tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 11, 2014 1:00am-3:01am EST
-- miss pocket, we are going to miss you. we are going to miss what you bring in regards to a thoughtful process. yeare two thorns next we do appreciate that. and to the two thorns next to you, we have -- no, no, you know, we go back. and we have a lot of meetings on the side, and we really do appreciate it from the prayer breakfast to the opportunity breakfast and stuff. so i really do appreciate all three of you. thank you very much. >> the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from lewisville, texas. >> i realize that i'm sort of the last man standing here on this panel. these are threee i hold in very high regard. and michele, i'll just join the
others. we will miss you. mr. chairman, i will never forget the day the gentleman from iowa told me earlier this term that had he known that i would one day be on the rules committee, he would have been nicer to me for the last ten years. it was at that point, i appreciated the raw power that came with this appointment. but to the gentleman from texas, i want to thank you for bringing up the -- i think it was the case church amendment from 1973, the series of amendments ten years later. i mean, sometimes we think about defunding as some sort of exotic thing that people do. it has been a technique that has been employed by both sides of the dais in the past and sometimes it has changed the course of history.j&p so i thank youu%2zr for bringing your amendment here today and certainly appreciate the time that all of you have spent with us this evening. mr. chairman, i'll yield back. >> thank you very much. ms. bachmann, i want to add my hearty congratulations to you, and about the best thing i can
tell you is two things. job well done. you're going to be missed. and i don't think we've seen the last of you, but we thank you for your awesome time here and the time when we formed thez tea party and i was an original member of that and for the years and the days that people visit us and came alive. so thank you very much. i want to thank all three of you for being here today. if you leave anything you have in writing for us at the committee, i appreciate it very much. and thank you for taking time to be here today. >> thank you, sir. >> mr. poulis, i don't know if you want to go down front or if you would like to stay, so the gentleman may go to the front. judge, good to see you. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> if the gentleman could hold on just one moment, please. the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you. i worked very hard in a short
time frame. i just saw the bill last night, stayed up most of the night trying to get through it. but i did come up with four amendments that i think would approve the bill. ranging from -- and i'll start with something might be more controversial to the ones that i don't think should be controversial at all and i'll briefly go through the four of those. the first one, the most important, and maybe the most controversial is the most important one. i didn't know i'd have the opportunity to do this again, this congress. now i am offering %0l/hr-15 as an amendment to this rule that would allow for immediate consideration of hr-15 which i'm very excited about because this would -- i know i've heard from a couple of my colleagues they wanted to stop this executive action. this would do that, unlike the
republican proposal. and instead, there would be a law that the senate's already passed with more than two-thirds bipartisan majority. and i think the vote is on the floor of the house. i would like to offer that up. i think it would address the concerns of mr. king and others that were passionate about this executive order not moving through. so i would urge the inclusion of that amendment. i also have some money-saving amendments. we're trying to get at the answer to the deficit spending level levels, and i think we'll have those tomorrow. we all know that there is a deficit spending bill. so i did find several cuts. one of them is to cut some of the subsidies to fossil fuel research. and now, i would -- on my own, i would cut it even more, but the president requested $483 million. this congress saw fit in this appropriations bill to add an additional, i believe, $70 million on top of that. increasing it to $571 million. and in amendment, to the president's level. so this would save about $90 million.
and this is just research in fossil fuels. so it's a subsidy for oil and gas research. and i think that going above and beyond even what obama wants to spend, i know the republicans are the big spending party, but in this particular case, we should cut it back to the fiscal prudence of the president and reduce the deficit with that. so that is the next amendment. that's amendment number 18 which i hope is made in order. i was also able to put together an amendment with regard to the aircraft carrier "george washington." now, this is an aircraft carrier that is effectively the 11th carrier strike group. almost everybody from secretary gates, former secretary gates on down to people on both sides of the aisle, on outside think tanks, american enterprise, new american security, agree that this is likely to be cut going
to a force of ten carrier groups which, by the way, still provides a force of suffici to fight any multiple wars in the world as more than all the rest of the world combined. so we are providing money for the ongoing overhaul and refueling and maintenance of an aircraft carrier which is very likely to be decommissioned in another year or two or perhaps in the next defense authorization. it's just a waste of money. and we can save $5 billion if we include this amendment in the appropriations bill and allow an up-and-down vote. i think it will pass. and then finally, i think this is the least controversial because, you know, we all came off the campaign trail recently. we all had to run for office again. and one of the examples i always give when people say, you know,
why is- congress spending so much, and why are the republicans spending so much. i always say, well, here's what happens. here's the dynamic. and i use the defense spending as appearn example. what happens is, the defense experts, the military, the pentagon, they often say, we don't even need this it's a capability we don't need, we're not going to use. congress still spends the money. perhaps because a member of influence wanted it in their district or there was some sort of special interest or pork reason to have it in there, even when the military didn't want it. and one such project is the abrams 1 tank. and we're cutting $120 million from this program which the army has said they don't want. the army has stated repeatedly .
>> you talk about a big republican spending in congress. are they spending more or less than the last majority? >> we'd have to get the answer. >> i can give you the answer. it's a lot less. it's $165 billion less than when you had the majority in 2008 and discretionary spending alone. it's lower in defense spending as well. now, we can -- i don't disagree with my friend bringing important projects up to discuss, but the defense budget is down. the deficit is down from $1.4 trillion to under $500 billion from when my friends were in the majority. and overall spending, discretionary is down.
so i just want to, for the record, point out if we're the big-spending republican congress, the democrats were spending a lot more. >> well, this bill before us today, though, is a bill put together by republicans. i don't know if there are any democrats in the room. maybe there were, maybe there weren't. essentially it's a $1.1 trillion. >> to my friend's point, there were democrats in the room, both in the house. i'd also remind you that the counterpart is a democratic united states senate and a democratic president that we're negotiating with. so the idea that democrats were somehow unrepresented in this process is just simply not the case. >> well, i hope that these amendments, that some of which are noncontroversial, can help reduce the size of this expenditure. >> well, my friend is more than fair in making that point. but i do want to point out another thing that people tend and it may not even be germane. i'd certainly let my friend comment. this idea that the pentagon is always right about what is recommends and congress is always wrong, it was the united
states air force that was opposed to drones. pilotless airplanes. that was a congressional idea. actually an earearmark, a phrase we're no longer allowed to use evidently. if we want to go back in history -- not the pentagon because it didn't exist, but the defense department, or the war department it was called pre-world war ii w aircraft carriers. that was actually a congressional initiative against, quote, battleship admirals. so again, i don't disparage our friends in the pentagon and their professional expertise. but occasionally congress is right on some really big decisions. to my friend's point about the abrams tank -- and this is one we have wrestled with on the defense appropriations committee, and i know they've wrestled with in a bipartisan way. there's only one tank line left in the united states that actually produces tanks. and the real question is, if you don't need them this year -- and sustained by foreign sales. we're not the only people that
buy. mostly -- so if you cut it back, do you save money in the short term, no question my friend is correct. but do you lose the capability of producing them, and do you lose the industrial base and capacity that goes with that, which by the way, there are half the number of people -- this is not my district. full disclosure. this is ohio, ok. there are half the number of people working at that plant than there were three or four years ago. that, i'm not sure my friend is not correct. i just want you to know that this has not been a political discussion in defense appropriations, and i'm sure our with our friends on the authorizing committee, it has really been a struggle as to what the appropriate thing to do is to maintain capacity and recognize that the pentagon tends to focus on the kind of war we are now. you know, there was a lot of argument that we'll never fight a major land war again. well, there is a country called north korea that has a large conventional force. we don't know that. and so again, to my friend's point, again, i think the amendments are worthy to
discuss. i appreciate him bringing them up. but there is a context here in terms of -- and i know my friend didn't suggest this, but it wasn't a political decision on tanks. we have a fundamental disagreement sometimes on weapons systems. and congress is not always wrong. occasionally, you know, it's more farsighted than the united states military about these things. you know, at the end of the day, you're right. we need to have these debates, bring these things up, have the discussion. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back his time to us. any republicans? the gentleman is recognized. >> i just want to make a comment. and i truly -- i really appreciate when you go line item and you look at things and you say hey, listen, there's some reasons why i think we could save money and cut. i'll just let you go back, though, the authorizing committee, we debated this issue ad nauseam. and you know, there was 100 and
some amendments within hask that were brought but hask was unanimous. and this was part of the authorizing portion of it. and i would -- >> which one are you talking about, the tank or the aircraft carrier group? >> all u of the above. and i will tell you this. even the general has said and other generals that have testified in front of myself and others have said the pentagon has not gotten it right once in regards to what war we're going to fight next. and that's -- that's a fact. i mean, it's nothing against them. they've never been able to figure out what they're going to -- what's the next war we're going to fight. and so i think, you know, the gentleman from oklahoma hit it on the head. sometimes, you know, we have to have some congressional ideas in there to make us -- >> i don't know if congress has ever gotten it right, what the
next war is either. >> oh, never have. >> and the other challenge we always have in any area with an authorizing committee and the appropriation is the authorizing committees, it's not their job -- well, they can be cognizant of budgetary issues, they're not the one taz have to match the resources with the expenditures at and lower levels. >> absolutely. but hask absolutely is the authorizing committee as it relates to the armed services. >> yes. >> and i think we have a very bipartisan group. like i said, it passed out of committee unanimously. that authorization. so i just want to thank you, though, for your ideas. and i would be glad to yield back. >> if i could -- >> absolutely. >> thank you.
many of us feel, in terms of,weo7 you know, what is the security risk to our country, that continued deficit spending and the therefore economic reliance that leads to in terms of other countries owning our national debt is really one of the greatest middle and long-term security issues. >> i think you agree with all of us on the republican side, that's why we've really gone after discretionary spending in regards to that it is our biggest threat in regards to, you know, the debt that we have $18 trillion in debt today. and growing. it's not i first got here, which is a great thing. but it is still a problem for
america. but the other thing is this. and we've said it here before. if we don't take care of our national defense and protection of the homeland, there is nothing else to worry about. there is nothing. and the threats have not gotten less. i mean, if you've seen the resurgence in russia and china and you have all the other actors out there. it has not gotten safer. and so i think that when we start cutting investment within the military, particularly when you start talking about cutting investments in our military men and women, it is a dangerous, dangerous road to go down. and with that, i yield back. >> thank you very much. does any other republican seek time? thank you very much for taking time to bring us your thoughtful ideas. and i appreciate you very much. ok. this, now, closes the hearing portion of the bill that we began hours ago to amendment hr-83. the chairman will be in receipt of a motion. >> mr. chairman, i move the committee grant a rule providing for the consideration of senate amendment to hr-83 to require the secretary of the interior to
assemble and obtain a technical policy and financial experts to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the united states and the freely associated states through the development of energy, action plans aimed at promoting access to d! reliable energy including increasing use of indigenous clean energy resources and for other purposes. the rule makes an order of motion offered by the chair of the committee on appropriations or his designee that the house concur on the senate amendment that hr-83 with an amendment consisting of the rules committee prep 113-59 modified by the addiment printed in the rules committee report. it waives the consideration of motion. the rule provides that the senate amendment and the motion shall be considered as read. the rule provides 70 minutes of debate on the motion with 60 minutes equally divided controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on appropriations and ten minutes equally divided control by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on education and the work force section 2 of the rule provides
that upon adoption of the motion specified in section 1, 122 shall be considered as adopted. section 3 of the rule provides the chair of the committee on appropriations may insert in the congressional record at any time during the remainder of the second session of the 113th congress such material as he may deem explanatory of senate amendment specified in the first section of the resolution. finally section 4 of the rule waives the requirement of clause 6a rule 13 requiring a two-thirds vote to consider rule on the same date as reported from the rules committee or any resolution reported from the rules committee through legislative day of december 12, 2014. >> you've now heard the motion from the gentle woman from grandfather community, north carolina. is there amendment or discussion? >> yes, sir. >> the gentle woman is recognized. >> i move the committee grant an
open rule for the bill that we can offer amendments on the floor and fix this profoundly flawed piece of legislation. >> you've now heard the amendment -- well -- well, it simply shuts down the government if we4 perhaps that is what people want. those who approve signify by saying aye. >> aye. >> those oppose, no. further discussion? >> i have an amendment to the rule. why? oh, thank you. this is a new york bill. >> i'll give you a new york minute. >> all right. the part we want to add new york to the list of states with medical marijuana. mr. webster, no. miss ross lehtinen. mr. burgess, no. ms. slaughter.
it's basically unfair. they did not check the state when they wrote this on the bus. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> congress did the right thing with regards to the states at that time that had medical marijuana laws. actionk past just after and therefore was not concluded in the congressional action. this is on the matter of a technical correction. i think mr. jeffries worked on it as well. >> he did. since andly makes it is consistent where a majority are. i urge its adoption. >> any further discussion. you have not heard the discussion. those in favor of the slaughter amendment signify by saying aye? no? >> i have to have a roll call vote. >> ms. fox.
no. mr. bishop. no. mr. cole. no. mr. woodall. no. mr. webster, no. miss ross lehtinen. mr. burgess, no. ms. slaughter. >> yes. >> mr. mcgovern. mr. poulis. mr. chairman. i have another amendment. 8 nays.s, >> the woman from new york is recognized. >> this is an amendment i offered that mr. kaufman had come up with. i was very much impressed by it because as we all know, what
happened to all of our equipment in iraq when isis came over the hill, they all threw off their uniforms and abandoned probably a billion dollars worth of medical equipment which isis picked up and is now using to shoot at us. mr. kaufman asked if we could have an amendment that would prohiblt to pay the salaries of iraqi security forces or to provide weapons or equipment to the iraqi security forces. if i could speak to that, secretary hagel was just there where he was asked for money again to provide them with all of the weapons. and you recall, too, we all saw that they have -- we discovered that 50,000 ghost soldiers were on the payroll. and we were paying their salaries. i think this is incredibly sensible and it says it is sort of grown up and paying a little bit of attention to what we're doing here. >> further discussion. those in favor signify by saying aye. >> aye. >> those opposed, no. >> no. >> roll call, please.
>> the gentle woman asked for a roll call vote. >> ms. fox. >> no. >> ms. fox, no. mr. bishop. mr. bishop, no. mr. cole. mr. cole, no. mr. woodall. mr. woodall, no. mr. nugent. mr. nugent, no. mr. webster. mr. webster, no. ms. ross lehtinen. mr. burgess, no. ms. slaughter. >> aye. >> ms. slaughter, aye. mr. mcgovern. >> aye. mr. hastings. mr. hastings, aye. mr. polis. mr. polis, aye. mr. chairman. >> no. >> mr. chairman, no. four yeas, eight nays. >> further discussion? >> mr. chairman, i have an amendment to the rule. i move that the klein miller pension reform amendment be made in order as a standalone amendment with one hour of debate evenly divided between the proponent and opponent. and the reason why i'm making this amendment is because, i mean, this so-called compromise come out of regular order.
i'm not quite sure all the details in this particular pension -- so-called pension reform package. i can tell you that i've got some letters in support of it. i got letters from the teamsters and the steelworkers and mr. hastings mentioned a number of other organizations including the aarp that are strongly against it. but, i mean, under this rule, this amendment is going to be self-executed when you pass the rule and there will be no debate on it. and so i think members deserve the opportunity to know what the hell they're voting on before we have a vote. so i'd urge my colleagues to support this amendment. >> further discussion. those in favor signify by saying aye. >> aye. >> those opposed, no. nos have it. >> ask for roll call. >> the gentleman asks for a roll call vote. >> ms. fox. >> no. >> ms. fox, no. mr. bishop, no. mr. cole. mr. cole, no. mr. woodall. mr. woodall, no.
mr. nugent. mr. nugent, no. mr. webster. mr. webster, no. ms. ros lehtinen. mr. burgess. mr. burgess, no. >> aye. >> mr. mcgovern, aye. mr. hastings, aye. mr. polis, aye. mr. chairman. >> no. mr. polis aye. mr. chairman? >> no. >> mr. chairman no. >> the amendment is not agreed to. >> i move that the committee make an order and give the necessary waivers for the amendment, the house amendment by myself and representative walter jones number five, which would provide that no funds may be used to carry military operations related to operation inherent resolve, that's iraq, syria and the region until congress authorizes such operation. >> heard the amendment by the gentleman from massachusetts,
further discussion? seeing none, the vote will now be on the amendment, those in favor signify by saying aye. no by saying no. nos have it. >> i have an amendment to the rule. i move the committee make aal rule and give the necessary waivers by the house amendment by myself and walter jones that provides that no funds may be used in continued deployment in afghanistan after march 21st 2015 unless and until congress authorizes such mission. >> for discussion, seeing none, the vote will now be on the amendment from the gentleman from massachusetts. those in favor, aye. those opposed no. >> number 7, which would provide that no funds would be used to deploy u.s. ground forces in a combat role in iraq, syria or any other country related to operation inherent resolve. mr. chairman, the reason why i think this amendment is so vitally important because it appears that we will leave without living up to our constitutional responsibilities and voting on an authorization on this current war that we're
in. and not with standing the fact that early on the president said there would be absolutely no ground troops that would be deployed in combat, that is changing and secretary of state kerry yesterday testified before the senate and said that any aumf that congress should consider should not include restrictions on the use of ground troops and should not limit operations to iraq and to syria. i worry very hutchmuch that by the time we reconvene, our troops will be in a combat mission, something all of my colleagues should be concerned about. so i urge the committee to
support the amendment. >> further discussion, seeing none, those in favor, signify by saying eye. those opposed no. nos have it. >> gentlemen asks for a role call. >> ms. fox. mr. bishop, no. mr. cole, no. mr. woodall, no. mr. webster, no. mr. burgess, no. ms. slaughter, aye. mr. hastings, aye. mr. chairman, no. >> the amendment is not agreed to, further amendments or discussion? >> i have three more amendments. i move the committee make an order and give the necessary waivers to the amendment for the house amendment by myself, representative deloreo and representative huffman, two amendments that will weaken the
child nutrition act. scientists and nutritionists say we need to limit the number of white grains in our meals. i would urge my colleagues to support this. >> now heard the amendment and the discussion from the gentleman from massachusetts. any further discussion? seeing none, the vote will be on the government proposed -- those in favor signify by saying aye. those opposed no. the nos have it. >> roll call? >> ms. fox. mr. bishop no. mr. cole, no. mr. webster, no.
ms. ros lehten, no. mr. burgess no. ms. slaughter, aye. mr. hastings aye, mr. polis, no. >> i move the committee make an order and give the necessary waivers to the house amendment number 15 which would strike language included in the bill that suspends dot provisions requiring drivers to be off and also strikes language that suspends the requirement that 168 hours, seven days elapse before a driver can start a new week. i would just say to my colleagues that this was, this, again, does not belong in this appropriations bill.
al but this, according to highway safety advocates, would result in making our roads more dangerous, and according to the teamsters and various truck driving associations, that this is something that would be dangerous. >> the vote -- those in favor signify by aye. >> ms. fox, no. mr. bishop no. mr. cole, no. mr. woodall, no. mr. webster, no. mr. burgess, no. ms. slaughter, aye.
mr. hastings, aye. mr. polis, aye. mr. chairman, no. >> four yays, nine nays. >> one final amendment mr. chairman, i move the committee make an order and give to the necessary waivers to the amendment, number 13 which would strike provisions allowing a maximum increase in the maximum contribution people can make to political parties each year. i just say, mr. chairman, in honor of this appropriations bill is not the place to be making drastic changes to our campaign finance laws and according to reform groups if these provisions become law they
will constitution the most corruptive campaign finance laws passed by congress and sign bid a president. $770,000 per year or $1.5 million for a two-year cycle. this amendment would strike the language in the ball that concludes how much money america's wellsiest donors can -- campaign reform u groups urging members to vote against these destructive finance reform provisions and urge my colleagues to support that. >> further discussion? seeing none the vote will now be on the government. those in favor vote aye. those opposed, no. the gentleman asked for a role call vote. >> mr. fox, no. mr. bishop, no. mr. cole, no. mr. nugent, no. mr. webster, no. ms. ros lehten, no. mr. burgess, no. ms. slaughter, aye.
mr. mcgovern, aye. mr. chairman, no. >> four yays, nine nays. >> i'm sorry, excuse me, yeah gentleman has a question. >> i misspoke, i have one additional amendment that -- >> the gentleman is recognized. >> and that is i would like to offer an amendment to make the amendment an order which would strike the provisions regarding dodd frank that are included in the omnibus bill. we had some discussion about this earlier. but the fact of the matter is, you know, that, you know, what the house is repealing is basically a prohibition against federal government bailouts of
swaps entities and basically the provision that's about to be repealed requires banks to keep out of their risky wall street -- as the "new york times" has explained, the goal was to isolate risky trading and to prevent government bailouts because these sorts of risky trades called derivative trades remain the culprit in the 2008 financial crisis. again, this has no business being on this omnibus bill. and i think that -- i know a lot of democratic votes will be opposed to this because of precisely the inclusion of this terrible repeal. and i would urge my colleagues to support this amendment. >> you have now heard the motion and the amendment and the discussion for the discussion. seeing none, vote now being on the government. those in favor signify by saying aye. those opposed say no. the nos have it. >> ms. fox, no.
mr. cole, no. mr. nugent, no. mr. webster, no. mr. burgess, no. ms. slaughter, aye. mr. mcgovern, aye. mr. hastings, aye. mr. poulis, aye. mr. chairman, no. >> the amendment is not agreed to. further amendment or discussion? >> yes, mr. chairman. gentleman from florida is recognized. >> gentlemen i have an amendment and i ask that you make and give the necessary waivers to my amendment that has no numbered reference because it comes from the resolution itself. i ask that in the fifth noted
portion of the resolution, where it reads and ten minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair, and ranking minority member of the committee on education and workforce, that that read as 60 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chir chair and ranking minority member of the workforce. my reasoning for that, mr. chairman, and i won't ask for a role call because no one has had an opportunity on our side, particularly staff, to give me input with reference to this matter. but what we will allow for here. and i have seen as have all of us, a lot of unfairness on this committee, both when democrats were in the majority and when republicans were in the
majority. but this would be particularly unfair to those who have a different point of view than mr. miller and mr. kline. the ten minutes that are allotted, even though arguably they could be permitted to have, give one person one minute or two minutes, knowing the principles, i doubt very seriously if anyone other than someone who is going to speak in favor of to the kline-miller amendment would be speaking. we're undoing 40 years of erisa law, in the dead of the night, patched on a piece of legislation that should have a stand alone as governor mcgovern has sought by way of amendment. but at the very least, we could give some members of the house who have a different point of view an opportunity to speak,
even if it were not 60 minutes, if it was 30 minutes, something that would allow something other than two people who are going to argue in favor of its amendment and it's understandable that they would. it's just not fair, mr. chairman. >> i think the gentleman makes a point that is understandable. would the gentleman have a motion to double the amount of time from what it is now to doubling it as opposed to -- >> doubling it from 60 minutes -- >> i don't believe it's 60 minutes. >> no, it's 70 and 10. so 10 to 20? >> 10 to 20. >> i would be in agreement to 10 to 20. >> state that for the record. state for the record that it read 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes.
>> would that also include a free standing vote or would it still be -- >> i don't think that's what we were talking about. we were talking about taking that time, that time that he was in reference to. and i believe i could support it. and i believe this committee could support that -- >> but it gets no vote. it's self-ee cuted. -- self executed line measure. >> i heard you said time. >> yes. >> the time. those in favor -- further discussion, those in favor of the minutes, signify by saying aye. those opposed? the amendment is agreed to, thank you, gentleman. gentleman from colorado. >> it is my great hope that an amendment can be put into the rule.
i bring up hr 15 the house -- immigration reform bill under a closed rule. and once again mr. chairman this will be the last opportunity to actually undo the president's executive actions and instead go with something that democrats and republicans here support more than two-thirds of the senate and i think it will pass the house and i hope this amendment as the hastings amendment is adopted. >> further discussion? those in favor signify by saying aye? those opposed no. gentleman asked for a roll call vote. ms. fox, no, mr. bishop, no. mr. cole, no. mr. woodall, no. mr. webster, no. ms. ros lehten, aye. mr. burgess, no.
ms. slaughter, aye. mr. mcgovern, aye. mr. hastings, aye. mr. chairman, no. >> chairman, no. >> five yays, eight nays. >> the amendment is not agreed to. >> i move the economy make an order and give the necessary waivers for my house amendment number 14, 18 and 19. and also the amendment number 13 separately moved by mr. mcgovern but i included en masse with mine. with regard to the campaign finance rules to allow for all of those amendments to be considered.
>> heard the amendment from the gentleman from colorado, those in favor signify by saying aye. those opposed no. nos have it. i want to thank the committee, i would like to defer to the gentle woman for a comment from north carolina, gentle woman, you're recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i know it's late and everybody wants to go home. i think we do need to make one comment about so many comments that were made here this afternoon by our colleagues about the power of the purse. and i have to say that i have talked with people about this a lot, if i have gotten a lot of mail about it, oh, they say the house has the power of the first, therefore you can stop the president by defunding
anything that you want to do. it might be useful as i have done when i have spoken with groups at home, simply to read the clause that has the exception that has been interpreted as the power of the purse. it's section 7, article 1. all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives. semicolon, but the senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills. what i think the public has often not understood when the term power of the purse in the house has been used, is the second part of the section. and that is that we unilaterally cannot stop the president or anyone else from taking action by holding back money. the senate has to concur and that of course, as other parts of the constitution show, the president has to agree with that. i think that has gotten lost in
much of the discussion, and i think, again, since we have spent so much time talking about the constitution, it might be worthwhile, our quoting the exact provision so that we help a little bit in educateing the public and maybe our own members about what the provision says. so many of our colleagues said, i mean we had some hypotheticals in here at the end, if we do such and such, then the senate will have to do so and so. well, i don't believe that, i think that defunding, we might want to do that, but it doesn't necessarily mean the senate would follow suit and the president would follow suit. so i just wanted to bring this up to us before we adjourn
tonight to clarify the record on what power of the purse means. thank you mr. chairman. >> i thank the gentle woman and i would prefer to the gentleman mr. hastings. >> i thank the gentle woman for that -- i happen to consider over the years sean hannity to be a friend and i hope he gets your clarification. >> thank you. >> so noted. >> further discussion by the committee. let's see, i think we have -- we need to vote on the motion. i haven't lost it yet. i'm just trying to stay after it here. we're going to now call for the last vote of the evening and that will be in favor of the gentle woman, those in favor signify by saying aye. those opposed no.
the ayes have it. clerk will seek a role call vote. >> ms. fox, aye. mr. bishop, aye. mr. cole, aye. mr. woodall, aye. mr. nugent, aye. mr. webster, aye. ms. ros lehtinen, aye. mr. burgess, aye. mr. mcgovern, no. mr. hastings, no. mr. poulis, no. mr. chairman, aye. >> clerk will report the total. >> nine u yays, four nays. >> the motion is agreed to i want to thank the entire committee to let us know that mr. cole will be handling this for republicans. >> and the pleasure will be mrs. slaughter's. and i want to do a couple of
things here, first of all i want to say thank you to everybody for your patience, i thought this committee did an awesome job in dealing with the people that came to visit us and that helps us and them. i thought we did a good job. secondly i would like to let everybody know that yesterday was anne thorson, ms. marilyn, happy birthday. she finds herself sitting next to a young woman who, ms. smu, torri t. miller who we have not seen since she left the senate, she used to be the communications director, so it's good to see torri t. miller tonight. and lastly, i do not expect, but we will wait to find out whether we're going to have another rules committee meeting before we leave. but i wants to wish each and every one of you the very best of the holiday season. the very best of thanks from me
to the staff and to the members for sticking together, getting our job done and for the opportunity for us to go back and enjoy our families, remembering that there are lots of people back home who do recognize the work that you do is in fact very important and i want to put an exexclamation point behind that. thank you very much and god bless each and everyone of you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] 9:00 a.m., house members start one hour 20 minutes of debate on the spending bill, a closed rule blocking the addition of any amendments. if passed, providing fund for
all government agencies through september 2015 except for the department of homeland security which will only be funded through february 27. they are limiting funding for homeland security to pressure president obama to make changes to the executive action on immigration. the bill also increases contribution limits to political parties and eases regulations on some financial trading. i've coverage of the u.s. house at 9:00 a.m. here on c-span. -- live coverage. c-span, senator cory booker testifies at a hearing identifying police practices and civil rights. later, members of the u.s. house page or viewed to retiring congressman john dingell, the longest-serving member of congress. new jersey senator cory booker testified about the criminal justice system and what he calls the "over policing of minority communities."
>> good>> afternoon. today's hearings will deal with a serious issue and i hope members of the public will take themselves seriously as we all do. i want to know to note the outside rules of the senate prohibit a showing of approbation or this approbation, to put it in english, of piping and demonstrations. this includes blocking the view of people around your. please be mindful as we conduct this hearing. i'm thankful that the police are here to ensure the safety and security of everyone present. is identity as americans based on ideas and values, not ethnicity nor creed. this is what makes our nation unique. since our founding, there has been a divide between the promise and reality of americans. the man who wrote in our declaration of independence that all men are created equal was a slave holder. the constitution, our founding charter, which those of us in
congress where to uphold and originally treated african-americans as property and women as second-class citizens. the history of our country has and painful slow, march. brave men and women have fought and sacrificed sometimes even giving their lives in the struggle to create a more our national that charter promised. many of us think about the greatest generation, the men and women who served our nation so valiantly and world war ii. i recently read a story that's an illustration of what war was like in world war ii. italians and germans to were captured in combat fighting our soldiers were brought to the united states as prisoners of war. they were held in places like military forts, like fort benning, georgia. at fort benning, georgia, the
italian and german prisoners of war had access to make purchases .n the base exchange african american soldiers did not have that opportunity or access. 2.3 million americans are , tripled the amount 30 years ago. 25% for drug offenses. whites engage in drug offenses at a higher rate than african-americans, but african-americans are incarcerated at a rate 10 times greater than african-americans for these offenses. this is now a nation with an
african-american commander in chief. the election of our first black president shows we've, a long way as a nation -- we've come a long way. there is still a challenge with still in america, and we have more work to do. the subcommittee has tried to look intently not just to our past but to our present and future, to examine what more needs to be done to protect civil and human rights in america. we've tried to understand in this subcommittee the human impact of the issues we debate by hearing from those most affected. we've given a platform to voice is not often heard in the halls of congress. i would like to show a brief video to remind us all what's at stake. in 2000 one, eugenia jennings
was sentenced almost 22 years in prison for selling a small amount of crack cocaine. her brother testified at a 2009 hearing of a sentencing disparity between crack and powdered cocaine. to tell you the things my sister eugenia would say if she were here today. the severity of the mandatory minimums and the sharp disparity between those for crack and powdered cocaine have touched my family directly. eugenia cannot be here because she's in federal prison for selling crack cocaine. after 18 years in prison including 16 in solitary confinement, anthony graves became the 12th death row inmate to be exonerated in taxes. 2012, he testified before this subcommittee at the first-ever congressional hearing on solitary confinement i have been free for almost two years.
i still cry at night. relate withere can what i've gone to. i've tried therapy but it didn't work. >> and august 2012, a gunman killed six at 86 temple -- a sikh temple. one month after his mother died evercame the first sikh to testify when he appeared at a subcommittee hearing on hate crimes. tosenator, i came here today ask the government to give my mother the dignity. we do not attract hate crimes against sikhs. this would not even count on a federal form. we cannot solve the problem if we are not recognized. and 2013, sabrina fulton testified on the impact of
so-called stand your ground laws. her 17-year-old son trayvon was shot and killed while walking through a residential neighborhood in sanford, florida. >> it's unfortunate what is happened with trayvon. that's why i feel like it's so important for me to be here so that you all can at least put a face with what has happened to this tragedy. testified at the hearing on standard ground laws. her 17-year-old son jordan davis was shot and killed by listening to music with his friends and a car outside a convenience store in jacksonville, florida. >> you can never really know my boy. because an angry man who owned a gun kept it close at hand then chose to demonstrate unbridled hatred for reasons i will never
understand. >> spending 15 years in solitary confinement in a louisiana state penitentiary before he was exonerated in 2012. >> i do not condone what those who have killed or committed serious offenses have done but i also do not condone what we do to them when we put them in solitary for years on end and treat them as subhuman. we are better than that. as a civilized society we should be better than that. who has down syndrome was killed when he was forcibly removed from a movie theater in frederick, maryland, by three off duty sheriff's deputies. >> they put him on the ground and put hand cuffs on him and my son died of asphyxiation on that
floor of that movie theater. he was not threatening. e was not in crisis. >> i have often said this committee needs to focus on legislation. no lamentation. we have taken the words of our witnesses and translate them into action. i worked with the first ranking subcommittee here member here, tom coburn of oklahoma who is retiring here. together we passed four laws that give the government more power to prosecute human rights abusers. in 2012, the obama administration and this authority, under this authority deported liberian warlord for using child sold yerts. after we learned to have powerful testimony of cedric parker, i worked with jeff sessions of alabama and other members of the committee to pass the fair sentencing act which reduced the sentencing disparity
between crack and powdered cocaine and repeal the mandatory minimum sentence for the first time since the days of the nixon administration. after the subcommittee held the first ever congressional hearing on solitary confinement, the federal bureau of prisons agreed to my request to submit the first independent assessment of its solitary confinement practices. after we heard the brave testimony, i successfully pushed the justice department to begin tracking hate crimes against arab americans and hindu americans. we have been reminded in recent days that there is still much work to do. when our government still believes it is accept nbdl the name of security to profile people based on race, religion. there is still more work to do. when muslim americans are the targets of violent crime simply
because of theirings are. there is still more work to do. when states around the country drop laws that make it harder for minority communities to vote, there is still more work to do. when unarmed african-americans, men and boys are killed, names like trayvon martin, jordan davis, michael brown, eric garner bring tears to our eyes, there is still more work to do. when protesters take to the streets to shout out hands up, don't shoot. i can't breathe, black lives matter. there is still more work to do. when a significant part of the american family is disenfranchised and doesn't trust politics of criminal justice, there is still more work to do. congress must accept its responsibility. we need to start with bipartisan efforts to protect civil and human rights. we should pass the smarter
sentencing act, which i introduced with senator mike lee, co-sponsored by senator leahy, senator ted cruz and rand paul of kentucky. that is quite a broad spectrum of political belief and we all support this bill. we should restore federal voting rights for ex-offenders. a cause which has been championed by senators ben arton and rand paul. some five to eight million workers still don't have the right to vote. we need to pass the voting rights amendments act which was authored by chairman leahy. and republican congressman jim sen sen brunner. this bipartisan legislation is a response the supreme court's 2013 shelby county decision. this will be my last hearing as chairman of the subcommittee as i turn over the gavel to senator cruz, the incoming chairman. clearly there is much work to do.
i look forward to working with senator cruz in the 114th congress as we struggle to create a more perfect union. mr. cruz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank witnesses who are here today. there is no more important role for united states senate than to carefully guard and protect the civil rights of every american. we take an oath to uphold the constitution. and that is a promise every american rightly should hold us ccountable to honor. the chairman and i agree on a number of matters. concerning civil rights. as he mentioned, we both co-sponsored the smarter sentencing act, which would reduce mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenders and help restore the proper balance f federalism, deterrence and
proportionality to these laws. we are also both co-sponsors of the u.s.a. freedom act, which i believe strikes a better balance between the need to combat terrorism through effective intelligence and at the same time protecting the privacy rights of everyday americans. i would note additionally that the hearing this committee held on solitary confinement policy earlier this year was, i think, positive and productive hearing that shed light on the practice at the federal level and state level that needs to change. all of those are positive, yet, at the same time, civil rights remains a challenging top nick this country. a topic that is perceived differently by people of different racial backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds and socioeconomic backgrounds. we have seen the unfortunate
reality in the last six years, income inequality has increased. in the last six years, the rich have gotten richer. the top 1% today earn a higher share of our income than any year since 1928. and yet people who are struggling, young people, hispanics, african-americans, single moms, are finding their lives harder and harder and harder. when it comes to civil rights, i think there is no civil right more important than the right of every child to access a quality education. and in my view, the most compelling civil rights issue of the 21st century is the need to expand school choice and educational options so that every child regardless of race, ethnicity, zip code, wealth, has fair opportunity to receive an
excellent education. unfortunately that has not been a focus of committee. for the past two years. i'm hopeful it will become a focus of the committee in the coming years. i would note as well that a disturbing pattern has been demonstrated over the last several years of the federal government violating the constitutional rights of the citizenry. whether it is the i.r.s. disregarding the first amendment rights of citizens, asking individual citizens, tell us what books you're reading. tell us the content of your prayers. whether it is a consistent disregard for the second amendment. whether it is a disregard for religious freedom including unfortunately the federal government right now litigating
against the little sisters of the poor, a catholic convent of nuns who have taken vows of poverty, who devote their lives to caring for the poor and elderly, and yet they are in court with the federal government trying to impose million s of dollars of fines on them in order to force the nuns to pay for abortion inducing drugs contrary to their religious faith. beyond that, we have seen a pat overpb lawlessness from the federal government that should trouble anyone concerned about civil liberties, concerned about the bill of rights. in my capacity as a ranking a series have issued of five reports. we catalogged 22 cases where the
federal government has gone before the u.s. supreme court defending expanded federal power and has been rejected unanimously 9-0. in one of those cases, the department of justice went before the u.s. supreme court and said the bill of rights says nothing about whether the federal dwovet government can put a g.p.s. locator on any citizen's car and the position of the department of justice was that that does not require probable cause. it does not require articulateable suspicion. every witness who attended this hearing today, every individual citizen who came, the federal government could go and place a g.p.s. on your automobile outside without raising any fourth amendment concerns whatsoever. that was an extraordinary position. thankful think u.s. supreme court rejected the department of
justice's views 9-0. we need to be vigilant defending the civil rights of every american and i look forward to this committee, the larger judiciary committee and to the senate continuing to do so and we need to have a particular responsibility to safeguard the bill of rights. i would note the saddest moment wasng my time in the senate when 54 senate democrats cast a for a constitutional amendment to repeal the free speech protections of the first amendment. that was not consistent with our obligations to protect civil lirkts and i am hopeful going forward we will be vigilant protecting the civil liberties of every american. thank you. >> thank you, senator cruz. we're going to turn to our first witness panel. e want to welcome cory booker,
congressman luis gutierrez and congressman keith ellison. and we're going to give senator -- there she is. and senator klobucher an opportunity to introduce congressman ellison. want to note congressman judy choo had a schedule conflict and could not join us. each of our witnesses are going to have five minutes to make a statement and answer questions that may come up afterwards. i will acknowledge two members and turn to senator klobucher to acknowledge ellison. first to testify today will be cory booker of new jersey. last month he was re-elected to serve in the senate after winning a special election. senator booker serves on the committees of commerce, science and transportation, small business and environment. he is currently the only senate member of the congressional black caucus. following him will be congressman luis gutierrez from my state of illinois.
last month re-elected to serve his 12th term. serves on the house judiciary committee and the select committee on intelligence. he previously testified before the subcommittee that our hearing on racial profiling in 2012 and our hearing on stand your ground laws in 2013, congressman gutierrez will follow senator booker. senator klobucher? >> thank you very much. we always have movies in the senate, congressman ellison. it is great to be here with senator booker and congressman gutierrez. thank you so much for being here. i'm really here to recognize my friend, keith ellison. keith and i go way back to when i was a prosecutor, the chief prosecutor and he was a criminal defense lawyer, but somehow we have remained friends through it all. i think it is a testament to everything that he has stood for. before he came to congress again, he also did a lot of civil rights work and so it prepared him for the work that
he has done in the congress. he was the first muslim in congress and we are very proud of that in minnesota and he is a strong voice for justice and civil rights. we worked on several bills together, environmental bills and other things. i think the thing that is most appropriate for this discussion today is the same day egistration act, a bill that i'm working on in the senate and he is working on it in the house and it would reduce barriers to voting. when we think about the grand jury issues and who serves on grand juries, this is relevant, chairman durbin. it is relevant because the list from the grand jury comes from voter rolls. they also come from other places, especially from where we work to make sure other lists are included for who serves in grand juries. so when you limit who can vote, you actually also limit who can serve on grand juries because that is where you get your source for people that serve on grand juries if you want to have grand juries that reflect our community as well as law enforcement that reflect our
community, we have done a lot of great work with d.n.a. and with other things, video taping interrogations that we're proud of. i think this is important to think about with the voter issues. there is a connection. thank you very much and we're glad to have you here, congressman ellison. >> just one second, please. twin cities, twin introductions. senator franken would like to say a word. >> first i want to associate myself with senator klobucher's remarks, mainly about keith and less about the grand jury, but that is important too. but keith is -- he is someone who has been talking about this -- these encounters between members and minority community and law enforcement long before we have got on the recent challenges that we are talking about today and that people have been talking about. but very proud of congressman ellison.
>> senator cornyn? >> i want to make a brief statement. >> without objection, please. >> i appreciate that. i just wanted to add a couple of words by thanks to you for convening this hearing to talk about a very important issue that is to all americans and that is the state of civil and human rights in this country of urs. and i know your focus is primarily going to be on the criminal justice system and i would say that i hope that this hearing will take a long view and not ust a short-term view. obviously on our minds, the recent tragedies of what has occurred are fresh, but i think caution would tell us that we ought to wait until there has been a thorough investigation and all of the facts revealed before we draw any conclusions. i also worry that just the recent tragedies will somehow
distract us in some ways from the great successes that law enforcement has had since the crime waves of the 1980's and 990's. since 1993 violent crime rates are down 48% in this country. law enforcement officer death rates are down 37%. homicide rates are down 50%. robbery rates are down 56% and property crime rates are down 40%. so while we know there are incidents that deserve and must be investigated and follow the facts wherever they must lead, i hope we keep that success in mind as well as part of the context. overall we tried to get senator reid to take up some bipartisan legislation. the sentencing act that you and senator cruz and others are
working on but also i want to mention the recidivism reduction in public safety act that senator white house and i co-sponsored in the committee that got unanimous support in the committee, but we have just been unable. we got two people that didn't agree with us yet. we hope to convince them. we were not able to get time on the floor to be able to take that up. my hope is after the new year, that we will be able to get both of these bills up on the floor and debate these issues because i think we have seen that this not an area of -- where partisanship has any role to play. that working together we can come up with some better solutions in our criminal justice system, even as we insist that the tragedies like the ones that are fresh in our mind are thoroughly investigated and that we leave no stone unturned. >> thank you, senator cornyn.
let's get together, all of us interested in those two bills around make sure it is a priority in our new congress. now let me recognize our colleague, senator cory booker. icrophone. >> i want to thank chairman and the ranking member for having this and i want to thank all of my colleagues who are before me, each and every one of you. i have had discussions. very encouraging discussions around these issues. you said very specifically and i want to honor that, that the time for lamentations is past and the time for legislation is upon us. i want to apologize if it seems like i'm going off of that directive, but i will end up right there. this is a very, very this evolution of the united states towards its ideals. children from newark, new jersey, to oakland, california, stand up every day and say the pledge of allegiance that we are a nation with liberty and justice for all.
but these last few weeks, we have seen tens of thousands of americans taking to the streets in anguish and rage and frustration and i agree with senator corning that it is too early in many ways to draw conclusions when there is federal investigations still going on the on many of those issues. i appreciate the sensibility of his remarks. but please understand that the anguish that folks are feeling on the streets, the anguish that has penetrated this body and has had me pulled aside by senate pages and many people we walk by n this body who do the dignified menial work but important work to do something about this. what is that this that they are talking about? i as many of you know was raised in a community in which my family in 1969, the year of my
birth, was the first black family to integrate this area. my classmates and teammates were all white growing . my dearest and closest friends i feel blessed and privileged to have people who are like blood to me of all different backgrounds. i know growing up, talk to us about police officers, talk to us about behavior, there was dramatic differences between exhortation s of black parents, latino parents and white parents. i remember distinctly, my parents lecturing me with anger in their voice that did not have the margin of error when it comes to experimenting with drugs or other behaviors that others have. and what i want to do right now is put this in context of what you called us to talk about, which is legislation. and put it to a context to a horrible history in our country that history of bias that we are desperately trying to work our way out of.
in my lifetime, we have seen something happen that is remarkable on the planet earth which is the explosion of the american prison system to the oint now where america now has 5% of the globe's population but 25% of the world of humanities imprisoned people and by god, we do not have a country that has more criminals, more criminality, more crime intent people than china or russia or india. and that explosion of criminality has made us see in the last 30 years an 800% increase in the federal prison population. half of those prisoners at the federal level and the overall majority on the national level are non-violent offenders. nonviolent. not picking up guns. not beating people in the streets. not assault. we as americans unlike any other
country bear the burden of spending a quarter of a trillion dollars carrying this system. and the point that is felt in the anguish of staff i talk to here in the senate and people protesting is not the specifics necessarily of cases, but of the knowledge that we all have that none of my colleagues, republican or democrat, have denied to me that this system is woefully biased against minorities in our country. the data scream that we all have access to and that we all know that there is no difference, no difference, for example, in marijuana usage between blacks and whites in this country. none whatsoever. the last three presidents of the the united states admitted to using marijuana and i say for the record that one said he did not inhale. [laughter] -- an an sfrarne about african-american is about 3.7%
for ikely to be arrested marijuana than someone who is white. hat is a fact. values that we swear oath to. that we should have what that building across the way says powerfully written in stone equal justice under law. what do i mean by some of these things a jump up and call to the conscious of this country? we have a nation where african-americans make up 13% of the u.s. population but 40% of the imprisoned population. my state, it is 13% and 60-plus% of the prison population, nonviolent offenses. drug sentences for african-american men were 13.1%
longer. we know that latino youth today, 44% of latino 3, youth will be arrested. 44%. for not -- many of them -- most of them for nonviolent offenses. we know the sad reality for african-american men. one in three african-american males born today can expect to be incarcerated at some point unless we make change. and when you hear about police violence, trust me. i was a mayor of a great american city. it was challenging and complicated and a constant battle against crime to keep my community safe. we struggled with them in newark. we know right now that there are 6.5 million people, whites, arrested against about 2.6
million african-americans arrested in a year. whites. s blacks and violent and nonviolent crime. 6.5 versus 2.6. white to black. but now someone who is african-american, according to data and my republican colleague rand paul in "time" magazine, are 21 times more likely to be shot dead by a police officer, african-americans 21 times more likely to be shot dead by a police officer than someone white. so i anguish over this fact that my country has been evolving to the dedicated derment informant acts of black and white through slavery and jim crow. i find myself -- there are more african-americans now in prison under criminal super vision, pparole. l,
we as a body, congress has the power to change this. and the people, the elected leadership that is showing this most clearly is not coming from the federal level. it is actually coming from the states and remarkably, refreshingly, it is coming from red states. red state governors with their legislatures, are passing legislation that this body should be passing, that is showing clearly that you can deal with this overincarceration problem through common sense bip legislation. the one example i will give as i lead to my close is georgia. the governor has cut spending on prisons. reduced penalties for non-violent offenses and the
result of his common sense reforms has been a dramatic reduction in a prison population in guess what? a 20% reduction over five years in the number of african-american men in their state. a 20% reduction. we can say what we want about he details of staten island or fergston, -- ferguson, but there s a larger issue going on. the question is enough of the lamentation, when will there be legislation? so i conclude with that call. it is a call that has rang through the ages of our nation hat we have something so presentation. this week, jews all across our country will be
reading a portion of the torah that has a section with these words that are written and inscribed from the torah on the very site that martin luther king was killed. i had the privilege recently of watching the movie and seeing blacks and whites joining hands and latino americans. in this ideal of america that these vuss are not black or white -- issues are not black or white. they are about justice. they are about america. the people of good conscious, when there is clear and patent treatment being given to one body of americans, not to another, that there is a call to act. this idea and this dream and written on that place in memphis, tennessee. the site where one of our great americans. not great black americans. one of our great americans died. words from the torah that call upon us now.
here cometh the dreamer. let us slay him and see what becomes of his dreams. there has been enough death in this country. there has been enough over incarceration. it is time now that we make the dream real and we through our legislative efforts as illustrated by state after state, can now follow suit, reduce our prison populations. lower crime and save taxpayer money and more effectively herald the highest ideal s of our country. thank you. >> thank you, senator booker. congressman gutierrez. >> thank you chairman durbin, ranking member cruz. thank you senator durbin for advocating for justice and equality. i have always valued your advice and counsel, your leadership i -- on the judiciary committee and as chairman of the subcommittee have contributed greatly to our nation in
protecting the civil rights of all of us. i came here to say thank you. before i begin, i want to expend my heart felt condolences to the family and friend s of michael brown and eric garner. i think we can all agree that the loss of life is a grave tragedy. as a parent, i want to say to the parents that i am so sorry for your loss. in the wake to have grand jury decisions to not indict the officers involved in the deaths of michael brown and eric garner, communities throughout the country have taken to the streets to protest. many are deeply dissatisfied with the decisions not to prosecute the police officers in ferguson and staten island and transapparently examine their actions and the circumstances that led to the death of two unarmed black men. the protests also exposed an equally disturbing issue. that the killings of brown and garner are not isolated issues. i believe the visceral reaction around the country is because
these cases represent the countless young men who are treated unjustly by the police and many question their ability to receive justice through the current court system. these expose gaps in our criminal justice system and the grand jury process and the conflict in bringing charges against law enforcement. clearly we have more work to do to build trust between communities and flaufert our system of justice and law enforcement in our system of justice. racial profiling officially or unofficially by some in law enforcement forces blacks and latinos to contend with the criminal justice system in a completely different way than many others in our society. minority communities have a igher prosecution rate and sentences are harsher among the minority defendants. all too often latino and blacks
are victim s of excessive use of force at the hands of rogue police officers. the issue is only exacerbated when they are equipped with military equipment as is the case in ferguson, missouri this past summer. the cycle continues as we saw just last wheek when the grand jury failed to even call for a trial in open court. it is not spriting that the system breeds mistrust. this vicious cycle not only affects individuals but also affects our african-american and latino communities as a whole. when we see children like ichael brown and eric garner and trayvon martin, we see our own families and our own loved ones. ask any laten american parent, they will tell you nay they fear for their children's safety every time they leave the house. rather than thinking to have police as public servants who'll
their children think of them as the harshest their children have to face. i think of my daughter jessica. she was stopped because she was driving in too knives a car. she was with her friends in her own neighborhood. her mom and dad apparently made the mistake of living in a neighborhood they could afford to live in. not one the police officer thought she should be living in. as a capitol hill police officer said i didn't look like a congressman. too many have faced profiling. subtle and expolice i. annoying and yes, potentially dangerous. when the profiler has a badge or has a gun. i respect and appreciate the hard work that law enforcement officers do to keep our communities safe. we have worked to get more cops the streets, to invest in
violence reduction programs and make sure we honor and pay police officers for the dangerous, often thankless work police officers do. i'm also proud to be an original co-sponsor of the end racial profiling act which i think is clearly and sorely needed. with regard to the revised profiling guidelines yesterday issued by the department of justice, i am deeply disappointed they did not close significant loopholes as they pertain to the department of homeland security which will allow america's law enforcement entities including customs, border patrol to continue to profile many innocent americans. i'm also perplexed and disheartened that it applies only the federal agency agents. civil and human rights in america today continue to be a
work in progress. thanks to the leadership of chairman durbin and many of my colleagues, including those seated with me today, we are able to celebrate the strides we have made to create an equal and more just nation for all. it is tempered by knowing that we cannot rest in the pursuit of justice and fairness, especially in the face of tragic and needless cost of life. we have come a long way. senator booker is a testament to that. my buddy, keith, is a testament to that. host: to be a testament to that. let's continue to do the ghood work -- good work. i for your leadership. >> thank you. >> thank you very much and also thank you to the ranking member and thank you to my fellow senators, senator klobucher. i was very moved by the words of my fellow panel as they are amazing and i want to say ditto
to everything they said. last week, a 15-year-old was run over by a man in an s.u.v. and that bumper sticker on his car said islam is worse than ebola. but today i'm not here to talk and focus on private hate crimes and discrimination although that deserves all the attention that we can muster. today i would like to talk about the discrimination that happens at the hands of state actors. i think we should shine a light on all formors discrimination but the events that we have seen over the last few weeks demonstrates how very important it is for the state and people who act on behalf of the state to get it right. people have a legitimate higher expectation of people who operate on behalf of the state. our government is a democratic government and is -- by a
constitution and the people have every right to believe that the government is there to protect the general welfare. that makes it all the more disappointing when people who operate on behalf of the state fail to live up to that expectation. people have a right to believe that they will be dealt with justly and fairly by the state, but when the state violates people's rights, it is to wonder who is going to protect my rights if the state will not. that is why people are particularly incensed by encounters between citizens and law enforcement. people are grateful for law enforcement. we believe in law enforcement. i am grateful for law enforcement and i know people who are in law enforcement, most of them go into it because they want to help people. but when they fail and when excessive force is employed, it is incredibly disappointing and it shakes people's confidence in what the state is spoysed to do for them, -- supposed to do for them, which is to protect them
and promote their welfare. the injustice we have seen over the past week is not new. not the first time that the police have been video taped using excessive force. none of us can ever forget rodney king. it is not the first time people died in place cust and it is not the first time that a grand jury has veetoed justice. why are people walking around with their hands up saying i can't breathe? why are people saying don't shoot? why are they proclaiming these things all over sniss america? it is because of a long train of abuses, not one particular case. people who want to ark over the nuance of one recent case in the news or another are free to do so, but no one can deny the unmistakable pattern between police and community, particularly black community and men in that community. we can talk about eric garner and michael brown, but what
about tamar rice, 12 years old. what about darren hunt who had a toy? what about rodney king? by the way, not only is this a long train of abuses. it goes back further than commission report which said our nation is moving toward two society, one block, one white, separate and unequal. 50 years ago, we were dealing with this same issue, and it is on us today and we must make a call to action to reverse this trend so that every american, all americans can feel that the government really is liberty and justice for all. so instead of a system of justice that works for some, it doesn't work for all, this injustice takes place within a social and economic context and i have to say that when officer wilson confronted michael brown canfield drive in ferguson,
the interaction did not take place in a vacuum. ferguson, missouri's unemployment is 13%, over double the national average. the number of poor people in ferguson doubled over the last 10 years. in 2012, almost all of ferguson's neighborhoods had a poverty rate of over 20%. by act is if we respond ordering body cams, ordering police cameras, this will be good steps. if we have grand jury reform. if we require that there are preliminary hearings in these officer-involved shoot sogs we have shootings so we can more transparency. these are all good things but they will not stop the parent unless we deal with the economic abandonment of cities like ferguson. we cannot continue to solve our economic and social problems with criminal justice solutions.
the fact that our low income and minority communities are overpoliced and underprotected is a spark. but poverty and economic deprivation is the kindling and that is what lights the flame. i say yes to body cams and all types of reforms, but please let us not forget that investing in infrastructure, education, public job programs and providing for social supports which help people stay away from the hardest aspects of an unfair economy are essential. you do not sell on the streets of staten island if you are making a livable wage. we know we have an inequality problem. the average wall mark worker makes $8.48. the c.e.o. of mcdonald's makes $9200 an hour and a cashier
makes $825. please do not forget that dealing with the economic deprivation that kindles these situations is incredibly important. it is important in the recent cases. it will be important in the future. i would now like to turn my attention just for a moment to talk about the problems that affect the muslim community in particular. societyal discrimination is real. i have been a direct victim of it myself in my own state only a few days ago, a county party chairman called muslims parasites and said they should be fragged. that means to kill them violently. a state senator in oklahoma said american muslims are a cancer that needs cutting out. when we arrive at how the state deals with this population, we know we are already dealing with a situation in which so many in
the law enforcement community see the muslim community as a security problem, not fully fledged members of our community here to make a contribution. i too was disappointed in the guidance recently issued by the department of justice and believe that at no time can we have a system of justice in which someone's race or religion or what they are wearing can justify engagement by law enforcement. law enforcement should engage some ns when there is nation is person might commit a specific crime. that should be the basis of the engagement. until we say that racial profiling, religious profiling is actually bad law enforcement, we will continue to bother people and engage people who had nothing to do with any wrongdoing and we will miss people who were up to no good and will harm us.
thank you, all the committee members and my fellow panelists for this excellent presentation. thank you. >> thank you. congressman gutierrez, great to see you again. senator booker, thanks. we appreciate it as your colleagues. i dismiss with gratitude our first panel and thank them for adding to this. i want to acknowledge the audience, martin castro, chair of the u.s. commission on civil rights. good to see you, marty. now i would like to call the second witness panel to come to table. as they are coming to the table, i will give you an introduction on them. one long time friend, wade henderson. chief executive officer of the counsel -- council of on human rights. civil and human rights coalition with more than 200 members. mr. henderson, professor at the university of david clark school
of law. professor to ginobili joining the leadership committee, testifies a graduate of harvard university and rutgers university scule school of law. r. cedric alexander. they see deputy chief operating officer in charge of the office of public safety for dekalb. previously served as federal security director for delirt international airport. the office of public safety for the division of criminal justice and chief of police in rochester, new york. 15 years in florida. a doctoral degree. thank you. our next witness is a familiar friend. laura murphy. a boggs the civil lirkts union she has healed on several
occasions. longest head of the federal affairs operation in the aclu's 94-year history. she received her bachelors from wellesley college. it is customary to swear in our witness. if you would all please rise. do you affirm the testimony you're about to give to the subcommittee is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god. thank you. let it be reflected all three witnesses answered in the affirmative and let me call it is a first witness wade henderson. >> thank you mr. chairman, senator durbin. member s of the subcommittee. i'm c.e.o. to have leadership onference on civil rights.
let me start by thanking you, chairman durbin for your remarkable leadership of the subcommittee. on the matthew shepherd and james bird jr. hate crimes acts to stand your ground laws and the civil rights of american muslims, you have been o champion on issues of vital importance to the civil and human rights community for years. let me also acknowledge you, ranking member cruz in your role it is a new chair of the subcommittee for the 114th congress. senator, we are hopeful as the new chair you will build on the subcommittee's legacy and continue to work and n a bipartisan fashion to make progress for our nation. we look forward to collaborateing with you to achieve our common goal of protecting and advancing civil and human rights for all
american. this hearing is taking place at a pittal time for our nation -- pivotal time for our nation. it has fueled a growing, diverse, passionate and increasingly organized movement for justice across racial lines that cannot be ignored. in particular, the recent nonindictments of the the police officers who killed michael brown in ferguson, missouri and eric garner in staten island, new york and the new information about the suitability of officer timothy loman who killed 12-year-old tamir rice in cleveland, ohio. reminds us that we live in a ofntry founded on principles equality. s still find the promise of equality has yet to be fully realized. every indicator that we use in the united states to measure progress, people of color are
falling further behind and in some important ways doing worse than they were in 1960. our school have resegregated. our levels of unemployment are at an all-time high. we face discrimination in voting. as we mark a number of anniversaries this year and next, including the civil rights act, freedom summer, the voting rights act and bloody sunday, we must acknowledge and celebrate how far we have come, but we must also be aware of just how far we have to go in the quest for equal. -- equality. systemic obstacles and opportunity remain for our communities and we failed to establish the justice and equality that we all seek. without question, our criminal justice system is in crisis. racial and ethnic bias and discrimination persist at every stage from policing to trial to
sentencing and finally to re-entry. we should use our resources to more adequately address public fety and invest in alternatives to incarceration. we must put in place common sense reforms that prohibit discriminatory profiling, demilitary rise local law enforcement and we redefine standards for use of force by police and establish accountability. we must eliminate sentencing policies that disproportionately impact communities of color and the smarting sentencing act. finally we need vigorous enforcement of hate crime protections and expanded coordinated police community efforts to track and respond to hate violence and improve hate crime data collection. more than a decade after president bush announced that racial profiling is "wrong and
we will end it in america." communities across the country, particularly african-americans, latinos, asian americans and arab and muslim americans and those perceived to be arab and muslim including south asians, middle easterners are still profiled in a variety of contexts including street level enforcement. profiling is an ineffective law enforcement practice. it is debt nonal public safety and is antithetical to the constitutional right to equal protection under the law. yesterday the department of justice issued long-awaited revisions to its 2003 profiling guidance for federal law enforcement. this represents an important step forward by expanding protected categories and limiting some of the existing loopholes. where it falls short in the areas of national security, border integrity and the failure
to imply state and local enforcement, we will work with this administration to end profiling by all law enforcement. further, the short falls in the guidensance we enforce a need for congress to act and assure practice of the end racial profiling act. i would like to turn next to voting rights. while the dives poll tests are behind us, voting discrimination is still a problem for many americans. last month's midterm elections were the first to be held without the protection of section five of the votings rights act because of the supreme court's 2013 shelby county vs. holder decision. and we saw increased efforts to implement new restrictions on voting including mandatory voting identification laws, limits on early voting, last minute changes of polling places
and changes of methods to elections and racially biased gerrymandering. as a result we witnessed the most unfair, confusing and discriminatory election landscape in almost 50 years. it is a disgrace to our citizens, to our nation and to our standing in the world as a beacon of democracy. the 114th congress must fix the shelby decision by enacting the bipartisan votings rights amendment act to ensure that no voter faces discrimination. these are big challenges, mr. chairman. the leadership conference's goal to create an america as good as its ideals. it is not just rhetoric. this is the critical and necessary work in which all americans of good conscious should be engaged, particularly our elected officials who are charged with addressing problem s of national importance. we look forward to working with you and the subcommittee on
these important issues. hank you, sir. >> dr. alexander? >> i bring you greetings on behalf of the executive board and members of the national organization of black executives commonly referred to as noble. cedric alexander. it is an honor to be here today to participate as a witness in the hearing on civil and human rights in the united states. i want to acknowledge and thank you, chairman durbin for holding this hearing and inviting me to participate. i speak to you from a perspective of a person who has over 37 years in law enforcement experience and who has held a number of high level positions in federal, county and city, local levels. in addition, i hold a ph.d. in clinical psychology and quite
frankly, senator, some days i don't know whether that is an asset or a liability. but i represent an organization, norblee, whose mission is to noble, who is mission is to serve all communities and serve as a conscious to law enforcement by being committed to justice by action. it is my position that this country has the unique opportunity today to address the lack of trust and understanding of law enforcement by communities of color. it is imperative to every citizen that we collectively deploy solutions to the areas of training, community policing and technology to ensure that as america is secure, both domesticically and internationally. secondly, through these solutions, we are able to further the hopes and dreams of many of our forefathers in realizing true civil rights and human rights as stated in a declaration of independence.
we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. e recent events in ferguson, missouri and staten island, new york, have created an virnlte where many people of color feel disenfranchised by their national and local government. more importantly, there is a pervasive belief, right or wrong that, the lives of minorities are less valuable than that of their counterparts. so with that, let's talk about solutions to building brings of understanding and partnership between enforcement and communities they are to serve and protect. training, sir, being at the forefront of all of this. it is a critical come fonet bridging a gap between law
enforcement and community s of color. it is the foundation for people of different colors and different social economic backgrounds to interact effectively. when developed and implemented as a framework, it enables systems and agents and groups to understand the needs. to ensure they reflect the 21st century needs and to incorporate training for police officers that is part of the recruitment and service training. militarization of police has become a growing concern and interest throughout our country in recent years through the use of tactical equipment and gear to combat every day crime. the program was created by the national defense authorization act in 1937 as part of the u.s.
government's defense logistics agency to transfer excess military equipment to local law enforcement agencies. every year hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military equipment flows from the federal government to state and local police departments. as a result, departments have impolicemened to use the military equipment as seen, most recently in ferguson, missouri. which to many americans was unfairly targeted towards other american citizens. there must be justification, accountability and training to support the continued use of such tactical measures and equipment. noble feels that training is a key component of ensuring the correct application of this type of resource. community oriented policing, which we years,ard about over the
philosophy of policing in this country. here are some of the key components. community policing allows officers to demonstrate their support for the community. officers are allies. officers respect and protect the of residents, racial profiling and other forms strictlymination are prohibited. officers are trained to communicate with people, solve and developoblems, an appreciation of cultural and differences. on the other side of that, sir, very important too that closely withork police, align themselves with the local police and become partners. is not a one-way street. this is a two-way street when we talk about public safety. it takes everyone to provide the of public safety that i