Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  May 23, 2014 7:00am-10:01am EDT

7:00 am
and at 9:15, "washington post" blog writer on the congressional districts. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2014] host: in 50 democratic and independent senators signed a letter to the nfl asking for that nonprofit organization to endorse a name change for the washington redskins football team. so for the first segment here on the "washington journal," we want to get your reaction to congress's involvement in this issue. should congress be involved in the redskins' name controversy? you can see the numbers up there on your screen divided by support or oppose.
7:01 am
if you voter or oppose it to, call the numbers on your screen. and you could also make a comment on our social media site . you can make a comment on orebook, you can send us an e-mail at ournal >> sir, what are -- is it going to take to get to the name of this team changed? even the pennant office was determining whether a -- patent office was determining had said this term is a drog their slang and is disparaging to native-americans. and so we believable commissioner goodell should act to make sure one of their owners
7:02 am
puts an end to the wrong use of a football term and to join the right side of history. we're not going to give up this bearblingts similarly like organization who is have a website on change the mascot according to, which is a great two to three-minute video of why native-americans care so much about this issue. we need to continue to respect and dignity of these individuals. and it's time to update the elationship. host: and you can weigh in on this controversy with the numbers on your screen. here's a little bit of the letter that the senators the 50 democratic and independent senators sent to roger goodell. it was not circulated among the republicans. the despicable comments made by
7:03 am
donald sterling have opened up a national conversation about race relations. we believe this conversation is an opportunity for the nfl to take actions to remove the racial slur from the name of one of its marquee franchises. now is the time for the nfl to act. the washington, d.c. football team is on the wrong side of history. what message does it send? to punish slurs against african-americans while endorsing slurs against native-americans. and, see here, some of the gnatories, mears maria cantwell, signed on. all the democrats signed it except for five, the two virginia matter? s where the redskins are kind of a home team, the two maryland senators, the two democratic maryland senators both signed it, joe donnelly, joe mansion and mark prior of arkansas did not sign the letter as well. bill is calling in from
7:04 am
cleveland. bill, what do you think about congressional involvement in this issue? host: yes, i personally believe that there are just so many other person issues in this country. i'm not for the name of the redskins but i really think that our economy, quite frankly, is number one and rarely -- really, the congress should be focused more on that more so than the name of the football team. that's really it. you know, i'm not really for the name myself but i think that there are more pressing issues. host: bill, you're calling from cleveland and you've clot the cleveland indians baseball team. should that name be changed? host: yeah, i'm opened it to if the time comes for them to change it. ok, i have no problem with that. host: harry reid sent out a tweet. here it is. my colleagues and i wrote a letter to the nfl urging it to change the derogatory name of
7:05 am
washington's football team. you can see his tweet right there on the air. calling in is mark from north myrtle beach, south carolina. mark what, do you think about congress getting involved in this issue? host: this is definitely important, the derogatory names should definitely be changed. in other words, there was a called over in iraq saddam hussein and i believe he should change his name. this is very important. we need the congress to get in on this. this is important. mark is being a little bit of sarcastic there. the nfl has long dem straited a commitment on leadership on issues of diversity and inclusion both on and off the field.
7:06 am
the intent of the team's name has been to present a respectful image. the team name is not used by the team or the nfl in any other context that will respect those that view it differently. paul in appleton, wisconsin. what are your thoughts, paul? caller: i think congress getting involved is totally ridiculous. totally ridiculous. i mean, who knows -- i mean, as long as i am like 50 years old nd i never knew what the washington redskins would men. i'm a green bay packers supporter. so are we going to have peter coming after the packers because they pack meat? i mean, they're packers. so you're going to have peter coming after green bay packers for packing meat? i mean, it's totally ridiculous. host: tony, right here in
7:07 am
washington, d.c. tony what, do you think? caller: this is just -- i don't know how to describe it. one thing -- that's not our president has said that. he said he would vow every step of the way that the redskins name would never change. you know, some people spend some money right now. they're giving money to the congress about the contribution. that's the reason why they igned this up. instead of worrying about jobs and this economy, they're hinking it don't matter. this is nonsense. we will fight this every step of the way. that's not upsetting. we will not change our redskin for no reason. i'm a true fan. these people running around for money. they want money. it's all money. and you say never do that.
7:08 am
host: tony in washington, d.c., the report tweets in. of course, congress should get involved in redskins name controversy because they don't seem to have anything more important to do. and monty says stop engaging the nation in trivial issues. i don't know if he's talking to the congress or to the washington redskins this morning -- "washington journal" this morning. and bill said why not the redskins? and in other issues, "new york times," pines on the surveillance bill that the house passed yesterday. a bill that falls short is the headline of their editorial. unfortunately, the bill passed by the house on thursday falls short of these promises and does not live to its title. last-minute pressure from the bama administration --
7:09 am
that's from the "new york times." here is a call from brownsville, california. hi, kathy. caller: hi. i'm kind of really emotional about this whole thing. derogatory term should be moved and if congress has to do it, they may have to do it. you went off topic a little bit. so i am, too. i hate that they're now calling mark cuban into this donald sterling controversy just because he's a guy that said what he thinks wasn't racist.
7:10 am
and i really don't think -- well, i'm not sure what i think. i don't think the team names are racist. maybe they are. maybe i just don't get it. but, yeah, i think that now being -- mark cuban being drawn into this whole controversy because he had the guts to say. i don't think it's right to record people. i am so angry. i'm just so angry. i'm very emotional. so, sorry if i went off topic but thank you for taking my call. host: walt for the baltimore. hi, walter. caller: hello, america. c-span, i hope you won't be as foolish as congress has been, spending too much time on this subject. that's -- dan snyder will change that name as he's paid to change it. you know what i'm saying? as soon as he's paid by under armor or adidas or -- i think
7:11 am
nike has the contract with the nfl -- host: well, tell you what, robert -- caller: that name -- host: we're talking about the fact that 50 senators sent a letter to the nfl encouraging that organization to endorse a name change. what do you think about congressional involvement in this issue? caller: was only forced to integrate because of the years at the r.f.k. stadium -- now, the history of that team is racial but i respectfully beg america to understand as a redskin fan, i have jerseys and hats and i really do enjoy the squad but i am not foolish to think that the native-americans have -- they lost the whole country. why worry about the foolish name? however, when i asked -- host: we're going to leave it there and move on to marianne in pittsburgh. what are your thoughts about congressional involvement in
7:12 am
this issue? caller: link they should stay out of it. host: why? caller: we've got too many important issues at stake, i think. we still haven't got on the ben gasy conclusion yet where the president was. everybody should just mind their own business. they're the ones making the money for the players, the fans. host: lucy had a tweet -- no place for congress. they were not -- is the nfl a nonprofit organization? and if the answer is yes, why? host: james in new york. congressional involvement. redskins name. caller: absolutely. if that's what it takes, i mean, it's about time this country got tself right.
7:13 am
as many years as we did in the beginning of this country, but yet we continue to kick them in the shins every time you use the name redskins. what if they were called the washington crackers? or the washington n-word? or, you know? i mean, what does it take before we get right with each other in this country? racism divides this nation. it's the wedge that keeps us from being the great country we should be. and until we get over this, we will continue to have problems down the road. host: that was james in new york.
7:14 am
this is in the "new york times". he was elected president of the boy scouts, formerly taking leadership of an organization that continues to be loyal on the policy of gay scouts and leaders. -- don in pompano beach, florida, what do you think? caller: i love what the last caller said and it's true. if the name would have been a different other name -- i don't care if the president is black or white. people talking about some bull crap that oh, you're not allowed. i mean, you should be doing important things. this is important to other people. you are using the color of a person's skin to identify a
7:15 am
team. i remember in early 2000 when there was an angry white man organization going around. when it's something that pertains to you or to somebody else, it becomes an issue. but when it comes to somebody else, you don't think about it. oh, this shouldn't be where we're about. like one woman going to bring up benghazi? why don't y'all do the true reporting? hy done you give importance? so when you're cutting into anything with that. we're back to the subject, you were using the name pertaining to white americans, black americans, we would have a problem. host: that was don in pompano beach. the lead story in the "washington journal," military pushes for drone disclosure. to publicly defend american
7:16 am
drone strikes against criticism in the u.s. and abroad. defense official said the issue has come-to-a head after the military concluded that longstanding u.s. secrecy surrounding drone operations has bolstered support in al qaeda and yemen. and in the "washington times," i.r.s. vows to rewrite rules for nonprofit. the i.r.s. said thursday we'll go back and rewrite the proposed rule governing nonprofit groups and political activity bowing to overwhelming opposition from tea party groups and free speech advocates on both ends of the ideological spectrum who fear the tax agency would hurt the debate -- next call comes from rick in florida. what do you think about congress, the senator sending a letter out saying change the
7:17 am
name? caller: they're going to represent d.c. they ought to change their name to the washington fore skins. host: we'll move on to thomas in millersville, maryland. thomas, good morning. you're on the washington redskins. caller: good morning. yeah, i think the name should be changed. any of these slurs. even c-span has been guilty with allowing a slur. three weeks ago, you heard a black caller recall karl rove as a white boy. and the host said nothing and then a few days later, a white man came on and started talking about black crime in the cities and he was cut off and the host apologized for his comments. the american-indians started slavery from this country. perhaps we should change the name from the redskins to the slave owners.
7:18 am
host: rick, good morning. caller: i don't think congress ought to be involved in this. i mean, i think they're interfering with the private enterprise. if it was a post office or a federal building with the name -- they could change the name because they have the authority to do that. but where do you -- i mean, you have like the black entertainment channel. you have all types of things. you have redman tobacco. there's a large trucking company, whitehead trucking. how can congress -- there are so many pressing issues that they should be dealing with. i think they're getting ready to go on their 60-day vacation. so they ought to pretty much wrap up some other things. thank you very much. host: here's from the hill newspaper. vegas from cincinnati out as the committee whittles it's 26-team
7:19 am
convention city left. still left in cleveland, kansas city, denver and dallas. so that's where those -- one of those four cities will hold the republican convention in 2016. "u.s.a. today." there are one editorial this morning. the least productive congress ever. having enacted 104 laws since early 2013, the 113th congress is on track to break the previous record low of 283 set 112th , 2012, by the congress and with last fall's pointless government shutdown, the congress reached the level of dysfunction that the 112 never obtained --
7:20 am
here's how "u.s.a. today" concludes their editorial about the only recent sign of progress on capitol hill is bipartisan legislation to curb the agency's bulk collection of american's phone records but even the measure that cleared the house on thursday was water down and faces an uncertain future in the senate. the 113th congress is a vivid example of how a nation with an innovative private spector is being held back by a legislative branch that can't teen resolve
7:21 am
small things such as road funding and climate changing and the national debt. calling in from covington, georgia, is sweetie. sweetie, good morning. caller: good morning. thank you so much for taking my call. host: what a great name. caller: thank you. i just want to say that congress is at an all-time low. i hope that harry reid, who i believe is the majority leader, really gets his act together. i don't know what's going on in congress. but these issues are the name change is something that is already incorporated in the world today. there are avenues to get that name changed without the congress using this as another ploy so they are not doing their job. it is really getting embarrassing. i worked for 30 years. thank god my family and i have a little bit to live on.
7:22 am
but i'm telling you, this congress is missing the big vision of what is going on in the world today. i watch c-span. i'm glad you have it here. but the people in our country that are beginning to suffer and the other countries that are taking note of what we are doing, they better take heed because in other countries like china, they are now starting to rebel. this is ignorant. and the congress needs to take a break. sit down. get their acts together. brainstorm. put it down. and start passing laws that can help people. and stop all this arguing. so, that's all i wanted to say. have a great day. host: sterling is calling in -- the agency of the mt. montana area. what's your view of congress's involvement in the redskins' name change? caller: well, first of all, good morning, and thanks for c-span.
7:23 am
and i do support congress in this issue. i am an american-indian. and i agree with congress involving. in the past history, the tribe -- different tribes have tried different avenues all the way up to this point. several years ago, there was a large restaurant chain -- changed name called sam fwrks os and our black brothers had an outrage on that and they -- service such an uproar that they changed it. i don't want to name the name of the restaurant now and it is the n-word for the american-indians. the redskins. like the braves or the kansas city chiefs and these others, they're not derogatory, but when you use the word redskin, that's
7:24 am
a very derogatory name, especially among the plains tribes here in montana and oklahoma and other plains indians. so we do support and thank congress for their action in getting involved in human rights of our american indians. host: mark devoted the first hour of this program last night to this issue. here's a little bit of what he had to say. >> so here we are again. the united states senate, which cannot pass a budget, the united states senate, which is bankrupting this nation, the united states senate, which will not takes it foot off the throat of the economy. millions and millions of people are looking for jobs. the united states senate, which is useless, if you ask me.
7:25 am
well, 50 of them got together, all democrats, and they wrote a letter. did you know they could write? and they vowed senate off to the league, demanding that the washington redskins change the team name and i don't know about you, folks, but when i hear about the washington redskins, i'm not even thinking of indians or native-americans. it's like a color or -- whatever. it has nothing to do with that in my mind and i assure you and the vast majority of everybody's minds who are listening today. host: a little bit from mark levin's radio show on. and politico report said the ed consultation radio is coming to an end. he will end his radio program and move to an online-only format. he announced really, this change will give me more flexibility to
7:26 am
be on the road to do the kind of shows i want to do for the ed show on msnbc. the switch will go into effect after memorial day and it will be one hour instead of three. richard, what's your view on congressional involvement in the redskins name controversy? lake placid, florida. hi, richard. caller: yes. good morning, peter. congress ought to stay out of it. but the on positive thing i see here is if congress is involved and going around naming nfl football teams, maybe this will be down to the college and to the high school level, then they're not screwing up the rest of the country. but everything they touch seems to turn sour. our economy, our education system. how about the veterans and how about the health care? how about what's going on? we're involved in military in 47 countries. we've got people over there, soldiers over there being shot at.
7:27 am
this congress is pathetic. pick up any government form and write in there classify people as white, african-american, native-american, asian. now, i don't know. i have never seen a white man in this country -- i've seen caucasians. no one has the color of white on their skin. they need to stay out of it. we need to vote these bulls out of office. we got to find something for them to do. maybe -- host: thank you, richard. roe dell in georgia. -- odell in georgia. caller: i'm originally from cleveland. and so i can go along with some of the things that you were talking about. i like the fact that the indians, which is not derogatory, but we had a
7:28 am
baseball team in cincinnati which was called the reds and due to the cold war, they had to add on cincinnati. you look at the first americans, s. native-american it's almost like calling the n word. let's give them some prors and stuff. the first americans which helped the europeans to live in this country. let's give them some good respect. if you don't start now, then everybody else that comes in, you raise them up to a higher level than the ones that are from the get-go. so yes, i'm in support of the name change. host: and that was odell in smyrna, georgia. lead story this morning in "u.s.a. today," going into memorial day weekend. they had an interview with former senator bob dole. you can see the headline here. bob dole, veterans affairs, a
7:29 am
disaster. former senate majority leader bob dole leading advocates called for a shakeup at the department of veterans affairs following allegations of delayed treatment and falsified books at v.a. hospital, a situation he called a disaster. well, every saturday, bob dole goes down to the world war ii memorial here in washington, d.c. where he greets veterans. and you can see video of the former senator dole there greeting veterans. he does this every saturday. his wife goes down with him. our american history tv channel, which is c-span3 every weekend covered senator dole. and this will air. the full segment will air on american history tv this weekend at 7:00 p.m. on saturday. so you can see senator dole. he's 90 years old, down there, greeting veterans. it's very, very, very watchable
7:30 am
segment to see the former senator greeting the veterans. from the daily caller this morning, mother jones reporter caws out harry reid almost mccarty ithe on the heels of jon stewart's mockery of harry reid. this time, from daniel shulman, a senior editor at mother jones and author of the new book, "sons of wichita, how the coke brothers became the most powerful and private dynasty." during a recent interview, the host asks the reporter and author about reid's over-the-top attack and shulman responded saying --
7:31 am
you'll see the author in the very near future. matt is calling in from baltimore. what do you think about congress getting involved in the redskins ' name controversy? caller: i think it's pretty absurd. first of all, i'm offended by them being called congress. they should be called the chaos. but my friend, moses, who was a chief of the cheyenne, as a matter of fact, he was the one that dedicated the indian museum in washington said that -- when i asked the question what he thought people would like to be called, indians, native-americans. he said i'll tell you something, man. this is the way it is. that's a white man's problem. as as far as, we're concerned, we'll just go ahead that
7:32 am
columbus wasn't looking for turkey. and that's the level of humor that he puts it to. i think what congress should be concerned with is how the indian bureau for a couple of hundred years has been acting absolutely outrageously against the indians. that would be there -- should be their concern. host: a group called think progress sent out this tweet. -- taking a stand is how they put it. you can see 50 u.s. senators demand change to redskins name in a letter to nfl. from "politico" this morning, house members to edward snowden, no mercy. they had a message to him. no mercy. the surveillance reform that passed the house would not have been introduced without snowden's revelations last june but the measures he sponsored said he should not get a free
7:33 am
ss and beed a mutted the country immunity. the reforms don't justify sfode's actions. here's a quote by john conyers -- l.c. is calling in from salisbury, north carolina. l.c., what do you think about this issue we're discussing? caller: i think they should change the name of it. that team was a racist team from the get-go. host: do you support the congressional involvement in this issue? caller: 100%. all 100 senators should have hanged it a long time ago.
7:34 am
if it was called the washington ends, nobody would agree -- washington,'s, nobody would agree with it. every person has been defeated. so why not name them the washington jews? since he owns them. and see how long that lasts. host: all right, thank you, l.c. from salisbury, mona is calling in from virginia. caller: thank you for taking my call. i love indians. i am sorry if they don't like it. but i like the comment that the indian made, calling them tribes. if they have to change the name, perhaps tribes, i thought of every name i could think of. braves have been taken. i have a norwegian grandmother who was an honorary indian.
7:35 am
she so love the tribe in south dakota that they adopted her. we love indians. i don't think -- they don't have redskins. i don't know where it came from, but i don't blame the corporation for naming them. if they want that because except if the indians would accept the name tribe and the corporation wanted to name it to tribe, that hasn't seem to have been taken. host: all right, mona. i appreciate you calling in. she's about 60 miles from washington, d.c. "financial times" is morning leads with a facebook story. facebook bid to calm concerns on privacy. facebook is giving its 1.3 billion users more control over their personal information --
7:36 am
rusty from maryland. rusty, go ahead. caller: good morning. what i'm hearing is miss cantwell threatening to use the arm of the government to go against dan snyder with the trademark rej strikes. kind of sounds like the i.r.s. going after the people or me. i'm not sure. and it's more than anything. it's a feel-good thing. they want to all feel good about themselves because, you know, we mandatory make them change their name. and it's just more proxy trying to do what they can't do and houldn't be doing. host: betty is calling from ridge, new york. hi, betty. caller: good morning.
7:37 am
the first thing i'd like to say and i have a question about this , is that if congress -- i mean, they go to the games. i've seen them at the games on television. you know, congressman, senators, especially if it's a big important game, they're all sitting up there. they don't boycott it. you think they would if they were so concerned about the name. but my -- it goes with everything that's going on today. you have to be so careful. otherwise, you're a racist and whatnot. we have things in the congress like the black cause of action -- caucus. i'm never heard of the white caucus or the asian caucus or the jewish caucus. so i don't know what's the big deal about it. you can't say anything about anybody. that's my comment, thank you.
7:38 am
host: that's betty in new york. and larry post on our facebook page and this is white congress is a worthless joke. donny says need to worry about the country, not the team name. nelly, lakeland, florida. congressional involvement in the redskins name controversy. what do you think? caller: i think that they should leave it as is. they should take care of their business with the country instead of worrying about some football team's name. they need to get these people out of office that are nothing but career politicians. harry reid is nothing but an idiot. that's all i've got to say. host: from the "new york times" this morning, obama depict a texas mayor for the hud position. president obama on friday will nominate mayor san antonio mayor castro to be the new secretary of house zpg urban development mr. castro's appointment if it
7:39 am
is confirmed by the senate would elevate another prominent hispanic to the cabinet. -- mike is in springfield, virginia. what do you think? caller: by checking on all application forms in this country, the congress should -- when you look at all application forms, you have to say whether you are african, american, you are hispanic. because it's -- and then you have to check if you're a female or not. application forms should be based on classification. that's all i have to say. host: ok, mike. we'll leave your comment there. another twitter comment.
7:40 am
elliott says with 51% indian high school dropout rate. do they have nothing better to do? and ray says the name washington redskins offends me and they need to change it. they must drop washington. the most offensive part of the u.s.a. from the "washington times" this morning. some guards unable to read x-ray machines and fire the weapons. some security guards hired to protect federal buildings cannot operate screening devices such as x-ray machines are not certified to handle firearms and are untrained in dealing with an active shooter the department of homeland security which is statistic tasked with securing security still faces challenging in ensuring the guard the contract. --
7:41 am
danny in virginia. danny what, do you think about the congress getting involved in the redskins controversy? caller: i think that it shows that minimum wage starts with congress. host: what does that mean? caller: the show yesterday said hamburger flippers aren't worth $15 an hour. i think that congress should try flipping hamburgers and you would be making $50 an hour as a ham bigger flipper. host: so you're not very supportive of the idea? caller: no. like i say, i think that's a public schnide err's decision. host: thank you. "detroit free press" --
7:42 am
this bill will save detroit from selling any of its artwork which has been discussed as a part of its bankruptcy proceedings. star ledger says percentage of uninsured in new jersey plunges is the headline. the first look at the affordable care acts impact on new jersey reveals the percentage of uninsured people is reaching its lowest level in nearly a quarter of the century. the proportion of uninsured adults in new jersey decreased 38% next caller comes from larry in california. larry, good morning. we're talking about the washington redskins name and the fact that 50 senators sent a level to the nfl encouraging them to endorse a name change. what do you think? caller: yeah, i think all 100 senators should get involved and i think the name should be called washington redneck and
7:43 am
the i.r.s. goes for cheaters and we should know more about 9/11 .han benghazi host: rudy, san antonio, texas. rudy, good morning. caller: good morning. i don't think congress should get involved, but i do -- i don't like the redskins -- hello? host: we're listening, sir. caller: i don't think congress should get involved but if the term redskins is offensive, it's like how would they like it if they called them the washington gangos or something else? do they like that? host: denver is in the final four. it goes back to the republican national committee having four cities left in its picking. denver, kansas city, dallas and cleveland. next call comes from jake in
7:44 am
columbus, ohio. jake, good morning. what do you think? caller: hi. i don't think that caller should get involved. a private company and the fans and the advertisers are the only ones that are going to get that thing changed because it's a business. and it's a business decision by the owner. as far as congress -- the senators, it's a gesture. they're not going to be able to do nothing but it can be offensive to a lot of people. and i also like to comment on that levin guy that you had on. the radio guy. host: right. caller: you know, i mean, the derogatory statements of him, can congress read or write because -- i mean, that's just another cheap shot. you've got three branches of
7:45 am
government out there and yet the house of representatives, which is controlled by the republicans , and none of these people called in didn't even mention this guy's name. john boner is my representative in cincinnati. i've got to apologize everybody by him. nothing gets done over there. but my point being is that if -- i hate to say this, but if the name was donned towards a jewish people, he would probably be singing a different tune and all of right wing media would be crashing down on this guy, the owner. thank you. host: jake in columbus, ohio. karen, via twitter. whether or not the name redskins is derogatory, she writes, congress has no business getting involved. and cindy says let's just call them the washington americans. from the hill newspaper this
7:46 am
morning. senate rolls out $514 billion defense policy bill the leader of the armed service committee on thursday unveiled the $514 billion defense bill. that differs in several ways from the version approved by the house. most notably, the bill includes no money for the overseas contingency fund that pays for operations in afghanistan. the house gave about $80 billion to the fund. senator carl levin, the panel's chairman said that the senate included no money because the administration has not made a specific funding request. so this is one of these issues that will play out during the next several months here in washington, funding for the military. from "the washington post" is this story about a former general william gerrie boykin from his book in 2008. he draws censure.
7:47 am
7:48 am
book tv, c-span's book tv covered general boykin in 2008 when he wrote his book. and you can watch that on our website, book tv according to. -- book type in boykin and you could watch general boykin talking about his book online. what droung about your senator? senator cantwell,,lating this letter about the redskins' name? caller: i was just curious what everyone would think if they switched their name to the old washington senators. yeah, run that one up the flagpole. host: well, we're talking about the congressional involvement aspect of this story. let's get into the fact that your senator circulated the letter. what do you think about that? caller: well, i think that's
7:49 am
ridiculous. i mean, there are so many other things to be concentrating on in this country. we've got i don't know how many unemployed people. i was one for a couple of years. people are suffering terribly without an extension on their unemployment benefits. i don't know how they're surviving. i really don't. host: thank you for calling in. from washington this morning, jerome is in churchill, tennessee. jerome, the screen says that you are unsure about how you feel about congress getting involved in this. is that correct? caller: yes. i'm an irish cherokee but just a short brief message here. doesn't matter. i'm ready for some football. i don't look at it either way. it's a good name that would appease everybody would be the peopleton aliens for the who are running fist this is from another country.
7:50 am
thank you, c-span. and have a great day. host: next is margarita in sweet water, texas. caller: good morning. host: what do you think about congress getting involved? caller: i want congress to stay out of it. we have plenty of problems as it is. i'm an indian. i'm proud. and that's all we've got is the name of teams. so leave it alone. there's other things that congress can get to doing without messing with the teams. so, get to work quick. and leave this alone. you have a wonderful day. host: that's margarita from sweet water, texas. from the "new york times." policy change, justice department to require recording of interrogations. the justice department said thursday that the f.b.i. and other law enforcement agencies would be required to videotape interviews with suspects in most
7:51 am
instances bringing the federal government in line with the practiceses and many state and locke jurisdictions. last call on this topic comes from jack in gracie, kentucky. hi, jack. caller: hi. i don't -- this is a typical trick that they pull on us. they think we're ignorant. they don't want you guys, the media talking about the benghazi, the i.r.s. or the v.a. it got nothing to with the indian name. to be dead, you would be pushing to give them back the black hills. thank you. host: lead story this morning in the hartford current. obama easing casino rules. proposals could benefit three tribes in the state of connecticut. the obama administration releases proposals on thursday that would make it easier for
7:52 am
indian tribes to win federal recognition, the move that could pave the way for three tribes to build casinos in the state of connecticut. well, coming up, we're going to be talking about immigration. we're going to be talking about congress. and next, we're going to be talking about the v.a. >> but if we don't step up the enforcement side, i mean the enforcement side brings the
7:53 am
media attention. so if we're going to say -- the only thing we can rely on to make these universities and colleges do what they should be doing is for them to get a bad story. >> sure. >> first of all, that's a lot of victims. >> yeah. it's everything in the story. >> and, you know, that to me would be a depressing conclusion. so we've got to figure out some way to up the ante that is short of waiting for another tragedy to hit the front pages. >> i would almost less the dollar amount, more folks with the department of ed to do the work, a 13-team person can't do it. so again, i think it's the changes i've seen institutions start to make are when they're immediately under investigation so no fine yet. we don't know if the fine is $35,000 or upwards of $1 million. i would like to see that investment to other team. >> the fines would be paying for this. we have an issue with budget in our government. where does that money come from?
7:54 am
we can't just endlessly hand it out. they can fund their own enforcement. that's justice and every survivor would back that up. >> this weekend on c-span, the senator and the first of several discussions on combating rape and sexual assault on college campuses saturday morning at 10:00 eastern. and on book tv, lynne cheney, the vice of dick cheney and senior fellow at the american enterprise institute examines the presidential tenure of james madison, sunday morning at 11:00 on c-span2. and on american history tv, saturday morning at 10:00, the life and work of american red cross founder clara barton will visit our missing soldiers in washington followed by your questions and answers on c-span3. "washington journal" continues.
7:55 am
-- guest: these scandals have permeated for years now. we've had caused veterans to die by the v.a.'s own records. veterans that were applying for their own records. they die waiting for their benefits alone. and yet, we never heard anything. no scandals. no national outrage. five dead veterans who couldn't get in for colonoscopies on time. and 700 ill veterans in ohio. this is over a year ago and in a lawsuit for a man who went in for surgery. a marine who never came out because he caught a disease and died. we've got dead veterans in augusta and in atlanta. these are all before phoenix. and now that phoenix has happened, they want to wait for the investigations to see what the results are. we've got evidence, massive evidence.
7:56 am
host: so this has been going on for years. but why? guest: well, essentially, you know, it's a great credit to eric. he did allow agent orange illness to be recognize in 2009. ptsd and desert storm syndrome. they think it's a result of the iraq wharf it's not. a lot of vietnam veterans were suffer what we called shell-shock for years and they had these agent orange-related cancers and the v.a. decided to allow their claims to come in. that's what caused the backlog in a flood of claims but 97% of these claims are being handled manually and it wasn't even automated. so they get this huge backlog of claims. now, they get backlogs in appointment. and instead of handling it, they try to hide that they can't service all these veterans so they can get their bonuses, the executives. they want to look like they're doing business as usual. host: this is what the "wall street journal" had to say about
7:57 am
the v.a. management bill that he house passed this week. they passed legislation to streamline dismissal for mall feasant v.a. staff -- caller: i can't agree with that more the v.a. management and accountability act which passed h.r. 40-3 did pass. however, now, harry reid is blocking it to getting into the senate floor. what's bothering me is it's not a silver bullet but it's a start. right now, he couldn't even fire his own executives who had been hiding and frauding all of these records. sharon hellmann runs the phoenix medical center and is in the headlines.
7:58 am
she actually misrepresented members of veterans suicide rates in 2009 out of seattle. she said nine vets committed suicide when it was actually 22. she falsified the records. did they move her out? did they move her? no. they moved her up. and then she became a director. and now we see another culture of corruption permeating. so i think executive knows they could lose their jobs. they're going to be more accountable to do their jobs like the rest of us. host: 202 is the area code if you want to talk about the v.a. affairs controversy going on in this country right now. 585-3880 for depp cat's -- the umbers are on your screen. you can always get through via social media as well, via witter, facebook and e-mail. sergeant jessie jane duff, or
7:59 am
gunnery. what's the difference? >> one is a few ranks lower. marines are uptight about that. once you hit the rank of sergeant, they want to make sure you use their full rank. army tends to use saget more commonly throughout their ranks. but it's saget staff or sergeant gunnery. so gunny is like a nice -- but we're known to being very mean. >> when did you retire? caller: i retired out of the marine corps in 2004. host: how long did you serve? >> 20 years. host: and why? caller: it was probably the most extraordinary, difficult and extreme thing i could think of ever doing in my entire life. to this day, i can call myself a marine. it's the greatest honor you could ever do. you're going to have good days and bad days but they're the most extraordinary days and you will have a great love of your country because once you've been overseas, you will grasp the freedom that this country
8:00 am
provides for you every single day. it's a wonderful opportunity. host: where did you serve? caller: i moved nine times in 20 years. i did a lot in asia. and i served a lot at camp pendleton. i did get to be based out of hawaii. i decided that one tour but i retired in missouri where i was training marines. i was a logistics marine. i drove commercial rigs. a lot of people don't believe that but i didn't wear this dress when i was doing it. i wore camouflage. it was a tough life but it was a thrill and enjoyment. host: and what is the concerned concerned groups of america? caller: many of us is -- guest: many of us got off at the duty and we start to get with that freedom is about. our founding fathers created a structure to have freedom that no other country in this world,
8:01 am
no other democracy could ever taste. at the v.a. a medical centers it is a good example about how government bureaucracy -- these vets who , this is their only option for health care. those that have to go to the ba are those that have no other choice. if the nation can't protect those who volunteered or who were even drafted to serve this nation during hard times, who can it protect? dismantledd the vab and put the mainstream? test combat would be a dream come true for many conservatives. the realistic role of the ba, it was service related disabilities they earned through their service. just because you served as not mean you rate medically. the nation has to recognize that that is their sole mission.
8:02 am
why can't they functionally do it right? they are the second largest budget next to dod. problem, it isey a management problem. i would love to get medical care away from the v.a.. who is going to pay those bills? they get a test case in phoenix where they reimbursed outside carriers. many veterans got bad credit out of these extreme medical bills that were not being paid. add another to layer of responsibility to pay the debt? i am very concerned that portability would be a great solution but it has to be functional and reimbursed on time. >> we want to get your reaction to what mitch mcconnell had to say on the senate floor this week. >> this weekend americans will gather to remember all who have fought and parish so we may live in freedom. our chance tos
8:03 am
honor their extraordinary sacrifices. played a vitalng role in the defense of our nation. i am honored to represent so many kentuckians in the armed forces, including those stationed in fort knox, fort campbell, the bluegrass army, and members of the reserves and kentucky national guard. one of the reasons memorial day is so important to me is because it allows americans to reflect and give thanks for all that we have, to recognize that none of this would be possible without so many americans we never have met, putting everything on the line for us. that is why the men and women deserve our full support when they're deployed, when they are training, and when they return home. most americans certainly agree with that statement.
8:04 am
as we recently learned that is not happening. so many americans turn on the evening news just to be stick -- just to be second of the steady drip of the growing veterans scandal. the denial of care to our veterans is a national disgrace and this scandal only seems to increase in scope by the day. host: gunnery sergeant? guest: his statements were cut -- were touching. he should be able to ensure that those that have difficulties related to their service are receiving that care and now we are seeing scandal after scandal where there is death and mismanagement. the we have scandals where there are tried to get in for and they had to post positive three times before they could get a colonoscopy. in 2010 to save cost. in out turkey new mexico we have
8:05 am
people with gain green, brain heart disease. you have to get an appointment within 14 days. that is why these executives were hiding these lists of veterans in the backlog of employment. they did not want people to know they couldn't service it because they get bonuses. every executive received a satisfactory performance rating. everyone but one. that tells you something, that they were gaming the system so they could be rewarded. up to put their own careers in veterans lives. -- hose, when the show you the money here. the v.a. is getting $153 million . that is their current funding request for next year, 164 billion dollars. 36% is spent on medical programs. you can see this chart comes
8:06 am
from the veterans affairs. is that enough money? telling me now that only 41% went medical care. this is a lopsided perspective. were wasted onrs to conferences in orlando. hr executiveave an testified to where the money they're creative throwing money down the drain on non-medical related issues. the should be going to service benefits such as funeral and education benefits. when your overhead is overwhelming your product, no organization works like that. no fortune 500 company works like that. your overhead should be sucking and train in out -- not be sucking and training out your revenue. they had an increase of over 60% since 2009 creative it has doubled since 2001.
8:07 am
they got everything they wanted from congress. this is not a money issue. it is a budget issue next to dod. host: a tweet -- guest: that is all they are supposed to be taking care of. there are 22.5 billion veterans in this country -- 22.5 million veterans in this country today. i use tri-care because i am a retiree and i follow under dod. of many veterans do not use the v.a.. bernie sanders try to block this bill to go forward. he had a bill he wanted every single veteran to be able to use the v.a. system. in theory that sounds beautiful but many of those veterans are not -- do not have a disability related to their service. it would collapse the system.
8:08 am
22.5 million veterans in a system that can't even manage 6 million right now? it would be a debacle. it is another way of having the government manager -- do you really want to have these with lists? people can make fun of sarah palin. way i am starting to say this is that type of reaction him -- this type of reaction. what other work can you describe it with when people are getting bonuses for making their numbers look good to forgetting that when the v.a. has lost their desire to take care of lives and they are only concerned about numbers, they have lost their soul. >> senator sanders is our guest this week on our newsmakers program and he talked a bit about this scandal. here it is. guests should the leader of the ,epartment, eric shinseki
8:09 am
vietnam veteran, resign or be fired? >> no. is that the v.a. is a huge institution. it does a lot of very important work. i think everybody here has heard about the claims backlog. you people don't know is know how we did claims? we did claims by paper. havedividual veteran could filed this. our member talking to shinseki when he was first nominated and he said he was going to convert that system to an electronic system and at the end of five we will have those claims down to 125 days. today they have cut the backlog to half the time.
8:10 am
they're on their way to fulfilling that goal. false.absolutely he's giving inaccurate numbers. when shinseki went into office there were veterans in that that log. not 290at backlog it is 3300 to veterans in that backlog. bernie sanders is talking about a backlog that he created. veteranswas 630 3589 in march of 2013. he had over 600,000 veterans in that backlog. if you are going to give credit to a man for cutting a backlog he created, it is a false argument. 97% of those claims are being handled manually. themshinseki did not give that did not get them a automated. they hired multiple contractors in getting these automated. 97% of those claims were handled manually. you need to get your data
8:11 am
correct the kiss your giving pride to a man who stopped a backlog that he created? that is due to chris. host: denny is coming in from louisiana. hello. caller: yes, the thing about the i'll keep my story brief. ithink it's important that can did all because many veterans are facing the same thing. vietnam.d in i was a decorated combat action veteran. ptsd. back with up i went to work for my it destroyed my family, everything else. when the gulf war started i began having anxiety attacks, panic attacks, and a heart attack.
8:12 am
they tried to fix me, change my brain chemistry. . a federal judge said i was 100% disabled with ptsd. i settled with them the years later. i didn't do well. years later we started this next war in iraq and i begin again. host: where are you today? caller: after years of denial, denial for the most ridiculous reasons, making me jump through ago, and now three years right after obama will god and i finally got a fair evaluation. host: thank you, sir.
8:13 am
sympathize with his concern because many veterans told me the same thing. the average time to get a claim settled is 330 days just to get a claim settled. they have wait times to get their claims settled over 600 days in this nation. a year ago it was 345 days. what it normally should take is 30 days. it easily takes you over a year. vietnam veterans suffered the most because in 2009 -- they had to wait until 2000 nine to get ptsd recognized and agent or -- agent orange. secretary shinseki created a backlog because he was ill prepared to manage all of the claims and the flood of claims that came in. i find it appalling that senator sanders would defend somebody who is created the very debacle that we are in right now. line.georgia, democrat call, i want to make a few brief
8:14 am
comments. i am a v.a. employee and very proud. i worked extremely hard to service veterans. this is obviously very disheartening when you hear all this. the fact still need to be allowed to come out. it is an investigation at this point. i think folks need to calm down, let the facts come out, let the facts show what they may. is the fat -- if the facts are substantiated people should do with it accordingly. please do not vilify an entire system. there are some extremely hard-working people that are dedicated to serving veterans, including myself. host: what kind of work do you do? i am working the patient
8:15 am
advocacy role. that is a completely different elephant. we service veterans in every way possible. host: do you see a backlog? caller: the backlog is from the benefits side. i used to be a raider. i rated those cases that she is talking about. i rated them manually. my friends are still doing it. it is computerized now. there are a lot of variables that go into that. there are production requirements that are extremely stringent. days tell you i had many where i did not even use the restroom. you worked your case and you did not get up until those cases were in. then he picked up cases to continue pushing not to get those in the next day. people are working extremely hard. these do not vilify the entire system. seen over the
8:16 am
years changes in how the v.a. operates or can you see anything different from one administration to another? i'm not going to comment on administrations but there have been improvements. there continued to be improvements. it is like any system. no system is failproof. we work extremely hard. i would like to suggest you, get some folks to give the other side. no respect to the fine lady there who served our country greatly. but numbers are numbers, get some folks on the other side. i can assure you that a lot of them are very happy with the care we are giving. caller: -- guest: i don't want anyone to misunderstand.
8:17 am
we cannot keep coming back and talk about the people that are working so hard when we have so many people that have allowed a system of all that work to become a system that had a lot of back logs and collapse. it is starting to get automated but it did not until recently. i have seen the files in these buildings that became structurally unsound because they're so heavy with the weight. the buildings are collapsing under the weight of this. that is the problem within dod. that has caused a lot of problems. people should be upset. in 2011 33 veterans die per day. that is 20,000 veterans just waiting on their benefits. the backlog in these appointments, when we are looking at albuquerque new when cheyenne wyoming sends out a memo that says game
8:18 am
the system and hide network, not let the headquarters know that we have people waiting over 14 days for an appointment, this should outrage the employees. we should not have them come on here and say how great of a job we are doing. this is embarrassing that there are people that are not doing what they are supposed to do. that is what we are talking about, accountability. host: now with concerned veterans of america. colleen is coming in from fairfax virginia. hello. >> good morning. i ran for congress back in 2010. during my two years previous to the primary iran and the south carolina district six. wasof my top three items veterans. i grew up during the vietnam era and i watched with a broken
8:19 am
heart how we as a country and all the administrations prior to this one treated the veterans due to the vietnam war. i have watched that. one of my top three priorities was veterans. executives atmany walter reed and/or medical center in south carolina. there was atime nine-month backup. this was before shinseki announced the ptsd and agent orange. cousin both died of cancer related agent orange diseases 20 years ago. i have interviewed homeless veterans for years. it is not this administration specifically. it has been years and years and years.
8:20 am
it is so similar within the nrc and the veterans. you see the lower administrative and management working hard. youexecutives to hide who they height to make sure they hide things. host: i think we got your point. guest: she's hitting the nail on the head. i'm going to hold every administration accountable. this isn't a blame game. that haveecutives flagrantly hidden records and mismanaged the system. even employees working their tails off should not be justifying what these executives have gotten away with. if you can't even take a bathroom break in your job, that tells me we are not running a system that is being streamlined and effective. notof those processors are
8:21 am
giving accurate claims and we have over a quarter of a million veterans in the claims backlog and that takes over 1200 days to get address. we have a systemic problem within the veterans administration. it has only gotten worse when we open the doors for agent orange and ptsd. yes we have a lot of reasons this is all happening. thesegree when people say investigations should not get ace that should not get upset. i know veterans personally who cannot get in and get care for long time. i seen dr. squid. they can only get 10 minutes with a doctor. doctors have flat-out said i cannot do what i need to do to take care of you. we have got to fix this. there are lots of fixes that need to happened. from palm call comes springs, california.
8:22 am
caller: thank you for taking my call. i am a 65-year-old vietnam veteran and i retired from the veterans administration after 23 years of service. i was a middle manager in the hospitals. then understand all controversy going on because i have seen it before many times. i can only tell you that the bureaucracy up in the v.a., they are laughing at you. they're going to go for a supplemental and then they going to go in for an increase and appropriations for the next cycle. this thing is going to blow over. the secretary may resign, you get somebody new in their, and it will go back to the same way it was for the last 50 years.
8:23 am
i don't know what the fixes. i was a staff sergeant. whatever the case may be. i worked my caps off during my time with the v.a. to help veterans. i blame congress. host: we have a lot on the table there. he is probably the most reasonable veterans administration employee we've talked to. they will work your tail off but the bureaucracy is overwhelming. that is the reality. let's not get defensive over something that is broken. that youome so loyal can't see where there is flaws in a critical system. we are talking veterans, people should be outraged.
8:24 am
if you're not outraged it gets buried and forgotten. we are hearing about 19 states that have been exposed with various scandals throughout the nation. we had one executive get $80,000 of bonuses. dead veteranse due to mismanagement on his medical facility. getad another executive close to an $11,000 bonus at a dental facility. we had sharon hellman. she got almost a $10,000 bonus, a little over nine thousand dollars in phoenix just last year. she fraudulently reported records in seattle in 2009 for veteran suicide. this should outrage v.a. employees. these executives can turn around and give bonuses when they have latently sent out memos that teach other employees how to game the system to hide always
8:25 am
veterans from looking like they have been waiting longer than they have for appointments. to the v.a. back in december. eric shinseki said he knew nothing about it until march. eric shinseki, if i had known about these scandals for well over a year, how can you say i don't want to jump to any conclusions until the results of these investigations? didn't you start investigating back in ohio with legionnaires disease? let's go ahead and forgive and give people a pass? somebody has to be held accountable. host: victoria from illinois, you are on. call, no one has asserted in all of this discussion that anyone calling for an appointment, and medical appointment got an appointment later than was actually available.
8:26 am
the real issue here. that's the real issue here is the loop -- the real issue here is the length of time to get an appointment. how are you dealing with the real issue, which is people have to wait too long? wii time was longer and people didn't get bonuses. how would that have changed things? i'm not saying they should get bonuses when they falsify records, but how would that have made a difference? the goals that lead to awards for people at the executive level are set with the knowledge of congress, with the knowledge of lots of people. why is there a delay? why can't people be dealt with? host: thank you.
8:27 am
guest: that was the responsibility of the executive to do that. they turned around and they falsified records that people were being seen within 14 days. how are congress going to know they were lying until these whistleblowers? congress has veterans who could not get seen. senatepe congress and that i do hold congress and senate accountable. we realize exactly what you are saying. texas, the colonoscopies would only be approved if the patient tested positive three successive saving -- three -- essive it is inoperable at that time. we are talking about people covering up. we should've rewarded executives for saying i have 1600 veterans who want to get in on an appointment and i do not have doctors and nurses to get the
8:28 am
job done. nobody is doing that. your point is accurate. ifse executives learned that they fronted their numbers and gave a different impression of what was really going on, gaming the system as documented by the v.a. it self, they would get bonuses. we have to flip the script and hold them accountable. we are talking about employees we want to get fired by the accountability act. if they can start firing executives they will be honest and demonstrate some integrity. host: you are on with former gunnery sergeant. caller: good morning. i worked and retired in the air force with the department of
8:29 am
energy. the system throughout the federal government is flawed. it's systemic. until there is a process whereby you can get rid of marginal is nighployees, which on impossible, this is going to continue. the continued use of the -- itmental administration have seen as and i have to tell you it is disheartening. there is no way that bernie sanders is going to allow any changes to the civil service or to the weighted of our mental and us ration accounts are used by these managers. many of us tried to come in to solve this problem with the elite. it almost killed most of us.
8:30 am
until congress takes action to change civil service -- change , thisvil service system overhead will continue to cause problems in day-to-day operations of any federal government agency. given what robert had to say what we do like to see done? just come when the accountability act went on the floor of the house, the only it on who sought -- saw the floor of the house -- this would risk your recruiting, we would not be able to get the best out there because we would risk them getting fired. that is a ridiculous concept. he have to run government like a fortune 500 company. employee rights outnumber the veterans rights. when this becomes about employee
8:31 am
rights over the lives of veterans, we have lost the concept of what veterans administration is about. we pay for this. v.a. management accountability act is not a silver bullet but it is a start. we have to at least hold employees accountable. start firing your employees, clean house. right now you want to wait for investigation results but yet you have evidence for years and years of mismanagement. host: what you think about the president's response? escom it disappointed me. they didn't realize action seki created that backlog. i was a little disappointed. he said this was unacceptable. himperson who disagreed on -- he fired the person who disagreed with him on policies about the war but not -- he should have come out swinging
8:32 am
mad in his testimony. he should have had more fire in his belly that he was not going to put up with this. good tosaying he was wait for results of investigations. guest: -- host: two final tweets -- -- lly guest: i am not going to say he do because the backlog. by opening the doors for more claims and not being prepared to handle those claims, that essentially is causing the backlog. every ceo out there, if they cause their corporation to have more hurdles than when they came on board by a result of their they have to be held accountable.
8:33 am
the backlog is six times is that -- is three times as bad as when he came into office. he has to be held accountable. the guest: jesse jane duff. -- host: jesse jane duff. retired sergeant gunnery. -- retired gunnery sergeant. coming up whether immigration reform will be passed this year and a little one the one -- a little 101 on immigration. up next, mark rosenbloom of the migration policy institute. is "washington journal." >> i focused on trying to stop waste and trying to catch people who did in the past. actually figure it out and added up.
8:34 am
60%, i think we are spending a lot of money. >> have the american people gotten their money's worth? >> their full money's worth? no. definitely not. there have been a lot of good things done. we have a lot of hard-working people in the department of agriculture and the interior. there are people from the department of commerce that have gone over. a lot of people have donated their lives and energies. have we gotten the biggest bang for the buck? no. the is what we find all time, poor planning and execution. >> his role as inspector general
8:35 am
and how american taxpayer dollars are spent on reconstruction in afghanistan. sunday night at eight on c-span's q and a. book includesw christopher hitchens talking about his lifestyle. >> i was knew there was a risk in the bohemian lifestyle and i decided to take it. whether it is an illusion or not, i don't think it is. it stopped me being bored, and it stopped other people from being boring. it would keep me awake. if i was asked if i would do it again, the answer is probably yes. i would quit earlier, hoping to get away with the whole thing. if i said i would do all that
8:36 am
again to you -- it would be hypocritical for me to say i would never touch the stuff if i had known. everyone knows. life is aded all wager. i'm going to wage on this bit. i can't make it come out any other way. >> read the interview with other featured conversations from our q&a programs and c-span's sundays at eight, no available enter favorite bookseller. >> washington journal continues. guest: -- host: we want to rosenblum to teh program. what is the migration policy institute? guest: we are an independent think tank in washington dc. host: how did you get involved with that?
8:37 am
rated your interest come? test, i began doing immigration research in middle school. i have some in my family that kept me interested. host: how may people immigrated in 2013? millione have one lawful immigrants per year and another half-million nonimmigrant workers and students. how many people illegally legally came into the u.s. last year? been zero flow has for the last six or seven years. it may have ticked up a little bit last year. that ation hit a peak number of unauthorized immigrants peaked at a little over 12 million in 2007 and it
8:38 am
has fallen to 11.7 million. host: when you say we have a zero net effect of illegal or unauthorized immigrants, how do you come up with that? enteredhe same number has left. theave better estimates of numbers who are here then of the flow. todon't have a good way count unauthorized immigrants coming or leaving because there's no sense of that. we have a pretty good at methodology for estimating how many people are here by comparing the total foreign-born and the senses to the total lawful immigrant population from immigration records. we can look at how that changes over time. we have some tools to estimate looking at mexican census data.
8:39 am
" one million per year lawfully. -- host: one million per year lawfully. guest: thererams? are four main programs, humanity, employee, humanitarian , refuge. there are 25 or 20 subcategories. the great majority of lawful permanent immigration to the u.s.'s family-based, two thirds. the other third is divided -- most of the other third is divided half-and-half between refugees and employment base. and a small number is aversive he visas, which is the lottery that allows immigrants from other countries that are otherwise underrepresented. host: can any of those countries participate?
8:40 am
guest: you have to be the equipment of a high school graduate and clear background checks. host: how many people come in under that program? guest: about 50,000 per year. obamawhat is the administration's policy and hat that a vault changed from a different policy? guest: we just published a big report on this. there has been a trend over the last two decades or so further immigration.bust most of the policy has been a continuation of that increasingly tough enforcement. up ine seen a huge held terms of infrastructure and personnel and in terms of the types of consequences that people face if they are apprehended at the border. of the big trends that began
8:41 am
under president bush but has revolved is to really expand the reach of immigration enforcement within the u.s., including the secure communities program, which is a program that automatically when people are booked into jail in the u.s., when they go for criminal background checks they also submitted to the department of homeland security for immigration checks. able to identify on authorized immigrants if they get arrested for an jurisdiction in the country. the broad contours of president obama's policy is to continue those programs. other thing that has happened, beginning in 2011, the administration announced that in addition to having those programs in place they're going to focus on the resources on high-priority cases and they defined high priority cases as
8:42 am
people who were recently convicted of a crime. there has been a real effort -- traditionally dhs has supported the first number of people they have encountered and under the obama administration they have systematically tried to prioritize people they consider a high priority. host: we will talk about immigration for the next 45 minutes. we set aside a fourth line for immigrants. that includes legal and illegal immigrants. we did this before on washington journal. we do not keep your phone numbers. we simply want to hear your stories. how did you get in, what were do you feelns, how about changes in u.s. immigration policy? the line is set aside.
8:43 am
this is for both legal and illegal immigrants. is it easy to get into this country? host: -- guest: to get in lawfully it is a pretty competitive and difficult -- the two main mechanisms, family and employee based, the waiting list can be 20 years, 50 years, or even longer. if you are entitled to be in line you may have to wait for those countries. for employee base to the weight can be 10 years based on your skills and what country you are coming from. that is part of the problem. host: has congress said only x number of family-based can come in? guest: there are no immediate limits to family and citizens. there is no limit and you can
8:44 am
get in pretty quickly. there is processing time. the other family categories are the immediate families of lawful permanent residence and they have longer wait times. the adult children and the adult siblings of citizens have longer wait times. and then the other half of your question is it easy to come and unlawfully? that has definitely become much more difficult. we think about one third one third to one half of unauthorized immigrants come in legally on either tourists visa or student visa. they don't leave when their visa expires.
8:45 am
if you are eligible for tourists or student visa that is relatively easy. it is not that arduous of a process. host: we basically go wherever we want in the world, or we think we can. if a mexican citizen wants to come visit disney world, can they just come into the country and go to the airport like we do? guest: one of the things the state department looks at is whether the person intends to overstate a visa. there is a screening process. there are certain countries that are eligible for a visa waiver. countries.y european they can easily get a visa. they have to register online to do it.
8:46 am
there is some screening that goes on but it is not a visa application process. about 33 waiver countries. you have to go in person an interview at the u.s. consulate and there is a determination made by the consulate officer about whether or not they believe that you will go home at the end so they can look at things like do you own property, do you have a job that you're going to come back to, do you have family here? people get turned down for sure. host: do other countries have similar policies that we do? those are mostly reciprocal. eligible for are some of treatment in their countries. visa policy really varies a lot.
8:47 am
there are countries that make it very easy to visit them and there are countries that it is a process to go through. i recently visited russia. it took me four trips to get to the consulate. there was a big fee attached to it. countriesthere are that do real vetting and don't make it as easy as they could. host, we are talking about u.s. immigration policy and potential changes to that policy. from the department of homeland security, 11.5 million unauthorized immigrants in the u.s. as of january 2011. 25% resided in california. six percent in florida. six percent in new york. 134th thousand according to the
8:48 am
immigration and customs enforcement were removed from the u.s.. 235,000 removed from the border area trying to enter the u.s. illegally. removals, 217,000 individuals, have an priestly convicted of a crime. in their own countries are here in the u.s.? guest: here in the u.s.. with the priorities dhs announced in 2011 and even before that under the obama administration there has been a real effort to focus enforcement of people who had been. see convicted of a crime. when people think about deportations, there are two main ways people can get deported. one is formal removal. that is a legal administrative process.
8:49 am
including penalties, you are not going to be able to come back to the u.s. in the re. justher people are reich means you're put there are no additional consequences. the more high-stakes enforcement, that is what really is focused on criminals. pleasen north carolina, go ahead with your question or comment. caller: i'm trying to listen to all this. i'm originally from miami florida. know -- had gotten to
8:50 am
she was talking like let's get married. she was an illegal air liam -- illegal alien him she was really nice. she said she just wanted to become a u.s. citizen. host: was the conclusion to your story? caller: i told her to find somebody else. host: how common is that to have green card marriage is? guest: that is a typical story. a lot of marriage fraud -- it is a fuzzy line. it is not like you're marrying a stranger. it is like a friend like that. certainly the part of dhs that would authorize a spouse visa in that case, they do a lot of
8:51 am
anti-fraud investigation. i don't have a number in my head of how common it is. it is something they are tuned into and it is a series of investigations that took place before a green card would be issued in a case like that. host: herald calling from georgia on the republican line. caller: i would like you to comment on recent reports of the release of convicted felons, illegal aliens, from the custody of ice. children of minor coming to the border as amnesty discussions are increased. guest: on the first one the callers commenting on this report that was released that described --
8:52 am
i don't know the details of any of those specific cases. one of the constraints on immigration enforcement is we have about 31,000 immigrant detentions. the average is now close to two years. off millioned unauthorized immigrants and 30,000 deaths and a two-year wait. most people are not detained while they are waiting to go before a judge. some people go throughout an expedited process. there is just a real limit on how many people can be detained. spend $2 billion per year on immigrant detention. it is a big chunk of what the immigration and in -- immigration and customs
8:53 am
enforcement agency does. -- with so many unauthorized immigrants it is hard to detained through that process. one of the arguments people make in terms of taking people out of the enforcement queue is to focus resources on the real bad guys. host: ray is calling from winter haven, florida. please go ahead. caller: i had about two concerns. one would be the time it takes for a person, say a person who has been here for years, were to go into the process. how long does it take for them to actually even -- from start , i and receiving my paperwork. how long is that time? costs to a local community?
8:54 am
money out of the taxpayers for law enforcement is being set aside for immigration versus actual law that is here locally? host: re: from the u.s.? caller: born yes in michigan. parents were doing the migrant work from florida to georgia, all the way up to michigan. host: where they from originally? caller: mexico. host: where are they living now? caller: we are all providing here. being a part of this wonderful place. i have a lot of feelings on both
8:55 am
sides because being from here, when you go to mexico you get judged because you are an american. but you are here and you are also judged that you're not good different andlook it is sad. it is almost like you don't belong there, you don't belong here. you are literally on the fence. host: you talk about your parents being agricultural migrant worker stated they come in illegally? caller: it is a long story. my father was a resident. he actually went back to mexico and had his children.
8:56 am
he found a wife and came back and brought her illegally. host: thank you for sharing your story. guest: to his first question, there is no process currently in place for somebody who is here and has been a illegally. there is no existing program under the great majority of those crisis for that person to come and wave their flag and pay a fine and get right with the law. that is what the current debate is about. if somebody of you like that marries a u.s. the decision and would be eligible for a visa that way, if they have been here for more than six months they can automatically be eligible for a visa for three years. if they have been here for a year there in eligible for 10
8:57 am
years. one thing the proponents of legalization are focused on is turning back those rules because they are about 20 years old. be ablehat summit would to more easily get right with the law. that is a question that gets a lot of study. the bottom line is it varies by state as a function of whether states -- whether they don't .ave income taxes they have higher sales tax and property taxes so they contribute through buying things , with highernt income taxes and having a more progressive tax cuts of people pay fewer taxes. it may be net, fiscal takers.
8:58 am
in general a lot of those costs are harder to estimate. is the of the big cost children of unauthorized immigrants. most of them are u.s. citizens. some people score that against the immigrants. you might score that not against the immigrants. immigrants certainly pay a lot of taxes both through withholding their paychecks and sales taxes and things like that. mostare ineligible for federal services and for most state services. host: the wall street journal had this article -- it says bringing in some of the foreign workers raises everyone's pay. guest: those skilled workers, they make investments in their communities.
8:59 am
to pay all people .long the pay scale things we know is immigrants are disproportionately likely to be entrepreneurial. a high percentage of silicon ,alley firms, google, ebay immigrant founders, there is a high percentage of immigrants. effect that people take the risk of being immigrants. they may be risk takers. with the skill workers were we know those people are recruited and have the skill to be able to qualify for that visa, i think most economists would tell you
9:00 am
that they are significant net contributors to the economy. host: this article we talked about earlier, the new york times reports the u.s. is setting up emergency shelters in texas as youth crosses the border alone.
9:01 am
host: six thousand convicted criminals go back into our system because we don't have money. that's ludicrous. guest: let me quickly comment on your comment and then i love to respond to the caller. on your comment, the unaccompanied alien children who tough taxes, this is a huge crisis. those numbers have doubled each of the last four years. fewer than 7000 in 2011. so it's a real crisis that"
9:02 am
on the caller's three comments. the caller is correct the way i.c.e. defines a removal change -- can actually changed in 2007 under president bush, i.c.e. began counting some of the ñw leave, i.c.e. escorts to the border and puts them on an airplane. but that -- obama gets blamed
9:03 am
for that but that was definitely in 2007. the caller is right, there's very little infrastructure in place or programs in place to fine people who over stay a visa. dms has in the last several years sort of ramped up its efforts to count over stays but only for people flying out of the country. they match up -- they get departure manifest passenger list from the airlines. and they match that against entry records. there's no system in place to identify people who over stay after coming in by car. then there's no system in place if they identify somebody who over stays to find that person and remove them. one reason for that, if you think about it, that's a huge effort. somebody comes in on a tourist visa, they say i'm staying to help in washington d.c. and when
9:04 am
they're visa expires three months later, they don't leave. you have no idea where that person is. it would be a huge effort to do it. with someone like that, at least we know they got a tourist visa and they're back on track. they're not suspected terrorists and they're not probablial convicted criminal. they haven't been viewed as a high priority but it is a big gap in the enforcement system. on the release of those previously convicted people, people come into i.c.e. custody after serving their criminal sentence. that's not really a fair way to look at it. they have all completed their sentence. the issue is did i take custody of them and prioritize them for removal afterwards. if you look at the numbers, it's the case that i.c.e. has been
9:05 am
prioritizing people who have been convicted of a crime. those numbers have gone way up. there are people who slip through. host: kenny maryland on immigrants. what's your story? caller: my story i came into the country about 14 years ago now. host: from where? caller: from nigeria. there's not been any process that i can go through that can make me right with the law. but the question i want to make about the deportation is that, any time you're deported, you
9:06 am
either end up -- you get deported, i want to correct that statement. it's not true. right now, like me, i cannot even deport myself. that means i go back to my country. when i get back, my wife is a u.s. citizen. i can go back do everything and come back. but there's no way for me to do it because i have not committed any crime, i have not done anything that will put me on that. i've been in the united states for so long, i couldn't go back
9:07 am
even if i have not committed any crime. host: you say your wife is a u.s. citizen? caller: yes. my wife is a u.s. citizen. i have three children. host: they are also u.s. citizen? caller: yes my children are citizens. they were born here as citizens. host: marc host: rosenblum is he stuck? guest: he's a classic example. he were try it lear and -- leave and come back, he would have to wait ten years. because he's been here illegally for more than a year, he becomes
9:08 am
ineligible for any kind of return visa for at least ten years. the thing is, is that a huge percentage of the unauthorized population have those kind of roots in the u.s. about half unauthorized adults have children in the u.s., many of whom are u.s. citizens. there's about 95% unauthorized immigrants have at least one family member here in the u.s. most unauthorized immigrants have stories if not exactly like that, more or less like that. i think that's part of what makes it so difficult to think about sort of enforcement only response because you'd be disrupting a lot of those kinds of situations. host: majority leader harry reid talked about immigration potentially passing the congress
9:09 am
this year. here's a little bit what he had to say. [video clip] >> there's a reel human cost that costs inaction. 11million people have been waiting in shadows. many of their family and children having suffering. house republicans for their inaction is one they've used over and over again, we don't trust president obama to enforce the law. even though that's not true. president has proven he'll enforce immigration law. over the past 29 days all we had from house republicans excuses why they can't act. today, it's my understanding, that the speaker said, i want to do immigration reform. well that's pretty to accomplish. we can't allow the radicals in
9:10 am
the house, like steven king, a man who said that the dreamers are drug dealers, we can't let people like him determine the fate of this legislation. that is what has happened in the house. here's suggestion to resolve the impasse. let's pass immigration form today. make it take effect until 2017. if republicans don't trust president obama, let's give them a chance to implement the bill under president rand paul or president theodore -- to be clear, delaying implementation is not my preference. i feel so strongly this bill needs to get done i'm willing to show flexibility. aisle do whatever i can to help pass this important bill. we need to get it cross the finish line. i hope republicans will consider this offer and done seriously to show some compassion and start acting. they is say -- house republicans
9:11 am
are willing to act. host: your reaction to what senator reid had to say. guest: the senate passed their bill back in june almost a year ago. it is a comprehensive immigration reform bill. it includes legalization for many of the almost 12 million unauthorized new enforcement measures and it would have quite robust additional enforcement. then also reforms to the visa systems to try to achieve sort of a better supply and demand match. most people believe that part of the problem today is that there's not as many visas as there are applicants and sort of
9:12 am
eligible applicants. host: let's go back to legal immigrants. is the cap set at one million? all the different programs we talked about earlier? guest: well, there's different caps in different categories and there are some people exempt from caps. i believe the quota family p(ñcp is 225,000. that's other than immediatelx family members of u.s. citizens. host: that's set by congress? gastonia yes -- guest: yes that's set by congress. host: is# that h1b's. guest: i'm talking about green 4)á"tusp'ent employment based visas. 50,000 for the diversity visa, the lottery.
9:13 am
and then the refugee cap is a flexible but aboutsz 50,000 al. then about another 200,000 come in as nonquota family, immediate families. i don't have those numbers. i maybe giving you a low number on the employment base. but that's about right. there are certain -- there's a couple other exempt categories. all of those numbers are set by congress then congress also sets numerical limits on most of the temporary employment based visas like h1b's and h2's. employment base visas are not numerically limit. those programs are designed in a way they don't attract a lot of
9:14 am
participation because they're difficult for employers to use. all of the visa rules and the numbers -- the numbers and the process definitely run through congress. congress definitely -- if you read the immigration nationality act, those rules are spelled out in some detail. host: vick from california from republican lane. you're on the air. caller: of a couple of things to comment on. please don't cut me off. are kicked around about how many are in this country illegally is a bunch of garbage. nobody knows how many are here illegally. you think they're going to volunteer to be counted? it's been left bouncing around
9:15 am
11 million or 12 million for the past ten years. then to the -- once they come here on visas, they covered pretty well. nobody keeps track of them. then two, once they come here understand about illegal? they do not automatically earn full benefits of u.s. citizens. on those that com%áqat least part of their family at home come here legally or illegally. when somebody raises a rowel about it, we get blamed for separating the families. nobody forcing them to come here. once they come here to work illegally, i can understand that but they should not be given the rights that all u.s. citizens
9:16 am
get and the right to stay here indefinitely. once they're here illegally, they're here eillegally. host: i think we got most of your points. mr.rosenblum. guest: on the number. it's actually a pretty broad consensus. most of the groups that look at this issue from an enforcement perspective, they tend to agree with the dha sin the pew hispanic center. everybody agrees that it's about 12 million. what part of illegal don't you understand, i think that the caller get to a huge issue and the debate -- there are sort of two ways to look at the question should we do legalization. what are the practical solutions
9:17 am
we can do to grapple with millions of people here unlawfully. what kind of resources we have to debate to devote to rare all of them to leave versus what would it cost to allow some of them to stay. then, there's another question about what's the fair answer. is it fair for people to be able to get legal status even though they broken the law at some point and being here illegally. i think that first question is pretty easy for a lot of people. that second question is a lot harder. the only sort of place i would push back on the caller is that, i think it's easy to look at it in the broad context why people are here illegally and how we gotten to a point where there is so many. it has to do with sort of how we have structured our rules
9:18 am
several decades of nonenforcement and employers offering them jobs and the global economy. there is individual responsibility but there's a systemiu that underlines that. i lost it. host: terry is calling in from long beach. caller: good morning. my first question is, what first rate country allows a country with third world living conditions to dictate their immigration policy? this has created a total cottage industry from attorneys all the way down to people on the streets and making illegalç documents. no one knows who these people really are. first off, what about the people
9:19 am
that are looking come here legally that are in lane and playing by the rules? what happens to the rule of law? is that not important here? we hear about what we should be done on this side of the border, like the gentlemen in california stated, no one made these people send these kids out into the desert. how desperate is that? here's another thing, as american citizens, we need to come together and class action lawsuit, move this into the world court. we got 400 people sitting on the hill in washington d.c. that has already sold us out. millions of us, few hundreds of them. we can go there and take them if need be. if that's serious out hear. last friday's edition of the l. a. times their fire bombing of african-americans that live in
9:20 am
l.a. they're killing african-american kids that's walking to school. i'm talking really immigrants immigrant -- illegal immigrants from new mexico. nobody is talking about that. this country is coming apart at the scene. i called on the immigrants, i live in l.a. and i still like illegal immigrants. no one speaks english miles from me. it's ridiculous. we're not going to stand and allow this to continue to happen. either we deal with it in washington or who will deal with it in the streets. guest: i think, again, there's this issue of what's fair. certainly, to put people who are here here unlawfully people in the country in front. the point i was going to make before. when you look at the senate bill for example and the other
9:21 am
legalization proposal, all of them are designed to -- it's not just sort of a blanket amnesty. it's not they sign their name and they get a green card. they tried to build into these legalization proposals and some to require people that pay a fine and to learn english and pass a civic test and wait ten years to get their visa. the other thing to think about what the fair response is, to have sort of a proportional response. if you will require people to uproot themselves and leave the place they lived for five to 20 years, that maybe disproportionate to the crimes they may have committed. many of the unauthorized citizens haven't committed a crime. i think that fairness base, that's really the heart of what makes this so hard. i don't think that it's a black
9:22 am
and white where either everybody gets deported or everybody becomes u.s. citizen tomorrow. when you look at the proposals that are out there, most of them are very much in between. host: to answer terry's question from long beach. what percentage is estimated to be illegal in the l.a. area? do you have a number? guest: well, i don't have an l.a. number california has a couple of million unauthorizessed immigrants. there's a lot of in l.a. it's not most l.a. it's almost 12 million unauthorized immigrants in the country. that's a huge number. that's like more the metro chicago area. the whole metro chicago everybody unauthorized. there are more unauthorized immigrants in the u.s. than there are immigrants in any other country.
9:23 am
the next largest immigration country in the u.s. is russia. they have 12 million immigrants total. the size of that unauthorized population -- it's only about 3.5 million in 1990. it's gone up almost three fold in the last couple decades. the size of the population makes the policy difficult. we were talking about what are we going to do with the million unauthorized millions in the u.s. that would be a much ease conversation to have. when you're talking about such a large number of people, it's like four percent of the u.s. host: marc rosenblum, migration policy and institute. thank you for being on the want. -- "washington journal." i want to show you this picture. it's not as it's been described
9:24 am
donald duck kicking goofy. it is a congressional district. that is our next topic. we're going to be talking about gerrymandering and congress with christopher ingraham of the " washington post." >> you can now take c-span with you wherever you go with our free c-span radio app for your smartphone or tablet. listen to all three c-span tv channel or c-span radio any time. there's a schedule of internet networks so you can tune in. play podcasts of recent shows from our signature programs. take c-span with you wherever you go. download your free app online for your iphone, android or blackberry.
9:25 am
>> for over 35 years, c-span brings public affairs events from washington directly to you. putting you in the room of congressional hearings, white house events, briefings and conferences and offering complete gavel to gavel coverage of u.s. house. we're c-span created by the cable tv industry 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. watch us in hd, "like" us on facebook and follow us on twitter. >> i focus on trying to stop waste and trying to catch people who did it in the past but to actually go out and figure it out and head it up, 50%, 60%, i think we're spending a lot of money. my staff time can be better spent trying to find the identify and help correct them. >> if i ask you have the
9:26 am
american people gotten their money's worth. >> their full money's worth, no. definitely not. there's been good things done. lot of hard working people at state, dod. lot of these people have gone on. lot of people devoted their lives and energies over there. have we gotten the biggest bang for the buck? no. that's what we find all the time. poor planning, poor execution. >> john sopko on his role of inspector general. sunday night at 8:00 on c-span's "q&a." >> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to introduce you to christopher ingraham. he is with the washington post
9:27 am
where he writes their wonkblog column. guest: its a blog about politics, politics and economics. host: where did you come from? guest: i was with the brookings institution. i was creating a lot of their charts and maps. before that i was at the pew research doing work won the web. host: when fid you get interested in all of those facts and figures with politics? guest: it probably started when i was at the research center. there's a lot of public data out there. it was the 2008 and the 2008 election. host: we invited you on to talk about your series of article on gerrymandering and the u.s. and congress. what is gerrymandering? guest: we should start with
9:28 am
redistricting. the congressional district boundaries need to get redrawn to better reflect the changing. population in the united states. most states the state legislatures handle that process. in some states, you have an advisory commission with varying degrees of over sight of the process. in a small handful of states, california and arizona, you have a complete independent commission that handles the process. gerrymandering is what happens when politicians who are in charge of the process decide to redraw the districts in such a way to give them an advantage over their opponents. one of the popular misconceptions about gerrymandering, it's about drawing safe districts forúqob yourself, for your own party. even president obama himself eluded to thisç after the 2012 election. what happens more often is that
9:29 am
gerrymandering is about packing more of your opponent supporters in a small number of districts so they are strength is concentrated in a small number of areas which leaves the rest of the stateng with more ofwz yr support for. when a small number of districts by a fairly large margin but with you win more districts. host: does this lead to small and majority districts? guest: it does get to the question of votes right acts. one of the aim of that act was to make sure that minority votes weren't unduly diluted. you have if large minority area you don't want their votes spread across a large number of districts so their clout is diminished. host: when did redistricting begin with the congress and u.s.?
9:30 am
guest: it's been happening as long as we had districts. part of my research i looked at, they go back to 1700's. host: where did the term gerrymandering come from? gastel guest: i believe there was a politician who was responsible for redrawing districts. one of the districts that was drawn looked like this lizard thing. it was jerry. the press jumped on this and they called gerrymandering and that name stuck. host: you had an article recently in the washington post, america's most gerrymandered congressional districts. who's the most creative? guest: the two most creative states that would be maryland and north carolina.
9:31 am
host: why? guest: this gets to question of how do you measure gerrymandering. partially it's about intent. it's about why politicians are drawing the districts the way they are. one way you can get at it indirectly is by measuring the shape of these districts. the idea being highly compact districts, those are called highly compact. then on the other hand, you see what you see in maryland and north carolina, which are the very sprawling irregular weirdly shaped districts all over the place. those are not compact. those -- that is the basis of the compactness score that i built gerrymandering index. host: the pennsylvania 7th
9:32 am
district. now up to 113th congress, which is right now. you see how this district changed every ten years to the point where it is literally donald duck kicking goofy. who represents this district? who came up with the boundaries for this and how homogeneous is it? guest: that illustrates one of the key point about gerrymandering. the evolution about the pennsylvania seven it's preregular shape over the last decades. you see it explode into this fantastic shape. in most recent iteration, republicans are responsible for drawing those districts in pennsylvania. but i believe there's a democrat sitting in that district now. so this highlights the idea that
9:33 am
the point of gerrymandering is often about packing more of your opponent supporters into one area. the way they did that in the 113th congress, you can see there are these two big shapes. you got your goofy and donald duck. there's a skinny area in between of them. you're taking all the democrats on one side and democrats on other the side. you're drawing a line saying these are part of a hole. host: this could be just a road. guest: i believe there's one in north carolina, snakes along a stream at one point. it's just tiniest little area. host: has there been court cases saying this is illegal and weird? guest: several court cases. every time districts get redrawn, there's court cases. there's one going on in florida
9:34 am
about their case. that case, republicans drew the districts. democrats have filed suit saying the districts are drawn unfairly. if you look at the map we have on the washington post website, you'll see florida fifth is the most irregularly shaped districts. it's long and skinny from jacksonville and grab people from gainesville and orlando. host: who represents the district. guest: i don't know the name but they are all represented by democrats. host: all drawn by republicans? maryland which has a democratic government for the most part, here's the third district of maryland. i believe this is chris van hollen's district. it used to be -- i won't even
9:35 am
try. guest: they change so much. host: you can see here, this is just wildly everywhere. have there been suits on the other side filed? guest: yes in maryland there were a number of lawsuits filed. after the districts were drawn in 2010 and 2011, republicans filed suit, they wanted to put the redistricting on the ballot. they did. they succeeded in putting it before the voters on a ballot measure. but the interesting thing -- it was a good example of how asking the voters to have a referendum on it. it doesn't necessarily change anything because the way the ballot question was worded, it was simple and straightforward. who's going to vote against the constitution.
9:36 am
they're in a deficit of about 18. so they're in then minority. u can have a party win the national popular vote and unrepresented in congress. host: 202-585-3880, 202-585-3881 for republicans and 202-585-3882 for independents. brandon from milwaukee, wisconsin. you're first on with christopher. caller: seems like a case of
9:37 am
influencing selections. it seems like it benefits both sides equally. no one is really tackling the issue. do you have other examples where it benefit either party or there's been some negative consequence of school district being shut down? guest: sure. you're right, it can benefit both parties equally. what we've seen with 113th congress, when redistricting was done back in 2010 and 2011, republicans just happen to be in control in many of the state houses across the u.s. because of that, they got to draw many of those districts. that is partially why we see that republican majority in the house. this isn't to say that democrats can make any claims to saint hood here as the case maryland shows, which is either the first or second most gerrymandered say the.
9:38 am
they are just as eager to do this when they're in power. in illinois, another example of a democratically controlled state where there's a pretty high degree of gerrymandering. host: al, wyoming, illinois on our democrats line. good morning. caller: this is about like the three states, north carolina, ohio, they are making harder to vote. these juniors and seniors high school basketball, top recruits in the nation put on their facebook they weren't going to play ball in those states. you think that will wake the states up? host: i don't know if you have any comment for that caller. guest: well, it speaks to -- why does this continue and how is this allowed to happen. i heard from international
9:39 am
observers and other countries where they look at this process. they've determined that it's -- what you got going on here is you have instead of voters choosing representatives you have representatives choosing their voters. why is this allowed to happen? why is this still legal? partly because there hasn't been a popular revolt against it. people haven't been too concerned about it so far. now going down the line the next two or four or so, if we continue to see these lopsided vote shares in the house, that might get people more interested in the issue. we might get to see more movement around fixing it. host: you produced this chart. can you explain what it means. the headlines, states becoming more gerrymandered over time. guest: rather than just looking at what's going on with the 113th congress. i wanted to see whether this
9:40 am
gerrymandered issued held true over the past 50 or 60 years. i looked at the average scores for the states going back to 1953 or so. what we see is that just about every state i looked at, there's a very clear upward trend of gerrymandering which shows these districts and states are becoming more and more irregular. host: let's take new york. 83rd congress, 72.9% i guess. now it's down to 69.3. what do these two figures mean? guest: those are justk( index scores. zero would indicate no engineer -- gerrymandering. the absolutely value is important. what's more important is the trend. ç
9:41 am
they didn't have veto power. they didn't have authority. they suggested redistricting plan to the legislature. seeing how the level of irregularly decreases after that point, it suggested having some point of over sight, might lead to:ùz less gerrymandering andñnó
9:42 am
host: they had complete control over the process the republicans did, they were allowed to draw their boundaries unchecked. host: bert of columbus, georgia. caller: here in georgia, we have what they call a voting -- after people vote, they go by to see how they vote. all of our districts soon to be in the state -- are you familiar with that in your research? guest: i'm less familiar with the actual mechanics of the redistricting in georgia. i can't recall offhand. it don't have any sort of independent commission. it might have some sort of
9:43 am
advisory panel over seeing the districts that the state representatives draw. i will say that georgia dent stand out on either end of the spectrum in terms of the state and average amount of gerrymandering. i believe it was controlled by republicans. host: which states got stars as far as the least gerrymandering? guest: this kind of points to limitation of the gentleman -- gentleman only -- -- states out west, nevada and new mexico. partially because there's few districts in those states. those district reflect state boundary. the index scores are little less
9:44 am
useful. you can tell there's not a lot of irregularity going on that have lines drawn. you look at nevada and new mexico, the districts around the capital of those states are almost completely rectangular which seems pretty regular. it's easy to understand from the voter perspective why that district was drawn. host: the system is raped with because. why has it not been reformed? question. there hasn't been much an outcray around it yet. i talked to representative yesterday in california. he introduced a bill in congress that would set up independent commissions in every single state the same way that you have one in california.
9:45 am
currentlyxthat bill cosponsors they are both democrats. that bill has about one percent chance of passing this session. what that speaks to, there's not a lot of pressure coming from voters yet. he was deeply involved in the process to set up independent commission in california. he told me that process took a very long tame to complete. it took in the neighborhood of ten years. it wasn't until people started calling into their representatives and eventually when governor schwarzenegger took up the cause, it started to gain action. host: when you look at california and its districts, is it pretty geographically normal? guest: it's pretty normal. california has the highest number of districts.
9:46 am
it has i believe 63 districts in that state. with that many districts and with a high population, there's a lot of room for gerrymandering happening there. there doesn't seem to be much of of that going on. as far as i can tell,e voters responded pretty positively. host: john is calling in from lakewood, ohio. caller: we think we're shining light on the democratic woes. the system is flawed right from the beginning. the gerrymander is a cancer. it kills the weakest link of any chain. it's a shame people have not understood. we done enough demographic studies. founding fathers would have requested they commit suicide.
9:47 am
i watch this everyday. as long as c-span is on the air. the system is gamed and republicans, democrats it don't matter, i'm an independent. if the house suppose to be for the people, -- host: thank you for calling. guest: that's an excellent point. this gets to the heart of the problem. why is jerry manate -- gerrymandering a problem. it turns the process on their head. of politicians choosing their voters. it not only makes the house less representative of the country you but under mine voters face in that democratic crisis. we're faced and there's a high
9:48 am
degree of december -- disapproval of congress. host: bill, pittsburgh democrat, good morning. caller: thanks for taking the call. the gentleman called preceded this. i wonder if your guest would add something relative to the fact that -- our political process is bought and paid for apparently. if and when something will ever be done, gerrymandering, it's a very important issue. will anything ever be done relative to getting the money out of the political system? or at least to a point where we
9:49 am
have a legitimate election that isn't influenced by money? guest: that's an interesting question. it's intersection of campaign finance and gerrymandering. i'm not sure what that relationship is there. in speaking with representative yesterday., the way he characterized the redistricting process in california, he said it happens behind closed doors. they had people from washington coming in to kind of over see the whole process. he described it as a lot of horse training going on that people were basically trying to setting favors back and forth and to see what kind of outcomes they get. again, it comes down to the question of can we do better. is there a better process that we can do here. certainly a first step would seem to be establishing independent commission across the state, across all the states so that you're taking the power out of control of the
9:50 am
politician. you don't want these politicians choosing the voters for themselves. if you were to give that power instead to independent commissions made up of democrats, republicans and independents that seem leak that could go a long way to restoring faith. host: i want to show you this tweet that the "washington journal" has sent out. america's most gerrymandering congressional district. this is the washingtonwebsite. you can see some of these districts and how they maryland. we had a incumbent in there for 20 years. before there we had the
9:51 am
democrats. they got greedy. what happened to democrats, she wasn't liberal enough. she lost in the primary. mr.bartlett took office in the early 1990's and remained there. what happened was the mafia. there was a 6-2 ratio in the state. they're up in maryland up in the mountains. we're now put in with montgomery county. our district went to where it was basically pretty close over all but very heavily republican. host: that went -- now there's a democratic representative.
9:52 am
guest: yes, john delaney. the 60% of the district now is democrat. i know the republicans did some things like that in other states particularly maybe texas and you say north carolina. maryland, very quickly what they call the belt way bullies. it's become ridiculous and selfish thing. there was really nothing wrong with them. host: thank you in oakland, maryland. you have that district way up in the panhandle of maryland and mountains all the way down to the very wealthy areas in potomac by a democratic legislature. guest: if you look at maryland, if you look at the over all popular vote in 2012 for the house and you look at the share of delegates, maryland house delegation, you'd expect
9:53 am
republicans to have two more delegates than they actually do. because of the way the districts are drawn, you have that very lopsided democratic majority. one of the interesting things, many of these districts that we're talking about, they kind of intersect in the baltimore area. i believe there's an area in baltimore county where you can walk straight about 200 yards or so and cross these three districts. the question that arises are people who live in that lock and people living at the other hand. people want to have any common interest people out in the western corner of the state. or should they be all kind of together as part of that neighborhood. that illustrates the absurdity. host: mr. ingraham have you
9:54 am
blocked out the countries of congressional district and figure out what the congress would look like? guest: i have not. there are interesting solutions to gerrymandering that have been proposed by academics and mathematicians. mathematicians have come up with an algorithm to draw straight lines splitting population and states in half until you arrive at these congressional districts. you wouldn't want to do that because you can still fight for community of interest in part by drawing a straight line. so that's not necessarily the approach you want to take. there are other interesting algorithms and solutions to gerrymandering that create combat districts that respect boundaries. it would be difficult to get popular or congressional support behind the idea of putting an algorithm in control of the
9:55 am
redistricting process. as a theoretical exercise, it's useful to think of that and to see what would happen if we took the power of redistrict out of politicians hand and also out of human hands completely. host: you have this chart in your write in your washington post. can you explain what we're looking at? we're seeing red, on the left we're seeing 22.79 seats on the right and some blues. each one of these lines represent a state. guest: what we're looking at here, we're looking for each state in the 2012 election, we're looking at the difference between the popular vote share and the actual states representation in congress. interestingly enough, we're starting on -- the bars are colored according to which party was in control in those
9:56 am
districts were drawn. interestingly, we look at california, california would have had the independent commission in control, you still see a lopsided majority in favor of democratic representatives. host: given the popular vote, you base it on the popular vote. the democrats have five too many seats based on the popular vote of the house. guest: there are limitations to this. what's important to point out. you never going to achieve complete parody. say you're in a state like alaska that gets one congressional republican. so you have 60 votes for republicans and 40 for the democrats. that doesn't mean you want to send -- there are just -- you never going to achieve complete
9:57 am
parody. it does point to the some of the areas where you do see these lopsided totals. host: over on the far left, i believe we have pennsylvania and ohio. guest: pennsylvania and ohio and i believe north carolina. they're the stand outs over there. host: all battlegrounds in this case. guest: that is correct. they're pretty safely democratic. looking at the chart, what you see is that based on the popular vote share in the house cross all of the house elections across the nation, you would expect democrats to have about 18 more seats than they do now. this is just an illustration of that lopsidedness. host: dylan calling from kansas. our comment for christopher ingraham of the washington post. caller: you said earlier that you thought this term gerrymandering came from the
9:58 am
state of new york. it's actually the state of massachusetts. the governor jerry, in 1812 passed the districts in that odd shape that you described earlier. my question is, is your research solely on congressional districts do you step down at the state level as well? guest: my research is completely at the congressional district level. the state level districts are very much a different story. it's a similar process going on at the states. it's just as much a problem at those state district levels as it is at the national level. the national level is easier to wrap your head around from a research standpoint because we can get those good national and district boundary files. i think what does point to -- what your question points to is the relationship between state politics and national politics. what this says to me is that
9:59 am
state and local elections really matter. not just your state and local jurisdiction but for the nation. when you choose your state and local representatives, they are the one who play a large role in determining back state representation in congress. that highlights for me the importance of state and local elections which often get over looked as we discuss national politics. host: are we reading more about this now because it's an election year? guest: we probably are. it's election year. it's 2014. people are thinking about congress. this is i believe the second year we've had these post 2010 in place. i believe they will be making some modifications to them. there's still some court cases ongoing that might change the over all appearance of these districts. because it's an election year -- to take redistricting across the nation. if this is a process that people
10:00 am
see as problematic it's time to start think being it and start attempting to find a way to fix it is now. because democracy moves so slowly. the next consensus is in six years. that's the time we have to address this. host: thanks for being on the "washington journal." we appreciatexb it. reminder that three day weekend on book tv and american history tv which are c-span 2 and c-span 3. every weekend book tv three days of books. find everything that we are airing over the weekend and american history tv, three days of american history tv over memorial day as well including bob dole at the world war ii veterans memorial where he goes every


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on