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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 25, 2014 10:00am-12:01pm EDT

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they provide 16 pills with their insurance. the four pills they have objection to are not birth control, they are abortion pills. including the morning-after pill. i agree with them. there is nothing wrong with birth control. they have provided it for years. the only objection i have is to the four pills that are abortion pills. host: that is going to be our last caller. we want to take you live to the house floor. the house is meeting. morning hour and then. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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approximately $100 billion. more than the united states has ever spent to rebuild a country. i further quote. since then congress has appropriated another $16.5 billion for reconstruction, and all that has not brought the united states or the afghans a single sustainable institution or program. as i travel through the third -- traveled through the third district of north carolina last week, i spoke on this subject many times and was met with frustration from the audience at the waste of taxpayers' money in afghanistan. when i went on to explain that the afghan parliament was able
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to vote on the bilateral strategic agreement that we are in the process of finalizing with afghanistan, but we have not even debated the issue in the house, the individuals with whom i spoke were incredibly disappointed in congress. mr. speaker, we cannot blame the american people for wanting a vote on this agreement, which will spend billions of american dollars in afghanistan with little to no accountability over at least the next 10 years. this is not a partisan issue. congressman jim mcgovern and i have signed a letter asking the leadership of both parties for a debate on the expenditure of tax dollars to prop up the corrupt nation of afghanistan, to further explain why this debate is necessary, i will briefly read two more examples from the money pit article. and i quote, the special inspector general's office, stated nown as sigar,
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years, there was $1.1 billion in fuel for the afghan military. even though the united states has made no effort to determine how much fuel the military actually requires. and i further quote. the article goes on to cite a g.a.o. report stating that, $130 million afghan contractors built a large shower bathroom facility without holes in the walls or floor for plumbing and drains. what's more, the walls were constructed of crumbling cinderblocks. the report blamed insufficient oversight. mr. speaker, it is time we bring to a close the era of waste, fraud and abuse of the united states' resources overseas and in afghanistan. mr. speaker, i hope the leadership of both parties will allow this congress to debate
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whether we should stay in afghanistan for 10 more years. if the parliament in afghanistan can have that debate, why can't the united states house of representatives? in closing, i would like to ask god to please bless our men and women in uniform and their families and close by saying we have spent enough blood and treasure on this failed policy in afghanistan. let's debate the issue and stop spending the taxpayers' money in afghanistan. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. this morning's "new york times" had a jarring reminder of the fate for those afghans who put their trust in the united states when they decided to help us as interpreters, as guides, providing a varpte of services that made the american -- variety of services that made the american mission possible. indeed, our soldiers,
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diplomats, countless americans have put their lives in the hands of these brave partners. there was a promise that we would be there for them just as they were there for us. sadly, this is a promise that has been broken time and time again. for the last 10 years, i've been working on an initiative to have the special immigrant visas, to allow these trusted partners whose lives are now at risk to escape to safety and freedom in the united states. too often we've had a program, mostly in name only. visas were authorized but through lack of attention, resources, commitment, focus, the paperwork languished, people have been in a bureaucratic hell, impossible conditions created and to be met by despair and too often threats, injury and sadly death of the people who trusted us. during the height of the
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government shutdown, we were nonetheless able to come together to bring the program back to life or at least put it on life support. i deeply appreciate the half -- the staff of the minority leader cantor -- majority leader cantor, minority leader hoyer, their key staff members worked with a bipartisan coalition. special thanks to adam kinzinger and tolsi gabbard, two new members who served in the middle east, who know what the problems are and our commitment to those who helped us. because of this team, we were able to not only keep it alive, we secured some real advances in the defense authorization act. and we're hearing noises from the administration and the many bureaucracies involved, the state department, homeland security, f.b.i., there are lots of places for the system to breakdown. yet, there appears to be some
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greater commitment. but still not enough action. again, this morning there is a reminder of the reality of our government having failed to deliver, but for too many of us, it's a story in "the new york times." but for the iraqis and the afghans left behind, they don't need a story in a foreign newspaper, although except the people who are featured in these stories miraculously often get their cases exat the dieded. for the rest of these poor souls, they have a daily reminder of the threats, the assaults of what it means to be left in the tender mercies of al qaeda and the taliban. next month, i'll be introducing legislation for the next steps. i would strongly urge my colleagues to remember that brief moment when we came together during the government shutdown to keep the program alive. please join me in co-sponsoring
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the legislation, and because it's not just enough to keep the program alive, let's come together to make the program work so those partners of america in afghanistan and iraq hemselves can be kept alive. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, for five minutes. thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, despite the recent military drawdown, our nation continues to rely upon qualified and well-trained volunteers to join the military in order to regenerate our armed forces. some of these young men and women have prepared their entire lives for service while others find the call to duty some years later. all chose to serve their country in uniform and do so
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with honor and bravery. and when joining the service, new recruits must undergo comprehensive medical and physical examinations in order to certify they are both fully fit and capable of performing the range of rigorous and demanding jobs our military must carry out. however, mr. speaker, despite comprehensive physical and medical evaluations, there's no similar examination for mental health competency. meaning we thoroughly examine knees and backs and eyes and even the heart, yet leave the most part of the body, one's mind, off-limits. no, this is certainly cause for concern, and what some view as a serious gap in recruitment evaluation, especially as the military continues to address issues of behavioral health, posttraumatic stress disease, traumatic brain injury and suicide. now, according to a recent army study, nearly one in five army soldiers enter the service with a psychiatric disorder, and
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nearly half of all soldiers who tried suicide first attempted it before enlisting. now, additionally, the journal of the medical association found that large percentage of suicides in the military were individuals who had never been deployed in a combat role. mr. speaker, as policymakers, we have a responsibility to address this challenge, and this week, ohio congressman tim ryan, and i plan to call on our colleagues to do just that, to join us as co-sponsors of the medical evaluation parody for service members, or meps act. this bipartisan bill will introduce a preliminary medical assessment at the time they are first joining the military. they will follow all hipaa guidelines and cannot be used in consideration for promotion or assignments. additionally, the congressional budget office has found the meps act to have no budgetary
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effect. this requires the national institutes of mental health in conjunction with the department of veterans affairs and other experts to report their recommendations on the assessment to ensure best practices are done. this commonsense proposal seeks to bring mental health parody -- to parody with physical health and recrueltyment evaluations. to ensure that our incoming troops are mentally and physically fit to serve. the bill has the support of the american psychological association, the veterans of foreign wars, the national guard association of the united states, the reserve officers association and reserve enlisted association and the association of the u.s. navy. mr. speaker, the meps act is t the magic silver bullet to solve all the behavioral issues that the miller faces, but it is an important step in better understanding the scope and the challenge we face. i encourage my fellow colleagues to join us in this
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effort, to protect the safety and security of those in uniform by becoming a co-sponsor of the medical evaluation parody for service members act. these brave men and women deserve as much. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, for five minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the speaker. this morning i want to take a few moments to share thoughts with my colleagues on a number of items i believe we should be focused on. but before i do that, i want to join my friends and colleagues from the great state of washington to express my concern and my sympathy for the
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people of darington and oso, highway 530 that experienced this terrible devastation of a mudslide, to the families of those who lost their loved ones, we mourn and pray for you . and to those who are still missing, we thank the first responders and pray for their accuracy in discerning and finding those that are alive. as a member of the homeland security committee, and as we have a hearing this morning on emergency preparedness, i'm asking that all of the resources that the delegation from washington request and as well the governor of that state, that all of us will embrace them, stand as americans, unite behind them, provide the resources as we do for our fellow brothers and sisters in this country because it is the american way, that we never leave a lonely person along the highway of despair.
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we always provide for them, and i want those people in darington and the city of oso to know we will not leave you along the highway of despair. this to now challenge congress, the other body as they proceed to move on what actions should be taken in ukraine. . we know americans are war weary. but when we have principles of democracy, if we believe there is an international world order, we cannot sit idly by and not act. i'm grateful that the president has strongly denounced russia's actions. has begun to move on strong sanctions. would argue that there should be more. we should ensure that the new ukranian government that wants to cling to aspects of democracy and wants to associate with a democratic europe, that they be allowed to strengthen
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themselves. we cannot have a timidness on behalf of europe so busy worrying about their pocketbook they'll stamp on their principles. some european countries are now wavering about sanctions. would suggest to them that they are dangerously providing an opportunity for russia to continue its aggressive and illegal acts. you must have principles. you must provide the strength to sanction. for one can just travel to the years of history in the 20th century and be reminded of those who get one step of aggression and watch as they march across europe. i am very glad that there will and i eting of the g-8 would ask that we continue to isolate russia. russia violates the human rights of its own people. it does not even recognize the lgbt community and they are
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persecuted. what more do we have to hear from russia and its head of government to not know that they must suffer the consequences of their acts? i stand with the people of ukraine because i would suggest democracy, i believe in peace, i believe in human dignity, and i believe america has those values that we can ensure through the world family that russia understands that they are not part of the world order of democracy and the freedom of people. might i also add, mr. speaker, as a senior member of the homeland security committee, all of us have watched some with intenseness of the malaysian aircraft, with great disappointment and sadness we are told about all of the facts not knowing what the recent announcements have been, that this crash -- aircraft, this airliner may be lost. but it opens our eyes to the crisis of airline security and technology. and i call upon the aviation
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industry to stop hiding behind cost and how much it costs and start ensuring that our pilots and our customers, our flying public, are safe. why do we have the capacity to dismantle the transponders? why wasn't the emergency call already in place that it automatically signals when an aircraft goes off its destine nated destiny and destination as relates to its flight pattern? why does it have to be done manually? the mysterious turn. homeland security will be having a hearing on the false passports. finally, mr. speaker, it is overdue for comprehensive immigration reform and i'll continue that discussion. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from tennessee, mrs.
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blackburn, for five minutes. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask permission to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. there's no shortage of issues here in washington, and i find it so interesting when people come to our offices and they say, what is going on today? and as you will hear whether it is talking about foreign affairs, the jobs issues, the budget, the issues that are of such concern to our constituents , there's always something that is on the front burner. and today is one of those days. the supreme court will hear yet another legal challenge to one of the many unconstitutional aspects of obamacare. and that is that h.h.s. contraception mandate. of course this isn't the first time that the affordable care act, the president's health care law, has been pulled into the supreme court. probably not going to be the last, but today the hearing is
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on the contraception mandate. no american should have to choose between feeding their family and abiding by their faith. but i have to tell you that is what we see happening right now. it is precisely what this coercive contraception mandate is doing to millions of hardworking people of faith. like the hans and the greens who simply want to run a business and practice their faith. these family businesses want to take care of their employees and provide them with quality health care coverage. all they ask is to not be forced to pay for the life-ending contraceptive that violate, that violate their religious convictions. now, obamacare's unreasonable mandate has placed them in a
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bind. violate the tenets of their faith or be fined, fined by the federal government, fined by obamacare, fined $100 per employee per day. that is what the fine works out to be. unbelievably it would be cheaper to strip their employees of health care coverage all together and pay a single $2,000 fine per employee per year. that is what you find in the 20,000 pages of regulation and the 2,p00 pages of the president's -- 2,700 pages of the president's health care law. but that is not what these family businesses want to do. they really want to do the right thing and take care of the hardworking men and women who are in their employment. if these family businesses are forced to close or drop health
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care for their employees, it will be the employees and their families who are made to suffer. this mandate is just another flawed part of a terribly flawed law, and americans are growing tired of having to cope with it. 59% of the country opposes, opposes the contraception mandate because they know what the greens and the hahns know. this is a country founded on religious liberty and that freedom of conscience is a cherished american tradition. the american people know that and they value, they value that liberty. and they value that tradition. the obama administration has already dold out special exemptions to 100 million health care plans from this mandate. and for every reason under the sun, except religious liberty. in fact, the h.h.s. mandate only
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explicitly contains a religious exemption for churches and their affiliates. the obama administration even expects hospitals and religious nonprofits to abide by the mandate without complaint. as if the very founding principles of these organizations aren't outright violated by paying for life ending contraceptions. unless it's a religious institution, the obama administration seems to think no organization, not even a charity, is allowed to exercise the right of conscience unless it is granted a special waiver from the administration, of course. the administration, what the government gives, the government can delay, and the government can take away. that is their plan. it is my hope the court will act to uphold the protections inherent in the first amendment. respect america's long held
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tradition to right of conscience, and let these families operate their businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs and tenets. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, for five minutes. without objection. mr. speaker, earlier this year the house voted on the farm bill conference report, legislation that re-authorizes our nation's agriculture policies as well as the pre-eminent anti-hunger program known as snap. i voted against the conference report both as a conferee and when it came before this house because it contained an $8.6 billion cut to snap. even worse, it was the second major cut to snap in less than six months. i strongly believe in our nation's anti-hunger programs. unfortunately, there are about 49 million hungry people living
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in our great nation. technically known as food insecurity, the truth is that these are low-income people who don't know where their next meal will come from. but america's anti-hunger programs, led by snap, provide food to people who otherwise would have difficulty finding t. if they were able to find access to food at all. for years i have talked about how snap works. over the past year i have led these end hunger now speeches about -- about how snap and other anti-hunger programs are working to reduce hunger in our country. that's why these two snap cuts, the cut in november 2013, and the cut in the farm bill, were not just disappointing but they were actually damaging. we saw real cuts to real people. for example, look at luis marin who was profiled in the work daily news, i quote from that article. food stamp cuts have dealt a double blow to lieu ice marin and his family. his hours have been cut from 30 to 20 hours a week where his
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boss is losing business because of the food stamp cutbacks. and marin, 56, and his wife and two little girls who subsist on his $8 an hour income also saw their food stamp benefits drop to $397 a month in november and had to change their eating habits, end quote. it's not just low-income families in our urban areas. military families are using snap for than ever. military families use food stamps more in fiscal year 2013 than in any other year. members of the military redeemed almost $104 million worth of food stamps over that time, about $5 million more than the previous year. the thing many of my colleagues don't seem to understand is the cuts to snap don't just change the amount of money the federal government spends, as you can see from the case that i highlighted with mr. marin, these cuts hurt real american people.
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we are taking food off their tables. food away from children, away from poor families. and that's why i'm pleased that seven of our nation's governors are taking the courageous stand that this congress or more accurately this coverage wouldn't take and that is that the cut included in the farm bill was harmful, but it only affected 17 states. that's because it only dealt with a program called heat and eat, a program that linked liheap and snap together. the farm bill changed the ways states could continue participating in that program. essentially states could continue if they increased the state contribution from $1 to $20 in liheap benefits. these states, connecticut, massachusetts, montana, new york, pennsylvania, and rhode island are playing by the new rules congress established in the farm bill and thankfully, thankfully they are saying that they are not going to let low-income food insecure people in their states feel the pain of these cuts even if congress is going to cruelly and cowardly
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cut snap in the name of deficit reduction. i sit on the agriculture committee and i remember when the committee didn't have the notes to abolish the heat and eat program entirely. the $20 level was supported by the chairman of the committee and now the law of the land. yet the distinguished speaker of this thousands continues to say that states are somehow cheating when they are doing -- when all they are doing is following the law that he shepherded through this house. perhaps he didn't read the bill. or perhaps he doesn't understand the fact that there are millions and millions of people in this country who are hungry. i want to commend the governors of these states, including the republican governor of pennsylvania, and the governor of my home state of massachusetts, for doing the right thing and taking action to prevent these cuts from taking effect and preventing their citizens from going hungry. i'm grateful to these governors and the governors of 10 other states still working to enact this change of law and for taking the actions that many in this congress simply did not take. i say thank you to the governors for preventing hunger from
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getting worse in those states and hopefully they can be an example for all of us in congress. mr. speaker, we were elected to help people, and these cutbacks in snap and other nutrition programs have hurt our fellow citizens. these cuts are unconscionable. they are a rotten thing to do. and we in this congress, and the leadership of this congress has to stop beating up on poor people. has to stop diminishing their struggle. surely we can come together in a bipartisan way and agree that hunger is unacceptable in the richest country in the history of the world. we need to end hunger now, not make it worse. let's come together, let's end hunger now. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis, for five minutes. mr. bilirakis: i rise today to celebrate the 191st anniversary of greek independence. citizens of greece have always been a proud people in body,
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mind, and spirit. from paraclose, the greek statesman and general, the first citizen of athens, to play torks who laid -- to plate kwlow who laid a groundwork in philosophy so vast that the entirety of european philosophical tradition is simply said to be a food note to his -- footnote to his work. the first head of state of an independent greece, greeks have been exceptional, mr. speaker. . i'm almost sure that thomas jefferson cast an eye across the atlantic when he uttered these words in 1821 when greece declared their independence and i quote, the flames kindled on the fourth of july, 1776 have not spread over much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of dess petism.
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on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them. it is no coincidence that the feats of the enunesiation, a commemoration of the conception of jesus christ, which chosen to ignite the action for independence. i'm blessed to be of two cultures that have been beacons of liberty for all of civilization. the place of my birth, the land of the free and the home of the brave, the united states of america. and the land of my ancestors, the birthplace of democracy, the hellenic republic. many greeks fought for years, pledging to their heritage, culture and faith. a bishop raised the emblem of freedom for helens. the flag baring a white cross and nine blue and white stripes representing the nine letters
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in freedom. eight years of bloodshed and attle led to the treaty of andronopo, for a free and independent greece. greece was the first advanced civilization when they provided a cultural -- one that provided a cultural heritage that has influenced the world, first in philosophy, mathematics, politics, sports and art all stem from a free greece. liberty and justice, freedom to determine the path of one's own life, these are human desires and were embodied in greece throughout their fight for independence. paid nyielding helens life and limb for those desires and greeks of -- americans of greek dissent as well for decades to come call them their
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ancestors many thanks. as george washington once said, liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth. this held true in greece in 21 as it did in america in 1776. the cry of eath was the revolutionaries nearly 200 years ago. it rings true today. freedom is a powerful and beautiful notion. the greek people achieved that for themselves 193 years ago and i am proud to celebrate in memory of those who fought bravery to shed the shackles of the ott mon empire. long -- ottoman empire. long live greece and i yield back. i appreciate it, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yield it's back.
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the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. tonko, for five minutes. mr. tonko: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in celebration of women's history month. on march 13, my colleagues joined together on the house floor to call for the passage of h.r. 863 which would call for a commission to study the potential creation of a national women's history museum in our nation's capital. they discussed the critical need for the museum and recognized the many women who have shaped our nation. my colleagues are historic women in their own right and today i am proud to join them in voicing my support for h.r. 863. h.r. 863 would establish a commission to study and recommend a plan of action for the establishment and maintenance of a national women's history museum here in washington, d.c. the national women's history museum will be the first of its kind to celebrate the women's
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history and women's contributions to the united states. it will not cost the federal government a dime since every cent will be privately raised. why is it necessary? well, from our nation's founding, women have played a crucial role, providing numerous contributions to help create and re-enforce the right foundation of this nation. women have changed the course of history, and we are long overdue in celebrating and recognizing them and their accomplishments. women's history is largely missing from textbooks, from memorials, from museum exhibits and from many other venues. of the 210 staff use in the united states capitol, only nine are of female leaders. less than 5% of the 2,400 national historic landmarks chronicle women's achievements, and a recent survey of some 18 history textbooks found that only 10% of the individuals identified in those texts were
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women. what about new york and its role, my home state? well, women suffrage as a movement had its roots in upstate new york that i proudly represent. the start of what would become a nationwide movement for women's rights in the united states was staked in seneca falls, new york, and began in 1848. elizabeth katy stanton, susan b. anthony, all who made their voices heard for the empowerment of women, claim new york as their home state and let's make sure their stories continue to be heard. countless outstanding women in the capital region have stories that every american should know. let me cite one. shirley ann jackson in the capital region of new york that i represent, shirley ann jackson, dr. jackson, president jackson at r.p.i. is a renowned american physicist who in 1973 graduated from m.i.t. with a ph.d. in elementary particle physics, becoming the very
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first african-american woman to receive a ph.d. in m.i.t.'s history. she currently serves as president of r.p.i. as she continues to advocate on behalf of women and minorities in the sciences, her story should be told. there are countless stories that need to be told. i will continue to proudly support the creation of a national women's history museum and h.r. 863. when visitors from the capital region of new york come to our nation's capital, they should have the opportunity to learn about, to celebrate and, yes, to be inspired by women's history. i thank the gentlewoman from new york, carolyn maloney, and the gentlewoman from tennessee, arsha blackburn, for their continued efforts on this endeavor. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until noon today.
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religious views. you can see many reporters and people milling around waiting
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for attorneys to come out to address the media. sights and sounds from outside the high chamber. [cheering] [cheering]
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>> no birth control - pro -family [cheering] i am so honored and so proud to introduce someone who really want for you all to meet, professor dorothy roberts. [cheering]
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her book is out. the professor of law and sociology. she is a professor of civil rights and she is the chair of the [indiscernible] she has an acclaimed scholar at the university of pennsylvania. [indiscernible]
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[crowd noises] [cheering]
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>> did you come here with any friends? >> no. [cheering] >> we know that when access to health care is denied, it marginalizes women in this country.
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[cheering] [cheering] >> live coverage outside the supreme court this morning as the court hears oral arguments in the contraceptive mandate india for their act. the case is kathleen sibelius
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and the hobby lobby, a company opposed to offering certain after sept of coverage since it contradicts their beliefs. we expect the attorneys in the case to speak to the media at the conclusion of oral argument and that should happen sometime after 11:30 a.m. and we hope to bring that to you but we are committed to live coverage of the house and that will get underway at noon eastern. oral arguments is set to go 90 minutes which is longer than usual. it is usually about one hour and the session started at 10:00 this morning. at the conclusion of the oral argument, comments from the attorneys. they will be coming down those steps behind you. we have different pamphlets you might want to grab. [cheering]
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>> we are profamily, pro-faith, and progress control. -- and pro-birth control. it is about human rights. [cheering] make your own decisions about your own birth control and it's about human rights. [cheering] my health care is not your hobby is a good sign. [cheering] another sign is my house, my choice, my baby. [cheering]
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for those of you, this is justice. [cheering] yes, yes. we are so pleased to bring up our next speaker. before we do that, we saw some of our congressional champions. we have another one so i am congress --ng up the congresswoman from illinois. [cheering] [cheering] thank you for being here.
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your signs say at all. we are the 99%. [cheering] it's not my boss's business. [cheering] the boss should not be in my bedroom. [cheering] because we ares on the right side. we have the majority. thank you all for being out there. we will take this fight all the way till we win it. thank you very much. [cheering] >> given it up for congresswoman sick ascii -- sikowski. know it's cold and we have to
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stick it out to the end. you all are doing a wonderful job. every time i look out here-- more are coming. [cheering] we have our next speaker -- [indiscernible] [cheering]
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>> he is from michigan state university. without further ado, let's bring arah from the human rights campaign. >> we want to encourage you [indiscernible]
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[various conversations] >> we will begin in just a moment. we have bagpipes here. we are delighted to have our dear friend. we will have an open prayer, the cornerstone of our godly rights. it's not the right of governments to dictate to the people [indiscernible] the deeply held beliefs and convictions.
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[cheering] [bagpipe music]
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>> we are going to pray what is in our hearts. members of the press would like putave a good shot of us so your signs down, if you could. i'm from pennsylvania with the group called americans for chris trinh -- christian traditions in our nation.
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whenever board members is one of the attorneys who helped prepare the case. we are here to support him and lord. here to obey the let's join our hearts in prayer, if we met. --may. >> again, despite the income and whether with snow and rain falling in d.c., lots of people are assembled as the us -- the supreme court hears oral arguments in the contraceptive case of the hobby lobby. they are opposed to offering certain contraceptive coverage to their employees as required by the nation's health care law because it violates their personal religious beliefs. many of you have been weighing in with your thoughts on facebook. " no private enterprise has the
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right to overrule a woman's health care decisions." this is from james bowen --" businesses should not be able to decide which medications their employees need." of theawaiting the end oral argument and for the attorneys to come down to the plaza to address the media. you will be able to watch that here on c-span if they do come down before the house comes in beginning at noon, eastern. [cheering] [cheering]
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>>[chanting] women want to decide their fate. >> danny? dan? give a look there. [cheering] >> this is a microphone check. microphone check is good, good enough.
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all right. you got it there, dan? all right, you too, bill? [cheering] [cheering] [cheering]
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[cheering] [cheering] [cheering] >> it's been about one hour the
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supreme court has been in session considering the case of sibelius versus hobby lobby. the hobby lobby craft store owners are opposed to providing certain contraceptive coverage coverages required right now under the affordable care act. court sessions are not televised in the givers are not allowed in court over the oral argument on the kay's will be recorded and made available for viewing on friday at 8 p.m. eastern. forill have it available you on friday evening, here at c-span, starting at 8:00 eastern. we hope to hear from the attorneys in the case at the conclusion of the oral argument, a little bit after 11:30 a.m. and little bit of discussion on this case from washington journal. you can see the live shot byit now, we're joined
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lawrence hurley. the challenge that is being heard today stems from a provision of the affordable care act. the claim, as i understand it, the 1993 religious freedom restoration act. what did that law do and how did it lead to today's argument? guest: thanks for having me. the law sets the standard for how people can object to government interference -- will government regulations interfere with their religion. it is various levels people have to get through before you can win the case. in this particular case, the question is whether the for-profit corporation can actually make such a challenge. insurance. the issue is whether they even have the grounds to make the claim. host: let's set the stage for
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who the players are. we hear about hobby lobby but it is a case involving a couple different companies. guest: there is a whole series of companies all around the country who have made these claims. the supreme court has only agreed to hear 2 of those cases. the 2 cases before the court are hobby lobby, run by evangelical christians, and the other is conestoga wood specialties, run by mennonites. both of them have made the same type of claim, saying that they will -- object on religious grounds to providing some of the contraceptive coverage required under obamacare. host: kathleen sebelius is the named defendant in this case. who is making the arguments today for each side? guest: right, so on the government side will be the
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solicitor general, donald really -- donald verrilli. he is the main governmen lawyer who argues before the supreme court. arguing for the challenger is a very prominent private attorney named paul clement. these are the same 2 lawyers who faced off when obamacare, the main law, was before the court and the court decided that case in 2012. host: these guys know each other well. guest: yeah, they do. host: could you take us briefly through the arguments on both sides? start with the government's case with verrillrilli. that theey claim corporations themselves, the owners don't have a valid claim. they say the company can't make the claim because they don't have religious feelings, and the companies merely providing company is merely
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providing benefits as required by the government. the owners themselves, managing the company, they are not actually providing the service and sells directly has -- the service themselves directly as a company. so the second part of the question, the government says they have a compelling interest in providing health insurance s to women allive around the country. on the other side, the position a that this provision imposes substantial burden on their religious belief, and if they don't do what the government wants them to do, they will be fined quite heavily. they say that the government has other ways to achieve the goal .f providing the coverage
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there is no need for the government to be imposing on their religious feelings. host: we are talking with lawrence hurley, supreme court correspondent for reuters. we are showing you live shots of the supreme court throughout the morning on the "washington ," and we will be discussing this subject for the next hour and a half or so. host: lawrence hurley, before we take some phone calls, take us through the mechanics of how the arguments work this morning. this is an unusually long set of arguments that will be taking place, correct? guest: normally it is hour-long
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arguments. in this case they've extended it by 30 minutes, so a 90 minute argument, and the 2 lawyers we discussed earlier will take turns. paul clement for the challengers goes first, and then the solicitor general goes. both of them will be up there answering lots of questions from the 9 justices and trying to get a word in edgewise. host: who are the justices to watch? guest: generally the rule of thumb when you are at a supreme court argument is that -- whatever what justice anthony kennedy has to say. he is often the swing vote in close cases. especially on sort of these types of issues. so everyone will be keeping an eye on him. and possibly looking out for interesting comments from other justices that might indicate which way the court might go. ont: one of your previews this case, you talk about the
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corporate rights issue that is being discussed here. explain what that is, because it is something the court is touched on before but in the area of campaign finance, correct? sort of an, this is interesting issue because it creates a lot of controversy. in 2010, the court decided the case called citizens united, lifted some campaign-finance restrictions on corporations and unions. people said -- some critics of the court said they were too poor corporation, to pro-business -- too pro- corporation, too pro-business. this brings up the idea of whether corporations can ring up religious objections and some say that the court says they could, this could be used in all sorts of ways in the future to object to government relations they don't like. courtyou say that the
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threads the needle on the subject. how could they do this on this case? guest: if they wanted to avoid getting into that issue, they could allow the case to go forward just by finding -- the owners of the companies could make the claim. the government says they shouldn't be able to, but the appeals court that decided one of these cases, that is the way that they ruled. host: when will we know what the court rules? guest: usually we should get a decision by the end of june. host: the mechanics of howard works from lawrence hurley. -- of how it works from lawrence hurley. rosanne,tart with waiting in florida on our line for democrats. rosanne, good morning to you. caller: good morning. this is regarding the question whether or not more or less religion should be in government . , governmentemember
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shall create no religion. however, no religion or all religion is guaranteed under the first amendment. if you are an atheist, muslim, jew, or christian, you are guaranteed the right to practice as such and guarantee that freedom, not just in a place of worship or on sundays or saturdays. is imposing a hca law that violates that right. the first amendment is being violated. ande were many beheadings burnings at the stake under king george. religion,acticing his or for being a witch. a bloody battle was fought over this. we need to remember these things. host: lawrence hurley, the caller raise up the affordable care act. what could the ruling in this case mean for the affordable care act? is the act itself actually under
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threat in this case? guest: no, as most people know, in 2012 the supreme court upheld the affordable care act eno -- in a 5-4 decision. this case, although it involves a lot of very divisive issues, the practical impact could be somewhat limited. it doesn't affect the viability of the obamacare law, and also doesn't directly affect even the contraceptive provision. it would allow certain companies that can show -- or their owners that can show that they have strongly held religious objections to get an exemption from the contraceptive requirement. hurley, what is correspondent at the supreme court. will you be at the chambers today when the arguments are happening? guest: i will, yeah.
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host: how many supreme court correspondents are there in the chambers? guest: the full-time supreme court press corps will be there -- host: how big is that this court? -- is that press corps? guest: permanent members is about 20 people. because it is a big case, there are reporters from other news organizations who will be there. probably over 100 reporters inside the court. and probably quite a few outside the court as well because as you have seen from the pictures, there is going to be a lot of demonstration outside the court. host: how long have you been covering supreme court issues in your reporting career? guest: i've been doing it for 6 years now. i didn't actually cover the health care ruling, but i did cover the citizens united case we talked about earlier. host: here is how then from ohio puts this case and i want to get your take on what he says.
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the first amendment protects the free expression of religion and prohibits government from imposing their view of religion. the question from the court is whether the government is imposing its views on this family or prohibiting this family from practicing and expressing their religion as they see fit." is that a good summation of what is happening today? guest: what is interesting is that under the court president -- under the court precedent, under the first amendment, the court said that it is a general law, that applies equally to taxes or such as social security. you can have a religious objection to that. the same way that people can't, for example, if you are antiwar, you can't just say i'm not going to pay taxes to go to the pentagon. that is pretty well established. somessue is whether, to extent, if the government is
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already provided some exemptions, which in this case they have to religious institutions, whether that could be extended to other people that have religious objections. host: karen asks on twitter host: you touched on that just a little bit. guest: actually, that is one of the potential outcome -- the potential outcome would be if the company lost the case, they could just say we are not going androvide health insurance they could give employees more money to provide health insurance instead of providing it themselves. host: 15 minutes left with lawrence hurley, supreme court correspondent for reuters. he will be in the chamber's today for the hobby lobby argument, here to answer your
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questions before heading over to the supreme court, where it is starting to snow on capitol hill . you can see the press court setting up. -- press corps setting up. sharon on our line for republicans. caller: good morning. host: you are on with lawrence hurley. go ahead. caller: yes, i'm calling because i believe that everyone should have a right to believe what they want to and not have their rights infringed on by other people, you know i'm saying? and then i believe the big picture behind everything that is going on is the devil. we are not fighting people. it is evil spirits in high places -- host: sharon, can i ask you, you said that rights shouldn't be infringed upon. in this case whose rights do you think are being infringed upon?
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i believe the government is trying to take christians rights from them. is the enemy is trying to take our freedom away. prayer is the key to everything. we were showing our viewers some of the pictures of protesters outside the supreme court. how unusual is it to have people ?leep overnight is this expected to be one of the biggest cases of the court's term? there are typically a few cases per term to get a good turnout. i have heard people queuing up behind the court since friday on this one. with the cold weather i'm sure it has been unpleasant.
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this case is probably the biggest this term as far as the interest goes. we had the gay marriage cases in big case on voting rights. >> along with the protesters we are arty seeing we read earlier that members of congress will be hosting a press conference outside of the courthouse to talk about this case. can you talk about the role of congress in the hobby lobby case . there are members of congress from both parties that one of them,- senator ted cruz, republican from texas, actually wrote his own brief. before he was a senator he was a prominent lawyer. he knows the law.
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host: and we will go to charles waiting in daytona beach florida . you're on with the supreme court correspondent from reuters. i think it is really wrong for any religion, any company that has a religion, that they believe a certain belief. if i worked for a buddhist company even though i am protestants, i don't follow what they believe. , respect their religion 100% anybody that believes in any religion. i do not respect that they should written french on my theys as to not believe -- should in french on my rights as to not believe what they believe. is not the first time
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the freedom of restoration act has been in the news, dealing with laws around the country. in arizona this was the subject of a law that the governor did not sign. that was state law, not under federal law. there was pressure not to sign that. host: is it the subject of other challenges? is something that folks are looking to put some of these cases on the supreme court? what is new here's is the question of whether a , a for-profit company, can make an objection under this law. writtenthe law has been hasn't been interpreted by the supreme court before. that is the key thing here and what people are looking for.
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-- wasas there must there much opposition when this was passed in 1993? guest: no, it was passed pretty efficiently. daniel on our to line for republicans. we are talking with lawrence hurley, supreme court correspondent for reuters. it is not just a religious issue, it is also a health care issue. consuming birth control pills are actually doing something that's harmful to themselves. if you read the label, it says it can cause heart attack, stroke, or cancer.
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host: are you still with us? not just ais religious issue, it is a health issue. host: i want to talk about the history of this case before it reached the supreme court. reached bydecisions lower courts leading up to this case. how did hobby lobby and the spare in their decisions? supreme court rules in different ways, which is generally why it takes different cases if the lower courts are divided. in the two cases of the courts hearing today, the appeals court decided opposite ways. caseobby lobby won their in the appeals court in denver, where the court said that the corporation could make a claim.
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is in the other case, which pennsylvania, the government won that case. a lot of the courts have weighed in, including the appeals court in washington. the company couldn't make the claim. let's go to eric waiting in denver, colorado on our line for independents. caller: good morning. host: go ahead. question i have is relating to the artificial corporations. a corporation is considered an off -- considered an artificial person create when you create a corporation you -- artificial person. when you create a corporation you create an artificial person. how does an artificial person have spiritual rights? they don't. they are because we created it that way.
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we have religious rights. an artificially created person cannot claim those rights. host: you are talking about this corporate rights argument hurley was talking about earlier? i think we lost him there. if you can talk more about the corporate rights issue and where the justices have come down on this topic. you mentioned one of the pvs cases involving the f ec -- one of the previous cases involving .he fsc is the first time the court has had a case on whether for-profit corporations can claim a case under this federal law. the way they are connected is if this court was to rule that companies can make these claims then critics of those types of decisions will put it together
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with what they would describe as further evidence for pro-business. roberts court treated differently than other courts in the past? how have other courts treated this issue? guest: generally the roberts court is seen by some critics as being rather pro-business on a whole range of issues. people would see that is just one aspect of that. lenny is on our line for independents from maryland. you're on with lawrence hurley from reuters. caller: hello. i know a few plaintiffs on this case against the government. it wasious to know if muslim owned companies that brought the case to the government. was muslim owned
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companies that brought the case to the government. host: who are some of the other companies involved? 80 companies? guest: i can't remember the exact number but there are quite a few. all of them are closely held companies. this is not the case of microsoft or apple trying to get this type of exemption. companies whowned are all religious and have the same religion. ownerspany where the have different religious views -- since they all have the same dues and they describe it they expressed the religious views through the company in a way such as giving donations to andl religious groups
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celebrating religious holidays. different to a publicly traded company. only casen't the happening at the supreme court this week. although there is lot of activity today. one of the case is being watched of secret service and how they treated protesters. can you describe that case? it was about president george w. bush and one night there were some protesters himby who were -- who poked and secret service moved them slightly. this led to litigation as to whether they were correctly moved in the secret service
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treated the bush protesters differently to how they treated pro-bush protesters. the term ends in june. we are starting to get some of the big decisions. due to makecourt is some decisions just before the oral argument in the hobby lobby case. cases, suchme big as issues of campaign finance and another case about what types of prayers can be -- public prayers can be made before a legislative meeting. host: what, those expected to come? guest: 10:00 a.m. host: a question from twitter --
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guest: no. says the amendment government cannot endorse a particular religion. obviously individual people have their religious views. these cases are about conflict. host: let's go to richard waiting on the phone from georgetown, texas on our line for republicans. you are on with lawrence hurley. is is thereuestion a provision in the health care someplace to exempt -- am i on right now?
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host: he is asking about the religion exemption provisions and health care act. is that something you can discuss for us? guest: in terms of the contraceptive prayers -- contraceptive provision, the government invented religious there was an outcry from nonprofit catholic schools and groups like that who said they did not want to provide this coverage. the governor -- the government , they them accommodation still have to provide the coverage but they don't have to provide themselves. the health insurance will provide it but they have to sign for the waiver saying the object -- saying they object. that has led to litigation.
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that itself could be an issue that could end up at the supreme court again. host: lawrence hurley is with reuters. we will give you >> that segment from washington journal as we look live outside the supreme court right now. the rain continued to fall on the crowd outside and inside we are still hearing the oral argument that was just discussed on washington journal. of the hobby lobby stores are very conservative and they oppose the government mandate under the affordable care act that the companies must divide cultures that this is a part of their health plan. -- owners are again support again supporting certain kind of hundreds of the devices. the solicitor general is are going well for secretary
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sebelius, and we do ask backed -- is arguing for secretary sebelius, and we do expect to hear from them. it should be wrapping up in just a couple of minutes. --se internees will be attorneys will be coming down the steps of the supreme court to speak to the media and offer their thoughts on how they think the case was hard. we plan to bring those remarks you think about before the house returns. we are committed to live coverage of the u.s. house when they're in session. the houses coming at noon. it will be able to watch those comments live online at our website argument for the case will be released on friday, we'll have it for you starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern right here on c-span.
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again, waiting to hear from the attorneys in the case being argued before the supreme court this morning on contraceptive average. many of you have been weighing in with your thoughts on facebook page. dan krieger says i hope hobby lobby with the -- wins the case, not because i do not believe that women should have a right to do as they see fit regards to taking or not taking birth control, but because i, like a very large or should of the society believe that i should not be forced to pay for that women choice. she was to tell us that her choices in the personal and private, that you need to report herself, in private.
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again, you can offer your thoughts on our facebook page at c-span. waiting orre attorneys in this case to appear to talk with the media, talk with how they think the case was presented and how the attorneys responded to it. while we wait we have more from this warnings washington journal where there was a roundtable of the contraceptives mandate. if the attorneys to appear before the house comes and we plan to get those remarks live. to continue our discussion on today's supreme court
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discussion, we are joined by whelan.h wyder and ed guest: one of the questions is whether hobby lobby as a corporation 10 ring their claim that these particular forms of contraception are being covered under the affordable care act violate their religious liberties. host: this is a standing issue? guest: it is a question of whether the corporation can claim the rights to free exercise of religion in the same way a living breathing human being can do. my organization filed a brief that said if you look at the original meaning of the constitution, you see the founders thought of religious
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liberty protection as being very personal, a right of conscience and dignity. it doesn't translate well when you are talking about a an artificial corporate entity. do you think this is going to turn -- guest: i think there may half dozen issues that the court will explore. address thisy question of corporate exercising religion. the history of exercising religion is deeply tied to corporations. , the closely held corporation can engage in exercising religion, what does that mean for an incorporated culture delhi -- incorporated kosher deli? one can even imagine a court .andate -- a pork mandate i don't think any corporation can exercise religion as several
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steps too far. i think the case is going to really come down to the religious freedom restoration act. there are two components to the scrutiny test. first is the government's obligation to show the hhs mandate. is to show the hhs mandate as a least restrictive means. host: explain where that test came from for those that aren't familiar with it. guest: this is a strict scrutiny test you see under various constitutional doctrines. it was actually the test under the free exercise clause from the 60's up until the 1990's when the supreme court called division v smith, that is no longer under the exercise clause.
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unanimously nearly the freedom of restoration act, which restored, as a statutory manner, the standard that had applied previous to the smith decision as a constitutional manner under the free exercise clause an. to show the mandate advances a compelling governmental interest. thatecond is to show through the least restrictive means. i think it is easy for the challengers of the mandate to say that the government did provide this accommodation to religious nonprofits that you say is less restrictive means. why not also revive that to us? -- also provide that to us? host: can you talk about the religious freedom restoration act, the history of it, and how
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it is being used in this case. freedom -- the religious freedom of expiration act -- religious freedom restoration act, some people are wondering why you are bringing in principles of the free exercise clause. with what congress is intending is to try to codify and restore the free exercise principles prior to the supreme court case. when you look to those free exercise principles, never more than 200 years since the ratification of the free exercise clause has a secular commercial enterprise been given free exercise and protection in the same way individuals. even if hobby lobby and the companies that are bringing this particular claim, even if they can bring their claim they
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haven't been able to identify a single case in our nation's history. commercial enterprise can use the religious freedom exploration act -- freedom restoration act -- you might want to give a call because he is probably arguing the case in two hours. host: before we get too far into talk about who you groups are and what they do. what is the constitutional accountability center? guest: we are a nonprofit, nonpartisan center focused on looking at the constitution's and usingistory arguments rooted in the
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constitution to further the progress of promise of our founding documents. we filed a brief on this particular case. we often filed briefs on supreme court and lower federal court appeals. guest: the ethics and policy center is a d.c. think tank dedicated to applying the judeo-christian moral public policies. specifically that corporations under limited circumstances are indeed capable of exercising religion. i would say in response to elizabeth's last point, what is unprecedented is the intrusion religious liberty of corporations, the effort by to use employers as a means of advancing their
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particular objective. elizabeth failed to mention one of the three companies that his brain these challenges. the third company is a company called martel, a for-profit christian bookseller. how could it be that a company like mardel would not have the religious rights of a nonreligious bookseller? they are operating identically but one loses religious protections because it is incorporated as a nonprofit instead of a for-profit. there were five justices in the case. they recognized the incorporated grocery store indeed had
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religious liberty rights under the free exercise clause. host: we talked a bit about the contraceptive coverage in the final rule from health and human services on the affordable care act. just to bring everybody on the same page, we will show you a bit of information of what it requires. it requires insurance plans to cover contraceptives with no copayment, coinsurance, or did dr. bos. these institutions such as churches, synagogues, and mosques would be exempt. that is the heart of the age age rule on contraceptive coverage. h rule on hunter rule oncountry -- hh
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contraceptive coverage. if you are outside the u.s., 202-585-3883. we will start with felix calling in from carolina on the line for democrats. caller: how are you on this beautiful morning? host: excellence, go ahead. vietnami am a disabled federate them -- vietnam veteran. 1990'sd to the early case where justice scalia wrote that's native americans do not have a personal individual religious right to partake in ceremonial peyote. clause i christians seem to pick and choose religious beliefs of the bible.
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they go home to a disobedient wife and children and don't stone them to death but they hate christians -- but they hate homosexuals in the morning. i preach thego gospel. sometimes i even use words. toocrats utilize capitalism their advantage. simply don't patronize their businesses and go to democratic businesses. several comments there from felix. your thoughts on any one of them? atst: i think when you look the constitution's protection of religious freak exercise, it was intended to protect the vibrant pluralistic religious society we live in. people will have different views and religious beliefs. the caller is talking about the president that is against hobby
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lobby. i think there is a plethora of case law to choose from that shows that the claim being wouldt by hobby lobby fail before the court. i think it will be interesting to see the way the justices address those previous precedents. i think the government did a great job. there will be a strong argument that our constitutional principles established precedents going back to the 1990's. it goes back long before that and really supports the government's position in this case. guest: the color referred to this decision by justice scalia, in step -- the smith case 1990. that was an interpretation of the free exercise clause. the charge that the caller is
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picking -- the charge the caller made that people are picking and choosing among religions is unfair. after the religious freedom restoration act was enacted justice scalia was part of the unanimous majority, holding that the minority religious claim >> thank you everyone for gathering. the fund for women's liberty and represent whoever rubbers of the green families. barber grain from the hobby lobby. >> our family started hobby lobby of based on our faith and together as a family. we have cap to that tradition
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for more than 40 years. we want to continue to live out our faith in the way we do business. the choice that the government has forced on us is unfair, and not in keeping with the history of our great nation, founded on religious freedom. americans do not lose their religious freedom when they open a family business. we are encouraged by today's argument. we are thankful that the supreme court took our case. we preferably a way the justices decision. >> will now hear from the counsel for the religious liberty. a criticallyposes important question, do americans give up their religious freedom when they open it family business? we are gripped by the organist to dig of the justices seemed deeply skeptical of the government's argument that
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americans who open a closely held family business you about the right to religious freedom and can be subject to whatever the government mandates that they do. the green family has long operated hobby lobby consistently with its religious beliefs and his religious principle, we hope to be able to continue doing so. it is hoped that we will be able to continue to operate hobby lobby consistent with religious beliefs and that a decision later this term are allowed to do that. thank you. >> that was the counsel for the religious liberty fund, she represents hobby lobby in this case. thank you. the han family will be coming out shortly, he will be delivering a statement. that statement is an prospective that i sent around great -- in the press packet that i sent around. that will be delivered shortly.
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counsel for, religious liberty and present a copy lobby in this case. here, the han family. this is mrs. hahn. [cheering]
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we welcome the family. anthony will deliver the statement. since my family first opened
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our business 50 years ago he sought to glorify god, not only in the quality and grass visit of our product, but by the principles that inspire our lives everyday. we believe in hard work, good citizenship, and the dignity of our customers and our employees, who were all created in gods image. we never that we would see a day when the government would tell a family we could no longer run our business anyway that affirms the sanctity of human life. the government would actually force us to become complicit to the perpetual destruction of human life. rather than sacrifice our god, we have taken a stand to defend life and freedom against government coercion. we did not choose this fight, our families would have been happy to continue providing good jobs and generous health-care benefits. but the government forced our hand. we hope and pray that the
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supreme court will uphold the law religious freedoms of all americans to seek to glorify god even as we go about making a living. thank you. >> now we will hear from -- let's see. they will be coming out shortly, and we will take questions from the press. the two cases were consolidated paul clement argued for
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both cases. >> my name is marcia greenberger, and i'm copresident of the national women's law center. the court friend of brief on behalf of almost 70 organizations speaking for the women whose health and whose withes are at stake respect to the access to contraceptive coverage. said ineme court has the bathtub of and i want to in theis quote -- said past, and i want to read discord over the same thing when or whether to have children, women's ability to participate equally in our nations economic and social life, access to birth
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control has improved women's status, and overall financial journey, and i will add, as well as their health, and the health of their children. universal, andly its benefits are extraordinary. casewas an issue in this is whether when the government determined that preventive health care that is essential for women must be provided to them can be overridden by any for-profit corporation that decides to do so would be objectionable to the corporation. my organization over the last no women's health center heard from someone who was not heard from in the supreme court.
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that was a woman who was an employee of hobby lobby itself. frompoke of and i can read her words pacific lee about the importance of contraception to her and to her family. she said that it would allow a woman to lead a responsible life. it is the ability of women to be responsible and to protect their own health that is at stake in this case today. thank you very much. i am the president of pro-choice america, i want is a wonderful thing. what the court heard today is that if it was to find for the plaintiffs in this case, it would be the first time the court of this country had
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proactively extinguished the right of any american. this is about all women, all women's health, all women's freedom. , we will not have our rights extinguished, our bodies are not our bosses business. >> thank you. the president of planned parenthood, and action fund. i'm proud to be here on behalf of the 3 million patients that we see every year for health care. in thethink we saw today court with the importance of having women on the supreme court. i was so proud to be there as a woman who goes about women's health, to have the justices talk about the fact that what is at stake in this case is whether millions of women and their right to preventive care, including birth control is whoped by a handful of ceos have their own personal opinions about birth control. it was a wonderful day, i think
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for women, and i really believe that this court understood that women have the right to make their own decisions about their health care of and their birth control, and it is not their bosses decision. thank you. >> the aclu. are protectors of the first amendment right to religion. see the courtto asking the rights of the third-party that would be compromised. if the court goes the way that hobby lobby and the others are asking of this would be the that time that it benefits benefits for laser-based it was by the employer. it gives us our rights to lease, but not the right to impose them on others. from those whor argued the case today. >> i would like gives the opportunity for the council to
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make a statement. >> this is not about a corporation, a nameless faceless organization of this is about a family, a family who has been serving the community for over 50 years, and providing jobs to men and women, good benefits, and good insurance coverage. this is something that they do not separate when they go to work during the week of a live their lives and their fate throughout the week. day live their faith every of the week of the do not separate out when they open up the business. ans abortion pill mandate is unprecedented interested on their family life. theira find that violates sincerely held beliefs when they decide to make a living. i'm pretty sure that what all this make 11 we do not forfeit our constitutional rights or our statute terry preexercise rectum statutoryship but --
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free exercise rights and leaderships. >> we are gratified that the court heard these cases, accepted both of them, we think it was important for them to understand the religious objections of both the greens and the hobby lobby case, and the hots in the other case -- ha hns and the other case. we think the courts took them series lead to them under consideration. we think there are real concerns of the government comes in and takes a position that even a kosher deli that was told that it would have to the open on a saturday cover that they would have no basis to even get into court and make that claim, that is a very difficult argument to sustain. the nature of their argument would also say that a for-profit medical clinic would have no ability to raise a conscious objection, only in front that congress revising conscious objection, with a dna position to do that. those were the targets that were presented to the court today. we covered a great deal of territory, and i would be happy to take questions.
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i think the court got to that issue by saying that there is really no case on either side that says either the for-profit corporations definitely have a religious exercise give and there is no case that they definitely don't. i think with the arguments explored is that the ramifications of saying that a for-profit corporation under snow circumstances and even get into court to raise a free exercise claim is just untenable. side inard from one this case, we will have to leave it here for will live coverage of the u.s. house. you can continue to watch on our website. go to the oral art was got underway at about 10:12 a.m., and finished up about 11:45 a.m. we will have that at 8:00 in onse two -- pm eastern
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friday. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, reverend john rosenberg of the lutheran church of the good shepherd in olympia, washington. the chaplain: let us pray. holy one, we know you in an infinity variety of ways --


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