tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 25, 2014 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT
declaration of war. it is completely unconstitutional. congress does not have the >> all right. let's take that point. >> well, there is a tension and it's between article one section eight clause two the declare war clause. robert pointed out, the commander-in-chief clause. it is a long-standing debate. we analyze each and every clause with a long, robust discussion about the back and forth, the jousting between the branches of government. it's not going to be resolved today, not going to be revolved in the obama administration, it is not going to be resolved. it's a tension the framers put in place so they could defuse power across the federal government and the state governments >> do you totally agree? >> i'm sure there are a lot of things we disagree with. i'm not a law professor. i am a military officer who served 23 years in the navy and i served at the heritage foundation. i think that there are probably
some points steve and i disagree on. >> i'll just jump off the cliff here. i actually think we disagree quite vehemently on where the line is between permissible unilateral presidential war making and when the president has to go to congress. it's just that that's not where we are today. the reason why is because you have these two older statutes, the 2001 and the iraq statute and more importantly at the top of the program as the caller said you have no question that congress and the american people support kind of action in iraq against isis. this is not the kind of competitional controversy that would raise the fight i think we would quite happily get into if this were an academic conversation entirely because there is no dispute about the principle. what is really at issue is why we're going in, what the end game is, and exactly what the terms of the authorization should be. i think that's why it is particularly problematic that rather engage in that debate and push through some kind of compromise legislation, congress washed their hands of
this and went home. i think that's why you see so much widespread agreement between even more progressive commentators and more conservative commentators because everyone i think agrees that congress acted completely irresponsibley by leaving this all for the president even though they support his actions. >> all right. we'll go to janet in maine. independent caller. caller: hi. how are you? host: good morning caller: good morning. i agree with the woman in new jersey. i think the less known the better. and try and think back to 2003 when we all didn't have cell phones. hard to remember that. but i remember orrin hatch. i believe i saw him say it myself. that we knew what was going on because we were tracing osama bin laden with his cell phone. so he stopped using his cell phone. you know. and the other -- that's my memory anyway. and the one question i have is
does anybody there know that dick armey was not for authorization of the iraq war until dick cheney told him some things that weren't true. and i'm sure dick armey influenced other members of the senate once dick cheney did that. does anybody know if that's true? i know i -- >> do you know the back story? >> i don't. >> okay. we'll move on to eric in akron, ohio. democratic caller. hi, eric. caller: how you doing? host: good morning caller: i had a question about the air war. why didn't they start gathering up the ground war before they did the air war? host: you want to tag that one? >> i take the president at his word that he has no taste for introducing combat ground troops back into iraq and there's no taste in the administration's pallet either
for inserting ground troops into syria and it's two-part thinking. one is air power and precision strikes along with coalition partners is the best way at least at the first phase of whatever we called this for to address the threat. how it evolves, to steve's earlier questions, is totally an open question. >> are there legal issues with an air strike versus ground troops? >> you wouldn't think so. but i think the suggestion is that the answer is yes. all the statutes congress has passed, what few supreme court decisions we have talking about the president's power to act in self-defense have never suggested a distinction based on what kind of force but practically i think there is an enormous distinction between the introduction of combat troops and scatter shot air strikes. i think we've seen that in the examples mentioned before, the air strikes in kosovo in 1999 versus the perceived need for some kind of real congressional buy-in talking about ground
troops. i don't know if that is a legal reality so much as a political reality but it certainly is an undeniable pattern of our practice. if we're talking ground troops we're talking congress and if scatter shot air strikes, maybe we're not. >> another tweet from a viewer, peg tweeting in, congress should address the 100 u.s. isis fighters with u.s. passports that could return to the united states. >> congress has addressed that. there is no question we have bolstered all of our counterterrorism laws in the 13 years since 9/11 to give the u.s. government that much more authority to deal with individuals especially u.s. citizens who are believed to be involved in terrorism. we have expanded the territorial application of our criminal statute so it is now a crime to engage in material support to terrorism, even overseas, which is something that was not true on 9/11. we have had a far greater success at apprehending suspects overseas and bringing
them back to the united states for criminal trial in civilian court. i don't think there is any question we have bolstered our border security, our screening to deal with this threat, and we have plenty of criminal remedies if we get our hands on these guys. the problem is possession. the problem is if you have these hundred or so american citizens in syria or in iraq how do we go get them? i think that is the problem and where all -- >> let's go to havana, florida. republican. caller: how you doing? host: good morning caller: where do we start with all this stuff? i want to say, ma'am, just authority to fight, i'm a vietnam veteran. i've been through this mess before. i've heard the same kind of rhetoric. now it's called counterterrorism. we call it counterinsurgency. we didn't get a declaration of war. that was one of the main things the anti-war crowd including mr. kerry, mrs. clinton, mr. clinton, and the rest of them people raised hell about the
whole time i was in nam. i didn't see them there. now we're in the same boat, same rhetoric. i just -- it's unbelievable to me they put that powers in there to keep that from happening again. and here we are doing the same thing fighting people we already beat. the whole thing is ridiculous. i was a marine. to see a marine die because of this crap really boils my blood. host: okay. all right. >> well, thank you for your service. semper fi. i totally understand where he's coming from, frankly, as a vet, as a third generation navy officer. i mean, i think people on the right were actually happy to hear president obama talk about destroy isis. because what many on the right have felt about this administration is that there is a lack of appetite to talk about victory and what victory looks like. the precipitous withdrawal from iraq that many people on the right thought was engaged in by
the obama administration, the hand wringing before engaging in a surge in afghanistan that many on the right thought and blamed the president for. true or not, people especially vets when they're ordered into battle if it's a lawful order, they do it. like butch and all his fellow devil dogs did. but they want to have faith and trust in the commander-in-chief and the national command authority regardless of party that there is a mission that can be accomplished and that victory is the ultimate goal. host: let's go to nathan, next, st. louis, missouri, republican. hi, nathan. caller: yes. i want to know why should we even still have a constitution or not just have a dictator? i don't care what law you pass or patriot act law you pass, it still doesn't trump the constitution even if you have the support of the majority of americans. you still have to get congressional approval to go to war. host: okay. >> that is certainly true. the question is why doesn't president obama have that approval? what i mean by that is he has a
plausible argument that the 2001 act congress passed overwhelmingly covers at least some use of force against isis. there is the 2002 statute which congress passed overwhelming supports some use of force against isis. i think everyone agrees and president obama would be at the front of the line saying we would all be better off with a case specific statute from congress with congress actually speaking to the threat directly. but not as a constitutional matter. i think that is really as a policy matter. constitutionally i think the president has all the authority he needs, at least in what we're doing so far. indeed, i think we are so obsessed with the legal conversation that we're missing butch's point, which is the question of why we're doing this in the first place. that's not a legal question but a political question, a moral question. we've jumped over those questions to get right to the fight over legal authority when, in fact, there's no -- this is a red herring. there is no real fight here over the legal authorities. host: that's our discussions the debate that's happening in washington and everywhere else,
should congress be giving the president authorization for this? does he have the legal authority? so i want our viewers to weigh in on that. let me get to the phone lines again. republicans 202-585-3881 and independents and all others 202-583-8882. we have two guests this morning to debate this. take your comments, take your questions about this. a law professor at american university washington college of law and charles simpson a senior legal fellow at heritage foundation and also served as the former deputy assistant defense secretary for detainee affairs. part of this conversation this morning. i want to ask you -- you both have said congress washed its hands of this and went away. the speaker of the house just as recently as yesterday told politico, it is has been precedent that the president has come to us and asked us to vote on this type of action. he has not done so.
why not lay this at the feet of the president? > this is the legal dance that happens between two people at the eighth glade dance. you got the girl on one side, congress is waiting for the handsome boy across the hall, the dance floor to come ask him to dance and he is too scared to ask. i mean, part of this, i don't want to be cute about this, really this goes back to syria and last year. the president asked for authority. congress didn't give it to him. the president doesn't want to get burned again by asking for something or putting something on paper that congress may reject. and congress -- and i think there's a political aspect to it, as well, as if that is not political enough. that is, this president was elected twice in part because he wanted to end the wars. for him to put his name on an aumf and send it up to the hill and have them pass it means that this president not only is
not the nonwar president, he's e war president with his own amof. >> among political scientists, these days we have a separation of parties not a separation of powers. i think that's what we are seeing in these kinds of exchanges. the notion congress shouldn't exercise its independent, institutional responsibility to act in this space to pass legislation because president obama didn't, you know, honor some debatable norm of protocol is i think to confuse little fights with big ones. the question here is if congress believes it has a role to play, congress should play that role no matter what the president says. so i don't know why any member of congress, republican or democrat, should care a wit whether president obama has or has not proposed his own legislation. if you believe as senator kaine clearly does that the far more responsible thing to do in this moment is for congress to pass a much more specific, much more limited use of force authorization who cares what the president did and didn't do? >> marie tweets in this.
actually obama should have built a rapport and interpersonal relationships with congress. richard next in lake placid, florida, independent caller. hi, richard. caller: good morning. host: good morning. caller: first of all we have a president, commander-in-chief who does not believe in victory. he stated that the way we won world war i and world war ii was flawed. and that it should never have happened that way. he also doesn't believe in the constitution. you know, he said as much that the constitution is a flawed document. we've seen by his actions and his policies that -- his immigration policy, his years in government entities like the irs against the people, conservative groups, and especially with obama care, changing it the way he does
without it going through congress, putting pressure on the supreme court, all kinds of stuff like this. this is what we're dealing with. >> okay. all right. >> well, i want to tie richard and marie's point together. there has been an ongoing series of actions by this administration that have at least to those on the right caused at least some misapprehension or concern about the president's fidelity to not only facing a forceful law but then follow laws as they're written. the extensions in obama care, the irs. the list goes on and on. we don't need to relitigate those because then steve and i will probably get in a good fis th fight or at least a wrestling match. and that is out there. that perception is out there. but i have never questioned whether or not president obama thinks we should be victorious and i've never questioned the fact that i think he wants to win. i mean, who -- what president
wouldn't want to win? i don't question his patriotism. you know, he may deliver speeches in ways that some on the right don't find satisfying. but that's a political question. >> i think president obama has been fairly clear whether you agree with him or believe him or not that the reason he thought it was so important to scale down and eventually withdraw troops from iraq and from afghanistan is because it is not in our interest to be in perpetual wars in multiple countries around the world. that's not about victory or defeat but national security at home. it costs money. it makes us less safe and that it ultimately is counterproductive from the foreign policy perspective to be involved in these wars that may drag on forever and forever and for generations. i don't think it's fair to say president obama doesn't believe in victory. i think president obama believes in trying to get us back to peace time. unfortunately, the rest of the world is not always willing to comply. we should hope we have commanders in chief,
republicans, democrats, whatever, who are, you know, aware enough or conscious enough of their role that they recognize that the long-term goal of peace time must at least at some moments be put aside for the short-term goal of preserving national defense. >> by the way, the "new york times" reporting this morning, another part of the president's strategy is cutting off the funding for isis, treasury announcing imposed sanctions on 11 people and one entity it said were sending financial and other support to terrorist groups including the islamic state. let me go to moe, herndon, virginia, democratic caller. go ahead. caller: this is moe. first of all i want to say i support president obama. secondly i want to say i'm a muslim. i think the media should stop using the name islamic fundamentalist on these criminals. if people don't fight for islam, you know, timothy mcxsgcaptionkeepcasenext cveigh -- timothy mcvey, ted bundy, these were christians. they were criminals.
i think the president has all the right -- anybody messes with the united states we should defend ourselves and start protecting the homeland. my point is there is nothing this president has done that people will support this guy. this is the most respectful president i've ever seen people disrespect. they don't even call him mr. president. obama. i have never seen a president being so disrespected in my entire life in this country. >> all right. moe, we'll go on to lafayette, louisiana. independent caller. you there? i got to put you on hold. turn that tv down and i'll try to come back to you. dean in virginia. democratic caller. hi, dean. caller: good morning and thank you for c-span. on the victory front, just a comment. you know, it's kind of like a game of chess. you have to make your moves very carefully. it seems that some people think victory is wearing boxing gloves and playing chess.
can't be done that way. you really have to be methodical. my question for the two guests if i may is if saddam hussein was not toppled and removed, do we think this situation in iraq and syria for that matter would be the same today or would it be different? i'll hang up and take the answer. thank you. >> you want to go first? >> sure. i think the situation in iraq would be very different. i mean, that's not to say it would be better. there is nothing to commend about saddam hussein's brutal regime. you know, the one, if there is one upside to a dictatorship it is at least some degree of control. too much control we might say. i don't know that syria would be any different. i think that was unraveling for a long time and i think it is entirely possible the conditions that allowed isis to flourish and spread in eastern syria would if anything have been exacerbated by the presence of a not so opposed strong man just across the southern border. i think we'd very much be in a similar situation perhaps not so much in iraq but in syria
even if the saddam hussein regime had not been toppled. the larger question is where would we be politically had we not gone through the experience of the iraq war? >> i don't think there is any way to answer that question. frankly. i think there's too many contingencies and what ifs and assumptions. it's a great question. can't answer it. >> another legal question for the two of you. that is on the u.n. resolution pushed by president obama yesterday at the security council, voted unanimously. and the "new york times" takes issue with it today in their editorial. new focus on foreign fighters. they say another problem with it is that while it specifically mentions isis and al qaeda, it also refers to other unnamed foreign terrorist fighters leaving the term open to different interpretations by different nations. this is not a new problem, an attempt by the u.n. to reach a comprehensive agreement on international terrorism has been dead locked for years over what constituted terrorist organizations. the u.s. for example considers
hamas a terrorist group but many other countries do not. the resolution stresses that actions taken against foreign fighters must be consistent with international laws including those governing human rights, refugees, and humanitarian concerns. but the potential for exaggerating the terrorism threat and overreaching with criminal laws that encourage the use of racial profiling to target some citizens, like muslims, or persecution of adversaries is very real both in democracyy and authoritarian regimes. >> i think that's true. i mean, i guess the question is what is this going to look like on the ground? part of the problem is we are already there in many regards with regard to our own domestic laws when it comes to counterterrorism. there already are these laws in force especially against muslim communities. muslim communities bear the excessive weight of a lot of the preventative restraints we've seen congress enact in the last 13 years. the real question about the resolution is not what it says but what it actually does. how is it going to change what
countries are doing on the ground? already we're doing the stuff. and so i think, you know, the question is not is this a new problem? are we going to be more aware of this problem now that we're sharing it with our friends overseas? this has been a real complaint about the u.s. counterterrorism strategies and shortly after 9/11 in the immediate aftermath of the attacks all these muslim men were rounded up in manhattan. how do we ensure we are going after the right threat and not over exaggerating it and thereby sweeping too broad of a net? >> i'll just agree with steve and move on to the next question. >> civil liberties as well. >> well look. let me draw out one of steve's points. i don't think the resolution is going to affect one way or the other what we do here at home. i think we've had a lot of growing pains in terms of how we address privacy, civil liberties, yet at the same time have robust counterterrorism and national security policies in place. there have been a lot of amendments to those policies. there have been supreme court
cases. i don't think that resolution is going to affect how we do business at all. i think to steve's point it's really going to -- the focus should be on how those other countries, those coalition partners, eeffectuate on the ground those principles. >> all right. let's go back to lafayette, louisiana, independent caller. you're on the air. caller: i am calling from waterloo, iowa. i have three questions. rst question is the five prisoners released and they have not yet arrived to afghanistan. where are they? and the republicans standing up and saying why they were not informed about their release. question is, what are the 195 remaining in guantanamo bay prisoners? what section of the law are
they locked up -- they have been fasting during ramadan and they have been treated very .adly there's been information that they are under no law. >> i'm going to jump in at this point. you're shaking your head, mr. stimson. >> let me try to interpret biba's several questions into one or two. i think her primary question was, where are the five high ranking taliban detainees released from guantanamo in exchange for sergeant beaugard -- bowe bergdahl. they injure qatar and essentially under house arrest for some years from the date of their arrival. where they go from there we don't have a ton of clarity on. insofar as her question as it relates to fasting at guantanamo, that has happened essentially from the very
beginning. it's not unique to guantanamo. prisoners in other places in the united states jails and elsewhere have not eaten as a form of political protest. the balance is this. and i dealt with this as head of the detainee affairs for a period of time. we allow them the freedom, the right to politically protest in the form of a hunger strike. at the same time both the bush and obama administrations have determined they are going to allow a political protest but not to the point where they kill themselves because we believe in the sanctity of life even for people incarcerated or under the law of war in detention. it is a tough, moral issue but i think both administrations got it right. >> if i can stick with mr. stimson for a second. i want to ask about isis and now guantanamo. what happens if these isis fighters are captured by the united states? where are they going? >> yeah. i started a little twitter debate right after the isis
situation came to fore. that was, you know, what's the plan that the administration has for if -- if and when they capture isis fighters? of course, today in the miami herald carol rosenberg has a piece wherin she quotes me and others and the administration saying, you know, we're not bringing any isis fighters if we even capture any to gitmo. i think that opens a whole can of worms. i'm not surprised they said that. they've maintained that all along that they're not bringing any additional people to gitmo. if we get to the point where we capture them or we're forced to take custody of them because some of our coalition partners hand them over to us or we're in joint operations with them and we don't necessarily want to hand them over to some of our coalition partners who have less than stellar human rights records, you know, do we put them on a ship for interrogation? do we reestablish detention facilities in iraq? we don't have them anymore? do we bring them back to the united states for a prosecution
in federal district court? do we even have the statutes that allow us to do that? does the obama administration set up a detention facility in the united states which the president asked the defense department a couple years to look into? so these are all open questions. we don't have any answers to them at all. >> just three quick points in response. i think first on the question of what to do for capture, first i think it's only going to really happen if we start putting troops on the ground. we're not there yet. if we are i disagree with one premise suggested which is i think the criminal laws are fully capable of dealing with individuals we have any reason to connect to isis in iraq and syria. i have no concern that the obama administration would bring them back for trial. in dede we have not sent any new suspect to guantanamo since 2008 before president obama came to office. i don't think there is any reason why that would change now. i think part of that is because we evolved these laws we were
discussing earlier. after the hunger strikes i think it is important to add one layer to the description of the hunger strikes. part of what the detainees, and there are still 149 of them at guantanamo, are protesting, are changes in their conditions of confinement. these harsher search procedures they're being subjected to including searches of their genital areas before they can even make a phone call to their lawyers let alone meet with their lawyers in person. that is currently being litigated here in d.c. in federal appeals court. i wouldn't assume this is all as benign as it may sound. i think there is actually a real new problem at guantanamo that the detainees are trying to use the hunger strikes to object about. that's still being litigated. there is a larger point i think worth underscoring here which is the fact that we still have 149 men at guantanamo being detained under the auspices of the 9/11 act underscores why the use of open ended force is such a bad idea because 13 years later they give us a problem we can't solve and why i think it is so imperative to
not look back at the 2002 iraq statutes which are so broad and open ended and limitless talking about isis. we don't want 13 years from now to have a guantanamo isis. i think that's why we need congress to pass something much more specific that actually talks about what the detention authority is going to be, how long people can be held, where they're going to be held, which is something congress never did after 9/11. >> well, if you want to follow what's happening at guantanamo, "miami herald" reporter carol rosenberg has been covering this extensively. the guantanamo page of the miami herald is where you can find the story mr. stimson was talking about. islamic state prisoners to guantanamo? white house says no. richard, florida, democratic caller. you're up. caller: yes. can't understand why -- >> eric holder. >> hello everybody. lease have a seat.
bobby kennedy once said, on this generation of americans falls the full burden of proving to the world that we really mean it when we say all men are created free and equal before the law. as one of the longest serving attorney generals in american history, eric holder has borne that burden. over the summer he came to me and he said he thought six years was a pretty good run. i imagine his family agrees. like me, eric married up. he and his wife, dr. sharon malone, a nationally renowned ob-gyn have been great friends to me and michelle for years. i know brooke and mia and buddy are excited to get their dad back for a while. so this is bitter sweet. but with his typical dedication eric has agreed to stay on as attorney general until i nominate a successor. that successor -- and that
successor is confirmed by the senate, which means he'll have a chance to add to a proud career of public service, one that began nearly 40 years ago as a young prosecutor in the department that he now runs. he was there for 12 years taking on political corruption until president reagan named him to the bench as a judge. later, president clinton called him back. so all told eric has served at the justice department under six presidents of both parties including a several day stint as acting attorney general the start of george w. bush's first term. and through it all, he has shown a deep and abiding fidelity to our most cherished ideals as a people and that is equal justice under the law. as younger men eric and i both studied law, and i chose him to serve as attorney general because he believes as i do
that justice is not just an abstract theory. it's a living and breathing principle. it's about how our laws interact with our daily lives. it's about whether we can make an honest living, whether we can provide for our families. whether we feel safe in our own communities and welcomed in our own country. whether the words that the founders set to paper 238 years ago apply to every single one of us and not just some. that's why i made him america's lawyer, the people's lawyer. that comes with a big portfolio from counterterrorism to civil rights, public corruption, to white collar crime, and alongside the incredible men and women of the justice department, men and women that i promise you he is proud of and will deeply miss, eric has done a superb job. he's worked side by side with
our intelligence community and the department of homeland security to keep us safe from terrorist attacks and to counter violent extremism. on his watch federal courts have successfully prosecuted hundreds of terror cases, proving that the world's finest justice system is fully capable of delivering justice for the world's most wanted terrorists. he's rooted out corruption and fought violent crime. under his watch a few years ago the fbi successfully carried out the largest mafia takedown in american history. he's worked closely with state and local law enforcement officers to make sure that they've got the resources to get the job done. he's managed funds under the recovery act to make sure when budgets took a hit thousands of cops were able to stay on the beat nationwide. he's helped safeguard our markets from manipulation and consumers from financial fraud. since 2009 the justice department has brought more than 60 cases against financial
institutions and won some of the largest settlements in history for practices related to the financial crisis. recovering $85 billion, much of it returned to ordinary americans who were badly hurt. he's worked passionately to make sure our criminal justice system remains the best in the world. he knows that too many outdated policies no matter how well intentioned perpetuated a destructive cycle in too many communities. so eric addressed unfair sentencing disparities, reworked mandatory minimums, and promoted alternatives to incarceration. thanks to his efforts, since i took office, the overall crime rate and the overall incarceration rate have gone down by about 10%. that's the first time they've declined together at the same time in more than 40 years. eric's proudest achievement
though might be reinvigorating and restoring the core mission to what he calls the conscience of the building and that's the civil rights division. he has been relentless against attacks on the voting rights act because no citizen including our service members should have to jump through hoops to exercise their most fundamental rights. he's challenged the discriminatory state immigration laws that not only risk harassment of citizens and legal immigrants but actually made it harder for law enforcement to do its job. under his watch the department has brought a record number of prosecutions for human trafficing and for hate crimes because no one in america should be afraid to walk down the street because of the color of their skin, the love in their heart, the faith they practice, or the disabilities that they live with. he's dramatically advanced the cause of justice for native americans, working closely with their communities. and several years ago he recommended that our government stop defending the defense of
marriage act. a decision that was vindicated by the supreme court and opened the door to federal recognition of same sex marriage and federal benefits for same sex couples. it's a pretty good track record. eric's father was an immigrant who served in the army in world war ii only to be refused service at lunch counters in the nation he defended. but he and his wife raised their son to believe this country's promise was real. and that son grew up to become attorney general of the united states. and that's something. and that's why eric's worked so hard not just in my administration but for decades to open up the promise of this country to more striving, dreaming kids like him. to make sure that those words -- life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -- are made real for all of us. soon eric, sharon, and their kids will be a bit freer to pursue a little more happiness
of their own and thanks to eric's efforts so will more americans, regardless of race or religion, gender or creed, sexual orientation, or disability, who will receive fair and equal treatment under the law. so i just want to say thank you, eric. thank you to the men and women of the justice department who worked day in and out for the american people, and we could not be more grateful for everything that you've done not just for me and the administration but for our country. applause]
>> i come to this moment with very mixed emotions. i'm proud of what the men and women of the department of justice have accomplished over the last six years and at the same time very sad that i will not be a formal part, a formal part of the great things this department and this president will accomplish over the next two. i want to thank you, mr. president, for the opportunity that you gave me to serve and for giving you the greatest honor of my professional life. we have been great colleagues but the bonds between us are much deeper than that. in good times and in bad, in things personal and in things professional, you have been there for me. i'm proud to call you my
friend. i am also fwrateful for the support you have given me and the department as we have made real the visions that you and i have always shared. i often think of those early talks between us about our belief that we might help to craft a more perfect union. work remains to be done but our list of accomplishments is real. over the last six years, our administration, your administration has made historic gains in realizing the principles of the founding documents and fought to protect the most sacred of american rights, the right to vote. we have begun to realize the promise of equality for our lbgt brothers and sisters and their families. we have begun to significantly reform our criminal justice system and reconnect those who bravely serve in law enforcement with the communities that they protect. we have kept faith with our
belief in the power of the greatest judicial system the world has ever known to fairly and effectively adjudicate any cases that are brought before it. including those that involve the security of the nation that we both love so dearly. we have taken steps to protect the environment and make more fair the rules by which our commercial enterprises operate and we have held accountable those who would harm the american people either through violent means or the misuse of economic or political power. i have loved the department of justice ever since as a young boy i watched robert kennedy prove during the civil rights movement how the department can and must always be a force for that which is right. i hope that i have done honor to the faith that you have placed in me, mr. president, and to the legacy of all those who have served before me. i would also like to thank the vice president who i have known for so many years and in whom i
have found great wisdom, unwavering support, and a shared vision of what america can and should be. i want to recognize my good friend, valerie jarrett, whom i've been fortunate to work with from the beginning of what started as an improbable, idealistic effort by a young senator from illinois who we were both right to believe would achieve greatly. i have had the opportunity to serve in your distinguished cabinet and worked with a white house chief of staff -- white house staff abley led by dennis mcdone ago that has done much to make real the promise of our democracy and the -- each of the men and women who i have come to know will be life-long friends. whatever my accomplishments, they could not have been achieved without the love, support, and guidance of two people who are not here with me and -- my parents eric
miriam holder nurtured me and my accomplished brother william and made us believe in the value of individual effort and the greatness of this nation. my time in public service which now comes to an end would not have been possible without the sacrifices too often unfair made by the best three kids a father could ask for. thank you mia, thank you, brooke, and thank you, buddy. and finally, i want to thank the woman who sacrificed the most and allowed me to follow my dreams. she's the foundation of all that our family is and the basis of all that i have become. my wife, sharon, is the unsung hero, and she is my life partner. thank you for all that you have done. i love you. in the months ahead i will leave the department of justice but i will never, i will never leave the work. i will continue to serve and
try to find ways to make our nation even more true to its founding ideals. i want to thank the dedicated public servants who form the backbone of the united states department of justice, for their tireless work over the past six years, for the efforts they will continue, and for the progress that they made and that will outlast us all. i want to thank you all for joining me on a journey that now moves in another direction but that will always be guided by the pursuit of justice and aimed at the north star. thank you. applause] >> and president obama with the
announcement that attorney general eric holder is resigning. we're going to be taking your calls. the phone number is up on the screen for those joining us via radio, for democrats the number to call is 202-585-3885. for republicans, 202-585-3886, and for independents and others, 202-585-3887. you can also send us a tweet at -- using the 12 c-span chat. we'll get right to your phone calls. thomas is on the line calling from aurora, illinois, for independents. thomas, what are your thoughts on the announcement of the resignation? >> hello. my thoughts are very complex and many of them, but i'll try to be very brief and get as much as i can in here. it's very sad the karma that comes back at the united states
and the citizens of the united states and the citizens of the rld because of the flagrant, malicious corruption that is occurring in all sectors. >> what about, specifically, with attorney general eric holder? do you have anything in mind specifically here? >> specifically with attorney general eric holder, obama and holder failed maliciously because they know better to call for an end of the baby a der abortion that is terrible karma that comes back at us, a violence that comes forms, s, and in many whether terrorism or extreme weather. >> sorry, thomas, to cut you
off there. we are going to move on. we're taking your calls on the resignation just announced by president obama of attorney general eric holder. dave, you're out west in seattle, washington on the democrats line. what are your thoughts? caller: yes, my thoughts are that representative holder, he represented the country from his own experiences. that's what we need, somebody black who actually lived through it. his wife was a personal victim of this when she was discriminated against when she tried to attend an all white school. you know, president obama, he was also pushed by attorney general holder as the first black attorney general, it would have been different if a white attorney general had been there. he was speaking from a personal point of view, heart felt. >> what did you hear from attorney general holder during the ferguson case that you think would have been different? caller: i feel like it would
have been different because a person went there who wasn't black couldn't actually have felt what the mike brown family was feeling. because it seems like to me that in america because of this racial history and racial past, you know, black people's lives, our kids' lives, whatever, it don't carry the same weight as a white person's when they are killed. people listen and they actually believe that something was going to be done. also he pushed president obama because president obama would these e went -- with injustices and all of these different types -- ronald reagan shut down the civil rights division, you know, and he opened it back up and made it useful to help everyone. host: dave, are you still with us? dave is gone now. we'll go on to tyler, republicans line.
what are your thoughts? caller: hi. how's it going? eric holder, obviously he's impressive. he's been under six presidents, different presidents. but i do think this was, the justice department was the most scandal ridden justice department we've had in the history of the united states. i mean going down the line you have discriminatory hiring practices, fort hood, ap surveillance, you have them targeting fox news reporter james rosen. you have -- i mean, opposition to second amendment rights, arizona immigration law. he was against voter i.d. laws in the past. obviously the fast and furious scandal. i just think, you know, it was time to step down. i think he was feeling the heat. i don't know. that's -- those are my thoughts.
most democrats are not going to believe, you know, agree with me but i don't know. that's what -- those are my thoughts. >> okay, tyler. thanks a lot. we'll look at some tweets here. one from kelly waxman talking about one of the issues that may still follow attorney contempt ic holder, of congress case against holder will proceed and a link from the "washington times." then just two obama originals will remain after holder leaves. that's the education secretary arne duncan and agriculture secretary tom vilsack. and a look at our facebook page. a couple people leaving messages, matt says i hope they bring criminal charges against him, the attorney general, for all the unconstitutional things he's done since taking that position. and christopher writes, if that's what he wants to do, more power to him. six years is a lot in a high stress leadership role like that. you can also weigh in and check out other viewers' comments.
facebook.com/c-span. back to your calls from new york, new york, barbara is on the line, democrats line. barbara, what do you think of this resignation? what might happen beyond this? caller: actually, that was a pseudonym. my name is nancy. i would like to recommend to president obama that he nominate ramsey clarke, the former u.s. attorney general and the best in my lifetime. host: and why is that, barbara? caller: because he represents what unfortunately this administration is lacking -- due process for all. but i would like to compliment eric holder in his search for civil rights, in his demonstration that he supports civil rights. i think that's where he's been the best. but on the other hand, what i've said about due process, really has been missing in this administration. host: all right, barbara.
thanks for your call. bobby is on the line for republicans in washington, georgia. bobby? what do you think? caller: how you doing? host: pretty good. caller: well, i just want to say i think that civil rights thing is over. everybody had the same chance in life now regardless of your color. i went through a bad situation 25 years ago with my son who never got into the school he wanted because of affirmative action. it really hurt me. and i think part of this justice system hurt that. we need to do away with affirmative action. everybody is on the same level. we need to start over and go from there. if we don't, this country is gone. thank you very much. host: thank you, bobby. vince is on the line. vince, this is attorney general eric holder. he's the fourth longest to be in position of attorney general. you're calling on the independents and others line. what are your thoughts as he announces his resignation?
caller: well, my thoughts are that i haven't seen anything that he did that lacked integrity in his office. i haven't seen anything our president has done that lacked integrity in his office. the last person, barbara, she said her name was originally then changed it, claimed to be a democrat, i don't know. i personally don't -- i'm an independent as you know. i believe that the attorney general did a fair job and i believe him and the president both spoke eloquently and people who believe that we don't need affirmative action guidelines or at least guidelines that prevent discrimination, all you have to do is look at the recent case in missouri and i believe it was missouri, where -- host: ferguson, missouri, right. caller: right. to see there are still situations where changes need to be done. fortunately, there, they can be done because you have a 65% population of african-american people who can vote in somebody and the changes can be made that way. but i believe eric holder did
an excellent job. he showed great integrity. i believe he and the president both addressed the issues very well and he's leaving the office with honor. good luck to him. i hope he enjoys his retirement. host: vince, while you are still on the line, sounds like he is going to stay in position until a successor is named. do you have any preferences there, anybody in mind you think would be good in that position? or the type of leader there? caller: i think the president made a good decision and i think he'll make a good decision going forward and i don't think there is any reason to have mr. holder do anything other than stay in place until he finds somebody who is a replacement. i wish him the best of luck. host: all right. a look now at what the chair of the senate judiciary committee has to say to the statement of his, patrick leahy of vermont saying under his leadership the department has had remarkable success in convicting terrorists and disrupting threats to national security, while upholding the department's mission of keeping our communities safe. and then another statement,
this is from darryl issa the chair of the government reform committee in the house by needlessly injecting politics into law enforcement holder's legacy has eroded more confidence in our legal system than any attorney general before him. aura lee is on the line for democrats calling from rochester, new york. what are your thoughts? caller: my thought is i just the to congratulate attorney general. an excellent job well done. as he moves into this next phase of his life, whatever it is, i pray that god will continue to bless him, bless him and his family. i pray that god will bless the president of this united states to whom ever he puts in there. i hope the person will be for the people. host: what do you mean, aura lee, by for the people? caller: when we can work
together as a people i don't care whom you are, we're going to take everybody -- take the best interests of what should be done when we work in unity with one another and do the best that we can. because there are so many opinions as i listen to, i'm not in the white house. i'm not there to see what is going on no more than what is being ews, but him there in the job working on the job i think that he's done an excellent job. >> all right. thanks. and up in new jersey, sticklerville, got bob on the line for independents and others. bob, the resignation of attorney general eric holder. what are your thoughts and your reflections on the job that he did? caller: i think he did a great job not prosecuting black-on-white crime and they give a knockout game, the moniker game.
really? my grandmother was punched in the face in philadelphia, man. they want to call it nothing. host: all right. that was bob in new jersey. stan is on the line. for republicans in evened, north carolina. caller: yes. i think mr. holder should have left when he was found in contempt of congress. i don't know how we can say he did a good job. he ignored laws he didn't want to prosecute. i mean, the man was no good. i hope he don't get a pension. host: okay. stan in eden, north carolina. warren is next calling from brandon, florida. what are your thoughts? caller: yeah. what i want to say, i wish attorney general holder all the best. i think he was a great attorney general. we have had great ones. i think he's one of the great ones. all the rhetoric i've heard so far, people shouldn't forget that this was the man that made v.p. pay back $20 billion.
this was the man that brought down a lot of terrorists and prosecuted those terrorists. this was the man that put up with darrell issa and the disrespect that a congress shows that is unprecedented in showing that kind of disrespect but yet this man continues on espite the people who were denigrating him. and he still continues on. i think he is one of the great ones. host: all right. caller: i think people like darrell issa need to step down. maybe holder needs to stay. host: all right, warren. thanks for your call. a tweet here from barbara lee of california. she kind of echoes some of those sentiments. attorney general eric holder has been a tireless champion for justice for all americans. his efforts will be missed at the department of justice. and then reporter for fox news writes, house judiciary committee chair goodlatte says i welcome the news that eric holder will step down. holder has consistently played partisan politics.
and thanks for your calls for this session of our phones. we will be opening the phone lines back up again tomorrow morning, 7:00 a.m. eastern time. you can weigh in. also check out our facebook page, facebook.com/c-span. as we take another look back at the announcement just made by president obama on the resignation of attorney general --. >> ladies and gentlemen the president of the united states and attorney general, eric holder. >> hello everybody. lease have a seat. bobby kennedy once said, on this generation of americans falls the full burden of proving to the world that we really mean it when we say all men are created free and equal before the law. as one of the longest serving attorney generals in american history, eric holder has borne that burden.
and over the summer he came to me and he said he thought six years was a pretty good run. i imagine his family agrees. like me, eric married up. he and his wife dr. sharon malone a nationally renowned ob-gyn have been great friends to michelle and me for years. i know brooke and mia and buddy are excited to get their dad back for a while. so this is bitter sweet. but with his typical dedication, eric has agreed to stay on as attorney general until i nominate his successor. and that successor is confirmed by the senate, which means he'll have a chance to add to a proud career of public service, one that began nearly 40 years ago as a young prosecutor in the department that he now runs. he was there for 12 years taking on political corruption until president reagan named him to the bench as a judge. later, president clinton called
him back. all told eric has served at the justice department under six presidents of both parties. including a several day stint as acting attorney general the start of george w. bush's first term. and through it all, he has shown a deep and abiding fidelity to one of our most cherished ideals as a people, and that is equal justice under the law. as younger men, eric and i both studied law, and i chose him to serve as attorney general because he believes as i do that justice is not just an abstract theory. it's a living and breathing principle. it's about how our laws interact with our daily lives. it's about whether we can make an honest living, whether we can provide for our families, whether we feel safe in our own communities and welcomed in our
own country, whether the words that the founders set to paper 238 years ago apply to every single one of us and not just some. that's why i made him america's theportfolio, and alongside incredible men and women of the justice department, men and women that i promise you he is proud up and it will be the biggest, eric has done a job. he has worked side-by-side with our intelligence community to keep us safe from terrorist counter violent extremism. federal courts have successfully prosecuted hundreds of terror cases, proving that the world's finest justice system is capable of delivering justice for the most wanted terrorists.
he has rooted out corruption and fought violent crime. under his watch a few years ago carried out the largest mafia takedown in american history. he has worked carefully with state and local law enforcement officers to make sure they have the resources to get the job fundsand he has managed so that thousands of cops could say on the beat nation mighwide. since 2009, the justice department has brought more than 60 cases against financial won some ofs, and the largest settlements in history for practices related to the financial crisis. billion,g over $85 much of it return to ordinary americans who were badly hurt. he has worked passionately to make sure our criminal justice system remains the best in the world.
he knows too many outdated policies, no matter how well-intentioned, perpetuate a d struck to into many communities. unfair spending and promoted alternatives to incarceration. thanks to his efforts, since i took office the overall crime rate and the overall incarceration rate have gone down by about 10%. that is the first time they have declined together at the same time in more than 40 years. achievementstant might be reinvigorating and restoring the core mission to what he calls the conscience of the building, and that is the civil rights division. he has been relentless against attacks on the voting rights act, because no citizen should have to jump through hoops to exercise their most fundamental right. he has challenged the
discriminatory state immigration harassment of citizens, but made it harder for law enforcement to do its job. under his watch the department has brought a record number of prosecutions for human trafficking and for hate crimes, because no one in america should be afraid to walk down the street because of the color of their skin, 11 their heart, the faith a practice, or the disabilities that they live with. cause ofvanced the justice for native americans, working closely with their communities, in several years ago he recommended our government stop defending the defense of marriage act, a decision that was vindicated by the supreme court and opened the door to federal recognition of same-sex marriage and federal benefits for same-sex couples. a pretty good track record. an immigrant was who served in the army in world war ii only to be refused service at lunch counters in the
nation he defended. but he and his wife raised their son to believe that this country's promise was real, and grew up to be attorney general of the united states, and that is something. that is why eric has worked so hard for decades to open up the promise of this country to more striving, dreaming kids like him, to make sure that those words, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, are made real for all of us. , sharon, and their kids will be a bit freer to pursue more happiness of their own, and thanks to eric's efforts, so will more americans, regardless of race or religion, gender or creed, sexual orientation or disability, who will receive fair and equal treatment under the law. i want to say thank you, eric. and womento the men of the justice department who work day in and out for the
american people, and we could not be more grateful for everything that you've done, not just for me and the administration, but for our country. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] i come to this moment with mixed emotions, probably the men
and women of the justice have accomplished over the last six years and at the same time sad that i will not be a formal part of the great angst that this department and this president will compost over the next two. i want to thank you, mr. president, for the opportunity you gave me to serve and for giving me the greatest honor of my professional life. we have been great colleague's come up with the bonds between us are touch deeper than that. in good times and in bad, things personal and professional, you have been there for me. i am proud to call you my friend. i am also grateful for the support you've given me and the department as we have made real divisions that you and i have always shared. i think of those early talks between us about our belief that we might help to craft a more perfect union. work remains to be done, but our list of the compliments israel.
real. over the last six years, your administration has made his start gains in realizing the principles of the founding documents and fought to protect the most sacred of american rights, the right to vote. we have begun to realize the promise of equality for our lgbt brothers and sisters and their families. we begun to significantly reform our criminal justice system and bravelyt those who serve in law enforcement with the communities that they protect. we have kept faith with our belief in the power of the greatest judicial system in the world has ever known to fairly and effectively adjudicate any cases that are brought before it, including those that involve the security of the nation that we both love so dearly. if taken steps to protect the environment and make more fair the rules by which our commercial enterprises operate. and we have held accountable
those who would harm the american people come either through violent means or the this use of economic or political power. i have loved the department of justice ever since as a young boy. i watched robert kennedy proved during the civil rights movement how the department can and must always be a force for that which is right. i hope that i have done honor to the faith that you have placed in me, mr. president, and to the legacy of all those who have served before me. i would also like to thank the vice president, who i have known for so many years and in whom i have found great wisdom, unwavering support, and a shared vision of what america can and should be. i want to recognize my good whom i valerie jarrett, have been fortunate to work with from the beginning of what started as an improbable, idealistic effort by a young senator from illinois, who we right wouldre
achieve greatness. i have had the opportunity to survey in your cabinet and work with a white house chief of staff, -- white house staff, led by denis mcdonough. each of the men and women who i have come to know will be lifelong friends. whatever my compliments, they could not have been achieved without the love, support, and guidance of two bill who are not with meat -- to people who are not with me today. my parents nurtured me, and my theher helped me believe in value of individual effort and the greatness of this nature. my time in public service, which now comes to an end, would i have been possible without the sacrifices, too often unfair, made by the best three kids a father could ask for. thank you, maya, thank you,
brooke, and thank you, buddy. finally, i want to thank the woman whose express the most and allowed me to follow my dreams. she is the foundation of all that our family is in the basis of all that i have become. my wife sharon is the unsung hero, and she is my life partner terry thank you for all that you have done. i love you. in the months ahead i will leave the department of justice, but i will never, i will never leave the work. i will continue to serve and try to find ways to make our nation even more true to its founding ideals. i want to thank the dedicated theic servants who formed backbone of the united states department of justice for their tireless worker the past six years and the efforts they will continue and for the progress that they made and that will outlast us all. i want to thank you all for
joining me on a journey that now buts in another direction, that will always be guided by the pursuit of justice and aimed at the north star. thank you. [applause] >> [indiscernible] >> if you missed any of the president's announcement, we will be showing them again tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. you can share your opinions and comments on c-span's facebook page, or send us a chat using #c spanchat. phoenix was at the center of an
inspector general's report about long wait times and problems delivering patient treatment. you can watch that at 8:00 eastern, on c-span2. 2014 coverage continues tonight with the debate between the candidates for nebraska's second congressional district. brad ashford met in omaha in what is called a tossup race. here are some recent ads that were released i the candidates. time, ourpoint in homeless veterans cite a contract with the united states government, said we will go to battle, and we will give our life when it is necessary. when you talk about a list of veterans in a veterans' cemetery, you hear lee terry's name. you don't hear anyone else in congress. thank you for giving us an opportunity to serve them. >> i am lee terry, and i
approve this message. >> my dad flew a b-26 bomber over france on d-day. he taught me early never forget those that serve our nation. my disagreements with congressman lee terry aren't personal, but his votes against veterans sure are. congressman terry shut down the government, defended his own pay while soldiers were on the battlefield, and protected congressional perks like taxpayer-paid health care for life while cutting veterans care. i'm brad ashford. our promises to veterans are personal and why i approve this message. >> lee terry's fighting to keep our neighborhoods safe and strong. he secured grants to strengthen community policing. and he fought for the violence against women act, supported new laws to crack down on human trafficking, and lee terry passed a law empowering the neighborhood activists to start a new f.m. radio station, giving voice to a community working to stop street violence. lee terry, working hard to keep
us safe. >> i'm lee terry, and i approve this message. >> i'm not running for congress to represent any political party. i'm running to make a difference for nebraska. reducing partisanship in washington isn't one easy step one single day or electing one new member. i'm going to work from day number one to create a coalition of 25 members of congress to set aside partisanship and focus on solving problems. >> you can watch the candidates debate live tonight at 9:00 eastern time on c-span. and more campaign 2014 coverage continuing tomorrow night from oregon. incumbent between governor and dennis richardson. safelyce is called
democratic. candidates in virginia 10th congressional district held a debate recently. they debated yesterday for about an hour. [applause] >> thank you very much. again, good to get the opportunity to meet you. we will again with opening statements. each candidate will have five minutes for opening statements. timekeeper is in the front. candidates how we are going to do this. i am going to let you finish the sentence, because i think that is what serves the audience and the people listening. when you get to the end i may
not stop you in midsentence, but tried to finish the sentence as opposed to a paragraph or chapter. that way there will be no complaints afterwards that i favor one side over the -- over the other. rebuttals will be at my discretion. certainly if in a rebuttal and one references an attack or whatever, your opponent, that will be an obvious opportunity for me to give the person that has been referenced an opportunity to speak. let's begin with opening statements, five minutes, because of the coin toss. please begin. >> good afternoon. today the real battles we face face are not about of left versus right or really the past versus the future and status quo versus moving forward. what i love about the district is the opportunity to work for
and with the people who are inventing the future. the people who understand how innovation will restore the american dream, lift people out of poverty, ease the middle-class burden and get us back on the path to prosperity. in the virginia general assembly, i have worked with so many of you on getting that back on path and getting the job done. my priority as your congressman will be first getting back to work. second, repealing and replacing obamacare with patient-centered reforms that put you in place with health care. third, stopping the sequester cuts that threaten not only our jobs but threaten our national security. my opponent and i do have different visions for the future. he thinks the answer to many and almost all of our problems is to raise taxes. he has voted raising property taxes year after year. 20% sales tax increase. medical device taxes.
additional taxes on the sale of a home. now he says he will hold the line on taxes. those are a lot of taxes. i get it, we need to ease the burden on hard-working taxpayers. that is why my priorities have always been jobs and the economy. i have had bipartisan successes and results to prove it. that datacenter legislation i know you're familiar with is helping grow the 21st century jobs. providing workplace stability and getting those cars off the road. the research and development tax credit that we passed this year that so many of you worked on
and the governor signed into law, and we need a permanent at the federal level tax credit and permanent 20% tax reform in washington. it went so far as to attack me personally to say i never had a real job. those who know a thing or two about real jobs have now looked at both of us and have endorsed me in the case of the u.s. chamber of commerce, national association of women business owners, the realtors or credit unions, former chairs of the northern virginia techologies council, former chairman of the chamber, and the police. people have supported democrats and republicans alike. i passed legislation reform that is already saving us hundreds of millions of dollars as we move forward on those projects. legislation my opponent opposed. i worked a good offshore drilling in virginia and expanding the approach to energy development, including the keystone pipeline.
with today's increasingly volatile international situation our energy economy is not only about jobs, not only about getting jobs for transportation with offshore drilling, but an important and vital foreign policy area. i passed legislation cracking down on the growing crime of human trafficking and lyme disease legislation, and testing of newborns for congenital heart defects so we can save those babies lives early on. coming from a family of educators i have always focused on education. one of the first things we had to do together that we did here with the chamber was to reverse the cuts the previous democratic governor had made to the northern virginia schools. we got rid of the cuts to the schools and got rid of tax increases and balanced the budget. together we balanced the budget
every year. many in washington are cynical. i totally disagree with that. everything here allows us to get back on the path and make sure everyone can live the dream and one of the most diverse districts. we know we can get back on that path. i can hit the ground on day one that the majority in congress to continue the tradition of my mentor, congressman frank wolf. i ask for your vote on november 4 to continue work with and for you. thank you very much. >> this brings me to something i should've said earlier, and that is, please hold your applause. those of you trying to applaud
for the supervisor, please do so, but after that, the most important voice you have in the debate is the vote you cast on election day. this just takes away from our ability to question candidates and their inability to say where they stand. so if i can ask politely at we not applaud. after the one applause we will be even. five minutes were opening statements. >> thank you. good afternoon, everyone. it is a real pleasure to be here. i have enjoyed working with the northern business community over the past seven years. before that as an active member of the business community. i look forward to working with you and continue to work with you and serving you as your congressman. i have often been asked why i am
running for congress. i have to pause and say to answer that i have to tell you a story. i will tell you about my background and my values. basically, i was born in johnstown, pennsylvania, a steel mill town. my dad was a laborer on the railroad. he could not afford to send me to college. i had to work in a steel mill. i paid for my education. when i was done, i got an mba and a law degree in the financing and accounting department at c&p telephone. i went to school full time at night. i tell you that story so i can tell you why i am running for congress. i had tremendous opportunities to ultimately live the american dream.
that is not happening in america today. there is not enough opportunity. education has become too expensive and limited to too few. i believe we have to change that. i think the way we are going to have to do that is we have to deal with the congress that is broken. obviously far too partisan. holding our country back. we have to make a change. the way to make a change is to send new people to washington. i have served on the fairfax board of supervisors for seven years. we do them the right way. when i ran in 2011, i was the first democrat ever reelected in my district.
i carry every single precinct and over 60% of the vote. i hope you agree that demonstrates i have been a leader that works with both parties, businesses, and the residents to solve problems and to get things done. on the board of supervisors i served as vice chairman on the budget committee. i balance seven budgets and tough economic times by working with fellow board members and community. we have cut tens of millions of dollars of wasteful spending. as chairman, i have saved taxpayers millions of dollars by cutting waste and inefficiencies. as chairman of the economic advisory commission i spent six years working with county staff and dozens of business leaders in the northern virginia community to expand our economic environment. our mission is to improve the business climate.
we make the county more attractive to business and a knowledge-based 21st-century economy. we do this by supporting public schools and infrastructure investment like the silver line project and transit-oriented development in tysons and the corridor. these are things we do. we focus on reviewing and improving the regulatory process. so when i go to congress my priorities will be to get past partisanship and work across the aisle like we do in fairfax county so we can deal with fiscal challenges and make washington work again. we need a functioning congress to address and solve our fiscal challenges and create jobs and opportunities by investing in job creators, like education and infrastructure and research and development. we need to improve education at all levels, including expanding
early childhood education, placing more emphasis on stem subjects and making college more affordable. we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform so we can take advantage of everyone's talents and make it easier for highly educated foreigners to come to our country or stay and our country and contribute to our prosperity. over the next hour you will hear differences between barbara and myself. i'm looking forward to the discussion. i hope you will take away from this debate a good sense of both of us. thank you very much. >> i will not ask many questions but i will start by asking one. virginia's congressional delegation is going to take a hit. jim moran, a senior democrat, is retiring.
frank wolf, a senior republican with committee assignments, is retiring. tons of proven ability to get things done. eric cantor was defeated surprisingly in a primary. a lot of seniority, know-how is going out the door. one of you will be a freshman member of the house. which of you is better equipped to at least help in part to offset some of what virginia is losing? delegate comstock, you will have the first opportunity to answer first. >> i have been a senior aide and senior justice official and have been in the private sector as a senior in a law firm, i have worked extensively on the issues we have addressed here. when i worked for congressman wolf, obviously i worked on so many of the issues important to
the district. i think this is a big part of the partnership, and i think it is very important for there to be a republican voice in the majority advocating for federal employees for federal contractors on a tech industry and defense industry in northern virginia to have a bipartisan present. i think it is pretty clear from everything you see out there republicans will be in the majority and i will be a very strong voice and experienced voice and as a legislator let's work with so many of my colleagues in loudoun county, i know the issues and i know the expertise. if i do not have the expertise, then i know -- i know the experts in all of the areas in defense, in business and tech community and health communities. for over 25 years since i have worked for congress i have worked with all of you and i
already have the bipartisan success in the legislation that i outlined to be able to hit the ground running on day one and work with my colleagues across the aisle, work with people on getting true results. that is what people want. all of the bills i just outlined, we had people who were on one side and the other who never worked together on something like the human trafficking bill. they came together and got solutions. we've put together a coalition working with you in the business community. i want you all to be the advocates to help take that expertise and make sure we do everything right for northern virginia. thank you. >> thank you very much. the question is, who is going to get something done in washington? think about what is happening in washington right now. almost nothing. they are not getting the job done. why is that?
because they are hyperpartisan, refuse to come together and work together to get things done. i would put my record as a hard-working, problem-solving supervisor working across the aisle and say that in and of itself demonstrates i can get more done. i also want to point out i will be working with two virginia senators who support my campaign, warner and kaine. i also want to point out delegate comstock has a history of extraordinary partisanship. that partisanship is a problem in washington. it is exactly what we have to solve. she made her name by -- washington by investigating the clintons for four years as a chief investigator for the house reform committee.
she has been a lobbyist to the koch others. these are the type of people we have to get out of washington if we're going to solve our problems. >> i think you can take a minute to respond to that. >> my opponent did not note any accomplishments he has done on a bipartisan basis. reminds me of maggie thatcher used to say, if you want something said, ask my male colleages, if you want something done, ask me. i have gotten results on a bipartisan basis. when i worked for congress, we had people -- we had constituents who were wrongly fired who i am very proud we went to bat for because congressman wolf always goes to bat for employees. that is the investigation that we started, and they ended up at the end of the day, apologizing
to the employees wrongly fired. one of them was prosecuted and exonerated. i'm very proud of the work we did to exonerate him and congress paid the legal bill back in part for apology. that is work i started doing with congressman wolf at his behalf. >> supervisor faust, the affordable care act is unpopular with many americans. for business owners, health care reform has created a great deal of confusion, complexity, and cost. tell us if you believe the health care reform law has been a success or failure and what if anything you would do to improve or repeal it? >> i would not repeal it. i believe the aca is a step toward what we need to accomplish in health care. i believe there are a lot of fixes that are required, particularly concerned about the
adverse impact that obamacare has had on costs. we do not want it to be an anchor on creating new jobs and opportunities. there are lots of things we can do, one of which we are looking at. this is a board of supervisors. this is the so-called cadillac plan. anyone in northern virginia knows we get punished because we have higher health care costs in northern virginia than other areas of the united states. therefore, more of our plans qualify for the cadillac tax penalty. we need to medicare to negotiate with pharmaceuticals for reduce drug prices. that would be a huge savings to health care costs. the veterans administration can do it. we cannot do a right now under medicare. i am supportive of mark warner's
proposal to create a copper plan that would create a lower cost and adaptable plan for consumers. what i am not willing to do is to allow health care to be returned to the insurance companies so they can decide of pre-existing condition disqualifies us from getting coverage, so that they can decide we have used too much health care and decide to cancel our policies. so they can raise prices without any control at all. this is what was wrong. we have got to remember how bad the health care mess was before obamacare. we got a situation where it
needs fixes, but we have to make sure insurance companies do not go back to overcharging and taking away our health care. >> obamacare clearly has been a failure. the president himself has done over three dozen exemptions saying, no, do not let it go forward because it would be that bad. my opponent has acknowledged it is costing so much more, because that is why the economy is having a tough time because of the cost. we know the premiums we were told were going to go down has actually gone up by thousands of dollars. your deductibles have also gone up people are finding. when i go around throughout the 10th district and talk to businesses, they tell me how they are lowering the work hours and giving them the plans that used to have. we can have good, patient centered reforms. we can have portability. we can have deductibility, health savings accounts. we need to start over not with the washington centered
one-size-fits-all plan you just heard from my opponents, but a plan that puts the control and money back into your hands. that will include having pre-existing conditions dealt with and having kids on the we can keep the good things without destroying our entire system. >> a question for delegate comstock. >> delegate comstock, america's growing debt and deficits. cutting waste, fraud, and tax abuse is not enough to solve the problem. what federal programs would you be willing to cut or eliminate, and what federal taxes would you be willing to increase to balance the budget? >> the problem is not that we have debt. the problem is we are taxing our businesses so much, putting so much regulation on the net we are running up those costs, and then we have fewer jobs.
right now we are at -- since the 1970's, we have not had such a low labor participation rate. when you do not have people in the workplace, you have less money creating jobs, taxpayers, so we need to first and foremost have a growth economy. that's why that has to be our number one priority, and for six years, we've then waiting. they do not get that that has to be the number one priority. we've been top for jobs in virginia because that has always be our priority. i talked about cutting taxes so we get more money out there into the private sector. you grow jobs. we get those one in five people on food stamps back to work, and then you are going to save a lot of money on food stamps. people want a job. then you are going to have money coming in. i think one of the things we did in virginia was we said to our state employees -- we made them our partners, which i want to do with federal employees. you find savings in your budget, and we will give you a bonus for finding those savings. they not only found enough for
3% bonus, they found money in federal savings because our federal employees are our best experts who can go in and find the savings, so i want to empower them to find those savings and work with us. then we can get that growth economy going, get people back to work. in the 1990's, we balanced the budget, and we did not have to have drastic cuts. we got growth going again. one of the things i want to see it is take that thousand-dollar child tax credit and make it $2000 so that families can keep more of their money for raising their kids and have more flexibility with that. i think the growth economy messages will be a big help in getting our deficit down. that's what we did in the 1990's. >> supervisor, one minute. >> i have been working on fiscal challenges for seven years. it is hard to recall how tough it was seven years ago when the
great depression step, but in the fairfax county, with the general fund budget is about 3.5 billion dollars, we paid $650 million deficit in one year. we're not allowed to have deficit, so we had to figure out how to balance that budget, what could be cut to work with the community, to work with the staff, and we prioritized. i know how to balance budgets. i know how to dig in. i've done it as audit chair and as supervisor chair -- budget chair. what we cannot do is to allow the republican proposal, the budget proposal, which you are probably familiar with, to cut infrastructure. this is how republicans are approaching the fiscal challenge. this is the wrong way. we need to focus on making government more efficient and growing our economy. >> thank you.
a question for john foust please. >> after a lengthy debate, congress added nearly $11 billion to the trust fund, a stopgap amount that avoids insolvency but is expected to only last until next may. should the highway trust fund go insolvent, it will halt vitally needed transportation projects here in northern virginia. this is a potentially two-part question -- would you support or oppose raising the gas tax, and if so, if you do oppose raising the gas tax, how would you fund the trust fund? >> two minutes. >> you know, transportation, obviously, is a critical issue in northern virginia. fortunately, our state delegation in a bipartisan way came together with governor mcdonnell and passed the transportation funding bill. unfortunately, my opponent voted against that transportation
bill. it is a game changer in northern virginia. we on the federal level -- there are proposals in congress today that avoid the need for increasing the gas tax. infrastructure banks, the bridge act -- these are the types of opportunities we have to focus on infrastructure investment without raising taxes. i would support those approaches. i would oppose an increase in the gas tax. i think that -- again, if we make the right investments in infrastructure and education and research and then get our economy moving, these types of challenges will be behind us. we will be able to move this economy forward. >> one minute. >> i think we need to have things like davis-bacon repeal or reform so that we can be
stretching our transportation dollars further. i do support offshore drilling, and i had a bill that was incorporated into the bill we passed in virginia, and now we have bipartisan support. senator warner, former senator webb, most of our delegation supports offshore drilling. the money from the royalties will be a dedicated stream of money for transportation, so i strongly support that. obviously, it's also a good thing now with the international situation. my competitive bidding bill that my opponent opposed -- he talks about $3 million or $4 million he saved -- he opposed saving hundreds of millions of dollars on this competitive bidding bill. if we took that to washington -- i know the unions oppose it -- but if we took that and had competitive bidding, we would have more money on all of our infrastructure projects instead of what this president and administration is doing right now,
they are putting project labor agreement union mandates on all of these projects, which are running up the costs, which means you have fewer dollars, and's why the leadership of scott your care to work with us on the competitive bidding, and all my colleagues with great help in getting that bill passed. >> question for delegate comstock. >> i want to return to the subject of regulation. given the burden that federal regulations imposed on america's businesses, currently estimated at $2 trillion annually, how would you ensure federal agencies use the best available practices to evaluate the cost of regulations? also, would you support a requirement that congress must approve all regulations which are expected to cost more than $100 million annually? >> yes, i do support that requirement. i think that is important. this administration has larded on all kinds of regulations on businesses that are hurting our economy and making job creation difficult every day. until people tell me what
problems they are having, we work with you to try and solve that problem. i do not ask what coalition we can put together. it's the coalition that gets it done. that's what i've done working with people like when we did with the data center regulation, and we need to do that on regulation in washington because this president keeps going in through agencies and putting in all these new regulations. he has killed our coal industry, which drives up energy costs. held up and like the keystone pipeline, which we could move forward on. at every turn, this administration in policies that my opponent supports is killing our economy and stopping it in its tracks. what frustrates me so much is it does not have to be this way. we have seen a different way in virginia. you here in louden do it.
some of you folks were doing a groundbreaking for a building a couple of weeks ago, and that business folks said it was so great to be here in virginia than in maryland, because they do not let us do anything. they love working because you have a working, business-friendly environment here. people are coming here from all over the country. we heard that from northrop grumman when they came from california. california would not even call them back when they said they were leaving, so they came here. they did not pick maryland, they picked virginia because we are a low regulation, right to work, low-tax state, and we need to be that kind of country if we are going to compete internationally. >> thank you very much. karen, a question for supervisor foust. >> rebuttal. one minute. >> my opponent likes to talk about eliminating regulation and dealing with it, but at the
fairfax county board of supervisors, as chairman of the economic commission, we do it. we work with industry groups. we have staff working with industry groups all the time looking at the regulation that is in place, trying to improve it, trying to make it less costly, and create a more business-friendly environment. you can talk about your business environment in virginia, but i guarantee you in fairfax county and northern virginia, we have a very business-friendly environment. my opponent likes to point to things and say that they kill the economy. i am telling you what the challenges are in northern virginia. the reason we attract businesses to northern virginia is because we have an excellent educational system. my opponent voted to cut $620 million from support for public schools. the biggest challenge we have attracting businesses in northern virginia is congested. my opponent voted against the transportation funding bill. if she wants to create jobs, she
will have to come over and get onboard with what it takes to create jobs. >> time. thank you. a question for supervisor foust. >> the national labor relations board's role as an objective arbiter has been called into question. mitch mcconnell and lamar alexander introduced a bill last week that would restructure the national labor relations board and evenly balance it between democrats and republicans. would you support this bill? or do you feel it is unnecessary? and why? >> i think you said it was introduced last week. i am not familiar with the bill. i think the national labor relations board plays an important role, and i would be supportive of it continuing to play that role, obviously in a fair and reasonable way.
balanced. but to comment specifically on that bill, i'm afraid i cannot do that. >> delegate comstock, one minute. >> i strongly support that bill, and again, strongly support davis-bacon repeal. the nlrb has been out of control over the past six years. anybody in business knows that. you all see that every day. they are trying to shut down business, and they have totally gone in on the side of unions. instead of being a fair arbiter, they have become an advocate for unions. the supreme court recently overturned one of their actions unanimously, meaning every single supreme court guys said, "you are out of control." that's the national labor relations board. you know how important it is to have someone who understands when an out-of-control agency is after your business. they tried to make card check through regulation in the nlrb.
i have opposed that. i am the person in virginia who passed the right to a secret ballot, something that the nlrb current members do not like, but i will fight for to make sure we have secret ballot elections, not just in virginia, which you are entitled to, but in the entire country. >> thank you. thanks. i will ask a question next. it has been referenced a couple of times. delegate comstock, can you explain why you voted against governor mcdonnell's transportation plan? it was hailed by some as a once-in-a-lifetime infusion of money here in a state where transportation problems are significant. a moment ago, your opponent referenced it as a game-changer. can you explain why you voted against the bill? would you do so again today? >> i would note something my
opponent has not noted -- that there was bipartisan opposition as well as bipartisan support. i know that this was a difficult issue, and we did all work together very civilly on it. you know in the business community that i did meet and discuss this with you, but i was concerned about the disproportionate tax on northern virginia. we got a higher tax than anyone else, and there were also all kinds of additional taxes put on different kinds of businesses here in northern virginia. i know it was a tough call, but that was the call i made. in now that that has passed, what we do in virginia unlike in washington and what we need to do instead of the name-calling and attacking is we immediately came together and asked how we would make the bill work. an important part of the bill was -- and we had had previous legislation on this -- was to focus on congestion relief and to make sure the money goes to injunction relief come not to things like the arlington trolley folly that's already
getting tens of millions of dollars. those of us who were concerned about a said this is what would happen. i was told that would never happen. now you see this going forward. i will work with my state and local colleagues to make sure the money does not go to things like that, but comes to places like loudon where we are getting shortchanged on transportation money. all of you who do not support the transportation bill still supported me because they know i am the one to get things done. >> supervisor foust, one minute. >> this transportation bill literally is a game-changer. it costs more in northern virginia because we get a lot more. my opponent is now apparently taking credit for it after voting against it and wants us to think that she is somehow making this work. let me tell you -- that bill helps support dulles rail.
my opponent showed up for the ribbon-cutting. she did not support the funding for that project. this is the type of thing you have to look for. are you willing to be there and take on the challenge and meet the challenge, or are you just willing to show up after the fact and cut a ribbon and take the credit? that is unacceptable. transportation is too important to play political games with in northern virginia. we are on the track now because of that transportation bill to solving a significant challenge to our quality of life and to our ability to attract businesses to northern virginia. >> i don't think that was a personal attack. i think that was a characterization. [laughter] you will get to speak in a moment. a question for supervisor foust, please. supervisor, passenger and cargo growth has stalled at
last few years, and changes were made by congress and the number and destination of flights allowed it reagan national airport. that's the so-called perimeter rule. the federal aviation administration authorization of the bill is expected to come up during the next congress. what will you do to keep congress from expanding the perimeter role and allowing more flights from reagan in order to protect dulles airport, which is a major economic injured for virginia and especially northern virginia? >> i will do everything i can to stop that from happening. dulles airport is -- tysons corner, dulles corridor, these are economic engines, but the ultimate economic engine in northern virginia is dulles airport. and we have got to do everything we can to make it successful. and it is certainly being challenged by what is happening at national right now. as an advocate for northern virginia's economy, i will do everything i can to ensure that dulles airport is a success.
>> delegate comstock, one minute. >> i would just like to note that i do support dulles rail and have, and that's why my competitive bidding bill was so helpful at a key time so that the chairman could get the five votes needed to go forward with a rail to loudon. my opponent wrote a letter and said no, keep the project labor agreement on. i should also note that in 2007, when he ran for office, he opposed dulles rail above ground. one of the first things he did when elected was write a letter to say to stop the project and do it a different way, something that senator kaine and congressman wolf said would've derailed the project altogether. at the ribbon cutting, he was hanging out with the labor union guy who was trying to put the project labor agreement back on
there. that was one of the game-changers that chairman bulova and chairman all of a working together with congressman wolf, with our governor to get that forwarded is why we were able to get that project going, and i support it and will continue to work with all of you on it. >> robert, a question for delegate comstock. >> the latest estimates suggest u.s. companies are losing a staggering $250 billion every year in intellectual property theft due to two cyber espionage. a report found that fewer than 40% of students who enter college intending to major in a science, technology, engineering, and math actually complete a stem degree. what will you do to expand secondary and higher education programs focused on careers in stem and thus enhance america's cyber security workforce? >> thank you.
i know telos is such a leader on cyber security, so thank you. we do have more members of the chamber working on national security and cyber security. that is something we can do. on the education front, we have been doing that in virginia. we passed a higher education bill very much focused on them, stem, and my husband was a math teacher, came to northern virginia, fairfax county, served in the schools for 30 years. i know how important that is. we had amendments in our budget that one of our appropriations members worked with me and with joe to have money -- it is steam education now because we added arts for wolf trap so they can work with preschool children, and they have programs modeled all across the country on stem education, steam education, to
get that science and technology knowhow at the beginning. my husband has been in the school system for over 30 years. my mom was a teacher her entire life. i come from a family of educators. i think i'm the only one on stage who had children in the public schools. my husband has served them for 30 years. i support school choice and opportunity for everyone, but we have got to improve our science and technology education. congressman wolf has carried that out, working with nasa, working with orbital science, working with all of our great companies here. i will continue to make sure that education and stem education will be a top priority and work with great companies here in loudon that do that. >> in the 21st century knowledge economy, we absolutely have to focus on these types of educational challenges. stem is something we have been talking about and working with in fairfax county since i've been on the board.
certainly working with the community colleges to ensure the programs are in place, working with george mason to ensure programs are in place. even more important, i think in terms of getting kids started on the right path, we've been working with fairfax county public schools, and they have a true significant commitment. it's something i believe in and something that is important. we need to train a workforce that is trained in creative problem-solving and get away from the standardized memory testing. we can do that and are moving in that direction, and i am very excited about the prospects. >> thank you. getting close to the end. a question for supervisor foust, please. >> coal provides 40% of america's electricity. on september 15, the government accountability office issued a report indicating that 13% of
the country's coal-fired power capacity would be taken off line by 2029. affordable and abundant energy, particularly electricity, is vital to northern virginia and our country's well-being. do you support or oppose efforts to regulate greenhouse gases -- greenhouse gas emissions through the clean air act? >> i support the effort to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the clean air act. the issue is, obviously, what is however, we cannot just get there overnight. we have