we are not helpless. our success and our greatness lies in the courage and the hard work of individual americans. we are to affirm those values of eedom and hard work. [applause]
it was those values that inspired ronald reagan to build defenses on the beloved ranch. he builds them out of strong would so of our pioneering spirit in yours. those will lead us back to prosperity. we must reconnect with them. we must get motivated and optimistic like our parents and our grandparents were. many of them started off with nothing but were able to build a fulfilled life. we have to get back to what they believe in, putting their faith in god and not government. [applause] they did not demand bailouts. they did not nd a stimulus. they did not expect anything from anyone.
they fought for the freedoms and opportunities to work hard. they just wanted to prosr. if at first they didn't succeed,hey dusted themselves off and they got right back up. they did not retreat. they tried again until they succeeded. the great recovery and renewal will happen again. but when we have the moral courage of our grandparents's generation. [applause] by the way, if you need to be reminded of some of those virtues, these are the virtues that are left. the americans you will find in uniform, our sons, daughters, and loved ones that pay the price for our freedom.
the military is a great example of the moral courage. [applause] recovery and renewal starts with all of us. president reagan understood this. there are a lot of people looking at are misinformed. but he was one of the kind. you will not fin this kin again. and the gipper would not want us to spend our time on that in anyway. he said, i am not a great man, i just believe in great ideas. [applause] and he understood that the transmission of these great ideas to the next generation would insure the survival and
success of liberty. that is why he instructed us to indicate what it means to be an american. their mission is to train in a speech to the next generation of common sense conservatives. [applause] and today, it is burning bright. president reagan would be proud of the conservative movement today. we havnever been more willing to do what it takes. there are many that believe in the ideas. there is a whole army of patriotic people out there,
wanting to stand up and speak out. they are not afraid to tell goliath, don't tread on me. [applause] here is our time for oosing. but as courageously and confidently meet the challenges before us. knowing that america is that shining city on a hill, her knowing god has shed his grace on me. and that truth and justice include the issue that every innocent life deserves protection. and to preserve for our children this america that is
our hope for a man on earth. [applause] know that we can have peace through strength, even as our allies, they looked to our union 4 cents and for strength. and another we are a source for them. there is nothing to apologi for. [applause] know that we shall keep our rendezvous with destiny. i think you so much for being part of the solution. god bless you and god bless america. thank you. [applause]
100th birthday of president ronald reagan. former first lady nancy reagan ask that i serve on the ronald reagan centennial commission and i was very honored to accept. today i join senator jim webb, also a member, and orrin hatch to continue president reagan's spirit of bipartisanship, and we have invited senators on both sides of the aisle to join us here on the floor. from seemy valley in california to our nation's capital, americans this month are honoring president ronald reagan. these centennial events are intended to reach all americans, including many born after president reagan left office. those to remember ronald reagan as governor or as president know how he impacted history. but there are some who may not realize that the society we live in today is, in part, due to the
policies of president reagan. young adults today grow up without the fear of nuclear war in the back of their mind, and students of tomorrow will work to achieve president reagan's dream of a world without nuclear weapons. it can be said that every great president can be remembered in just one sentence. some sentences, "he freed the slaves." oh, "he made the louisiana purchase." yet 22 years after he left office and seven years after his death, the name "ronald wilson reagan" can still provoke a complex debate. there is no one phrase that can describe his legacy. some come to mind: "the great communicator" or "mr. gorbachev, tear down that wall." that's the one that does it for me. there's much debate over president reagan because we all think of him differently.
and over time history sweetens our memories. but no matter what matter disagreements you may have had with him, you have to admire his style of politics. he was a conservative republican, but he understood that in order to get anything done, he had to work across the aisle, which he did. in his 1983 state of the union address, president reagan said -- and i quote -- "let us, in these next two years, men and women of both parties, every political shade, concentrate on the long-range bipartisan responsibilities of government, not the short-range or short-term temptations of partisan politics." end quote. also ronald reagan had commonsense convictions that helped his achievements. he was a true gentle person, a gentleman in american politics.
you would not have seen him giving a speech like some do today calling his opponents names or giving out generalized insults. dignity and wit were his weapons of choice. also, president reagan served during times of divided government, when one party had the white house and the other controlled at least one chamber of congress, giving each side some governing responsibility to find solutions. it was a time when a financial and fiscal crisis brought the two parties together to compromise on tough choices about taxes and spending. in 1983, president reagan and speaker tip o'neill came together to compromise on social security based on proposals from a commission led by alan greenspan. and president reagan is credited with creating the conditions that led to the end of the cold
war, providing the economy -- reviving the economy and returning a sense of optimism to our country. one of the things i most admired was his work to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world and his dream of a world one day free of these awful weapons. president reagan expressed this vision during his second inaugural address on january 21, 1985. he declared -- quote -- "we seek the total elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth." end quote. it was a remarkable statement from a president who had deployed tactical nuclear missiles in europe to counterthe soviet union's fearsome ss-20 missile fleet. but president reagan understood the grave threat that nuclear weapons pose to humanity, and he
boldly set himself to achieve their eventual elimination. my good friend, george shultz, secretary of state under president reagan, remembers that many at that time thought the president's initial negotiations to reduce strategic arms were not serious, even quite ridiculous. a classified report released recently showed that president reagan asked the joint chiefs of staff about the cost of an all-out soviet attack and plans for retaliation. he asked secretary shultz -- and i quote -- "what's so good about keeping the peace after wiping each other out?" end quote. mr. shultz believes if he were around today, president reagan would have been in favor of the new start treaty. at the famous reykjavik summit with soviet president mikhail gorbachev in october 1980,
president reagan went far beyond gorbachev's proposal to slash strategic arms by 50%. he truly believed we should go to zero. the reykjavik talks may not have worked out, but the idea that we should create a world free of nuclear weapons still endures to this day. secretary shultz thinks president reagan would want to be remembered for his complete faith in freedom and his conviction that you have to be strong to defend that freedom. and that is certainly true. ronald reagan came into office with character and charisma, traits that take other elected officials years to develop. it was that charisma which impressed california's republicans and led to his nomination as governor of my great state. ronald reagan was elected
governor of california in 1966 by nearly a million-vote margin. he was elected to a second term in 1970. he did not seem to mind that people underappreciated him at the time. and decades later, as volumes of his handwritten essays were released to the public, americans saw just what a thoughtful and visionary man he was. if we remember ronald reagan with one sentence, let us remember him as one who took big ideas and a crafting of words and a conviction of freedom to change the entire world. on the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great communicator, i hope we can embody his spirit of bipartisanship to keep our country strong and united today. thank you, madam chair. i yield the floor. mrs. hutchison: madam president? the presiding officer: the
senator from texas. mrs. hutchison: madam president, i rise to speak also on the 100th anniversary of the birth of ronald reagan. i am so pleased to follow my colleague from california who has been under the weather for a little while, and we're very glad that she's back. madam president, i think all of us will have an opportunity to talk about one of the great presidents of the last century and to mark the 30 years since ronald reagan's inauguration. when ron weighing was elected president in 1980, america faced an anemic economy, high unemployment and a sense of malaise emanated from washington. president reagan never doubted america's potential was unlimited. during his second inaugural address, he said america can outproduce, outcompete and outsell anybody anywhere in the
world. the reagan revolution was fueled by the understanding that given the opportunity, americans would dream, create, and build. he also knew that the road to greatness was through an individual's effort, not through expanded government. so president reagan said about reinvigorating the stagnant economy. he cut government spending. he reduced government regulation. he ended the practice of wage and price controls. he passed tax cuts for all americans. he famously noted that government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives. the american economy responded with sustained growth, ao new era of economic prosperity had been ushered in. reagan's vision of the greater good also extended beyond our shores. he was a fierce advocate for freedom. with our cold war adversary, the
soviet union, imposing the type grip of communism on much of the world, president reagan launched a resurgence of american military might through the strategic defense initiative. as he said, "of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the united states was too strong." it was his firm resolve to negotiate from a position of strength that led to successful arms talks with the soviets and ultimately to the downfall of the soviet empire. during his first inaugural address, he clearly stated where america stood. as for the enemies of freedom, he said, those who are potential adversaries they will be reminded that these is the highest aspiration of the american people. we will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it, we will not surrender for it now or ever. president reagan understood that
all people, regardless of where they lived, long for liberty and freedom. he believed that america was a beacon of hope to all the oppressed people of the world, a shining city on the hill as he described it. as jeffrey bell wrote in "the weekly standard," ronald reagan believed that people all over the world craved self government just as much as americans did. even today he is still being proven right." he said, "concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty. these words still echo in today's tumultuous times. we witnessed the poignant photographs of women in iraq voting and joyously holding up their purple-stained thumbs. we have seen marches in egypt of people who yearn to be able to vote for the first time in a real election in 30 years.
he also understood the importance of information in promoting freedom calling it the oxygen of the age. it seeps through the walls, he said. it's topped by barbed wire. it wafts across the electrified border. his words are as true today as when he uttered them. freedom and individual liberty are america's greatest assets. they are the core of our national identity. they are the foundation of our economic prosperity. and these precious assess have been protected by the patriots from every generation from the beginning of america's history to today. ronald reagan understood and appreciated the duty we all have to preserve these american ideals. as he said, democracy is worth dying for because it is the most deeply honorable form of
government devised by man. when president reagan died in 2004, there was a spontaneous worldwide outpouring of grief and tributes that caught some seasoned political pundits by surprise. throughout his political career, ronald reagan was underestimated by establishment political intellectuals of the day. he was dismissed sometimes by the media. but when he spoke, the american people listened, they understood, and they agreed with this down-to-earth but very profound man. and so did the world. we all remember him fondly and with great respect and a mr. pri ask unanimous consent to suspend the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. a senator: as a junior senator representing the state of illinois and one who will lead a celebration of president reagan's life in chicago saturday night for sunday, the
100th birthday of our native illinoisan, the 40th president, ronald reagan, i want to talk for a moment about his life and what he has meant to the united states now on the 100th anniversary of president reagan's birth. mr. kirk: on february 6, 1911 in tampico, illinois, with a population of 820, john and nellie reagan welcomed a child who would one day change the direction not just of our country but the world. according to the reagan family lore, when he first gazed upon his son, john reagan prophetically kweupd he looks like a fat little dutch man. but who knows, one day he may grow up to be president one day. his father was a strong believer in the american dream and nellie reagan passed on to her son her
penchant to always look for the good in people regardless of eir position. it was those lessons in perseverance and faith that would inspire ronald reagan to pursue his dream of becoming a hollywood actor. he signed his first professional acng contract in 1935 and went on to enjoy a successful career on the silver screen. but by 1946, after serving three years in the army air force intelligence corps during the height of world war ii, he began to have ambitions beyond hollywood. after five-year stint as the president of the screen actors gi laid the foundation for ronald reagan's political career. during the turmoil of the hollywood communism craze, reagan proved himself to be a skilled dealmaker and an influential leader as he successfully navigated the upheaval in the hollywood community. in 1964, ronald reagan was thrust into the national
spotlight as heave his televised speech entitled "a time for choosing" in support of the presidential nominee barry goldwater. following his speech, a group of influential citizens became convinced that ronald reagan should become the next governor of california. after winning a primary and enduring a very hard-fought campaign, ronald reagan unseated the two-time governor of california, pat brown, to become the 33rd governor in california's history. during his two terms as governor, californians enjoyed a smaller, less ctly and more efficient state goverent. governor reagan returned $5 billion to the taxpayers and used his line-item veto authority 943 times to ensure that the state's budget matched its priorities. ronald reagan had once again proved himself a determined and
capable leader in difficult times. but soon the american people would learn that his best days we very much ahead of him. after an unsuccessful republican presidential attempt in 1976, he knew that he wanted to be president but would only enter the race if the people of the united states actually wanted him to run. in the yea following the 1976 primary, ronald rgan became increasingly concerned about the direction that the country was headed, especially in the areas of national security, unemployment, and the economy. more than anything, reagan sensed that americans had lost eir sense of confidence not just in themselves, but also in the country. interestingly, the concerns mr. reagan felt as he weighed the decision to run for president are not unlike many of the challenges we face today. ronald reagan was confident that he was the man who could lead
the country out of a dark recession and into the light of a new prosperity and national pride. afterinning a landslide election in november, ronald reagan was sworn in as our 40th president on january 20, 1981. he immediately went toork on repairing a broken economy by enacting the economic recovery tax act of 1981 with his solemn belief being that if people had more money in their pockets and confidence to invest, the country would get back on a sound financial footing. during his first months in office, reagan was as much thankful for the newfound economic stability as he was for a heightened sense of optimistic that was returning to the united states after very hard times. he thoughtfully guided this country through a series of national tragedies and terrorist attacks on our military forces abroad.
yet through it all, president reagan's resolve never wavered. his confidence in the american people would meet the challenges of the times they faced without faltering. he was a man who, after surviving his own assassination attempt, continued to meet with congressional leaders in his hospital bed as he recovered because he believed it was best and in the intft american people no-- in the interest of the american people to continue to work as he healed. it was that type of steadfast determination that allowed negotiations with soviet leader mikhail gorbachev to move forward and eventuay led to the tearing down of the berlin wall, the signing of the i.n.f. treaty and eventually the end of soviet oppression of eastern europe. the issue that got him into politics -- ending the spread of communism -- became the crowning achievement of ronald reagan's presidency. his constant refrain throughout
this time in the white house was that government was becoming too big, too inefficient, too unresponsive, and too wasful. as governor, reagan demonstrated the ability to exercise fiscal restraint as he urged leaders in congress to do the same thing. i think it's appropriate that we are celebrating ronald reagan's 100th birthday at a time when the national debt a deficit are at an all-time high. we know that ronald reagan possessed the willingness to tackle such tough issues and i believe that the lesson we can learn most if his presidency is the endlessly optimistic attitude that he had for the united states, for its people and himself would one day emerge stronger than any of the difficulties he had to overcome. his assertion was that america was -- quote -- "a shining city on a hill."
it guided him, as it should guide us. a hard-nosed and gritty politician, reagan would have jumped at the chance to take the responsibility of leading the untry out of a very dark recession, as he did in 1981. so as we celebrate ronald reagan's 100th birthday,et us take us -- take a moment to reflect on the life of a man who, as president, always did what was necessary to move the country forward in a way that was most beneficial to his people. now, i know his legacy is most asciat with the people of california, but as the junior senator for illinois, we will claim our right to note his birth in tampaco, his childhood in dicks son and his college years at eureka college. we will be very happy to mark the 100th birthday on saturday in chicagoland and through celebrations in other parts of the state. one of our great presidents who
very much changed the course, of the direction of this country thank you, madam president.er. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate will proceed to morning business until 3:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes each for the purpose of giving remarks relative to the upcoming centennial of the birth of president ronald reagan. the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: madam president, there are many of us who will come to the floor this afternoon to pay tribute to one of the great presidents in american history and many of us will recollect times and experiences and contacts we had with president reagan and the way he
inspired us personally as well as a nation. when i was a prisoner of war in north vietnam, the vietnamese went to great lengths to restrict the news from home to the statements and activities of prominent opponents of the war in vietnam. they wanted us to believe that america had forgotten us. they never mentioned ronald reagan to us or played his speeches over the camp loud speakers. no matter. we knew about him. new additions to our ranks told us how the governor and mrs. reagan were committed to our liberation and our cause. when we came home, all of us were eager to meet the reagans, to thank them for their concern. but more than gratitude drew us to them. we were drawn to them because they were among the few prominent americans who didn't
subscribe to the then-fashionable notion that america had entered her inevitable decline. we prisoners of war came home to a country that had lost a war and the best sense of itself, a county beset by social and economic problems. assassinations, riots, scandals, contempt for political, religious and educational institutions gave the appearance that we had become a dysfunctional society. patriotism was sneered at. the military scorned. and the world anticipated the collapse of our global influen influence. the great, robust, confident republic that had given its name to the last century seemed exhausted. ronald reagan believed differently. he possessed an unshakeable faith in america's greatness, past and future, that proved
more durable than the prevailing political sentiments of the time. and his confidence was a tonic to men who had come home eager to put the war behind us and for the country to do likewise. our country has a long and honorable history. a lost war or any other calamity should not destroy our confidence or weaken our purpo purpose. we were a good nation before vietnam and we are a good country after vietnam. in all of history, you can't find a better one. of that ronald reagan was supremely confident and he became president to prove it. his was a faith that shouted at tyrants to "tear down this wal wall." such faith, such patriotism
requires a great deal of love to profess, and i will always revere him for it. when walls were all i had for a world, i learned about a man whose love of freedom gave me hope in a desolate place. his faith honored us as it honored all americans, as it has honored all freedom-loving people. let us honor his memory especially today by holding his faith as our own and let us, too, tear down walls to freedom. that is what americans do when they believe in themselves. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: and would note
that i was honored to be able to hear senator mccain's comments on ronald reagan. this sunday is, indeed, the 100th anniversary of his birth. it was an opportunity for the whole -- it's an opportunity for the whole nation to honor the memory of a man who honored us with his leadership. the 1980's were a -- in the 1980's, we were a weakened country. inflation and unemployment were in double digits, the hostage crisis in iran dragged on with no end in sight, our standing abroad was waning and so, too, was our military strength. challenges at home were answered with one failed washington program after another. we had lost confidence in our future and, really, the principle -- and in the principles that made us exceptional. ronald reagan changed that.
part of that change began with 12 simple but crucial words: government is not the solution to our problems. government is the problem. and it is a big part of our problem. he stirred the passions of our country, revitalizing not only our economy but our identity and confidence as free people. what some have called the reagan revolution he called the great rediscovery. he instilled us with a new confidence in our future and in america's role as the last, best hope of mankind. his achievements are well-known but they bear repeating. working with paul coale -- paul volcker, chairman of the federal reserve, he entaind inflation, which was depriving americans of their life savings. it was a tough course, a tough road, but he saw it through, he stayed on the course and we were
stronger as a result and we needed to get on a tough -- we need to get on a tough road and stay the course today. he lowered taxes dramatically, including a reduction in the top rate from nearly 80%, and he reined in a runaway bureaucracy that had trapped innovation and productivity in a labyrinth of regulation and red tape. his faith in the free market was not misplaced. it rewarded us. he created 20 million new jobs, grew our gross national product by 26% and began the longest peacetime boom in our history. conditions improved for americans in every walk of life. the net worth of families earning between $20,000 and $50,000 rose by 27%. reagan's stunning success debunked every myth of those who
believed a government -- a bigger government is more compassionate and can do more for more people. the growth and potential productivity of the private sector is what has made america the most prosperous nation. and this success at home was matched by his success abroad. he defended our principles and our way of life with clarity, confidence, and vigor. his policies brought down the soviet empire. "mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall." still resonates in our minds. and it liberated untold millio millions. now today, more than 20 years after reagan left office, we find ourselves facing many of the same challenges: a sagging economy, a growing government, and a diminished standing in the world. mr. sessions: we would be vie we to remember the lessons of that era -- peace through strength,,
prosperity through freedom. he understood that our future greatness lies in the same place it always has, through our pioneering, restless, enterprising spirit that is filled with ambition and excitement and a deep sense of honor and decency that defines who we are as a people and who we will be tonal. in -- who we will be tomorrow. in president reagan's farewell address, he urged a word of caution. if we forget what committee did, we -- what we did, we won't know who we are. i am warning of an eradication of that, of the american nearm y that would result ultimately in an erosion of the american spirit, he said. so we face a daunting and defining challenges of our time, and as we do so, i hope we'll look back to the leadership he provided. mr. president, just on a personal note, i was tremendously honored to have
been appointed united states attorney in the southern district of alabama by president reagan in 1981. it was an office that i had served as an assistant in a number of years before. and to be able to come back and to lead that office was such a personal thrill. and, you know, the president didn't give me any directions exactly what we were to do but i absolutely knew -- and i've often said it's a great example of true leadership -- i knew exactly what he wanted me to do. and i gathered the staff, many of whom i'd worked for from years before, and used these words. i said, president reagan sent me here to prosecute criminals and protect the united states treasury. and i believe that's what he d did. i believe that was implicit in his campaign, his consistent
leadership, that he believed in law and order and efficiency and he wanted us to fight corruption and to try to help produce a more efficient government. i remember in those days that we went to a united states attorneys conference that i attended with my good friend, recently the deputy attorney general of the united states, larry thompson, and we would share rooms on the trips to save money because we knew and believed president reagan wanted us to save money and that we were -- our spending was out of control and we had a serious financial problem. our budgets were frozen but we worked harder and we produced more. that can be done today. this wining -- whining that we can't reduce spending, and many times they define reducing spending is a reduction of the projected rate of growth.
it's not even a reduction -- a reduction of current level of spending. these kind of things happened throughout the government, increased productivity of our government. it reduced the take of the federal government from the private economy. the private economy grew and the governmental sector became more efficient and more productive. that's what we need to return to. it was such a fabulous honor to have the opportunity to serve in that position, and i hope and -- that i was faithful to the values that the president who appointed me had. i got to tell you, i think i knew what they were and i know i gave my best effort to be worthy of the trust he placed in me. and i think that was true of many, many more people throughout the federal government. i would note the absence of or. mr. isakson: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i rise to join many of my other colleagues in paying tribute to the late ronald reagan and president of the united states and a great
conservative leader of our country and an insration to many, many, many americans. i want to dedicate my remarks to a lady named kathy miller. she works tabor me here in washington. she has loved ronald rean since the day he came on the scene and probably can quote him verbatim much more than i can. i dedicate these troorks h today. and my speech is is going to be about two events that i happened to attend where ronald reagan was president. the impact of those events, not only on me, but on everybody else that was there, and on the future of our country. one took place in 1975 when he was beginning his pursuit for the nomination for the presidency of the united states. gerald ford was still president of the united states at that time and was running for the nomination for a full term. ronald reagan came to cobb county, georgia, where i live. it is a very republican county right nowvment but in 1975 it
wasot a very republican county. in fact there was only one elected official in the entire county that was republican out of literally 100 or more who were democratic officials. ronald reagan came to the civic center in c.b.o. county -- in cobb county and an unanticipated thing hpened. a crowd so large came that fire marshalls shut the building down. this is a very good-sized, 4,000-seat auditorium. people came to hear a positive message about america. i was fortunate enough, because i had been in politics a little bit, to be ail to get in that room appeared listen to his speech. in 1975 in america, it was not the most prosperous of times. a lot of things we had been suffering through in the last couple of years we went through in 1974-75. a difficult housing market, unemployment, a high unemployment rate.
he uplifted people who needed uplifting and di he did it witha message of belief in our self, belief in our country, pride in america, defense through strength. those messages that were so clear of ronald wilson reagan. it inspired me, inspired me so much that i hold he would -- that i hoped he would ghat nomination. bu gerald ford got it. you didn't go home and pout. he didn't not participate, not dropout. he set his sights on the 1980 republican nomination as present of the united states. he achieved it, won it and there was eight great years for our country, eight great years by a man who could inspire and lead. i've oftentimes said that two of the truly great presidents that we've had -- john kennedy and ronald reagan -- both had something in comn. they were from different parties but, first, they could stand before a group of people and make a speech about a subject they didn't agree with and by the time they finished, they got a standing ovation.
they were great communicators. second, they were committed to a safe and prosperous america. they were hawks on defense. they confronted our enemies straight up, like president kennedy did with kushchev and like president reagan did. and third, most importantly, they reduced taxes and brought prosperity to the economy of the united states. the second occasion that i met praying reagan was an interesting occasion. it was in the omni coliseum in atlanta where professional basketball was played at the time. seated 16,000 people. i was the majority leader of the georgia house of representatives. i was the emcee. the keynote was a speech from ronald reagan. he flew from washington to at than to make that speech and then went on to confront gorbachev and brezhnev and a strong buildup of american forces so we would be a strong
country that could defend ourselves, not a weak country that would be subservient to anyone else. in that auditorium he stood up before them and he again did the same thng heid in that auditorium in 1975 -- he inspiredhem to believe in their country, inspired them to believe in what was right, inspired them to peace through -- i think when he left the presidency, we would all agree our country was uplifted. there was a period of prosperity, a period of strength, a rein canals of the american spimplet that is a test of true leadership. so i'm honored and trifled to join many of my colleagues on the floor today to pay tribute to the memory and the commitment of ronald reagan, president of the united states. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. webb: i ask unanimous consent that the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. webb: thank you, mr. president. i'd like to join my other colleagues who have come to the floor at this time to speak in honor of the late-president ronald reagan on the occasion of his 100th birthday. i'd like to first begin by gichg my best wishe -- giving my best wishes to mrs. reagan and wish her all the best for her continued health, and throes say that, as someone who had three different positions in the reagan administration, i'm thinking of a lot of very fine people with whom i had the opportunity to serve and especially c.a.p. win weinberge,
who i met and worked with every day, one of the finest people i ever worked with and also john herington, the director of white house personnel, who first nistration and later served our country as secretary of energy. as i mentioned, mr. president, i had three different positions in the reagan administration, first as a member of the national visory committee and then spent four years to the day in the pentagon as assistant secretary of defense and then as secretary of the navy. and it was truly an inspiring time in my life to have worked for an individual who had the leadership qualities that ronald reagan demonstrated. he knew how to inspire our countrymen. he knew how to bring strong personalities together to work toward the good of the country and for its future.
he knew how to make decisions. he knew how to make hard decisions. one of the great qualities that he had was that he was never afraid to take responsibility for the consequences of any of those decisions. and that is something that motivated, i think, everyone who served in his administration. if we go back to that time period, those of us who were of age, 1980, it was a bad time in our country. our country was in tremendous turmoil. we were demoralized in the wake of the fall of south viet tpha*pl and the bitterness that affected so many of us along class lines, particularly among those who opposed the vietnam war and those who had fought it and what we were going to do in terms of resolving thosessues here in the country and the impact it had on our reputation internationally. inflation wasampant, sometimes in the high teens.
people were saying that the presidency was too big of a job for any one person. our military was overworked, underpaid and dramatically underappreciated. i had friends with whom i had served or that i had gone to the naval academy with who had gone into the navy who were saying during this time period, if you make commander, you may as well get your divorce because you're going to go to sea for four years. the navy had gone from 930 combatant ships during the vietnam war down to 479 precipitously at the same time our country assumed the obligations in the indian ocean and persian gulf, obligations it had not had before. the soviet union, kind of hard to remember right now, was in a state ofigh activity diplomatically and militarily. it had invad afghanistan, threatening instability in that part of the world. it had a massive nav build-up in the pacific following our withdrawal from vietnam.
our diplomatic and military personnel in tehran had been taken hostage by the iranian regime and were being taunted daily on tv. our natnal self-image was in a crisis state. who were we as a country? do we really have a future? ronald reagan campaigned based on our national greatness and on the intrinsic good of our society and on restoring our place at the top of the world community. i can vividly remember in the summer of 1980 when ronald reagan made a speech at the veterans of foreign wars convention and just mentioned, as he was so want to do with symbolic phrases, that vietnam had been a noble cause. he had the media following him around the country mocking the
comment at this point, only five years after the fall of south vietnam. but for those of us who had stepped forward and served in order to attempt to bring democracy to south vietnam, that was a great moment of inspiration. once he was elected, ronald reagan governed with the same sense of certainty about the greatness of our system and the goodness of our people. he convinced strong, talented people to join his administration with george shultz as secretary of state and cap weinberger as secretary of defense, he brought two lions into his cabinet who didn't always agree, which was rather famous in washington at the time, but who were able to combine fierce, competitive intellects with decades of valuable experience. when ronald reagan left the white house, our military had been rebuilt, our people had regained their pride in our
country, and in their optimism for its future. the united states was again recognized as a leading nation in the world community. and the failed governmental concept that had produced the soviet union was on the verge of imploding. not because of external attack, but soon to disappear at the hands of its own citizens who could look to the west and see a better way of life. to paraphrase an old saying, you never know when you're making history. you only know when you did. mr. president, ronald reagan did make history, and i was proud to be a small part of it. and withe dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. lieberman: i thank the chair. mr. president, in three days time across our country, from the north country of new hampshire to his final resting place in simi valley,
california, americans will celebrate the legacy of president ronald reagan. it will be the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth. and i'm really honored to rise today to join other colleagues of both parties and others throughout the united states and i'm sure the world in paying tribute to america's 40th president. i cannot speak as personally about president reagan as some in this chamber can. i met him only a few times when, as a visiting state attorney general during the 1980's, i was at the white house. he was always gracious, always responsive to us. but i did have one meeting that i might call a virtual meeting with president reagan that reminds me of his enduring importance for our country today. 22 years ago, on january 4, 19 1989, as president reagan was departing the white house having completed his second term, i had just arrived in washington as a freshman senator from
connecticut. president reagan was set to give his final weekly radio address on that brisk saturday morning and then-senate majority leader george mitchell had honored me by asking me if i would give the democratic response. it was a real honor although a daunting one for me to be asked to do that on that occasion. looking back, i believe that president reagan's 331st and final radio address on that january morning was among the most masterful and moving of his career. in it, he captured the very essence of the american spirit. he said, "whether we seek it or not, whether we like it or not, we americans are keepers of the miracles. we are asked to be guardians of a place to come to, a place to start again, a place to live in the dignity god meant for his children. may it ever be so," president
reagan concluded that morning. needless to say, president reagan's final radio address was quite literally a tough act to follow. in my remarks, i praised him for his love of country, for his fervent devotion to freedom, on and for his commitment to the values of faith, flag, and family. i was, as i put it then, inspired and encouraged by his patriotism and i urged all americans to work on our unfinished business and the challenges ahead with the spirit of purpose and confidence that is the legacy of the reagan years, end quote. today, 22 years later, i continue to feel deeply honored that i was able to deliver those remarks and ever more confident of the importance of ronald reagan's legacy to us and the generations of americans to come. the optimism, moral clarity, and
confidence that president -- president reagan radiated inspired a generation, and they are precisely the ideals that we need today to rekindle and reinspire the current generation of americans and others, frankly, living without freedom around the world. i didn't always agree with president reagan. that's a matter of public record. but i always understood the enduring value and strength and sincerity of his faith in america's values and america's destiny. in 1980, ronald reagan promised to make america great again and he did. he expressed with total confidence that those who would challenge our hard-won freedoms would collapse and they did. he led our country and the free world to victory in the cold war against soviet communism and he
never doubted for a moment that america and our cause could and would prevail. when in 1977 ronald reagan was asked about his vision for the end of the cold war -- remember, he wasn't yet president -- he responded with characteristic and refreshing directness. he said -- and i quote -- "my idea of american policy toward the soviet union is simple and some would say simila simplisti. it is this -- we win and they lose." president reagan's understanding of world affairs was far from simplistic. he was an optimist without illusions who was guided by and frankly expressed moral judgments about what was right and what was wrong. we don't see that enough today. there's a kind of relativism
afoot. but some things are just plain wrong and some things, thank god, are just plain right. president reagan had the moral clarity to make distinctions between good and evil and the moral courage to speak the truth of those distinctions unambiguously and to support them unwaveringly. when he addressed an audience of veterans and world leaders commemorating the 40th anniversary of d-day, standing as he spoke on the wind swept coast of northern france, the very clifftop in nor normandy we courage us allied soldiers fought to liberate europe from the yoke of nazi tyranny, president reagan magnificently, masterfully, compellingly revealed again his moral clarity. and i'm honored to quote these words today on this floor. "the men of normandy," reagan said, "had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that
they fought for all humanity, faith that a just god would grant them mercy on this beachhead. or on the next. it was the deep knowledge and pray god we have not lost it, that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. you were here," he said to the veterans, "to liberate, not to conker and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. you were right not to doubt. you all knew that some things are worth dying for. one's country is worth dying for and democracy is worth dying f for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. all of you loved liberty," president reagan concluded, "all of you were willing to fight tyranny and you knew the people of your countries were behind
you." it's thrilling just to read those words again. yet president reagan never spoke about america's enemies belligerently. rather, he spoke firmly and frankly about the deep divide between our marlt and that of the -- our morality and that of the soviet union. in doing so, i think he reawakened in all of us the belief that every human being has the potential to change history because history, as reagan knew, was made not by abstract inexorable forces but by real live men and women. it was president ronald reagan who came to the defense of the dissidents in their fight against the soviet union and reminded the world that a single courageous human face, a single courageous voice can tear down the faceless inhumanity of a massive repressive system such as the soviet union.
the great soviet dissident and later israeli leader and human rights activist, natan shiransky, once shared with me his memory of the moment when he first learned of president reagan's 1982 speech before the british parliament. the speech in which reagan described the soviet union as an evil empire. there were some here in this country who thought that was much too stark and disrespectful. but sharansky, who was a prisoner for nearly a decade in the soviet gulag described to me how word of reagan's speech spread through that heartless prison as he and his fellow dissidents tapped on walls and talked through pipes and even toilets to communicate the extraordinary news that the leader of the free world had spoken the truth, a truth, as sharansky put it -- and i quote
-- "that burned inside the heart of each and every one of us" -- end quote. indeed, president reagan was willing to expose an inconvenient truth about the soviet union that unsettled and unnerved some of his contemporaries who feared his undiplomatic words were a threat to stability. and the thriew truth is they we. president reagan refused to accept the stability of an authoritarian status quo that consigned millions of people to live under perpetual tyranny and so he did challenge the stability of the berlin wall and the gulag and nastassi and in doing so, his courage helped inspire the men and women who brought down the iron curtain and expanded the frontiers of freedom. his approach to foreign policy, president ronald reagan embodied the quintessentialally american combination of idealism and pragmatism. he understood what america was
about, which is freedom and opportunity. and he fought to extend those great values here at home and throughout the world. in his final words to the nation as our president in a radio address on that january morning 22 years ago, president reagan shared a story about a meeting winston churchill had with a group of american journalists in 1952. it was a time when many doubted whether the president could meet the challenges of the cold war and whether the west could meet the challenges of the cold war and prevail. churchill asked the reporters, what other nation in history, when it became supremely powerful, has had no thought of territorial aggrandizement, no ambition but to use its resources for the good of the world? i marvel," churchill said, "at america's altruism, her sublime disinterestedness." churchill's friend and physician
described the prime minister's demeanor as he spoke. "all at once i realized,ings "he wrote, "win chonston was in tears. his eyes were red, he was deeply moved." i think president reagan was drawn to that story in his final radio address to the nation 22 years ago because he understood that in that moment churchill understood and acknowledged the greatness of the perso of the an spirit. imperfect though we are as human beings, it is the spirit who explains who we are and expression all we aspire tofnlt he saw america's devotion to a cause that has defined us for over two centuries, a cause greater than our own individual self-interest or even national self-interest very often, and that given us an enduring purpose to our national destiny, and that is the cause of human dignity and human freedom. at a time when many -- at a time
when we face many challenges both at home hand abroad and when it has unfortunately become unfashion to believe suggest that our best days as a nation are behind us, president ronald reagan's optimism and his abiding faith in america are more important to remember than ever before. they are as wise as they are true. our shared national destiny, mr. president, has always inspired us as americans and propelled us forward together. it is the spirit that ronald reagan reinexpired in america at a time of great peril. and it is the spirit i know at this time of peril here at home and around the twhoorld can carry us forward and continue to make us the greatest nation on earth and the last, best hope of mankind. i change the car thank the chaid the floor. mr. alexander: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee.
mr. alexander: thank you, mr. president. i appreciate the remarks of the senator from connecticut. glad i had the opportunity to hear them. i, too, am here to celebrate ronald reagan's life, born 100 year, but also his nearly 50 years of influence on american public policy. and i would begin in this way: a few years ago when he was president of the united states, president reagan attended one of the many washington press dinners that are held here. i think it was the gridiron dinner. it is we will-known that 90% of the people in the audience, the members of the press, had a different point of view on politics than he did. but they liked him anyway and they respected him, just as he respected them. and i remember that evening that he strode into the gridiron dinner and smiling and looking like a million dollars. the press rose and smiled back and applauded him, and president reagan stood in front of the
media until the applause subsided and then he sthaid: "thank you very much. i know how hard it is to clap with your fingers crossed." and the media laughed. they had a wonderful time with president reagan. the first thing we think about, those of us who had a chance to know him -- and that was a great many of us -- is that ronald reagan was a very friendly man. he was a congenial man. an easy person to know, the kind of person you would enjoy spending time with. he was very comfortable, as we say, in his own skin, and what you saw in private was what everybody else saw in public. but ronald reagan was about more than being friendly and congenial. and each of us has a personal story of his or her connection to president reagan, and i have mine.
and i'd like to use as an example this: 16-year-old this month i stood as a great many members of this body have on the front porch -- or on the front porch of my hometown courthouse. in my case was merryville, tennessee. u.a.e.nnounced his candidacy for president of the united states. it was an offer that the people of the united states didn't accept. my preacher brother-in-law said i should consider that political defeat as a reverse calling, and i have, and i've gone on to other things. but as an example of the influence that president reagan had on my generation and other generations, let me give you an example of what i said 16-year-old. 30 30* years ago i said then, ronald reagan, before he was elected to any public office, made an address called "time for chootion." he said in america freedom sour
greatest value and then there were two great threats, commun i abroad and big government at home. looking back over those last 30 years, i was tock talking in 1995, quks i suppose we could say one down and one to go. communism, the evil empire, has virtually disappeared, but big government at home has become an arrogant empire, object noxious and increasingly irrelevant in a telecommunication telecommunications age. in every neighborhood of america, the government in washington is stepping on the prosm american life. the government in washington, the new american revolution is about lifting that yoke from the backs of american teachers, american farmers, businessmen and women, college presidents, and homeless shelter directors and giving us the tbreem to make decisions for ourselves. ronald rairks" said in 1994, "phut this way when he spoke in 1964: quote -- 'this is the
issue of the lerks whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the american revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives forbe us better than we can plan ourselves.' "that was also the issue of the election in 1994. it will be the issue of 1996, i said, and for years to come. it took 30 years of unfashionable principled leadership by the last republican outsider who became president to help collapse the evil empire. now is a good time to give another republican washington outsider the opportunity to help put some humility in an arrogant empire in washington, d.c. " so, you see, that the issues of 1964, the issues of 1994, the issues of 2010, most likely the issues of 2012, 2016 and beyond have a lot of similarities, and over that half-century, ronald
reagan was the finest spokesman for that point of view, the finest and the most persuasive. mr. president, we americans say that anything is possible, and nothing symbolizes that more than the american presidency. we see it in president obama today. we saw it in president lincoln, we saw it in president truman, we saw it in president eisenhower, and we saw it in ronald reagan. no president symbolized that more in the last half-century than president reagan did, though. he reminded us of what it means to be an american. he lifted our spirits, he made us proud, he strengthened our character, and he taughtes a great many lessons. we celebrate the centennial of his birth and the half-century of his influence in public life. mr. president, i ask unanimous
consent to include at the end of my remarks ronald reagan's speech "a time for choosing" made october 27, 1964, which was the beginning -- which launched him into public debate in the united states. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. alexander: i ask unanimous consent following that to include remarks i made in orange county, california, on october 28, 1994, on the 30th anniversary of the speech "time for choosing." the presiding officer: without objection. mr. alexander: and fine amly, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to include in the record remarks that i made in tribute to president reagan in june of 2004. the presiding offi
a senat: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: mr. president, i want to join with my colleagues. i appreciate whatd senator from tennessee to say about our former president ronald reagan as we look upon his 100th birthday coming up here this weekend and all of us pay tribute to the legacy that he gave this country, the tremendous contributions that he made during his time in office, and we all have different, i think, remembrances and associations with his presiden presidency. i was -- it was actually i was a sophomore in high school when he was elected to his first term as president back in 1980. i should say "sophomore in college." it was the first election that i had the opportunity to vote in. but -- so i guess you could say i was sort of coming of age about the time he was coming on the national political staifnlgt he of course had run for president four years earlier. but i remember just has a young person who was beginning to pay
a little bit of atenge to politics at the time -- attention to politics at the time being so impressed with a number of qualities, the attributes i think that characterized his personally and which were primarily responsible for the tremendous success that he had as a president and for the great legacy that he leaves behind. and i -- you know, i was someone who grew up in a small-town in uth dakota and had parents who my father and mother had both come through the great depression so they were very similar in terms of her remembrances of that period and could identify with some of the thanks president reagan talked about. but he was a person of strong convictions. he had a strength of conviction i think that was really appealing to a lot of americans. he was someone who believed in american exceponalism. he understood that the greatness of this country wasn't in its government institutions but in its people and its ideals. he was someone who was willing to confront the threats that we
faced around the world and the way that he took on the threat of communism and promoted freedom and democracy around the globes something for which he will always be rerdz, not only here at home but by other countries around the world. i think that he possessed in many respects a lot of the qualities that we value in the midwest. he was a very humble person. i think his humility is something that really stood out. he was always referred to "dutch" reagan in his growing up, his formative years. the impact that he had on this country was because he saw himself as just an ordinary american like every other american, and he was able to connect with and identify with the challenges and the opportunities that were facing americans across this country at the time. i think he also possessed, although he was the governor of california, a midwestern sensibility that never left. he had in many respects values that, as i said before, that
many of us in the midwest find rely important: his belief that you ought to live within your means, his sort of midwestern bedrock values of individual responsibility were things he always touched upon and referenced in his remarks. those are the types of qualities i think that really differentiated him on the national stage. and i remember too as a young person being impressed with his sense of humor. and i think too often today we -- these are serious matters that we deal with, matters of great gravity and great weight and they need to be taken with the right level of seriousness. but he also was able to see the best in people and to use his sense of hum to, i think, connect with people about what was really distinctive and unique about america. i remember the story that was told while we were fighting the cold war about the guy in the soviet union who went in to buy a car.
he said i want to buy a car, and the guy at the transportation department said, well, you can have your black sedan and you can pick it up ten years from today. the guy thought about it for a minute. he said will that be in the morning or the afternoon? the guy at the transportation bureau said what difference does it make? ten years from now. the guy said because i've got the phrurpl coming in the -- the plumber coming in the morning. ronald reagan had a way to put in simple, understandable and sometimes humorous terms what was unique about the american experience. that's something i think also that really set him apart. when it came to the big issues of the day, he had a statement that he made that i quote, you said there are no easy answers but there are simple answers. i think oftentimes we face these complex problems and we overanalyze a little bit, and the truth is a lot of the challenges we face today, not unlike the times when he was
president, there are not easy swers but i believe there are simple answers, mr. president. i think those very basic, core principles and those values that helped shape his presidency and the things he never lost sight of are what made him an effective president i think that is a lesson we can apply today. there are no easy answers but there are simple answers. when we believe in the greatness of america, we look at the foundation of this country: personal freedom, personal liberty coupled with individual responsibility. he believed profoundly that you achieve peace through strength. he was willing to confront communism at a point in this nation's history when it posed a great threat to freedom-loving countries around the world. i think those arehe types of qualities for which president reagan will be remembered. as, again, someone who was very impressionable at that time, he was a great inspiration to public service. i think he represented the very best of public service. he got into it for all the right
reasons, understood the importance of what he was doing, the issues with which he was dealing. but always had an eye toward making a difference in providing a better future for the next generation. and that's a lesson too that i think all of us need to remember, that sometimes we have a tendency to believe that it's about us, it's about today. and i think we always have to keep an eye on tomorrow, on the future. and what are we doing to build a better andrighter and more prosperous and stronger future for future generations? and so when i think about and remember president reagan, as we come upon his 100th birthday, those are the types of things that strike me as really standing out, mr. president: his humility, his sense of humor, his belief in american exceptionalism. those are the types of things that i believe will characterize, that history will write, has already written about
him but will certainly permanently impress upon my mind, my experience the time that i've had in public life, just the types of qualities that i want to apply and want to bring to the work that we do here in the united states senate. so i rise along with many ofy colleagues today and pay tribute to our 40th president and to his family. and of course we thank them for their great service and sacrifice too because anybody who's been in this arena knows the sacrifice that comes with public service. we are indeed grateful for his great service to our country, for the way that he impacted so many both here at home and around the world and for the way that he continues through his legacy to impact generations of americans today. mr. president, i yield the floor.consent that the quorum ce dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blunt: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i want to speak for a few minutes today about ronald reagan. ronald reagan inspired freedom
and changed the world. maybe nobody said that better than former prime minister, british prime minister margaret thatcher in a prerecorded eulogy that was played at president reagan's funeral at the national cathedral. i'd like to read just a little of that eulogy. it starts "we have lost a great president, a great american, and a great man." and mrs. thatcher said, "i have lost a dear friend. in his lifetime, ronald reagan was such a cheerful and invigorating presence it was easy to forget what daunting task he set for himself. he sought to mend america's wounded spirit, restore the strength of the free world and to free the slaves of communism. these were causes hard to accomplish and heavy with risk." mrs. thatcher went on, "yet they were pursued with almost a lightness of spirit. for ronald reagan also embodied another great cause, what arnold
bennett once called -- quoting arnold bennett -- the great cause of cheering us all up. back to mrs. thatcher: he won converts from every class and every nation and ultimately from the very heart of the evil empire. yet his humor often had a purpose beyond humor. in the terrible hours after the attempt on his life, his easy jokes gave reassurance to an anxious world. they are evidence that in the aftermath of terror and in the midst of hysteria, one great heart at least remained sane and jocular. they were truly grace under pressure. and perhaps they signified grace of a different kind. mrs. thatcher says, ronnie himself certainly believed that he had been given back his life for a purpose. as he told a priest after his recovery, whatever time i've got
left now belongs to the big fellow upstairs. and surely it's hard to deny that ronald reagan's life wasn't providential. when we look at what he achieved in the eight years that followed. other prophesied the decline of the west. he inspired americans and its allies with renewed faith in their mission of freedom. others saw only limits of growth. he transformed a stagnant economy into an engine of opportunity. others hoped at best for an uneasy cohabitation with the soviet union. he won the cold war. not only without firing a shot, but also by inviting enemies out of their fortress and turning them into friends. mrs. thatcher goes on to say, i cannot imagine how any diplomat or any dramatist could improve on his words to mikhail gorbachev at the geneva summit. quoting president reagan: let me tell you why it is we distrust
you. mrs. thatcher says those words are candid and tough, and they can't have been easy to hear. but they were also a clear invitation to a new beginning and a new relationship that would be rooted in trust. ronald reagan's -- finishing with mrs. thatcher and moving to me for a moment, i'd say ronald reagan's truly only american life story began 200 years ago this weekend. during his lifetime he was a democrat and later a republican. he was a liberal and then a conservative. he was a labor union president and then president of the united states. during his lifetime, he developed a philosophy of faith, life, and government that americans understood. americans understood, and during his presidency the people of this country had an extraordinary understanding of what their president would think and how their president would react to events and
circumstances. mr. president, the strength of the certain trumpet, the strength of the clarion call; i believe, impossible to overestimate. knowing how your president, how your leader views the world and views the circumstances that may meet us in the world is an incredibly comforting thing. in fact, there's an epic greek fable more often applied to president lincoln about the fox and the hedgehog. and in the epic great fable of the fox and the hedgehog, the fox is wiley, the fox is clever, the fox knows lots of little things. but the hedgehog knows one really big thing. and in that fable and in reality, the fox can never defeat the hedgehog. neither lincoln -- i'm really not comfortable referring to either lincoln or reagan and
characterize them as a hedgehog, but i am comfortable characterizing them as men of big ideas, men who understood the big things, leaders who understood the big things. with lincoln, it was the union. with president reagan, it was a focus on the big things with an understanding that you measured the circumstances and events that came up by your view of the big things that guide the country, that guide us individually, that guide lives and in fact guide the lives of the nation. president reagan understood big things. he could quickly evaluate any issue or challenge through that prism and the prism of those core values. ronald reagan, mr. president, inspired freedom and changed the world, and the centennial celebration of his birth that begins this week and officially begins this weekend gives us an opportunity to think about what
it was that made this president great, what it was that puts this president on the cover of news magazines in the decade before the centennial, arm in arm in one recent cover with the current president of the united states, what was it that made this extraordinary man so extraordinary? and i would just say again, ronald reagan inspired freedom and changed the worldldldldmr. . i ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: mr. presiden i have a statement to mark the service of former president ronald reagan which i ask unanimous consent to place in the record at this time. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: and what i want to say is that at the time of president reagan's death, i put an extensive statement in the record, and -- and as a california senator, certain ronald reagan is one of o most
famous residents. and was governor and then president. and i was in the house of representatives while he was president. and clearly there were a lot of things that were disagreements between president reagan and many of those in congress, like myself, who didn't believe that government was the problem, which was his definite belief at that time. and we certainly had a loyal opposition and we certainly worked together when we could. but -- but one of the things that was so interesting to me, compared to working with other presidents, because i've had the honor of serving for so long that actually president obama is the fifth president i've had the honor of serving with. i went to every -- every state of the union address, all of
which were very impressive. i think the thing about president reagan that i grew to admire, that as hard as you might debate with him on his position on what were the priorities, what we should invest in, what was important, when those debates were over and a decision was made, regardless of who won the day, you just moved on to the next issue. and you tried to fientd common e common ground and if you didn't youad a respectful debate. it never was taken personally. again, there were many things i disagreed with him. i remember being a young member of congress at the time that the aids epidemic came out and i remember i was to frustrated because president reagan was very compassionate but he didn't really want to discuss the issue of aids. and we had to work very hard with the surgeon general at the time. we finally made a little bit of
progress. so, yes, there were many tough, tough debates. and, of course, his -- his presence. his very sunny presence. his optimism about the country and the future was very important to a nation thatad been torn asunder because of many tough, tough issues that sepated the generations. so i -- again, i have a longer statement that i have already placed into the record, but i wanted to add my voice on this day when we remember former president ronald reagan. someone that california is -- is very proud of and -- and someone who is obviously -- has obviously gone down in history for the many things he accomplished, particularly his with the soviet union at that time. it was a big contribution to the world.s consent the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without
objection. mr. hatch: mr. president, just over 30 years ago, ronald reagan was inaugurated as the 40th president of the united states. it's hard to believe that three decades have passed since he stood in front of this capitol just yards away and announced to this nation and the world that america's moment not passed. and it's hard to think that we have been without him now for over six years. i think of him and his wonderful, lovely wife nancy 2008 often. i knew -- nancy -- nancy quite often. one of my first campaign trips with ronald reagan was with nancy. and i can tell you there never was a stronger advocate for a presidential husband or as a husband, period. as a man he had the rare combination of good humor and commitment to principle. as a leader of his party, he
reminded the commitment to the constitutional ideals and as a couple ron and nancy were a pair for the ages. if there was any doubt that my colleagues have confirmed today in their tributes to president reagan on the centennial of his birth, that ronald reagan might have passed on, but he is most certainly not forgotten. not by a longshot. when reagan was president, he inspired great reactions from both parties. i can attest particularly with respect to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, but not all of those reactions were positive. yet today's bipartisan celebration of president reagan's legacy shows that he has become as much a part of the american story as his greatest predecessors in office. like other great men before him, ronald reagan seemed to embody the times during which he lived. the man himself, his personal story in many ways personified
america's 20th century. ronald wilson reagan was born in the midwest and became a westerner moving to california like so many of his other fellow americans. the country that he grew up in looked very different from our own today. as michael maron recently reminded us in "the claremont review" books, when america entered the second world war, one-quarter of americans still lived on farms and half of those were either without electricity or only recently acquired electricity. america's population was at the same time both more diffuse and more concentrated than it is today. america's nonrural population was clustered in a few great cities. again at the outbernank out -- f the second world war, two-thirds
of america lived in brooklyn, new york. instead of concentrating in existing urban centers, new communities grew and suburbs expanding. that was the story of ronald reagan who was born in tinily tampico, illinois, population 7,072 and came to the world's attention in california, home of suburban life, and the american highway. he became a californian through and through. he loved his ranch and he loved being on the back of a horse. the large landscapes of california and of the entire west suggest the boundless opportunity that has afforded those who worked hard in this country. it was there that ronald reagan found his professional and political success. it was where he met nancy and raised his family. and it is where he was finally laid to rest.
but ronald reagan did not have it easy. as he put it, he did not grow up on the wrong side of the tracks, but he could hear the train. he lived through the great depression. and, like countless americans before and after him, with dogged determination, and a good deal of pluck, he succeeded. at a time when college was a luxury, ronald reagan graduated from urica college. he went on to have a successful career in radio and as a sportscaster, but that was not enough. so he moved to hollywood where he became an actor. of all the roles that ronald reagan would play, we identified -- we eventually identified him most closely with the character of george gibbs in "neut rock any, all american," it should come as little surprise that we would associate
him with notre dame and fighting irish. when he first appeared on the screen, newt rockny was at his wits end. rockny asked if he could run the ball. he answered how far. naturally he ran down the field, scored a touchdown and took his place in notre dame lore. there is no challenge too big. it is a good thing that he thought that way because he faced plenty of obstacles. with the outbreak of world war ii, his promising acting career was put on hold, he would go on to serve as president of the screen actors gild and later he worked in television as the host of general electric theater. it was that association with general electric that would set reagan on his path toward the presidency, going on what he called the mash potato circuit,
he spoke across the country to the thousands of g.e. employees giving later what he called the speech. giving these after-dinner remarks, reagan honed his thoughts about freedom, the size of government and the soviet menace. in 1964 on the eve of a presidential election, he would deliver that speech to the nation. senator barry goldwater went on to lose that election in a landslide. today we know that conservatives might have lost that battle but would win the war. a week before the election, ronald reagan delivered a taped address, a time for choosing. he spoke as a partisan for liberty and urged his fellow americans to join him in that struggle. he completed his remarks telling ar national television audience, you and i have a renedevous for destiny, we will preserve for this the last best hope for man
on earth. this speech resonated with the american people. it raised $8 million for goldwater, a large sum at the time. it made ronald reagan a formidable presence on the political scene. i knew barry goldwater. i knew him well. when i ran for the senate, he was one of two people i came to visit here in washington to get some advice from. i admired him so much. and it was a privilege to serve with him. the other one was chuck grassley, who was then in the house, and i count him as one of my dearest friends on earth. reagan and grassley, two great people. against the odds and conventional wisdom, ronald reagan ran for governor of california in 1966. now to the mistake of the california establishment, they underestimated the actor from the midwest and he went on to beat his more liberal primary
opponent and popular incumbent governor. underestimating reagan was a mistake the washington establishment would make time and time again when he arrived here 14 years later. they never seemed to understand what was so obvious to president reagan -- for all of the superficial differences, americans of his age were not so different than the generation that fathered this nation, fought the civil war, worked through the great depression and struggled for civil rights. in the end, americans of today are committed to the same principles of liberty and equality that animated the authors of our declarations of independence and constitution. this shared commitment to our founding principles served him well because he took office at the time of great uncertainty, a time not unlike our own. a combination of factors seemed to be putting the aspirations of americans out of reach. to be blunt, america was at its heels. the prime interest rate was 15%.
inflation was 12.5%. civilian unemployment was at 7%. when he ran in 1976, ronald reagan -- i think i -- when he ran, i was the first person he ever preprimary endorsed. at least that's what i was told, and i have cherished that memory for all these years. at that time, government regulations and tax rates were smothering american innovation and with it the american dream. abroad, the picture was just as grim. an imperialist soviet union had invaded afghanistan, it was supporting revolutionary movements across the globe. the american hostages had not yet been freed from iran. yet, when ronald reagan left office eight years later, he had left his mark. according to his biographer, lou cannon, when he came into office, there were 4,414
individual tax returns with an adjusted gross income of more than $1 million. by 1987, fueled by tax cuts, the breaking of inflation and explosive economic growth, there were 34, 944 such returns. when he entered the white house, only one in six americans owned a microwave, and v.c.r.'s were a luxury for the wealthy. away the -- by the time he left office, these were common household goods. he helped to restore our understanding of a limited judiciary that respects the traditions of the american people and their elected representatives, and he restored faith in our men and women in uniform. just before he left office, president reagan reviewed the troops at andrews air force base one last time. during that visit, he said that serving as commander in chief was the most sacred, most important task of the presidency barely five years after america left south vietnam, reagan spoke
at the veterans of foreign wars convention and reminded america that vietnam had been a noble cause. the rush to blame america first in our conflict with totalitarian regimes and the days of holding our military men and women in low esteem came to an end with the reagan presidency. and although his greatest achievement, the collapse of the soviet union, would occur on his successor's watch, the writing was on the wall by the time ronald reagan left office. and his successor deserves credit as well. his recommitment to freedom during our twilight struggle with what was truly an evil empire quite literally saved the world and liberated millions and millions of people. it is no surprise that he will be honored in prague, budapest, and krakow, the home of his great partner pope john paul ii, later this summer for his role
in exposing the great lie that was the soviet union. ronald reagan succeeded as president because he knew what he was about. in his farewell address from the oval office, he said, "i went into politics in part to put up my hand and say stop. i was a citizen politician, and it seemed the right thing for a citizen to do. i think we have stopped a lot of what needed stopping and i hope we have once again reminded the people that man is not free unless government is limited." there is a clear cause and effect here that is as need and predictable as the law of physics. as government expands, liberty contracts. i could not agree more. and that reagan revolution, the aspiration of citizens for greater freedom and greater futureses for the generations that follow, continues. i am proud to have been part of that revolution. president reagan took a flier on
me when i first ran for the senate supporting me in my primary. i have tried to do him proud. i remember well the blistering hot day in the rose garden when he signed the hatch-waxman legislation into law back in 1984. in his signing statement, he joked that with this law, everyone wins, particularly our elderly americans. senior citizens require more medication than any other segment of our society. i speak with some authority on that. that's what he said. in my opinion, that law typified the commitments of president reagan. since its passage, it has saved the federal government and consumers hundreds of billions of dollars. some say trillions now. and it essentially created the generic drug industry and incentives for the creation of the next generation of saving drugs. i worked with him when he was in office, and as i work today for the citizens of utah, his principled example is always on
my mind. we still have work to do. reagan understood the danger of what is today called progressivism but was then called liberalism. it knows no bounds. as he put it, no government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. government programs once launched never disappear. actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth. in some respects, ronald reagan belonged to a different age. he was governor during the student protests of the 1960's. he entered the national political consciousness during a presidential campaign where the possibility of global nuclear conflict was an imminent threat. when he became president, he was only a few years removed from the widespread urban riots and the end of the vietnam war. when he spoke at point duhook on the 40th anniversary of d-day, he spoke to the men who actually
scaled those cliffs and liberated a continent. today, most of those veterans have passed on, but ultimately, reagan remains one of us. i think that his advisor david gergen got it wrong when he mused that reagan's legacy was how much he changed our minds. in my view, ronald reagan was a success because he understood that the american people did not need to change their minds. americans in 1980 had the same beliefs and hopes that we have always had. ronald reagan's genius was in giving voice to those hopes. ronald reagan was a big man, made for a big screen and eventually the biggest stage, and he played his part well. to borrow from hollywood, he knew that he had been -- he knew that even as time goes by, the fundamental thing apply before leaving office. president reagan addressed the nation one last time. speaking to the citizens of this
shining city upon a hill, he told us he did it. we weren't just marking time. we made a difference. we made the city stronger. we made the city freer. we left her in good hands. all in all, not bad, not bad at all indeed. it has been said that ronald reagan had a love affair with the american people. he did, but it took two to tango ronald reagan loved his country, but i think his country loved him even more. and that includes people on both sides of this floor at the time. mr. president, i yield the floor. >> today on washington journal, a look at the latest job numbers. after that, a discussion on the new dietary guidelines with
robert post from the u.s. department of agriculture. later, we will talk to the home land -- haleh security director on the safety of the u.s., canada border. that is at 7:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. tonight, former vice president dick cheney is the featured speaker at the closing banquet marking the 100th anniversary of the birthday of president ronald reagan. watched our live coverage at 10:15 eastern here on c-span. sunday on news makers, haleh security secretary janet napolitano on how the u.s. is meeting security threats and administration policy on border issues. that is at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> the whole environment of politics and had come apart. it had become polluted and
violent. >> "q&a" s sunday. the hubert h. humphrey, the art of the possible. >> the reason for doing the documentary was to show another side of this. he was not under lyndon johnson 's bids all the time. people did not understand the pressures he was under. >> "q&a" it sunday night at 8:00 on c-span. president obama said he has warned egyptian president hosni mubarak against using violence and cutting off communication. he specifically condemned the violence targeting foreign journalist and anti-government protesters. the president made the remarks with the canadian prime minister, steven harper. this is about 25 minutes.
>> i am very pleased to have my great friend and partner back to the white house to reaffirm our extraordinary friendship and cooperation between the united states and canada. i would like to talk about what we accomplished today and then address the situation unfolding in egypt. the united states and canada are not simply allies, not simply neighbors. we are woven together like perhaps note two countries in the world. we are bound together by our societies, our economies, our families -- which reminds me, my brother in lost work day is today. i should call him.
in our many meetings together, i have come to value his candor and getting results. although i have not had the pleasure of seeing him and his band jam to the rolling stones, i am told the videos have become a sensation on youtube. i will be checking that out after this. we have had a very successful day. our focus has been on how we increase jobs and economic growth on both sides of the border. canada is our largest trading partner. it is a top destination for american exports, supporting some 1.7 million jobs here. today, we agreed on several important steps to increase our trade, increase our competitiveness, and create jobs. we agreed to sharing our responsibilities at the border and beyond our border. that means working more closely
to improve border security with new technologies and information sharing among all and -- law enforcement as well as identifying threats early. it also means the free flow of goods and people. with over $1 billion in trade crossing the border every single day, smarter border management is key to our competitiveness, job creation, and doubling u.s. exports. we thank you for your leadership and commitment in reaching this agreement. we are developing an action plan to move forward quickly. we are going to get this done so our shared border enhances our shared prosperity. second, we are launching a new effort to get rid of outdated regulations that stifle trade. we need to strike the right balance in protecting our public health and safety and making it easier and less expensive for
americans and canadians to trade and do business, for example in the auto industry. the new council we are creating today will help make that happen. third, we discussed a wide range of ways to promote trade and investment from clean energy partnerships to the steps canada can take to strengthen intellectual property rights. we discussed a range of security challenges, including afghanistan where our forces served together. today i want to thank prime minister harper for canada's shift in training afghan forces. our nato and coalition allies, the transition will begin this year. canada's contribution will be critical to achieving that mission in keeping both our countries safe. finally, we discussed our commitment to progress with our partners in the americas,
including greater security and cooperation. i appreciated the prime minister's comments on the meeting as i prepare for my trip to central and south america next month. the nisei a few words about the situation in egypt. this is still a fluid situation. i will make just a few points. first, we continue to be crystal clear that we oppose violence as a response to this crisis. in recent days we have seen violence and harassment erupt on the streets of egypt that violates human rights, universal values, and international norms. we are sending a strong and unequivocal message -- attacks on reporters or unacceptable. attacks on human rights activist are unacceptable. attacks on peaceful protesters are unacceptable. the egyptian government has a responsibility to protect the rights of its people.
those demonstrating also have a responsibility to do so peacefully. but everybody should recognize a simple truth -- the issues at stake in egypt will not be resolved through violence or suppression. we are encouraged by the restraint that we showed today. we hope it continues. second, the future of egypt will be determined by its people. it is also clear that there needs to be a transition progress -- process that begins now. it must initiate a process that respect the universal rights of the egyptian people and leads to free and fair elections. the details will be worked out by egyptians. my understanding is that some discussions have begun. we are consulting widely again in egypt and the international community to communicate our belief that a successful an orderly transition must be meaningful. negotiations should include a
broad representation of the egyptian opposition. this transition must address the grievances. third, we want to see this moment of turmoil turn into a moment of opportunity. the entire world is watching. what we hope for and what we will work for is a future where all of egyptian society sees is that opportunity. right now, a great an ancient civilization is going to a time of transformation. even with great challenges and great uncertainty, i am confident that the egyptian people can shape the future that they deserve. as they do, they'll continue to have a strong friend and partner in the united states of america. mr. prime minister. >> thank you for your friendship both personal and national. thank you for all the work you have done at all of your people have done to bring us to this announcement today.
[speaking french] president and -- obama and i are issuing a bill declaration did it is much more than that. it is a declaration on our relationship. over the past nearly to madrid years, our country's at progressively developed the closest, the warmest, most integrated, and a successful relationship in the world. we are partners, neighbors, allies, and most of all, we are true friends. we share fundamental interest in values just as we face, and challenges and threats. at the core of this friendship is the largest bilateral trading
relationship in history. since the signing of the free trade agreement, a milestone in the modern era of globalization, that partnership has grown spectacularly. not only is the u.s. canada's biggest export market, canada is also the u.s. largest export marker. it is larger than all the countries in the youth peon union combined. 8 million jobs in the united states are supported by trade with canada. canada is the largest, the most secure, the most table, and the friendliest supplier of all of america's purchases of energy. it is in both of our interest to ensure that our common border remains open and efficient, but it is just as critical that it remains secure and enhance of the vigilant and dedicated.
as we should make sure that we are not impaired, so do we must of our game to counter those seeking new ways to harm us. because a threat to the united states is a threat to canada -- to our trade, to our values, to our common civilization. canada has no friends with america's enemies and america has no better friend than canada. this declaration commits our government to find ways to exclude terrorists and criminals to pose a threat to our people. it also commits to finding ways to regulate barriers to cross border trade and travel. simpler rules lead to lower costs for business and consumers and ultimately to more jobs. shared information, joint
planning, compatible procedures and inspection technologies. they make possible be effective risk management that will allow us to accelerate legitimate flows of people and goods between our countries while strengthening our physical security and economic competitiveness. we commit to expending our management of the border, to the concept of a north american perimeter -- not to replace or eliminate the border, but where possible, to streamline and decongested. there is much work to do. this marks the start of this endeavor, not the end. it is an ambitious endeavor between two countries, sovereign, and able to act individually as we so choose, but always understanding of this -- while the border defines two people, it need not defiant -- it need not divide them.
to our mutual devotion to freedom, democracy, and justice at home and abroad, it is the example we seek to demonstrate for all others. >> we have time for a couple of questions. >> thank you, mr. president. is it conceivable to you that a genuine process of democratic reform can began in egypt whopper that mubarak remains in power where do you think he needs to step aside for reform to begin? on the energy issues, can you discuss again the's role as a source of oil for the united states? did he receive any assurances that the united states looks favorably on the pipeline to the gulf coast? thank you. >> i have had two conversations with president mubarak since this crisis in egypt began. each time i have emphasized the fact that the future of egypt is
going to be in the hands of the egyptians. it is not us who will determine that future. but i have also said that in light of what has happened over the last two weeks, going back to the old ways is not going to work. suppression is not going to work. engaging in violence is not going to work. attempting to shut down information flows is not going to work. in order for egypt to have a bright future, which i believe it can have, the only thing that will work is moving a orderly transition process that begins right now that engages all the parties that leads to a democratic practices, fair and free elections, representative government that is responsive to the grievances of the egyptian
people. i believe president mubarak cares about his country. he is proud, but he is also a patriot. i suggested to him that he needs to consult with those who are around him in his government. he needs to listen to what is being voiced by the egyptian people and make a judgment about a pathway for word that is orderly, but that is meaningful and serious. i believe that he has already said he will not run for reelection. this is somebody who has been in power for a very long time. having made that psychological break, that decision that he will not be running again, i think the most important thing for him to ask himself, for the
egyptian government to ask himself is how do we make that transition effective and lasting and legitimate. as i said before, that is a decision the united states or any country outside of is it makes. what we can do is confirm the core principles that will be involved in that transition. if you end up having just gestures towards the opposition, but it leads to a continuing suppression of the opposition -- that is not going to work. if you have the pretense of reform, but not real reform -- that is not going to be effective. once the president himself announced that he was not going to be running again and since his term is up relatively shortly, the key question he should be asking himself is "how
do i leave a legacy behind in which egypt is able to get to this transformative. my hope is he will make the right decision. >> you ask me a question about energy. yes, we did discuss the matter at length. let me say this in that context. i think it is clear to anyone who understands this issue that the need of the united states for fossil fuels far in excess of its ability to produce such energy will be the reality for some time to come. the choice that the united states faces in all of these matters is whether to increase its capacity to accept such energy from the most secure, most table, and friendly as location he can get this energy, which is canada or to give it
from someone else who is not as friendly. >> a canadian reporter? >> prime minister, can you answer this in english and french? canadians will be asking how much of our sovereignty and our privacy rights will be given up to have more open borders and an integrated economy. i also want to ask you about egypt as well. whether you feel f. mr. mubarak should be stepping down sooner. mr. president, you are welcome to answer. you do not have to speak in french. [laughter] >> thank you. i love french. but i am just not very capable of speaking it. [laughter] >> on the question of sovereignty, we are sovereign countries who had the capacity to act as we choose to act.
the question that faces us is to make sure we act in a sovereign way that serves canada's interest. it is in canada's interest to work with our partners in the united states to ensure that our borders are secure and to ensure that we can trade and travel across them as safely and as openly as possible. that is what we are trying to achieve here. we share security threats that are very similar on both sides of the border. we share an integrated economic space where it does not make sense to constantly check the same cargo over and over again. we can do that at the perimeter. we can decongest the border. that is what we should be doing. if we can harmonize regulations in ways that avoid unnecessary duplication and red tape for business, these are things we
on the question of egypt, let me just agree fully with what president obama has said. i do not think there is any doubt from anyone who is watching the situation that transition is occurring and will occur in egypt. the question is what kind of transition this will be and how it will lead. it is ultimately up to the egyptian people who will govern them. what we want to be sure is that we lead towards a future that is not simply more democratic, but a future where that democracy is guided with such values as non- violence, rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of
>> with respect to the security issues and sovereignty issues, obviously canada and the united states are not going to match up perfectly on every measure. with respect to how we balance security issues, privacy issues, openness issues, but we match up probably more than any other country. we had this border that benefits when it is open. the free flow of goods and services results in huge economic benefits for both sides. the goal here is to make sure that we are coordinating closely and that as we are taking steps and measures to ensure more openness and security, that we are doing so
in ways that enhances the relationship as opposed to create tensions in the relationship. we are confident that we are going to be able to achieve that. we have already made great progress over the last several years on various specific issues. we are trying to look at this in a more comprehensive fashion so it is not just border security issues, but a broader set of issues involved. i have great confidence that prime minister harbert will be very protective of certain core values of canada just as i would be very protective of core values of the united states. these will not always match up perfectly. i agree even more with his answer in french. [laughter] thank you, everybody. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national
safety of the u.s.-canada border. that is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. tonight, former vice president dick cheney is the featured speaker at the closing banquet marking the 100th anniversary of the birthday of president ronald reagan. it is taking place in santa barbara, california. what's the our live coverage at 10:15 eastern here on c-span. >> listen to historic supreme court cases on c-span radio. from 2003, the court considers the fair housing act, racial discrimination, and liability. >> the complaint says that he should be liable as an individual because he owns a corporation. the complaint also says that he should be liable because it was the officer broker. >> listen to the argument on c- span radio.
>> former u.s. ambassador to egypt, edward walker, said today president hosni mubarak lost control of the egyptian army and could not maintain stability in the country. his remarks came during a discussion with the former british ambassador to tunisia. the chat was hosted by the middle east institute. this is one hour 20 minutes.
>> thank you for joining us. we have been watching protests in tunisia and egypt. the results remain to be seen. we are watching a non- ideological driven people's movement. it has potential pitfalls and promises. we will remind you of all of its potential pitfalls and promises. they are overthrowing the shackles of fear after living under hypocrisy and saying, "we can." "we do deserve democracy and we are capable of democracy." the view has been to believe if you get arabs their freedom or if they are allowed to have their freedom, they will choose, if not al qaeda it, ideological groups like hamas and hezbollah. might view is the region is able
to -- with us today to analyze this remarkable turn of events and what it means to the region are two middle east experts, ambassador edward walker and ambassador alan goulty. between them, they have 60 years of experience working on the ground and in the field. pretty remarkable. [laughter] tell me the dates. you can put it together. these are experts who speak arabic and look at the region beyond the narrow prism of national security interest -- a perspective lacking too long in policy circles. they will provide insight into what is unfolding and what steps the u.s. administration and european community can take to guide this perilous process. there is a lot at stake. there is a lot to be worried about. the protesters in egypt are not going home. what can the u.s. and europe due to -- given their close ties to mubarak and other arab leaders, to help encourage
constructive change in the region. ambassador goulty will look at the events in tunisia. he has served in both countries. he has served in the middle east with the british foreign services. from 2004 to 2008 he served as ambassador to tunisia. prior to that, he served as ambassador to sudan. he is currently a non-resident senior scholar -- senior scholar at the woodrow wilson center. ambassador edward walker will be focusing on egypt where he served as ambassador from 1994 to 1997. he was just there several weeks ago. he served as ambassador to israel and the united arab emirates. he too knows tunisia, having been posted there. we will begin by inviting ambassador goulty to the podium. thank you. [applause]
>> thank you very much for that generous introduction. the claim to experience may not be visible. who would have thought that events in tunisia would attract such a large crowd? [laughter] who would have thought that all of this activity and activism would be sparked by a revolution in tunisia set off by the suicide of a poor man?
why did we not see it coming? perhaps you did see it coming. let's have a quick show of hands of a 2, last november, force all a revolution in tunisia -- foresaw a revolution in tunisia. mine is not up. but i will say that when we arrived in tunis in 2004 it took my wife about six weeks to ask, "when is this place going to blow?" it is not a question of "if." people had the analysis. we see the poverty. we could see the unemployment -- the young men hanging out in cafes or on the street. we saw the denial of freedom of speech. the denial of freedom of association. we are familiar with ted d.
police harassment. we were certainly aware of the corruption of the family of ben ali and his wife. we saw all the good things all the other side -- standard economic growth rate. we sell the provision of health and education services. we saw the gradual development of industry exported to europe. we allow that to wait too much in the equation, perhaps. -- to way too much in the equation, perhaps. unfortunately the regime itself seemed confident. i lose count of the number of time someone in the government said to me, "ambassador, please do not talk to me about human rights. we know best how to run our country. we are all too easy answer. we are all tunisian. we understand and you do not understand that the opposition or basically all terrorists." that was a couple of assertions i think we are realizing we should have challenged more vigorously.
all of this, of course, came down to the position that the safe prediction for an ambassador, pandit, or journalists is that things would go on tomorrow like they were today. more of the same as always the safe prediction. the suicide really touched some of the tunisian nerves. the poverty, the unemployment of the young, the petty harassment by the police, which seems to have been the last straw -- that was something that tunisian could react to and did react to. interestingly, they reacted across the country, not only in the impoverished, internal towns, but also in tunis. let's take a quick look at the
lessons for dictators from ben ali's attempt to cope with this -- a dictator's tool kit and what other dictators seized on as tools to dampen down protest in their own countries. ben ali tried putting himself on the side of the victims. he visited the victim in a hospital before he died. he tried promises. i recall one promise of an incredible number of new jobs to be created. they have not been created in 1987. it was most improbable under present circumstances that they be created now. he tried dismissing the government. incidently, getting rid of the strongman in the interior. that is being tried again egypt
and jordan. he also could stand down at the end of his term in 2014. this was a particularly bogus offer because he could not have stood again anyway under the constitution. i think the tunisian salt through that. you see in egypt and yemen the same tools being used. probably, the use of force -- we see that in egypt and said -- sudan. we see that the army did not obey orders to open fire. all of these tools in the case of tunisia -- this is a lesson -- were taken as signs of weakness and encouraged the protest rather than the reverse. even so, why did ben ali to flee so quickly? white was the change so sudden? -- why was the chance of sudden?
there are three main causes. one is probably the fact that the army would not take on the policy of force and repression. they may have even advice tend to leave. second, i think he was probably genuinely surprised and taken aback and did not know what to do to survive. i do believe it is a case of the emperor having no clothes. his advisers did not tell him of the resentment on the streets and the activities of his wife and family. the stifling of anything approaching free expression in the media had the effect, not only of removing the possible safety valve, but also of depriving himself of a bit of warning. there were no op-ed people saying how unpopular the regime was.
finally, i think the family lost their nerve and wanted to get out while they could. it does not look like they got away with that given the measures that were taken. i think it is probably a fact. on the other hand, we have the activist -- the protesters. what have we learned from tunisia by way of their tool kit? not very much. the initial demand was to kill the ruler. get rid of the ruler. that is widespread. the second demand in tunisia was to say a note to the replacement government. there are too many holdovers to the people who were close to ben ali. that government was changed. that, for the moment, seems to have satisfied the protests.
tunisia is off the news. friends tell us the situation is called. -- the situation is called. there is sporadic trouble. the police or off the streets. there are no roadblocks in tunis. there is a new government, which is composed of an extremely competent people, mostly techno-credits -- technocrats who are tackling the situation with a commendable energy. one thing that has dramatically changed is that there is now a full briefing on tunisian cabinet meetings. we know what the government is discussing and it is quite a impressive list. they are starting to help the poorest by instituting an unemployment benefit. they have set up committees to
stimulate the economy, to take over half of the private sector that was controlled by ben ali's family. they have formed commissions to look into the excesses during the disturbances, to investigate past corruption, and to lead the political reform process. they have taken decisions to adhere to the international human rights conventions that tunisia has not yet accepted and to view the reservations that tunisia has expressed to others. they have taken measures ingeniously to enable the antrum president to issue laws by decree, which the cabinet did not say so, has the effect of bypassing the two-seat national assembly, which is controlled by partisans of the [unintelligible] they have an interest in
maintaining the old status quo. that is not a very democratic expedient. it is an expedient for the short-term. it seems to me to be a good thing. among the laws that are being reviewed and are believed to be amended by this process are those on political parties, on associations, on the press, and on terrorism. in fact, the brawled underpinning of the ben ali approach -- the key elements of the repressive regime. they are preparing for new elections. i would be cautiously optimistic at this stage that they will succeed in this process and that there can be in tunisia free and fair elections. what i cannot tell you is who is going to win them.
one of the lessons for all of us is the safe prediction that tomorrow will be like today is no longer true, not only in tunisia, but across the region. we have to rethink those assumptions. you can identify the groups. they are extraordinarily numerous. the ruling party claimed 2 million adherents. the opposition claim 10 and 1/2 million. there are an enormous number of police. they all have relatives. there is not going to be much appetite for anything approaching a witch hunt. the second element of the opposition, the human rights activists, the trade unionists who have been unable under ben ali to have a grassroots organization, but are now trying to come together, develop
a program, and set up that type of organization. they want to identify one or possibly more presidential candidates. then there are the islamist that did not pay much of late -- did not play much of a part in the protest and they are not claiming to have done so. their leader is back from britain. he is professing that the bathists party accept the marriage of islam and western values and not accept islamic revolution in tunisia which would be unpopular with large segments of the population. it is too soon to predict the outcome, but there will certainly be, i think, elections.
i am not sure that we are able to draw all the lessons we should from this experience. but i think one can make a general point and that is we should not take at face value what these regimes tell us. we should put ourselves in a position to make our own judgments. that means that we have to get out behind the 10-foot wall that nelson frowned -- that now surround the embassies and talk to the people. you do not get the raw material to base an assessment without going out to seek it. it means talking to opposition parties, to civil society where you can find civil society elements, as well as to the government. it does mean, in my view, that
we should be talking to the islamists. i think it is a weakness of our system that in order to placate or not to infuriate ben ali, and we did not officially have any contact with the islamist. i think we can see elsewhere that the failure to engage with hamas has not done us any failure in palestine or the middle east more widely. as to what should happen now, i think in respect to tunisia, a measure of modesty and discretion is in order. the european union were among the foremost backers of ben ali.
so were the united states. in tunis, the tear-gas grenades are stamped "made in the u.s.a." we cannot be seen to abandon our friends too quickly, but we want to align ourselves with democracy and so on. in tunisia, i think that is already happening. we must stand prepared to help on the economic side, too, with investment where we can, with free trade agreements. a lot of the motivation for these protests is economic. people who are not well paid, d.c. the prices of food and of fuel going to the roof, and are finding themselves much less
well off. the original ben ali bargained was "each and shut up." as the long as the economy gave the people enough to eat, that held. the new board and appears to be "speak up and tighten your belts." we need to help as far as we can to ease the belt-tightening process. we need to help civil society, encourage new investment, and preferential access to our markets, and due discretion and modesty. how that will translate to other parts of the middle east, especially egypt, i leave to ned. [applause] >> thank you very much, ambassador goulty. >> thank you very much. much of what alan has said about tunisia can be applied to
egypt as well. not all of it, but most of it. you cannot take at face value what these regimes tell you. we cannot take at face value what our intelligence agencies tell us either. they were as surprised as we were about the events in tunis. egypt has been waiting to blow for some time. tunis seemed to be better. certainly the standard of living is much higher in tunis and then it is in egypt. where are we in egypt? first of all, the basic institutions of government are there. they have not disappeared. you still have the trade unions. you still have your state enterprises. you still have your internal security police, although they are not on the streets at the moment.
you have, above all, a very substantial military force and a very powerful military force. the vast bureaucracy continues to maintain the conscience of the state. a little bit of a hiccup here and there. the economy is not doing so well, but everybody is still in place. it is not as if you have a revolution. you do not have a complete disappearance of the structure that was there before. in terms of who is controlling what, that is a little bit more up in the air. mubarak controls the security apparatus, but he does not control them quite the way he did before. his control over the national party is still very strong as you can see by the way he was able to put us into the street. the mdp is history. it will not survive this
revolution. it is too much a function of mubarak. new political forces will have to come out to take its place. he controls the mdp and its infrastructure, he controls the thugs who come out during elections to buy the boat. a vote cost 50 palace for the most expensive vote in egypt. that is a $60 cents per vote. that was in the last election. he does not have absolutely control of the military. this is a key change. the military may or may not obey his orders. certainly they have made it very clear that they are not going to confront the crowd. they are not going to shoot at egyptians. this is a traditional position of the egyptian military.
its primary interest is state -- it is loyal to the state, not an individual. but it is also will to the army. it is very clear that any kind of taking on the crowd, shooting people in the streets will be destructive, maybe even the inclusion of the army's place in society. the army has a very important place in society. it is highly respected. it has a long history of doing things the egyptian people support. it does not have a history of supporting -- suppressing egyptians. that was left to the black- coated police and security people. the military has maintained a clean record perk -- throughout. of course, mubarak is being challenged by the popular revolution. it is not going anywhere. it is out there in the square. he has taken a lesson from ben ali. it is the wrong lesson. it is the wrong lesson.