tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 14, 2015 4:30pm-6:31pm EST
dential race shaping up, and also could you specifically address the fact that mitt romney is thinking about getting in the race? >> well, i'll be glad to make a couple of comments but i have to, you know, first put out my disclaimers. we don't actively participate in the presidential election. we of course comment during the process on the policy issues involved. and we are interested, of course, on who all the candidates are. just think about it. every morning in america, about 25 or 30 people get up and look in the mirror and say, god morning, mr. president god morning, madam president, and it's the great thing about the american system. it's a great thing. and it's going to have an effect, you name the time, is it six months from now? we thought it would be, but now all of a sudden we're, you know a lot of up front people, it's going to have an effect on
what we're trying to do on the other very important policy, regulatory and legislative issues that need to be addressed. and by the way on the global issues we're dealing with. on romney, not talking about him as a presidential candidate, he's a skilled businessman, he's certainly gotten some experience on being in the presidential business. and i think he's a talented guy. but i could say the same thing about a lot of people. men and women. i think it's going to be fascinating. but here's my deal. i think the american people in elections in the house elections in the senate, elections for governor and therefore elections for president of the united states are going to look very, very carefully for people that share their values, but bring competence and experience to the process.
if you went and looked at all the polls, there was a great concern in the last election where people go to washington and govern and do they have the competence and the experience to do so? >> good morning. the "wall street journal." if i could get you to go a little further on 2016. and maybe throw you a slab of red meat and ask you to comment on elizabeth warren, when you talk about economic populism, is that that w.h.o. you're referringing to chiefly? >> no, i think there are a lot of economic populists running around in and out of the congress. elizabeth warren is a person who has some views we don't share. she's a member of the senate. this is what i'm talking about right now. the idea that people should not be confirmed to serve in the
government because they have experience in the subject for which they would be assigned is a very unique idea, isn't it? it may work in the senate. but it sure doesn't work when you're doing it with complicated global financial issues for example. second, the idea that enterprise and american companies should be more vigorously regulated by the government and in fact controlled by the government is a see are -- is a view that we don't share. a very pleasant woman if you sit down and have a cup of tea with her. or drink. but we don't share her views on the economy and on where the american economic system ought to be headed. and i don't think, if she runs for president i don't think the american people will share her
views either. >> inside health policy. you mentioned it briefly in your speech but i was wondering if you could expand on your health care approach this year and if it's impacted at all or shaped at all by the pending litigation and if that's kind of a sign toward repeal and replace strategies or kind of the smaller tweaks like the 40-hour workweek and things like that. >> bruce is going to enlighten you on that. i would simply say that health care is 17% or 18% of our economy. so legislation of high significance in terms of many changes in the system is very difficult to implement and very
difficult to rationalize. the president and the white house have been basically rewriting it as we go along. which is sort of a unique perspective for us. but there are going to be changes because it is so omni present in everything that we do that we've got to find out what works and what doesn't and we'll be a part of that. bruce. >> couple points. first off, we'll be doing health care legislation, in my opinion, forever. because it is about 1/6th of the overall economy. there is no magic wand in this space at all. we think there are some serious structural issue problems with the law that's been enacted. our members have to deal with them so our objective and our role and responsibility on behalf of our members -- is on behalf of our members. so that runs the gamut from the 30 to 40-hour deal.
interest in medical liability, which wasn't mentioned. we're interested in a whole host of things that make this a little easier. yeah we have objections to the employer mandate. we're not involved at all in the litigation. i think the litigation, depending upon what the court does decide, could have a huge impact on the law going forward because of subsidies and who gets them and how they get them and all of that. medicaid isn't really a business organization issue per se. tom mentioned i think there's bipartisan support for repealing the medical device tax. i think we have expressed concern and interest with the health insurance tax. they do nothing but make this whole process more expensive for everybody to get into the system. but, look, there aren't 60 votes in the senate to pass a repeal bill. president obama is still president. he's not going to sign a law if it ever got to his desk that repeals this signature
achievement, quote-unquote. so we're not working for repeal. even though we were actively working to defeat this from ever becoming a law. but now the objective is, it is a law, we're four or five years into this thing and we've got to continue to try to improve it at every turn. that's what we're going to do. >> i would add one or sentence. it's very interesting to watch our friends and neighbors and family try and deal first with the existing system and now with the changing system, which causes them to lose, reapply for their health insurance, find out their co-pays have changed or whatever. i'm not making a value judgment about the content. i'm making a value judgment about how difficult it is for everyday americans. and i'm not talking about that guy that worked on and suggested they weren't very smart. i'm suggesting they are smart.
but they aren't informed because if you try and pick up that stuff and the explanations and try and inform yourself, you're lucky if you work for a company that takes care of arranging your health insurance. if you have to do it yourself, it is one of the scariest things you can ever imagine. >> hi, reuters. the obama administration says they're going to unveil new rules today that aim to slash methane emissions from oil and gas production. i think by up to 45% by the year 2025. i know you sort of touched on emissions in your speech. but i wondered what you specifically thought about this proposal to regulate methane gas.
thank you. >> bruce? >> we just talked about it. the first comment, it just came out as you know, so you now where we were, we haven't had a chance to review it. from what i understand you're right. it's a 45% reduction by 2025. i'm told it doesn't define how we would ever achieve that through a regulation. yet over here on the other side of that is another reality that says in about the last five years u.s. industry has reduced methane emissions by about 11%. by the way, fracking oil by greater than 70%. all of what e.p.a. had previously forecast as undershot, meaning the private sector has exceeded emission reductions voluntarily far beyond what they had hoped to achieve. so you're kind of stopping right away wondering, wait a second, we're moving forward here with pretty significant reductions, massive on the fracking side, and now the administration comes out with another kind of
one-size-fits-all regulation that's going to have an impact on one of the most innovative industries in the country. without any definition of how you achieve it. so we're concerned. >> hi, japanese tv network. on cuba, can you tell us what kind of benefits the u.s. business community can get from possible u.s.-cuba commercial exchange? and are you planning to visit havana again this year? thank you. >> i think the benefits should be measured is he consequentially. the first benefit -- se quentially. the first benefit comes from the united states of america. cuba is off the coast of florida. there are people from all over the world down there, they've built one of the most modest ports to handle all of those ships coming through, the new
ships, the panama canal, paid for by the brazilians the dredging paid for by the germans the cranes and the computer technology provided by the chinese. there's a major oil drilling and refining operation gas and oil, which is a joint partnership with the canadians. and we're not there, except on food. the second and very, very important thing that's critical to the united states is the national security and geopolitical reality. we don't want to go back to a point where others who don't wish us well or who are competitive not in an economic sense but in a geopolitical sense set up shop 91 miles from -- set up shop 91 miles from one of our major cities.
and we then on top of all that, there are extraordinary opportunities for american companies there. you've all seen the pictures. now, it's not the biggest population in the world. but there's a chance to do two things. one is sell a bunch of cars there, and two, go into the car business of antique cars. and by the way, there is an unbelievable demand by the people living in cuba for consumer products, technology and other things, somebody's going to sell them. it's not going to be all us. because look at these other countries who have their companies in there already. but the bottom line is, it is now time for us to do something here. you all notice that the dissidents were released yesterday. >> hi, investment nuss.
going back to financial regulation. how exactly do you see it unfolding, for instance the technical corrections bill that's going to come out of the house today, do you think the senate is going to embrace it in the form that it comes out of the house or is the senate going to take a different approach and go through regular order and do those things one by one how do you see that unfolding? and second if i may just real quick, what are you going to do to try to stop theify dutionary bill? >> i would imagine the senate might be motivated to take up the house-passed bill assuming it passes and gets there. mitch mcconnell has said he wants to do everything through regular order. as you all well know. although he has pointed out on the pipeline issue, it's not an open-ended regular order meaning he's not going to let perpetual amendments in the hundreds go on forever. i don't have a clue what the senate's going to do on this and it's hard to predict. i would assume pass it. or come close to passing it. it seems to me that the -- if
the concern and effort in both chambers right now is to try from the leadership stage to build as much bipartisan support to move these things as quickly as they can, let the president decide what he's going to do. >> remember, the end of the week the leaders and the members of the house and the senate will be together for their meeting and we're hoping that when you put together the regular order issue in the senate and a cooperative relationship between the leaders in both houses that we'll get to some of these issues. in terms of the issue out of labor, we're particularly concerned about a lot of things coming out of labor. remember, labor sets the rules for how you hire people, how you pay their benefits, how you pay them, what you have to do and the regulations on the workplaces and all of that.
and there are lots and lots of things cooking over there that we're going to have to deal with and we hope to deal with them with logical arguments, we hope to deal with them with compelling facts and when we finally get through with it, in a lot of those we're going to have to deal with them in a court of law and you know we're really good at that. >> "the washington post." if you look at the current rates of growth, it seems to be hard to make the case that obamacare and dodd-frank and the other policies of this administration have destroyed the free intersurprise system. do you think those warnings of yours from a few years ago were overwrought or do you think things would be fundamentally and significantly better now if not for that? >> did we project destruction of the free enterprise? >> something very much like that. >> you're crazy. >> find one place that we projected the destruction of the free enterprise system and
i'll buy you lunch. >> where are we going? >> i don't know. >> your call. you're paying. guaranteed. >> we worry about people going after the enterprise system. but we don't project its destruction. and i think it's very, very interesting to look at how the government of the united states has gotten its deficit down to where it has, with the $98 billion out of the fed, with hundreds of billions over time out of extorted settlements out of companies and other issues, but when you look at where this stuff's going in just the next years, and the government's own projection of how huge that deficit's going to be, most of it by the way, a huge amount of it tied into entitlements, i think you have to be really
careful. by the way, they want to do more tax increases. there's certainly the cost of these regulatory changes are extraordinary. but the bottom line is very simple. we need to be alert, we need to understand the challenges and the predictable crisis that we face, and we need to do something about it or we'll pay a price for it. >> hi. "politico." i had a few questions about the gas tax. first of all, are you guys attached to the gas tax as sort of the funding source for the highway bill, or would you be open to using tax reform or something like that? secondly in your speech you said, you know, i'm not sure if you were using rhetoric or something you were proposing, one or two dimes of the savings we've gotten from falling gas prices, 20 cents seems to be a little higher than what most other people have proposed for a gas tax increase. is that the range you're looking for? >> there was an or between the
first and second dime. or and. listen this is a very simple issue. we've gone 20, what, one, two, three years since we've increased the federal fuel tax. during that time everybody in this room has gone from having a car that goes -- gets x miles a gallon to having a car that gets many more miles per gallon. which means you're drivinging -- driving, and same thing on the trucking business which i know a lot about. and the bottom line is we're driving as many mimes or more miles on the road and we're collecting half of the funds that we were to repair the road and extend the road to where it needs to go. and the bridges and the take care of transit. and everybody's thought about all the ideas where they could hide the, quote, gas tax. we could put it in something else and make sure -- make believe it didn't happen. we can have an infrastructure
bank. yeah, you can, but you can't have an infrastructure bank until you have a core system that allows you to pay for it. we've watched four to six states a year increase their own gas tax and it's a two-day story. what's needed here is a realization that there are a lot of holes in the road there's a lot of bridges in this country that don't work and pretty soon we're going to have a crisis. and we need a way to pay for this and because we're going to do it. my recommendation to the leadership is that this is a hell of a lot simpler than a lot of other things they're talking about. >> it's interesting, if you think about this issue. so you had a recession which reduced consumption. you've had the vehicle mile increase that tom mentioned which has been rather dramatic. you've got another thing of millennials not necessarily driving cars the way, say my generation did. so there's a lot of factors and
forces at play here that have done what? they've driven down the receipts of the trust fund close to 30%. since about 2007, so it's pretty clear the direction it's going in. repair and renovation costs by the way, land labor, materials, etc., are going up rather dramatically. this isn't free to be paid for. the people that complain about it being a, quote, tax increase, let's not forget that congress a year ago did on the other side of the coin entirely raise the inland water fee tax ok, nine cents. so at some point reality begins to hit. i think it's encouraging more today that you, you know, from the vehicle mile tax, which has been discussed, to this, but you have more members of the house and senate right now saying well, maybe we ought to take a look at this. maybe we ought to take a look at the tax maybe we ought to look at indexing. you didn't have those conversations even a year ago. so that's a big improvement. this isn't going to be done for
free. >> hi. inside e.p.a. i have a couple questions on the regulatory reform issue. first, you talked about a bill for crafting regulations that passed the house yesterday. are you looking at any particular legislation for the other prongs that have agenda? and on reforming enforcement of existing rules, you talked about some practices you want to see stopped. can you go into more detail on what agencies are using those, i guess you call them underhanded enforcement tricks? >> you want to go on the first part? >> the bills that tom mentioned were the regulatory accountability act, which fundamentally is designed to reform thed a misk procedure act, which is the single statute on the books from 1942 or 1946 that guides the rulemaking and regulators in a regulating process. considering it's 2015 we think
taking a good look at how you modernize that in today's world is probably appropriate. and a bipartisan group of house and senate members agree with us based upon co-sponsorship. the permits streamlining, it shouldn't take 12 15 or 20 years to get a permit for anything in this country. which is kind of what it's been taking. we've kind of modeled off of what they've done on the highway side, so all comments should be heard, everybody should be considered. but there's got to be a timeline where you make a decision. this just can't go on and on forever. the third piece of that is the sue and settle game and this is one where we think some organizations have taken unfair advantage of a legitimate legal process which is called sue the e.p.a. the court courts are deferential to e.p.a. in this case. they always settle. treasury writes a check. and then reimburses, so this is almost a self-funding mechanism for some of those groups. >> and the worst part of that
is you can't challenge it the same way you could a regulation. so the person or group that initiates the suit makes a deal with the e.p.a., they get what they want in the decision from the e.p.a., then they get paid for it and then you can't challenge it. the same way you could if it were a regulation. >> so we think that kind of game needs to stop. now the general council -- counsel of the e.p.a. has agreed with us and started to release some of that information. which by the way for years they wouldn't release. part of the regulatory reform concerns we've had on some of the standard setting where e.p.a. says, you know, our analyses and science tells us and we say, can we see the science? and then the game is no, a university did it, we don't own it. you go to the university, they say, we did it for e.p.a., we're not permitted to give it to you. we're like the ping pong ball going back and forth. we're saying in those instances
e.p.a. should forthrightly bring forward those analyses and studies. we'd like to see in them real cost-benefit analyses overall in terms of the entire impact on the economy. i think you guys and gals know, we did a study over several years on this sue and settle game and permitting and identified more than 350 projects -- by the way, interestingly, over half of which were for term and renewable energy infrastructure projects that got stopped because of this sue and settle game. so, there's a lot going on in this space that the onion needs to be peeled back a little bit and the e.p.a. needs to be a lot more transparent. >> one more question. >> "national law journal" and courpt council. over here. for 2015, is reforming the false claims act a priority for
the chamber? >> yes. >> can you talk a little bit more about what you are hoping to accomplish? >> let me hook you up -- let me hook you up with matt webb who i think is here. we'll get him because i know the other people in the legal reform institute are not here today. but matt is here. we think there are some concerns with the practices in terms of how the corrupt practices act is being used to go after companies. >> i'm talking about the false claims act. >> the false claims act. then i'm definitely going to put you to matt. somebody get matt down here. we'll get him to you. >> "financial advisor" magazine. two questions. are you threatening a lawsuit if d.o.l. comes out with a fiduciary rule? >> no, i think we'll be working on lots of the other options of
debate. if we go to normal order in the senate, there will be opportunities to have hearings and look at that issue. if it finally comes down as something, you know, that was dealt with before, if we have to go to court, we will. we don't threaten people with lawsuits. we just sue them. >> the other question is, what parts of the dodd-frank do you think you can repeal in this session of congress? >> we're not out to repeal all sorts of parts of dodd-frank. what we're interested in doing is making the technical changes , finding some rational center between the conflicting interpretations that we're getting from the regulatory agencies and dealing with those things that were written without understanding of how it
affects what's happening in the rest of the economy, what's happening in our businesses around the world. look dodd-frank is here. it's not going away. but it is so big, it is so perversive that we have got to make those technical challenges. and by the way, you go pick every major piece of legislation you ever see in this country, and that's exactly what has to happen. look what's going on in health care. it makes what's going on in dodd-frank look like not very significant. we're going to be there, we're going to work on those changes, we're going to work on interpretation and we're going to work very very hard to make sure that there is some reordering of how it is regulated by -- by wlom? by one, by two, by 10, by a dozen agencies? all in conflict? that's got to stop. let me just say one thing. because we're not going to take any more questions. we have a lot of our staff here that deal with the issues you're interested in. and you know many of them.
and they're standing over there and over there and they'll be very happy to talk to you. i want to thank you for coming. and i want to wish you a very happy 2015. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> coming up in about two hours here on c-span, the west virginia state of the state address from governor earl ray tomblin. he's speaking at the west virginia house of delegates in the state capitol of charleston. live at 7:00 p.m. eastern. >> our guest this sunday on "q&a" is on the front line battling against infectious diseases. >> we have drugs right now that when given to people who are h.i.v.-infected, if someone comes in, i could show you the dichotomy. in the early 19 0s if someone came into my clinic with aids,
the median survival would be six to eight months which means they would be half -- half of them would be dead in eight months. now if tomorrow when i go back to rounds on friday and someone comes in to our clinic who's 20-plus years old who's relatively recently infected and i put them on the combination of three drugs the cocktail of highly active antiretroviral therapy, i could look them in the eye and say, we could do mathematical modeling that if you take your medicine regularly you could live an additional 50 years, so to go from knowing that 50% of the people are going to die in eight months to knowing that if you take your medicines you could live essentially a normal life span, just a little bit -- a few years less than normal life span, that's a huge advance. >> director of the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases sunday
night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's "q anderson" -- q anderson a." >> the house of representatives today passed a $40 billion spending bill for the homeland security department for the remainder of the fiscal year. the bill passed in a see the house debate on c-span beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern. the house approved several amendments to that bill, one would block the president's executive action allowing some to allow in the u.s. and remove protections for dreamers. the president would veto the bill if it passes the senate. both are done for legislative work. they are meeting in pennsylvania on thursday and friday for the first joint retreat in 10 years and discuss how to work together while republicans control both
sides of congress. jay leno and former prime minister tony blair. senate democrats have started their retreat. they are in baltimore today and tomorrow. president obama is planning to attend the retreat, but senate minority leader is not. he is still recovering from an accident from exercising in his home. bob goodlatte outlined his committee's issues. he said that on immigration, republicans will take a quote step by step approach. >> thanks for coming. house judiciary committee chairman bob goodlatte.
joining him is his wife and a named parter in a law firm. he is a massachusetts native who earned his bachelor's agree in maine. he came to virginia to attend law school. after law school, he served two years as district director for a congressman and practiced law in virginia from 1981 until his election to congress in 1992. in addition to chairing the judiciary committee, representative goodlatte serves on the house agriculture committee where he was chairman from 2003 to 2007. he is interested in technology issues serving as co-chair of the congressional internet caucus and chairman of the house republican technology working group. now onto the exciting matters of process. we are on the record. no live blogging or tweeting, no
filing of any kind while the breakfast is under way so you can listen to what the guest says. we will email several pictures of the session to all the reporters here as soon as the breakfast ends and if you would like to ask a question please do the traditional thing and send me a signal. we are going to start off by offering our guest to make opening comments and he will talk about the judiciary committee's ajeopardya for 2015. it may be longer than three or four minutes. >> david thank you for inviting me to the "christian science monitor" breakfast. it's a pleasure to be here and pleasure to be here with my wife who is a practicing attorney in roanoke, virginia and doesn't get to washington as i would like but will be coming
to washington, because my daughter is going to make us a grand parent soon and we are pleased that she will be coming up to see that granddaughter. i want to take the opportunity to do something that has become a bit of a tradition and that is you allowing me to announce my committee aagenda. we have done this before and i'm honored to do it again. let me start by saying that i'm proud of the numerous legislative accomplishments we had in the 113th congress, including passage of the u.s.a. freedom act, the bipartisan innovation act numerous bills aimed at reducing business regulation and reducing sanctions for attorneys who file frivolous lawsuits. the house judiciary committee will look to build upon our
work. the committee will continue to advance an agenda that is focused on creating jobs and making america more competitive and free. the judiciary committee plays a particularly critical role in advancing pro-growth policies that restore jobs and economic prosperity for families and businesses across the nation and in making sure the administration is held accountable to the american people. first, i'm committed to restoring accountability and providing relief from excessive regulation to our nation small businesses and job creators who need it most. america's small business owners are suffocating under mountains of bureaucratic red tape and the uncertainty about the cost of these upcoming regulations discourages employers from hiring employees and expanding their businesses. excessive regulation means higher prices, lower wages, less economic growth and less competitive america. the house passed bipartisan
regulatory accountability act, which seeks to bring in excessive regulatory cost. the legislation i introduced with representative colin peterson requires the federal government to adopt the least costly method to implement the law. washington's endless regulatory roadblocks drain america's hard-earned wages and stand in the way of opportunity and growth today. americans face $3 trillion from federal taxation and overregulation. it is larger than the 2013 gross domestic product of all but the top 10 countries in the world and moist importantly that burden adds up to $15,000 per american household. nearly 30% of average household income in 2013. also in an effort to protect americans from excessive regulation the house judiciary committee will be looking at the issue of net neutrality. last year, the committee held a hearing whether antitrust law or
regulation is more effective in protecting consumers and innovation on the internet. the conclusion of experts at the hearing was that the regulatory approach leaves consumers with fewer choices and higher prices. the opposite of net neutrality. the internet doesn't need an inflexible one size fix all government mandate to ensure net neutrality and consumers do not need extra $84 burden added to their internet bill as a result of net neutrality regulations, a number projected by recent study. the key to a free and open internet is from strong enforcement of antitrust laws. it allows for flexibility and demonstrate their ability to prevent discriminatory and anticompetitive conduct in the marketplace. i want to mention that the judiciary committee has an array
of state taxation issues involving taxation across state lines that we also need to and plan to address in this congress. the internet tax freedom act i should say the permanent internet tax freedom act passed the house with strong bipartisan support last year and we intend to move that forward as well. that is a bar on new and discriminatory taxes usually access fees to the internet that can add 20% to 25% to the cost. if you compare to what happened there to what does happen now with your telephone. that's one issue. another is the taxation of interstate sales with regard to states being able to get the revenue that they miss when someone buys an item from out of state. we are hard at work at that as
well as issues like mobile work force and digital goods. another ingredient to a competitive america is a just and legal system. as chairman i'm committed to focus on legislation like the fact act, which encourages openness and transparency in the system, discourages fraud and frivolous claims and ensures funds meant to benefit legitimate victims are not used to pay fraudulent claims. the judiciary committee will build upon the important work of our over criminalization task force which i created last congress examining the problems with a bloated, disorganized and redundant collection of criminal offenses. one of the themes that the task force discovered it is crucial that the committee review all new federal criminal laws and the house of representatives adopted a rules package which
clarifies the judiciary committee's jurisdiction over criminal matters by adding one word, criminalization to our existing jurisdiction over criminal law. by making this change, the judiciary committee will have a new jurisdictional interests in those rare instances that a bill criminalizes new conduct by amending a statute that is attached to a criminal penalty without amending the penalty itself. in this instance, the judiciary committee will look to work with other committees on ensuring that the new conduct is worthy of criminalization and that the attached criminal penalties are appropriately drafted. i believe this small clarification is the judiciary committee's jurisdiction will allow us to address the problems associated with the tangled web of federal criminal laws. we will focus on reforms to discourage frivolous patent litigation and keep u.s. patent laws up to date. the strength of our economy relies on our ability to protect new inventions and build on new
innovation in the 21st century. the house passed with overwhelming support the bipartisan innovation act. this legislation which had the support of the white house, is necessary to protect american businesses large and small from abusive patent litigation. despite the wide range of support from the innovation act the senate refused to act, so i look forward to working with the new senate to get patent reform enacted. the house judiciary committee will continue to continue the important work we be began last confidence with u.s. copyright law. the review has been to determine whether the copyright laws are still working in the digital age to reward creativity and innovation. review is bringing diverse stakeholders together to have a conversation on various issues. so far we held 18 hearings as
part of the review and i believe these hearings have been successful and productive in that the various stakeholders and interested parties have come together to discuss the issues they face. in the months ahead, the committee will hold hearings to examine the last remaining issues and then we intend to work together with the stakeholders from the technology community to the content community to find consensus on the areas of the copyright act that need further improvement. technology will help us solve many of the pressing problems our nation faces. we need to make sure that the federal government's efforts are focused on creating incentives that encourage innovation and eliminating policies that hinder it. i will look at modernizing the decades'-old privacy act to to reflect our economy. we will look at consumers and businesses. we need to look at broad
institutional reforms like the balanced budget amendment. on the first day of the new congress, i reinintroduced two constitutional amendments. nearly 20 years ago, the senate failed by one vote to pass a balanced budget constitutional amendment. if the congress sent it to the states, we would not be facing the fiscal crisis we are today and balancing the federal budget would be the norm rather than the exception. in order for congress to make the tough decisions necessary for fiscal responsibility, congress must have the external pressure of a balanced budget requirement as 49-50 states. every congress since 2007, i have introduced amendments that require congress to balance the federal budget. we must consider it has on future generations. we should not pass on to our children and grandchildren the bleak fiscal future that our
unsustainable spending is conducting. and make the decisions necessary to balance the budget and eliminate the federal deficit. this year, congress will continue the debate on immigration reform. we all agree that our nation's immigration system is in desperate need of repair and it is not working as efficiently and fairly as it should be. our first priority however is stopping president obama's unconstitutional actions on immigration. president obama has disregarded the will of the american people and violated the constitution by unilaterally changing our immigration laws. these actions threaten our government's system of checks and balances and imperil individual liberty and i believe the president's executive overreach on immigration must be stopped. this morning, the house of representatives will consider several amendments that will effectively cut off all funding for these actions, whether it be appropriation funds, agency -collected fees or anything
else. in terms of fixing our broken immigration system i continue to advocate for a step by step approach starting with enforcement and to address many of the issues facing our nation's immigration system. this includes making commonsense changes to our legal immigration programs, including those programs that address high-skilled workers so our immigration system works in the best interest of our country and citizens. the -- >> time check so they don't start throwing sausages at me. >> i have so much information that will prompt questions or resolve questions. >> the judiciary committee will play a key role in safeguarding the constitutional rights of u.s. sit science from the first amendment's protections for freedom of religion and freedom of speech and speech to the fourth amendment and fifth
amendment. these are not rights given by government but god-given rights. this obligation is forever enshrined in our constitution and the judiciary committee will work to protect these freedoms. as congress seeks to reform our intelligence gathering programs we must ensure that americans' civil liberties and national security are protected. last congress, the house judiciary committee, which has primary jurisdiction over programs operated under fisa conducted three hearings and worked with the house permanent select committee on intelligence, house leaders and obama administration to reach agreement on a bipartisan u.s.a. freedom act. this bipartisan bill, which passed the house by a wide margin last year helps protects our cherished individual liberties as the federal government carries out its duty to keep our nation safe from you
forning enemies and ends domestic bulk collection and increases the oversight and transparency of these intelligence gathering programs so we can rebuild trust. our government elected by the people must provide for the common defense and at the same time secure the blessings of liberty now and for generations to come. as chairman of the house judiciary committee my duty is to ensure the committee is focused on economic opportunity prosperity and freedom for all americans. it is truly an honor to continue serving our nation in this capacity and i look forward to continuing the good work we started in the last congress on these significant issues. and david i'm done. we have a lot of work to do but the committee has very broad jurisdiction and make sure we prompt questions in whatever areas all of you are interested in. >> thank you for doing that.
in december you told "the hill" that you wanted to reform legislation early in the new congress. does that forecast still stand? >> the fact of the matter is, the president's actions have definitely complicated this considerably. there is a matter of trust involved here and the american people do not trust this president to enforce our immigration laws. that trust has been further harmed by the fact that this massive administrative legalization that the president has undertaken is not only a bad immigration policy but a very serious threat to our separation of powers, because if a president can do this, a president can do anything. and i don't believe the president can do anything. i believe that article 1, powers in the constitution clearly direct legislative authority to the congress and no the
president whose duty is to execute the laws. stopping the president's actions are very critical in my opinion to making progress on immigration reform, which would start with enforcement and then move to a host of other issues, including legal immigration reform and determining the appropriate status of people who are not lawfully here. >> you talked about the amendments that are going to be offered on the floor today to the fiscal 2015 homeland security appropriations bill. and release from your committee said those amendments will defund president obama's unconstitutional -- daca and the more recent grant of deferred action over four million unlawful parents will be affected by these amendments, unquote. there is a lot of talk about those amendments and the fact that they are going to make life
very difficult for senate republicans who will have to vote especially on the daca provisions, complicating the business of holding the senate. do you worry about that? what you are doing to your senate colleagues? >> there is a lot of concern in the united states senate as well as in the house in the president's executive overreach. this again extends beyond immigration to the question of whether the president can take his pen and his phone and act in a whole host of areas where he has done so beyond the scope of laws that have been signed in, whether it's obamacare or drug enforcement for environmental laws. there is a limit to the president's powers, and he has definitely in the opinion of many in the house and the senate has exceeded that authority. we are meeting this week with
senate republicans at the annual retreat, which will start later today and this will certainly be a very hot topic of discussion there. but we expect to work very collaboratively with the senate to see what ways this new senate can help to challenge a president who is exceeding his authority. >> todd. >> i wanted to ask you about the patent overhaul bill. it passed overwhelmingly -- [inaudible] >> what changes are you making or what needs to change in your bill and what policy hurdles remain? >> we are always listening to ideas about how to improve our patent system and you'll recall that three years ago, we had a
very bipartisan bill, the america invents act, which is designed to improve the quality of our patent system moving forward. and we are seeing some of the results of that, although we need to conduct oversight on that. but left a legacy of at least two decades of poor quality patents that have been utilized by pat ent controls to -- trolls and to disincentivize the benefit of our patent system, encouraging innovation job creativity. that was the purpose of the act. it did pass the house with broad bipartisan support and the support of the white house and went over to the senate where there was a lack of will to take up this issue, even though in that last senate, there was broad bipartisan support. so i believe that support is
even stronger in this new senate. they are very interested in beginning an early start on that. we are collaborating with them. but at this point my position is we have a very strong bill that should move through the house and over to the senate. again, what kind of changes and improvements that need to be made we are open to that, but we have a very good product coming right out of the gate based on what we did in the last congress and that will be the foundation upon which we move forward, but no decision has been made about any details about that at this point. >> back on the subject of immigration. so the two channels that are being used to challenge the president's authority, through the court system and what is happening now with the amendments and process in
congress. do you think that those two things aside when the amendments thing is over however that is resolved, are there any incentives after that between now and 2016 for republicans to try to advance piecemeal reform? >> we call it step by step reform because we do believe there are aspects of every element of immigration law that need to be reformed. but there is, as you say, more than one approach to this. in fact, you have a lawsuit that has been brought by 24 state attorneys general against the administration. their standing and their underlying judicial legal theories will be different than one that could be brought by the house or the senate or the house and the senate together. no decision has been made about
that. let me point out a difference here. using the power of the purse, article 1 of the constitution provides to the congress, is what the legislation that we are taking up today, is all about. and that rests upon simple fact that the congress has the right to write the laws under article 1 and appropriate funds for programs under article 1. and if we are successful in using that legislation to cut off the funding and make it clear that there is no legal authority for the president's actions, then we don't need to get to litigation. so that's our first effort right now. but if that doesn't work out then i think not only should we continue to support efforts by other groups -- and i think there will be others beyond the state attorneys general who will bring litigation in this area because many people are
detriment tale affected by the president's actions but the congress should bring its own litigation because of the separation of powers argument and the strong concern that we have, that the president is acting in article 1 of the constitution and doesn't have the authority to do that and that is a separate issue from what other individual or group of attorneys general would have a basis for bringing an action. we need to protect the right of the people through their elected representatives to write the laws of the land. >> my question is actually the chances of reform. those things aside -- you are going through those motions on challenging the president. >> in the last congress, the homeland security committee passed one bill. the judiciary committee passed four bills dealing with aspects
of enforcement and immigration and reform of our legal immigration program. those bills are all very good bills. and it would be my opinion that we should continue work on those bills. but one of the problems that we have is, there is a lack of trust in the president enforcing the laws. so some of the people who would like to see immigration reform in the congress say, well, why would we reach agreement to do new reforms when we can't trust the president to carry out the law? why would we expect him to carry out new laws. that causes a problem. in addition, some of the people who agree with the president's actions are less motivated to make the tough decisions about enforcing the law when they are getting a good portion of what they want in terms of this administrative legalization of people who are not lawfully here
without having to make those concessions. and that again goes right back to the separation of powers issue. writing legislation is very tough. this president is not making it easier when he tries to do it on his own. >> in your priorities, i didn't hear any mention of things like sentencing reform or police actions. the speaker last fall, some of the people were thinking of running for president and people said congress should take this issue in different instances that happened last year with great profile. and secondly, given what you are saying the lack of trust with the president, should we write off with the republicans doing anything new with this president ? >> that will depend on how much
progress we make in getting the president to enforce the law rather than try to circumvent the law. getting back to your other two points the first one is -- and actually two separate things. one is sentencing reform and there is a lot of other related issues to that that stem from our overcriminalization task force, which did a lot of work and had a lot of hearings last congress and produced a lot of good ideas in a whole host of areas and we are interested in reviewing these areas. it includes looking at the sentencing process. it includes looking at making sure that people who are charged with crimes are indeed the actual perpetrator of the crime and not someone who is being falsely charged.
if we can improve our criminal justice system we are interested in looking at. we also think there is even more ground to be gained in looking at prison reform. we think this is an area that the states -- some of the states have had considerable success in. so i asked my staff last year to look at states that have had a reduction in their prison populations at the same time they had a reduction in either the crime rates and resiffism rates. they are on to something. we invited several of them in and they gave us a number of ideas on how to conduct prison reform legislation. that's on our list. we are concerned about the fact that we have now over 5,000 federal criminal laws. 5,000. and they continue to increase at a pace that is too rapid and
that's one of the reasons why we asked tore the change in the house rules that makes sure that any legislation that criminalizes an activity can be reviewed by the judiciary committee. to make sure that it is not due politictive, to -- duplicative to make sure it is -- the penalties provided and that sort of thing. in addition, most of those laws do not require any showing of criminal intent. so now you can be doing something as an individual or as an employee of a business or a small business owner that you think is good for your family good for your employees good for your customers and find out that you have not only run afoul of the myriad federal regulations, but also being charged with a felony. we think that is very harmful,
that there should be a requirement that you show criminal intent before you be found criminally liable instead of civilly liable and there is bipartisan interest in that as well. states have have thousands and thousands of criminal laws and lots of times the federal government doesn't need to add a federal law to the state law. there is a lot of work to be done in this area and coming out of the committee this congress a number of bills in this area. >> we are going to -- let me give you a sense of process. >> i have a question about the memos. i know you oppose those. i was wondering whether you think it would be appropriate to
lay any type of priorities and what they would be and whether you should go after all illegal immigrants? >> the fact of the matter is that any government, any administration, any government has limited resources and they need to make decisions. the problem with the morton memos is they go beyond saying that this is a more important priority in terms of our list of using limited resources but then they go through what's called a deferred action process where they confer benefits and allow a legal status which historically has resulted in that status continuing on for years and decades for individuals. so it's not just about what research you have to -- today to
change the laws but changing the status of people who are not lawfully here. we have not changed through this -- through these amendments that are going to be taken up today, all of the enforcement priorities of the administration. we have just looked at those that are the root of of what became a much larger program, deferred action on childhood arrivals and then the president's announcement in december to take -- first group was thousands, second group is hundreds of thousands and now you are into millions of people that the president said he can act unilaterally upon not just to use discretion to not prosecute them but to confer an array of benefits on them that allows them to remain in the united states and seek
employment and do other things that there has been no policy decision made by the lawmakers in this country. the president has taken it upon himself to change the law. he used those very words when he announced his decision back in december after he had on more than 20 occasions said that he did not have the authority to change the law in the areas that he subsequently acted upon. we agree with him when he said he didn't have that authority. we think he should have constrained himself, but since he hasn't, we have to challenge that. the morton memos, the deferred action for child arrival is the strain of the growth to what is now four million to five million people that he seeks to legalize at this point in time and doesn't have the authority to do that and we have to challenge him. >> so when you are talking about
confering benefits, are you talking about daca and this new program? >> i'm talking about given employment authorization and talking about being given travel documents, i'm talking about being given tax benefits, tax credits and so on. listing all those benefits right now, but there are many benefits, even though certain benefits are not allowed to them under the law. >> that's a very impressive agenda. so many questions that it raises. i'm going to focus on the constitutional balanced budget aspect of it. could you talk about what if any exceptions your idea -- an ideal amendment would contain or what mechanisms for creating
situational, conditional exceptions it would contain national security issues in times of war. >> i introduced two balanced budget amendments, house joint resolution and house joint resolution 2 on the opening day. house joint resolution 1 has restriction in addition to requiring for the budget to be balanced, it requires a supermajority to raise taxes and has a cap on the percentage of the gross domestic product of the country that can be spent by the federal government at 20%. the house joint resolution number 2 does not have those two additional requirements, but it is the same one that passed the house with a very strong bipartisan vote back in 1995 as a part of the contract with america, and failed in the senate by one vote. as you know, constitutional
amendments don't go to the president after they are adopted by 2/3 of the house and twird of the senate. they go to state legislatures for ratification. the states have another way of bringing about a constitutional amendment, in which a number of them are seeking to do right now. 24 of them have called for a constitutional qungs and has never happened since our current constitution was written and went into effect in 1789, but it is a tool under article 5 of the constitution for them to go ahead and do that. now both of these amendments have protections against declarations of war in times of national emergency. under declaration of war, the congress can vote by a simple majority to say, we can't balance the budget this year. but even in times of not war by a supermajority, they can vote to say because of a severe economic crisis or other reasons, we can't balance the
budget in a particular year. i think that is life and what goes on in the world that you can't predict and often can't control, necessitates having those provisions, but they should be the exception rather than the rule. in the last 50 years, the federal government has only balanced its budget four times in 50 years and it should be the other way around. in 50 years, there might be four exceptions because of severe economic crisis or war that you wouldn't balance the budget. and most of the time you would balance. if that were the case, we wouldn't have an $18 trillion debt. >> how would dynamic scoring affect the application of an amendment of that sort? you said that there would be a 20% limit on g.d.p., taxation.
would dynamic scoring apply to that? >> that's an excellent question. i haven't seen -- we don't have dynamic scoring yet, but we are working hard to get it, because it's a more realistic way of looking at what the impact of government tax and spending policies will be. but i would think that dynamic scoring would reflect upon future projected revenues in a longer term manner -- the further you go out from a tax policy change, the more dynamic scoring is going to affect that. if you are required to balance your budget each year, you have to take into account there will be some modification based upon dynamic scoring, but i don't think it will be as dramatic as the longer term outlook. >> mr. chairman, last year, civil rights advocates and
congressman sensenbrenner were pressing you to hold a hearing on voting rights act after the supreme court decision in the recent case involving the voting rights act on section 4 formula. do you commit to holding a hearing this year? what has been the holdup, if any? >> first of all, we have held a hearing on the supreme court decision on this and had experts come in and testify regarding that. within one of the things that became apparent from that hearing and close examination of this is that there are still very, very strong protections in the voting rights act in the area that the supreme court ruled on which is the question of whether or not certain states -- there were 11 states all southern states, that were required by law to seek
preclearance of any changes in polling places and other matters like that. and the court found that the instances of discrimination were very old for the most part and there was not a justification for holding those states to a different process and a different status than the rest of the states. there is still in section 3 of the voting rights act a process whereby where both individuals and states and the attorney general of the united states can bring actions where they find discrimination to be taking place. and one of the remedies if a court finds that a state or a locality has participated in discrimination is to impose for a -- i'm sure the supreme court would say a reasonable period of time a preclearance requirement but said you can't do it based
upon arbitrary factors. we have continued to study this issue but to this point we have not seen a process forward that is necessary to protect people because we think the voting rights act is providing substantial protection in this area right now. and we'll continue to examine this. we'll continue to listen to the concerns of individuals and we'll look at any instances of discrimination in people's access to the ballot box because it is a very, very important principle. my position is that the voting rights act is very important and needs to be enforced and needs to be enforced properly under the law and we are watching closely to make sure that it is. >> i have two questions. on immigration, do you think that there is something on legal
status for those who are here. not a pathway to citizenship but is there something along the lines? any other framework that could get the majority of support in the congress. and there is discussion this week about broadening the subpoena powers for certain committee chairman. keep the requirement that you consult the ranking member, but do you think you should get broader subpoena powers to do investigations into the obama administration? >> we believe this is a good administrative tool for a committee chairman to have, particularly chairman of the committee like the judiciary committee, that has oversight of the justice department and oversight of the many different types of investigations that are conducted by the justice
department in which the congress itself has interest in conducting oversight of any administration to make sure that they are carrying out the law, as they properly should. we have put in place a rules change that has been in place in other committees already that allows the chairman to issue a subpoena in consultation with the minority, with the ranking member of the committee and we do not have any specific plans at this point for use of that. but we think that it is an efficient and effective tool when the house may not be in session for a period of time. when you need to act very quickly on a matter. we have made it very clear in discussing this with the members of the committee that it does not in any way preclude votes by the committee issues subpoenas and we take the consultation
with the minority requirement, which we have put into our rule very seriously and will be real consultation. but in order to be able to act efficiently, effectively and in a timely fashion, we think it's important new tool for the committee majority through its chairman to have. secondly with regard to immigration reform, we are interested in reviewing and potentially taking action in all areas, but we have got to take a step by step approach. and this has been made even more important by the president's actions, because to get much further down the road to where your question is directed, there has got to be a tremendous amount of trust restored to the american people that our immigration laws are being
enforced and will be enforced in the future. then we have -- and i won't take you through all of the details of the several bills that were passed through our committee and homeland security committee in the last congress, which are being revised and re-introduced and acted upon in this congress, but there are many reforms to our enforcement system to make it work effectively, even if it were being fully enforced. estimates are from 35% to 40% who are not here lawfully, enter the country illegal. we need to have a better way of determining who has overstayed visas and better mechanism for those people to leave the country than we have right now. secondly, we have reforms of our legal immigration system that are needed that will be a priority as well.
but then the question of the appropriate status, people who have been here people who have been here for a long time is worthy of addressing, but it has to be held back because of the fact that there is not trust on the part of the american people in the enforcement of our laws. until they see enforcement i don't think they want actions and certainly the evidence i have seen, they don't want acks like the president has taken where he has decided he is going to act. this has to be done deliberatively by the congress in careful debate and we will have ongoing discussions about the fact that we have a lot of people in the country who are not lawfully here. and don't all have to be addressed in one large program. each person has different circumstances. but there have been less work
done in that area because there is not trust in enforcement. so we have to focus our efforts first on stopping the president's actions and second on enforcement and then immigration reform. >> jim. >> mr. chairman, last year, the committee passed a bill that would have the standards that the enforcement agencies to stop a merger at the preliminary injunction level and i wonder if that's going to be a priority, that the outcomes of those litigation depending which agency gets to review. >> that is one we left out of our list but it is definitely a priority for us. we think that the process by which mergers and acquisitions are reviewed is haphazard because the u.s. justice
department and the federal trade commission review various antitrust issues is different and that we think is not good. it doesn't promote justice to have two different avenues that could lead to two different results and therefore the legislation that we brought forward in the last congress to standardize that is something that we will be pursuing in this congress as well. >> several members have written to your committee and homeland security asking for hearings on police brutality and what can be done to rein the brutality after incidents like ferguson. have you addressed the letter? >> we have been watching this very closely and anticipated that there would be some reports, perhaps from the
justice department regarding what has transpired in terms of their examination of what the appropriate measures are to be taken by police officers and whether civil liberties are being properly protected and that would certainly provide the basis for the committee doing further work on this. in the meantime we continue to study this. and i personally continue to believe and i believe most members of the committee believe that our police officers do very, very important work to protect our citizens from crime keep them safe in a variety of other manners as well. but they must do it with respect for the civil liberties of all americans that are provided for in our bill of rights. so we are watching this closely. and there may come an opportunity based upon some specific report or other ideas
or recommendations that could be the subject of a hearing, but no decisions on that have yet been made. >> casey. >> on the marketplace fairness act, discussions have been floating around this week. what changes compared to the senate version last year do you feel will help convince leadership to bring this to the floor? >> first of all, we have hearings in the last congress on this issue. we asked the marketplace fairness act, the senate bill very carefully. we disagreed with a number of the provisions in that bill. and we set forth a list of seven principles, which are available on the committee web site. i'm sure you have looked at them. and we think the senate bill
doesn't meet a number of those provisions. so we held another hearing at which we invited people with a wide array of different ideas of how to solve this problem, of states not having the authority -- and i don't think they should have the authority -- to reach out and regulate businesses beyond their borders. businesses in states are going to buy products from all over the country and all over the world and that definitely causes a loss of revenue to states and localities that are dependent upon those sales tax revenues that come through the state. so finding a we for the states to be able to collect those funds was the purpose of setting forth those principles. one of the most important, to me, is that we not allow a state to reach out and regulate a business outside of its jurisdiction. so finding a way to collect these taxes with states working with the businesses within their
own state and then the states working together to share the revenues cleggetted on interstate transactions is what we think is the appropriate way to go and we call it the hybrid origin approach and we have been reaching out and sharing our ideas with interested parties in this matter. and they cover a wide array from retail businesses large and small, to state and local governments, to chambers of commerce, to technology companies, to online businesses and so on. we want input from this wide array and then have really serious discussions about how to protect the taxpayers' rights and businesses' rights at the same time we solve a problem that i believe i believe needs to be solved. >> based on the sony hack and
other high-profile breaches, do you think there is going to be enough momentum to pass cyber sharing legislation? the president talked about that yesterday. where do you stand on that given your high-tech interests? >> it is the judiciary committee's jurisdiction along with many others but we don't have primary jurisdiction over the legislation. >> i didn't mean to offend you. >> i'm not the least bit offended but we do take this seriously and again finding ways to protect data of a wide variety -- whether it's people's personal data to protect them from identity theft or the government to protect it against
spies or terrorists and businesses to protect them on intellectual property, whole host of reasons why we need better cybersecurity. people have expressed concerns about the president's approach to this, but i'm pleased he is taking this issue very seriously. the congress has as well and we will work with the homeland security committee the energy and commerce committee the transportation and infrastructure committee many committees have an interest in this. we will work very closely with them on good cybersecurity legislation to make sure that government is working effectively with private businesses, because that is the key to the solution here. i don't think government by itself can solve this problem and i don't think businesses by themselves can solve this problem. but having the right way for businesses and the government to collaborate on sharing
information and setting standards is an important undertaking for the congress to do and we should not waste time. >> with that we are at our time. thanks for doing this. appreciate it. and thank you for coming, mrs. goodlatte. >> looking live at the u.s. capitol, that federal prosecutors say an ohio man has been arrested in a plot to attack the u.s. capitol and kill government officials inside the building. it charges a 20-year-old of green township, ohio to attempt to kill. he was arrested today. he took control of a firearm under an undercover f.b.i.. the public was never in danger and never made it to washington. he professed allegiance to the
islamic state. with all of that news happened after the house had well gaveled out passing a $40 billion spending measure for the homeland security department for the remainder of the fiscal year and passed 237-191. one amendment would block the president's executive action allowing some undocumented immigrants to stay in the u.s. and work legally. another amendment would remove protection for immigrants brought here illegally to the country, dreamers. the president said he would veto the bill. >> one of the greatest founding principles of our country is that children would not be
punished for the mistakes of their parents. i didn't write this. no one on our side of the aisle wrote this. i wish i would have. i'm sure we would have been proud to be co-sponsors of that statement. what happened? what happened? one year later, you are saying to those, what happened to that principle? gave it up? don't care about children. you think children should be held responsible for the actions of their parents, because that is precisely what you are saying today, because 600,000 young people came forward and did exactly this. then wait a minute, it gets better because you said and we were so happy because we thought we were moving forward because we thought the republican party was finally turning a page, you said it is time to provide an opportunity for legal residents and citizenships who are brought to this country as children.
what happened? i want one of you to deny that this isn't one of the principles that you took into your conference last year. it is what you took. what happened one year you guys always say the same thing. oh, it's that king from iowa, he tricks us at the last second. brings in one of these poisonest things and what excuse do you have today when you did it with all the premeditation? and thoughtfulness and viciousness to bring this amendment forward with the support of your complete caucus? ot a surprise. you sought this out. where are you going to move the country forward to? let me tell you about one number. yeah, there's 600,000, there's 270 the electoral college. the number it takes to elect the president of the united states. you're out of reach there. the chair: the chair would ask they direct your remarks to the
chair. the gentlelady from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam chairman. how much time is remaining on each side? the chair: two minutes for the gentlelady and their time has expired. mrs. blackburn: their time has expired. thank you madam chairman. let's talk about a couple of these things. the democrats like to say, madam chairman, that this is radical. let me ask you a question. let me ask my colleagues a question. is it radical to support the rule of law? is it radical to fight for american workers who are going to lose their jobs to illegal aliens? is it radical to prioritize to prioritize legal immigrants that are coming to this country? is it radical to try to protect children that are in this program via the office of refugee resettlement? democrats are over there saying that republicans are playing
politics with national security. let me ask you another question. why were they saying nothing this summer when the southern border was being overrun and all sorts of trafficking, human trafficking sex trafficking, weapons trafficking, drug trafficking. here are the facts. daca became effective august 15 2012. in fiscal year 2014, the office of refugee released 53,518 unaccompanied children here in the u.s. it is a magnet. 75% of all americans reject the obama executive amnesty. 80% of the americans don't want foreign workers taking jobs from americans. those are the facts, madam chairman. and to my colleagues, that is why we are here. we have two choices.
we are either a nation of laws or we are lawless. president obama is turning every state into a border state, every town into a border town. and unfortunately the lawless amnesty has taken democrats from the party of yes we can to acting like the party of because [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> no democrats voted against -- votered for the bill, rather, and several republicans also voted against the amendment that would block the november executive order of the president's. those -- of the president. the members include carlos curbelo of florida, mario diaz-balart of florida, jeff denham of california, robert dold of illinois reny ellmers of north carolina, ileana ros-lehtinen of florida and david valadao of california.
>> thank you good morning, good morning, thank you very much, thank you. thank you, thank you thank you. please have a seat. thank you very much. very nice. thank you. thank you. >> good morning. thank you for the warm welcome. i don't know that it will get any better than that. thank you very much. very kind. mr. president, mr. speakers, members of the 63rd wyoming legislature, secretary murray, treasurer gordon, superintendent balo, chief justice burke, all members of the judiciary, all military and veterans fellow citizens good morning. thank you all for being here. and thank you for those who are
participating via the internet or other media. we welcome all of you. and we're pleased the technology has many benefits, including the freedom to be wherever you want to be in wyoming or anywhere else to take place in these proceedings. i want to say good morning to my family. for those of you that have been here for four years, you've seen some growth in the kids. [laughter] i mentioned at the inauguration that one place on the governor's residence wall, which will make sure we get painted before we leave we've marked the height of our children over the years and it's remarkable. we think they have grown not only in height but in many other ways. they've grown up in this body you've seen them all grow up, but it's caused us to reflect upon many of the reasons we're here, for our kids and our grandkids. and i can't imagine being here without the love and the
support of carol and mary and pete. i thank all of you for helping me get here and helping me do this job. [applause] i think it was my first state of the state, before i gave it, pete wrote me a note and his hand writing you have to decipher a little bit back then but he said good luck, dad, you'll do great. he signed it not pete but best son ever. [laughter] i'm lucky to have the confidence of my family and the a confident family. these are exciting times. we have new faces in the legislature, in leadership and in our statewide offices and i look forward to working with all of you. as i've told this body in the
past we are so fortunate in wyoming to have a citizen legislature. every one of you here have made sacrifice to be here. you leave your homes, your family your work and before we start this session i just want to say to the president, to the speaker, to all of you how much i appreciate and how much it means to the entire state to have your service and i thank you for that. i'm excited about the state and where we are. as i've done in the past i have asked the citizens of wyoming to be here with me today so i can recognize them. because we recognize that as the state is strong, it's because individual citizens do so much and have committed so much to our state. first i want to start with max maxfield. max served two terms a state auditor, followed by two terms as secretary of state. last year as you know he decided to retire from state service. max served wyoming with energy,
optimism intelligence, honesty and civility. max and gala, we are sad to say farewell, but we wish you all the best. you both have served wyoming, making it a better place for us all. you are friends, you are dear friends, and i ask all of us to join me in recognizing max and gala and their service. max, will you please stand up? [applause]
>> we are fortunate to have with us, as we've had in years past, members and representatives of wyoming tribes and i got to the meet with them before i came up here today. they were gracious in letting me know that they had time on their hands and they offered to write my speech for me, which i thought was a wonderful thing. that message wasn't passed on otherwise i would have taken them up on that. there are no questions. we have challenging issues to deal with. which is sometimes the case with sovereigns. but no matter what, we do remain friends and neighbors with a common interest. that being a great affection for this beautiful place, wyoming, we all call home. if the tribal members would please stand, we are always enjoy the opportunity to welcome you. thank you for being here. [cheers and applause]
>> one of the great privileges i've had in my role as governor is to get to work with the men and women of our guard. and i do wish on occasion that i could articulate what my eyes have seen, the work the men and women of the guard do. it's absolutely amazing. and when i see them off, as they're being deployed overseas, know this, that these men and women, often it's very early in the morning they are hugging their spouse good-bye. the grandparents are hugging them good-bye. and sometimes you'll see a young mother or a young dad kissing a young infant good-bye. it's a remarkable thing. because each one of them stands raises their hand and
agrees with everything it takes, including their life, to serve and defend this country. we have about 2,800 members in the guard. the men and women of the guard are ready for duty here at home and when duty calls them to a distant land. the guard fights fires and much more, including fighting the war on terror. wyoming soldiers have been busy. they've been in the thick of it deployed overseas. serving bravely. missing home and family as we miss them and anticipate the return. service and sacrifice. service and sacrifice. whether for a single tour or over the course of a long military career are no small things to give. they are huge. and we are deeply grateful. general luke ryan earth, s here -- ryanert is here. we appreciate what our guard, what all our military members, what our vets have given for wyoming and for america. general, we want you to stand
so we may recognize you and the guard. [applause] >> today, this morning i think it's appropriate we remember john schiffer. john served as a wyoming senator for over 20 years, from 1993 until his death last june. in his long public service career, john served in numerous leadership positions including senate president. he was an advocate for the natural resource and wildlife trust, and among other things was a supporter of education and mental health programs. he brought great intellectual and a rancher's common sense to
the legislature and he had those big, big strong hands that were representative of his big heart and care for wyoming. he made a positive difference for each of us. he made a positive difference for all of wyoming. and i ask you now to join me for a moment of silence in john's memory. i'm thinking today also of -- to all those in the cold and the dark who battle the blaze had on december 30, we thank you. the fire was a tragedy. we are thankful there were no deaths or injuries. the town will rebuild, as unique and wonderful as ever. i have no doubt. to the people of dubois, please know you also are in our thoughts and prayers. now, i've broken my speech into two parts.
two big parts. i want to first talk about the last four years and then talk about where we should go from here. the last four years we did what we said we were going to do and we've gotten results. that's the way government should operate. we build upon the success of prior governors and prior legislatures and together we have made great strides for wyoming. when i took office in january, 2011, wyoming's unemployment rass was about 6.5% -- rate was about 6.5%. the state budget had doubled the previous decade and the state was coming off a period of government expansion. high speed broadband was limited, only two cities had ethernet at their schools. there was no state energy strategy, there was no water strategy, and in my mind there was a growing growing need to push back against federal overreach. to set a course, to set a new course there was no time to waste. nine days into office, my first state of the state address i announced my vision for
wyoming. i said, we would be focusing this on the economy, focusing on broadband, infrastructure assisting local government, consolidating state government, education and federal actions that were adverse to our state. as part of our focus on the economy, we would continue to support our big three industries, energy, tourism and ag. and that we would also seek to diversify our economic base. this was a tall order. but this is wyoming and we do not shy away from big tasks. so we took this on, all of it and four years later we see the difference. starting with the economy, we made a real push for jobs. economic growth, diversification and supporting our big three. here are some of the highlights. we've been able to welcome new enterprises. for example, end car microsoft, searing industries, mag pool, high viz and oil to rail facilities. we've been developing and beginning to implement our
state energy strategy. in the last session you provided funding to continue with initiatives in energy strategy. i have and some of you have gone to trade missions to places such as hong kong, canada, south korea and taiwan, to promote trade and tourism. week of been funding predator control and helping provide relief for drought and flooding. week of provided strategic incentives and recruiting hard for data centers. our efforts are paying off. microsoft recently opened an innovative biogas-powered data center. the company has also invested $274 million in data center expansion. bringing its investment in wyoming to nearly half a billion dollars. in december, wyoming was recognized as a leader in the country for data center recruiting. this is the third year in a row wyoming has received that recognition. we've built our tourism and established markets and established new ones as well. we love telling people about
all the wyoming has to offer and we love to show it to them. two years ago we added a new sporting event in wyoming. the cowboy tough adventure race to annual summer activities. and for those of you that haven't seen that, it's got to be the toughest race in the world as far as i'm concerned. it is truly cowboy tough. on july 10, 2015, wyoming will mark the 125th anniversary of statehood. this will be another special occasion for all of us to enjoy and to invite visitors from near and far. our focus on the economy has paid off. we see the success and we see national recognition of our success. wyoming's received a number of accolades recently, including the highest possible rating from standard & poors for the last four years. we have the number one ranking for 2015 as the state with the best tax climate for businesses. we have been ranked as having the best return on investment for taxpayers in 2014. we have the lowest state
lowest tax -- local tax burden. we have the lowest foreclosure race in the -- rate in the nation. ranked now as the second most pro-business state in the country. we are third best in economic performance. and in 2014 more wyoming people were employed than ever before in the history of our state. these rankings are important not for boasting rights but they show the progress that we have made in four years. the economy was a priority four years ago and we've made great strides. broadband was a priority and we've made great strides. this brings opportunities, broadband brings opportunities for schools, businesses and individuals and for development of a tech center. i mentioned that when i started only two school districts had ethernet speed. now everyone, every school district, all 48, have ethernet speed. we've increased high speed connections to our schools by over 1,900%.
we've held to move broadband forward in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and we'll continue to do so. last year i asked for funding for the unified network. this network, i'm pleased to report as of today, is fully built. we got it done in less than a year. this network brings even higher standard of broadband to our state, more fiber optic connections and giga by the speeds. the state has been a facilitator, helping on providing the infrastructure upgrades for our schools and government and it will also be available to the private sector. we all, you, prepared the ground but the private sector is now delivering the goods. ron mccue is president of silver star communications. last november silver star launched an initiative to offer gigabit level broad band to communities in western wyoming. efforts like this make wyoming more competitive for tech businesses, for people who want
to run global businesses from a home base in wyoming. for everyone who uses a computer. gigabit level broadband gives wyoming the type of access usually associated with large cities. such access makes wyoming a leader in broadband and a player in tech. we've not been called these things in the past, but we are now. we should be proud of this effort, to diversify our economy. ron, we recognize what business leaders like you are doing to make wyoming a leader in broadband and a player in tech. ron, please stand so we can recognize your efforts. [applause] so i've talked about the economy and i've talked about broadband. another priority four years ago was infrastructure. we know that for our
communities to thrive, for quality of life, for economic growth and for commerce generally, infrastructure is essential. we've been paying attention to wyoming's infrastructure. not counting school construction, here are a few examples. we provided funding for the gillett madison water project and recognized future funding needed for completion. we passed a 10-cent per gallon gas tax increase, that produces $47 million for the state for road maintenance. we funded a new u.w. college of engineering, $95 million and $15 million match for construction. we've provided initial funding for five state facilities that need renovation, including the state hospital, the life resource center, the veterans home. you set aside $35.7 million to start and $20 million more from the -- for fiscal year 2015. we have provided funding for municipal landfills, we've supported the business council loan and grant programs for community development. we have and should continue to
invest and we should continue to save. and the fact is we have seen record savings and we can be proud of that. but we have opportunities again , not down the road, but this session to invest in more infrastructure. we do this because we know that at wyoming, the wyoming we enjoy today, was built by those with vision and with courage. our forbearers did not view the role of government as a bank. they were not hoarders, but builders. as we judge their work, we will also be judged with what we build for future generations. what opportunities have we provided for our children and our grandchildren? have we made wyoming a better place? another priority four years ago and still is eye civility is assisting local government. work gets done and lives are lived in our cities and towns and our counties. we know how great it is to live here and we want our
communities to keep doing better. for residents to attract more businesses and visitors. we have additional funding -- we have provided additional funding to local government each of these last four years. and during my time in office more than once i have suggested that longer term solutions for funding local government. that included looking at a portion of the statutory 1% diversion. added funding always matters. but when it comes a year at a time in differing amounts or perhaps not at all, this tends to hamper local planning and development efforts. there's no question we have done well by local governments these past four years. but we still need to decide on longer term funding for local government. that they can count on. and this is the time, now is the time, to work towards a solution. one of the other areas that we have stressed these last four years is consolidating government. and we have done so. for example, we have addressed
backlogs and delays. we got all state employees on the same email system. we've merged two agencies. we have developed a meaningful employee evaluation system. we have consolidated i.t. services. we've reduced the standard budget by over 6%, reducing ongoing spending by over $60 million a year. we've begun a rules initiative for state agencies and have significantly reduced rules. some have reduced by almost 50%. and we have amended state law to allow further reductions to provide updated database, which will give everyone better access to rules. we have fewer employees now than we did four years ago. state government has become more effective, more efficient, we are doing more with less. also a priority four years anked now is education -- ago and now sedcation. as a state we make sizable investment in education through blog grants and school construction funding.
in turn, such an investment should yield the best education possible for our kids. we started work on education accountability in 2011 and it continues. i note this session you'll consider a bill to improve the state assessment system. we have over the last four years increased awards under the hathaway scholarship program. we broke ground for the stem facility at u.w. we provided funding for u.w. science programs and facilities and more is in my budget this year. i ask for your support on that proposal. we have joined complete college america, c.c.a. we know the demands for our students to have a postsecondary education is rising. c.c.a. is another tool to help wyoming students get the education, including importantly career technical education they need to succeed. we now have stem summits in wyoming and last april i attended the rollout of a stem initiative for sublet county school district one.
the fact is stem education is important at every level. and i look forward to more events like this. all this work on education is lost without great teachers. teachers like tyler bartlett. tyler is the 2015 wyoming teacher of the year. he's a math teacher at new castle middle school. he's in his sixth year of teaching and loves his job. when he received his award he said there's a lot going -- that goes into being a successful teacher. sometimes we focus too much on teaching and not enough on learning. i think the real bottom line is that students have to be learning. wise words and tyler puts them to work in his classroom, getting students engaged in their own learning. tyler teaches a stem subject and is representative of the excellent teachers we have in wyoming. tyler, please stand so we may recognize you. [applause]
congratulations, tyler. we will keep working on education at every level. early childhood education k-12 , our community colleges and u.w. to get things right. for the future of our state, we have to get education right. another priority four years ago and now is federal actions that adversely affect our state. i will say, wyoming has been very aggressive these past four years in opposinging federal actions that affect our state. sometimes we fail. the fact is, sometimes we don't. but we know we cannot look the other way, because impacts are too great. we must continue together to
stand against federal overreach. one of my first acts in office in fact was to ask the wyoming attorney general to join the constitutional challenge to the a.c.a. this is an important lawsuit and wyoming had to be part of it. many of us, including myself, did not like the result that wyoming didn't need to be involved. we've also been very active in filing or joining actions to support grazing rights. we in wyoming know how valuable ag is not just to our state but in fact this country. it is one thing as a country to not be able to fuel yourselves, it's another thing entirely to not be able to feed yourselves. we have to continue to have strong support for ag. in december we filed a case in wyoming federal district court to require b.l.m. to better manage wild horses. we continue to fight for wyoming's regional haze plan and it's a good plan for addressing visibility. last fall the 10th circuit upheld the state's plan