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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 26, 2015 12:00pm-2:01pm EST

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quite the u.s. house is about to gavilan for morning out for -- >> the u.s. house is about to gavilan for morning hour. legislative work is set for 3:30 p.m. eastern. the bills will be on human trafficking. any votes will take place at 6 p.m. eastern. the clerk: the speaker's rooms washington, d.c. january 26, 2015. i hereby appoint the honorable rick w. allen to act as speaker pro temre on this day. signed john a. boehner, speaker of the house of reprve the speaker pro tempo
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pursuant to the ord of the house of january 6 2015, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morningr . the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour, and each member r than the majority and minority leaders and minority whip limited to five minutes. but in no event shall debate continue beyond 1:50 p.m. the chair now recognizes the gentlewoman from north carolina, ms. foxx for five minu ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker paying for college is hard work and it's getting more difficult as tui and fees continue to increase at rapid rates. fortunately, american families have an investment tool known as
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a 529 plan to help them save for their child's college education. since 2001 students have been able to withdraw earni from these plans tax free if the funds are used to pay for qualified higher education expenses. it was disheartening to learn last week that president obama now wants to tax those withdrawals and treat the earnings as student income, which would hurt a child's chances of receiving financial aid. with student loan debt surpassing credit card bet, it is incredibly irresponsible of the president to take away this valuable tool that millions of american families use to save for college. house republicans will fight this attempt to raise taxes on
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hardworking american families. we want to encourage not discourage families from investing in their child's future. mr. speaker, i yield the speaker pro tempo r recognizes the gentleman om, . poe, for five minutes. mr. poe: mr. speaker our diplomacy is at work with respect to iran. wherefore the first time in decade we have halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material. this absurd claim by the president last week earned him three pinocchios from "the washington post." many disagree, including a former iaea official who says it appears that the prod of centrifuge components continues. no nuclear componente been
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installed, but it does not mean that the production of those came to a halt. for over a decade, the united states along with the rest of the u.n. security council has triebut failed to reach a deal with tehran on its nuclear weapon program. iran has defiantly marched toward developing nuclear weapons by refusing to negotiate with the united states in good faith. instead, its leaders have continued to cl for the destruction of israel and the destruction of the unes. now isn't that lovely. just as november in t of nuclear negotiations the iranian revolutionary guard corps released this statement. the united statess still the great satan and number enemy of islamic revolution and islamic republic and the islamic iranian nation. iran's actions over ths are not surprising. after all it is the world's largest state-sponsor of terrorism. using both its military and
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proxy hezz bowla, iran has -- hezbollah, iran has planned attacks around e world. hezbollah is the puppet but iran pulse the strings. after years of defying cost to halt its nuclear weap development, the west played hardball with sanctions, primarily targeting iran's bank and energy industries. the sanction sanctio worked. iran's g.d.p. dropped for the first time in 20 years and iran came to the negotiatin table. then came the white f and the great retreat of 2013. the administration relaxed sanctions just when iran was beginning to feel the consequences of its actions. relaxing sanctions has helped iran, helped its economy, and resulted in iran reverting to its defiant ways. mr. speaker, sanctio worked. now is not the time to repeat -- retreat, appease, and play the chamberlain. if an we should increase
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sanctions. congresin do that, but the president now has pub lkly told congress and iran that -- publicly told congress and iran that he will veto any legislation that incre sanctions. this see at odds with the united states national security. euran the u.s. want to relax sanctions. they are acting like timid sheep. we cannot lay down with the jackal of the desert, iran. mr. speaker, loosenin on sanctions is foolish, dangerous and not dealing in reality. further the iranian negotiateations don't even discuss intercontinental ballistic missiles. why is iran building intercontinental ballistic missiles? pr netanyahu said it best. iran isn't building icbm's for israel. they have missiles that us. the they areg icbms to hit america. iran wants icbms to carry a nuclear weapon across the pond, to us the u.s. a top advisor to the iranian president recently said, obama
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is the weakest of all u.s. presidents. nois time for the leader of the free world to prove iran wrong. the world including o enemies are watching. . the u.s. must make it clear and unequivocal. there reductions in sanctions without verified steps to show that tehran is abandoning, not just freezing, its nuclear weapon pr if iran obtains nukes, the consequences are all b israel will be less secure. the united states will be less secure. and other nations like saudi arabia, turkey, and egypt will all seek and obtain nukes to have the balance of power in the middle east. the iranian government cannot be dealt with like normal countries. this hug diplomacy with them is not in the national security interest ofteess . their supreme leader has never wa on his religious and politil agenda to destroy the
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united states. iran must be forced tsclongr o weictions thatrile iran's economy to force the iranians to stop their nuclear weapon development. and hopefully at some point the of iran will soon have had enough war mongering by its leaders and replace the government. mr. 'st the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempo pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until 2:00 p.m. today.
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>> here are a few comments we recently received on the state of the union address. >> as a scientist, i appreciate the present decision on expanding nasa's role. it is exciting to see focus on the future instead of the past. >> a couple points i want to raise on the speech tonight. i thought the rebuttal he gave to the republicans was spectacular.
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at the same time, boarded up and set about foreign_policy. he mentioned how he has been using drones responsibily. but he has killed hundreds, if not thousands of people, without congressional authority. >> a few things about the present state of the union address __ some other things heavenly up to it, i have to argue the opposite. they said that unemployment has gone down, the economy is improving, i do not think that is the case. people have to remember that within employment, you can only have your extension for so long.
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when those people get dropped from unemployment, they no longer called as unemployed. that's not really indicator of the economy going up, it is people falling through the cracks and being forgotten about. if you look at from that perspective, the rate of unemployment in this country is probably 10 points higher than what it is being estimated as. >> continue to let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us at 202_626_3400. email us, or send us a tweet. join the c_span conversation. >> loretta lynch is president obama's nominee to replace eric holder. she goes before the senate for her confirmation hearing this
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week. c_span 3 will have live coverage on wednesday. the 2010 she has served as the u. s. attorney for the eastern district of new york. on november 8 the last year, president obama nominated her to succeed eric holder. if confirmed by the senate, she would be the first african_american woman, the second african_american after eric holder, and the second woman after jett reno. she graduated from harvard and she is 55 years old. again, you can see that at 10:00 am on c_span 3 on wednesday. the supreme court heard an oral agreement on tuesday on the financier __ financing of judicial elections. this one_hour oral argument.
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>> we would hear an argument next in the case 15 499. >> mr. pincus. >> thank you. florida sought contributions that were completely lawful. the first amendment bars florida from prohibiting that speech. the special question of course is what standard of review. we submit that strict scrutiny applies. for several reasons. my friend relies on the court's decision for applying the
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closely drawn scrutiny standard. that standard is not applied for several reasons. >> i think it is whatever the standard. the florida rule was simply __ no face_to_face solicitations. that's it. the reviews seem to believe that would be a valid regulation. >> i would certainly concede because my client did not do any face_to_face solicitation. >> the first amendment in relation to the election justice. >> i think the state could adopt a prophylactic rule on face_to_face solicitation. certainly, one_on_one solicitations.
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there might be some applications of that rule that were __ that made that ruled invalid as it applied. for example, face_to_face solicitation of one's relatives. i think the first amendment would certainly allow __ >> the first amendment would not allow that for candidates of political office. >> exactly. >> you are recognizing that there is a difference between judicial office. the first amendment allows the state to do things with respect to the election judges, they would not allow them to do with respect to the election of members of the legislator. >> i guess i would __ the first amendment would allow a ban on some solicitation under coercion theory. placed __ let me step back. >> you gave me __ now are you
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telling me that the answer was ill considered? aa ban on face_to_face solicitation by candidates for office. good or not. wade be judged by the same standard as face_to_face solicitation by political? >> i think it would be judged by the same strict scrutiny standard. the government could advance in that consideration in the judicial context. one of them does not exist in the legislation context __ preserving partiality. i don't want to say that there is no ban on solicitation that would be permissible in the
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nonjudicial context. >> if you have the statue that he said would be valid, on applying face_to_face solicitation __ what about a personal one on one letter? i can see the court saying this is underinclusive. then, if we say, the one_to_one letter, that's like a personal solicitation. if we condemn not, what about a letter to five people? it seems to me that we make the initial concession, you have a real problem in determining how to make this not over or underinclusive. >> i don't think so, justice.
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i think the court in other contexts has drawn a line between britain creek patient and oral communication. in the lawyer solicitation process, for example. the court has drawn that distinction. i think there is a reasonable distinction that says that whatever the rule may be, written communication is fundamentally different if the interest that the government is asserting his coercion. >> what if i write something down on a tablet and handed to you? is that written? >> i think i would say in person. the question here is __ in all of the context that we are talking about here, the interest is whether the person solicited is being coerced. >> give us the three interesting start off saying were at issue here. you never got to that. >> sorry, your honor. >> it's your fault.
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>> there are 3 inches. the interest of print __ >> what about the interest of judicial dignity? stuff that we don't let judges do but we let other people do. such as, it's at least a tradition, i'm not sure if it's in ethical rules, but assume it was, that judges do not respond in op_ed pieces to criticisms of the decisions. john marshall did that but he did anonymously. let's assume that that will was written into judicial ethics. with __ what that stands?
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>> i don't believe it suffices to support the prohibition here for several reasons. >> answer my question, would that be okay? in the interest of judicial dignity. >> i think there is such an interest. i think it is executed principally through the acts of judges and is maybe analyzed under the government employee free speech rubric. it doesn't necessarily have to reach a compelling interest for to justify some restriction on the judge's speech. i think in this context, to the extent that the interest is not apply for several reasons. first of all, we're talking about the campaign context which is different. second, to the extent that the interest would apply here, a
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fundamental principle of the florida regulatory scheme is that justice may write thank you notes for contribution. they can say thank you. >> florida did not let them do that. i'm trying to find out that if you think you can have different rules for judicial elections than for political elections. we are told by the florida justice that if i had a horrendous problem with corruption and they wanted to get a handle on it. small steps. >> to answer your question, yes, there can be different rules. two of the answers that i mentioned __ interest in preventing partiality and coercion, applied differently in the judicial context. i think in your hypothetical __
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could florida prohibit in person one_to_one solicitations or in person solicitations to a group of some size __ yes, i think they could do that. i don't think that can be done for legislative candidates. >> you argue the judiciary to be above the political frame. we have this restriction on putting themselves forward as a solicitor. >> a couple of answers, your honor. i think the problem with the state having a interest is the state has elected an election system that puts the judges in a frame. some of this comes along with the fact that states have decided to include judges by election.
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that includes the fact of election in some first amendment requirements that apply to election related speech. i think that's a problem with making a decision. the second problem is the particular scheme that florida has adopted here. i said, it allows judges involvement in the contribution system that the judge can know who solicited, who gives, and right thank you notes. what florida makes those decisions __ >> hhow can the judge not know? especially some states want disclosure. is the state supposed to not read the disclosure list? >> there are some states that prohibit the judge from finding out who donated. minnesota for example. >> that's unworkable. >> i think there is a question of how effective it is. it underlies what is going on here. any incremental benefit that is served by prohibition on solicitation, given the reality
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that the judge knows, and that they can write thank you notes __ >> so, you are suggesting that the judge could somehow be prevented from knowing to respondent? >> that is true in some states. >> i'm asking whether or not that is consistent with the theory of where we can draw the constitutional lines. >> i don't __ i think the court could conclude, as the eighth circuit did, that in minnesota, state like that, with the judge doesn't know, there is even less of a reason to prohibit solicitation. the judge will not know who responded. >> a good honest midwesterner. >> can i go back to judicial dignity court? there __ it is very rare that
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either by letter or by personal calls that i asked the lord to do something. whether to serve on the committee, help organize something, do whatever it is that i'm asking. the bat lawyer will say no. isn't it inherent in the lawyer_judge context that people are going to say yes? >> i don't think so, your honor. in the solicitation, the petitioner was a candidate. there was no response. i think __ >> i'm talking about this prohibition. this dealing with an issue that does happen in the vast majority of cases. >> here's the contrast, your honor, if i may.
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i guess my question is what is the difference between that letter and the following letter that is signed by the members of the committee __ which is permissible under florida law. dear joe, judge jones asked us to serve on the campaign committee and we are writing to ask you to contribute to his election. as you know, florida law permits judge jones solicitors. the solicitation really does not make that much of an __ >> that's what you think. i can actually see how receiving a signed letter from the judge saying __ or a telephone call, or personal meeting, has an incrementally greater impact than a letter. today, i even get a whole lot
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of campaign committee letters. i just throw them out. if a candidate calls me, or reaches out to be, i tell them i can't talk to them. i have a reason, and an excuse, a lead is not have that reason or excuse. >> i think that's why __ at least one line i think is permissible. a line between written communication and all communication __ either in person, one_to_one, or in a small group. the question in the first amendment context, where he is talking about critical speech __ we have a court recognized. it is the intertwining of
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substantive mmessages. there has to be a really good reason. we submit as judge of the sixth circuit, 11th circuit, and ninth circuit has found, there's not enough that. >> is there anything in florida rule that would prohibit judge jones in your example from giving the committee a list of people to contact? >> there is a rule that says that judges can't, oor candidates can't, do directly __ indirectly what they could do directly. >> your problem in the way to decide this is __ it's a joke but it's so true __ my brother is a district court.
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the normal response to a lawyer by a lawyer to a judge in any minor request, the answer is yes. does until they get out the door. that is such a common experience. the judge said, can you please. yes, that is the answer. you really have to interpret when the answer is no. i thought that is why they are writing the rule the way they do. it says __ i ask for your support, and early contribution of money made payable to me will help, sincerely, my name. the answers that question is yes.
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if it is the campaign manager, perhaps it is no. i don't know how to go beyond that. the section and stated you can tell me just ignore it, but i want you to know it's there. >> well, i think, a couple of things, your honor. i think, first of all, there is not -- i think you have to compare that letter to the -- to the text that i read, and it seems to me, the fact that the candidate's or the judge's best friend is the chairman of his committee, the full committee -- >> no, that's if you're maybe you're looking for something when somebody else writes the letter, somebody else makes the request. >> but -- >> this is so instinctive but my instinct is it's not the same thing. >> but they're making the request on the behalf of the judge. >> right. >> i think that's the critical factor -- >> so why is -- >> i mean, it doesn't it doesn't
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just go to a lawyer either. the limitation is not solicitation of lawyers, is it? >> it is. >> it's anybody, which really makes me think that it has more to do with judicial dignity than the corruption stuff we've been talking about. you can't solicit anybody. >> absolutely, your honor. and i, and i think that's one of the problems. >> isn't the proof of the pudding in what justice breyer is saying in the statistics? one of the briefs mentioned that those candidates who can fundraise personally do appreciably better in collecting money than the candidates who have to go through a committee. so what would be the difference, other than the fact that there is some form of personal coercion in the presence of the judge asking for the money? >> i don't think so, your honor.
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i think the difference can -- i mean, obviously i don't know about where the statistics come from, but even assuming that the statistics are right, it seems to me in a system where we vote for a person, a message from that person that combines what they stand for with the request for a contribution makes that request for a contribution more effective, not because it's coercive, but because it's tied to what the person stands for, and those parts of the message are effective when they come from the person themselves. >> i think, i think you'd find the same statistics true with respect to political candidates, that they do much better when they when they put the arm on you personally, rather than having somebody else contact you. i can't imagine that'd be any different. >> well, that's the point, isn't it? >> well, i think it's only the point to -- >> when you put the arm -- >> i'm sorry. i think it's only the point if that arises from coercion. and as i just said, i'm not sure that that's right. i think we don't know.
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we also don't know whether those statistics involve states that permit one-to-one, in-person solicitation, which obviously is quite different from the sending of a letter. and in those states -- and there are ten of them -- obviously those that is fully equivalent to the solicitation process in a legislative or executive race. so i think we don't quite know but i think it would be drawing the wrong conclusion to say the only possible explanation is coercion. i think there are a number of other more likely explanations. >> mr. pincus, i take it follows a fortiori, from what you're saying, that the federal canon that applies to us is unconstitutional, at least as respects to written communications, so we're not allowed to put our name on fundraising materials and things like that. i take it you're saying that too, that's got to go as well. is that right? >> no, i don't think so, your honor. as i as i said in responding to
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justice scalia, i think the leeway that the federal government and the states have to regulate the judges and other employees because of inconsistency with their duties this court has said is much broader than it is and meets -- does not have to satisfy the compelling interest test as this particular restriction does. so i don't think it at all follows. >> i'm sorry, i really didn't get that. why does it not, why is, why is the restriction on us constitutional whereas -- >> you're federal employees. you're government employees. and so the court has said in pickering and other cases that the government, whoever the responsible rulemaking authority is, has much more authority to regulate the speech activities of government employees. >> so florida could regulate the already elected judge when he's running for reelection? >> well, i think -- >> and he could say, we have a rule -- judges don't solicit, period, for charities, for themselves. so we have a judge. he's a state employee.
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i take it from your answer and in applying pickering to government employee that the sitting judge can be restricted. >> no, i don't think so, your honor, because i think this is speech in a different category any more than the government can say, we're going to use pickering to respect the solicitation speech of a sitting congressman or state legislature. i think it is the election context and the fact that the state has chosen to choose its judges via election that triggers the protections -- >> but, you know, i would think i would think it's just the opposite, right, that in a case for federal judges like you say, there's not really much of an interest. who cares whether i solicit funds on behalf of my old law school. it doesn't have anything to do with what rulings i'm going to issue, who i'm going to favor who i'm not going to favor. in this case, the state can really come in and say, you know, the things that we're objecting to, the solicitations that we're preventing are
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exactly the ones that are going to go to whether this judge can be an impartial judge rendering fair verdicts. >> i think that's wrong on two counts, your honor. i think there is again, where the judge can know who contributed and can write a thank you note, the idea that prohibiting the judge to asking contributes in any way -- >> well, you're -- i'm sorry. please. >> i'm sorry -- contributes in any way to the protection of that interest seems inconceivable if the question is, is there bias? what florida has basically made, a basic determination that a $1000 campaign contribution limit is going to protect our interests against bias. and so the question, then, is -- are any of these other activities going to create such an appearance? and where the state has said a thank you note, which seems more -- >> yes. you keep on going back on that. but, i mean, do you think it would be allowable for the state to say, no, that even the chairman can't make those solicitations? so you keep on falling back, well, they allowed the chairman
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or they allowed the thank you notes. so now let's say, you know, the state says, look, we've been trying to do this because we've been trying to narrow the law in order to accommodate first amendment interests. but if you're going to throw that back in our face, we'll apply it to the campaign chair too. we'll apply it to thank you notes, too. those will also be impermissible. would that be constitutional? >> i think if the state wanted to adopt a system of public financing for judicial candidates, that it might well then be constitutional for the state to ban solicitations on the mcconnell theory. >> what about the answer to justice kagan's question? is it, oh, well -- >> i don't think -- >> oh, well, i'm not going to answer that question because we can think about something else? >> i think the answer to that question is no, because the contributions are still permissible. and the line that the court drew in mcconnell, in terms of solicitation limitations, was it's quite permissible to ban candidates from soliciting contributions that cannot lawfully be made to their committees when there are other avenues when they can still
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solicit contributions for their committees. i think it would be quite a different situation to say, yes, we're going to have an election but no one can solicit any money for the campaign committee because, as the court has said money is essential to get the candidate's message out. >> the whole -- but the whole effort on florida's part is to make the selection of judges not like the political context. and you, what you're saying is that they if they choose to elect their judges, they can do it only one way and the same rules apply to the judges that apply to candidates for the state legislature. >> well, respectfully, your honor, i don't, i don't think so. i think there are two distinctions. one is, i do think once florida says thank you notes are ok, it can't ban solicitations. there might -- it might have a better case to justify its state interest if it didn't do that. and i do think, as i said, the coercion rationale applies differently with respect to judges and would permit limitations that don't apply.
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if i may, mr. justice, i'd like to reserve the balance of my time. >> thank you, counsel. mr. richard. >> mr. chief justice, and may it please the court, i'd like to begin by responding to justice alito's question. the answer is that there's nothing in florida law or in the canons that prohibits a candidate from giving names to the committee for the purpose of the committee soliciting from those individuals. what the florida canon is designed to do is something that this court has recognized previously in buckley and mcconnell, which is to cut the direct link that creates the quid pro quo relationship by keeping the judge from communicating, with the judicial candidate from communicating directly with the person that he or she desires to receive the money from. >> unless it's a thank you note. >> that's correct, your honor. i think that what we're -- >> i mean, once you say you can send a thank you note, what
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you've just said is not true. >> well, if what we focus on which is what my colleague and opposing counsel focused on, is the intimidation issue, i agree with you. either the intimidation issue or the effort to curry -- to say you've curried favor, i agree with that. but there's another factor here that this court has recognized is almost equal, if not equally important, which is the appearance of the quid pro quo and the appearance of corrupt influence that is inherent in the quid pro quo that the -- that results in a public loss of confidence in the judicial system. >> well, but there's not always such an appearance. what if a judge calls, you know, a college classmate, says, you know, believe it or not i'm a judge and i'm running for election. could you give me some money? direct, in-person or direct solicitation. but nobody would say there's any real risk of corruption because he's calling up his old friends let's say, who's not -- they're not lawyers. >> i think, your honor, that
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what we deal with here, in response to your question, is similar in kind to this issue of how many people are being addressed. this court has said that in circumstances like this, the court has no scalpel, to use its words, as to where to draw the line. the question is what's judicially manageable? and so the question then becomes where there's going to be a line drawn, is it unreasonable for the state to say, we're just going to prohibit it, we're not going to try to micromanage who it is -- >> well, there's a difference between micromanaging and over-inclusiveness or under-inclusiveness. i mean, could this could be easily limited to litigants or lawyers appearing before the court. >> it could be, your honor. but then the question is what the appearance to the public is. and the second question is because it's always a question in first amendment cases, how does this weigh against the imposition on the candidate's first amendment rights? this court has recognized it did in both buckley and mcconnell
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that one of the reasons that it upheld it and one of the reasons that it applied a lesser -- a lesser standard of review was because it said that the imposition on the on the communicative value of the contributions was marginal. in this case, it's even more marginal. >> i -- be careful with that line because there's a number of justices on the court that dissented from that -- >> i -- >> and citizens united has brought that into question. >> i -- >> so assuming that's not the argument, what's the better response? >> no, i understand. i understand, your honor. perhaps it was -- it was not the best way to lead into it. but my point here -- >> well, you only need five votes, and there were five votes there. [laughter] >> don't be too intimidated. >> i'm getting to try to get your vote as well, justice scalia. i haven't reached that point yet.
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but, and i understand it's a high mountain to climb, but the point here that i'm trying to make is that this is an extremely minimal imposition of the candidate's freedom of expression, if there's any imposition at all. >> could they could florida apply this canon to candidates for political office? >> you're saying could it? >> yes. if florida says, we think it's such a good idea for the judges, we want to make it across the board, no candidate for political office can make a direct appeal for money. >> i think it would be far more difficult to convince the court that that would be constitutional, and here's the reason -- it's because of what justice kennedy has recognized as what he coined the good responsiveness and the bad responsiveness. in a democratic society, in a republican form of government, candidates in the other two branches are expected to commit themselves in advance to certain
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positions and are expected to comply with that once they're elected in order to do what their supporters expected them to do when they supported them with financial contributions and otherwise. when we're talking about judges, there is no good responsiveness to a supporter or a contributor. judges are expected to be impartial, regardless of whether or not -- >> really? a judge, a judge can't campaign you know, i'm going to be tough on crime? >> that's a different issue, your honor. >> why? that's good responsiveness, i thought. >> well, i think that's responsiveness to an issue. and i think the judges do have preconceived positions, but not responsive to an individual. >> ah, ok. >> that's the difference, and it's a big difference. >> is there really a -- the prospect of the appearance of partiality if you have a radio ad that -- with the judge and says, you know, these this is my philosophy, please send me a contribution? is anybody going to think, oh, that judge is not is going to be partial to one side or another?
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>> well, i think that two things are occurring there. the answer to your question is i don't, i can't presuppose who's going to think he's partial, who isn't. i understand your point, your honor. i think certainly, you don't think that he's partial to a given individual at that stage but that solicitation is a solicitation of a quid. >> go back for a second, to me because i actually think judges should try to keep their preconceptions under control and decide the individual case. and i think that is a widely shared perception and i think that florida has every right to say we want to further that. but what is your distinction between what i took as an important argument on the other side, and maybe you've said it already, but i want to hear it again. florida lets judges write thank-you notes for contributions so there is direct contact and the person who has given the money knows that the judge knows that he gave it. >> that's right. >> all right? what's the difference between
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that and this rule, which says that the judge cannot write to that individual in the first place asking for the money. >> i have several answers to that, your honor. >> one -- just one would be enough, but i want to know what they are. >> and i want to use every weapon i have in my arsenal. so the first answer is that at the time that the money is being solicited the contributor, if it is solicited through a third person, doesn't know whether the judge will ever find out. he can find out, but the person making the contribution doesn't know whether the judge will ever find out, whether he's ever going to receive a thank you note or not. he just doesn't -- >> and is it unlawful under florida law to put in a letter written by the campaign manager "and i will tell the judge"? >> to say what? i'm sorry. >> "and i will tell the judge." >> it's not unlawful -- >> all right. very well, then, he might know. >> but there is a -- >> all right.
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so what's the second one? >> my second argument? >> what my -- >> i want to know what the differences are, which is a main point that was argued that, once you say they can write a thank-you note, and indeed, as you've added, in the initial letter you can say, "and i will tell the judge"? once florida permits those things, what is it that florida's current 7c interpretation adds to that? and if it adds nothing of significance, why is it constitutional? that's their whole argument. >> yes. >> i want to hear your responses. >> yes, your honor. that's the under-inclusiveness argument, and my response is that the under-inclusiveness argument has never been applied by this court to say that -- >> you know, i would prefer -- maybe there is no answer. >> well, i think there is. >> one answer is to say it does exactly the same, it adds
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nothing, but you don't have to deal with every problem. i've got that answer. do you have any answer that says it does add something? if so, what? >> i believe that florida could prohibit the thank you note as well, but it doesn't change the fact by not prohibiting, it does not undermine the fact that by telling judges that they cannot personally, face-to-face or by buttonhole or by telephone call solicit it, that it does reduce significantly the public's impression of the fact that there is a quid pro quo. >> if you if you write a thank-you note, you are not a mendicant. you are not going around holding your hat out asking people for money. but you're not relying on that are you? you're not relying on the judicial dignity -- >> i am not. >> the dignity of the office that is held or sought? that that has nothing to do with florida's rule. >> i'm not relying on that, your honor, and i believe that if we're talking about expressive
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conduct, that it's unlikely that this court would uphold it based upon the dignity of a given judge. it's possible that if the action rose to the point where it undermined the public's confidence in the judiciary as a whole, it might be sustained. but i agree with you that if all we're talking about is the dignity of a judge who is going around with a hat, i think that probably would not be sufficient for this court to uphold it. but -- >> first of all -- >> i thought the whole idea of the florida supreme court when they adopted this rule is just that, that they wanted to put judges above the political fray, so they didn't want them to seek contributions. call it dignity, call it the integrity of the judiciary, call it the public shouldn't perceive of judges as being political officers, so we shouldn't say an election for a judge is the same thing as an election to the legislature. the whole idea is to put the
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judiciary in a separate category. i thought that was florida's idea. >> well, i think that's true your honor. it's not only florida's idea. i think it clearly reflects the culture of this nation, because virtually every state has adopted significantly higher standards of ethics for their judicial branch than for the other two branches. and i think that goes to justice kennedy's distinction between the good and the bad responsiveness which is -- >> counsel, i think you answered justice breyer a little too quickly. if the letter ended with, "i'm going to tell the judge you gave me money," then there might be a violation of that other code that doesn't permit a candidate to do -- to try to circumvent the personal solicitation rule. >> thank you, your honor. i agree with you. [laughter] >> and, number two, you had started, i think, in answering the question of the quid pro quo
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difference between a thank-you and the initial ask. >> yes. and of course the one area where this court has consistently recognized that the state can validly regulate contributions and solicitations is in its effort to break the direct quid pro quo, the direct communication between the judge requesting the money, in this case a judge, as opposed to the even in the other two branches the court has recognized that, but the judge requesting the money directly from the person who would be contributing. and when one envisions what does not exist in florida and most states at the current time which is a judge being able to pick up the telephone or visit any lawyer who ever appears before him, or for that matter any non-lawyer who might end up appearing before him or before her, and ask for a contribution,
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and compare that to a third person saying to a voter or a contributor, "my friend, joe smith, is running for judge and i would appreciate it if you would give me money," i think it would be difficult for anyone who has lived in our society for any significant period of time to say that it is not a significant difference, and the public recognizes that. and the effect of it -- >> we have before us a case involving a particular person. she did something and she was disciplined for it. so don't we have to compare what she did and some -- the thing which is regarded by the florida law as being unethical, and what she could have done, and see whether the incremental difference has any significant relationship to any interest
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that this rule is supposed to serve? does it -- was there a greater danger of quid pro quo corruption or the appearance of corruption or bias or coercion the difference between what she did and what she could have done? and what she could have done as i understood your answers is the following -- she could have -- a letter could have been sent by a committee and the letter could have could have said that petitioner gave us your name and asked us to solicit a contribution from you, and that's what we're doing. and the letter could either say, "and we'll let the judge know if you gave a contribution" and -- or the candidate know, and she can write you a thank-you note she will write you a thank-you note if you contributed. or, you speak for the florida bar, so you said it would be ok to put that in the letter, but if that's not, at least you could put in the letter and under the florida law, the candidate can see the list of people who contributed. so those are the two situations. now, why was there any greater damage done by what she did as opposed to what you admit she could have done? >> well, i would say the greater damage again goes to the fact
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that she is personally and publicly requesting a quid from people who can be expected to appear before her. and it is florida's concern over the public's reaction to that which i would suggest is a fair concern, and this court has found in the other two branches, is a fair concern over the public's confidence in the judicial system. >> it's not just confidence in the judiciary, is it? i mean, to ask for a judge to ask for a quid puts pressure on people to give it. and that is a different evil than their simply knowing what happens, and i would say probably worse. to send a thank-you note is a form of politeness that creates knowledge, but does not to the same degree put pressure on the person to contribute. now, is that fair or not fair?
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and don't just say yes because you think it's on your side because i'll have plenty of people pointing out to me that it isn't necessarily a good argument, if it isn't. >> your honor, i think it is clearly a good argument because it's difficult for me to give you another reason because you said it so eloquently. but i do believe that there is a significant difference between a judge requesting specifically a contribution or later saying thank you for the contribution. now when you add to it what if the letter said the judge will know about this later, that murkies the water a bit, although there's no evidence that's ever been -- >> mr. richard, there is something that the other side has said about your position and i'd like your it. that is that what you are advocating will help the people who are already in the judiciary, the people who have lots of money so they don't need contributions from others, the
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people who will be hurt, are like ms. yulee, who is trying for the first time. in other words, the florida bar has set up a system that works in favor of incumbents, yes, current officeholders and the rich. >> i disagree with that, your honor, and i find it curious that the petitioner would suggest that if we take the restrictions off of incumbent judges so that they're now free to call lawyers who appear before them or litigants who might be appearing before them and ask for money, that that wouldn't give the incumbent an enormous advantage over non-incumbent judges. it seems to me that it would. but we're also dealing here in an area in which there is no evidence either in the record or in the literature to suggest that it makes any difference and also -- >> well, i'm sorry, but you, up to this point, you've been saying what a significant
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difference it makes whether someone can solicit in person or not, and that's why you've drawn the line there. and now you're telling us, well, it doesn't make much of a difference at all. >> no. >> it seems to me that it's self-evident, particularly in judicial races, where that the prohibiting a form of raising funds is to the great advantage of the incumbent because the only way that, in most judicial racesm the judge -- incumbents are going to be challenged if you have somebody who can get their own distinct message out. >> well, i have two responses, your honor, and excuse me if i didn't clearly express myself in my response to justice ginsburg's question. but what i'm saying is, clearly when you tell an incumbent judge that that judge can personally solicit money, that's going to give an incumbent judge, who has far more intimidation power, an advantage over a non-incumbent. and as to weighing which is going to give more or less advantage, it's difficult to answer that question, and generally this court doesn't find itself in the business of equalizing the playing field in any case.
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so i don't know that it makes any difference. but the other fact is that we have no evidence in this record or in the literature or in the case law to suggest that this is a factor. it -- under any circumstances. the other thing i'd like to comment, if i might go back to the question that justice alito asked me earlier, is i think that there is another linkage here that's important, which is this -- if you look at the difference in the impact upon this petitioner's free speech between sending a letter to one person or personally confronting one person and, on the other hand, sending it to five or 10 or 50 people, if it would even be manageable to make a distinction, it doesn't move the free speech needle in this case one iota because there's very little impact on that
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candidate's free speech. no matter how many people the candidate is talking to, the candidate can still say anything he or she wants to about qualifications, about issues about cases, about anything he or she wants to. this court said so in white, and the florida canon doesn't attempt to put any restriction on it. the only thing it says is you can't say to me, give me money. and this court has recognized in buckley and in mcconnell that the only communicative value of saying, give me money, is that when you get money, it enables you to broadcast your message more widely. and the court has said that that only rises to constitutional level when the restriction is so great that you can't broadcast your message reasonably. here, the committee can raise money, and we have no evidence again, in the record, the literature, the case law, that -- >> and -- >> where did we say that?
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i don't i don't know the case that says that -- >> that says -- >> that it's only bad if the restriction is so great that you cannot broadcast your message reasonably? >> no, that was -- >> what law? that's the only test, you can all sorts of campaign restrictions so long as they do not prevent and we're going to sit in judgment about whether they prevent the candidate from -- >> no, what i referred to -- >> what case are you referring to? >> what i referred to, your honor, is the discussion in buckley and when it said that that the restriction on campaign contributions and the amount of a contribution, that it's -- communicative value was in the ability to be able to broadcast the message, and that it only became constitutionally significant if it was so draconian that the person could not raise enough money to reasonably be able to broadcast the message. now, that's not the wording that the court used, but that was the essence of what the court said. my only point here is there's no nothing to suggest that florida that canon 7c(1)'s methodology
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is such that a candidate cannot raise enough money to be a viable candidate. and so what you're left with is no imposition, appreciably, on a candidate's expressive ability. and i think you fairly have to connect that to what florida, on the other hand, is trying to avoid, which is this appearance of the this quid pro quo and the appearance of corrupt influence which is a significant -- >> all the first amendment requires is not that you have unlimited capacity to speak, but that you be able to speak a reasonable amount. is that that what the first amendment demands? >> well, i think that you be able to speak as much as you desire -- >> as much as we think is reasonable we, the judges. >> i think that that's more broadly stated than you, the judges, have said in the past. >> broadly stated as you stated it, i think. >> no, i think it's as much as
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you desire to speak until you reach the level where you have you have interfered with another substantial state interest. how substantial that has to be depends upon the standard of review that the court applies. >> i still don't see how that's inconsistent with the rest of your argument. what you've been saying before is it's just a little bit that we prohibit, so don't worry about it. and i mean the prohibition was limited to the important area. it's face-to-face that is important. and now you're saying it's no big deal because they can do all these other things. how do you reconcile those two positions? >> well, i'm not saying that it's no big deal. i don't think we can ever say that when we're dealing with free speech. what i'm saying is that this court historically has weighed the degree of imposition against the substantial interests that the state is attempting to serve. in this case the state is serving an interest that this court has recognized, at least in the area of the quid pro quo, that the state that has not only a substantial --
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>> where does it come from justice shall not be sold nor shall it be denied? i mean, that's at least 800 years old. and if that defines the role of the judge, which i think it does, you're saying that it isn't. it is a you do look to the degree to which you are interfering with the free speech, which is some degree some, and it's not speech, it's really how you solicit money. and on the other side, how that interferes with that basic role of the judge. so then is it not relevant? but the interference, even with raising money, which is at one degree from speech, is small. >> i believe it is relevant. i believe that this court, in almost all of its major first amendment cases, has asked that question. >> well, 800 years ago, judges were not elected. i mean, i appreciate the challenge you're under. you're kind of backing and filling. the fundamental choice was made by the state when they said we're going to have judges
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elected, and i mean, you're kind of, as i say, you're trying to patch the problem there. but, i mean, you have a situation where the people in the state have said we're going to have judges elected and we're going to recognize that you can contribute to judges because of there are contribution limits. it seems to me you you're under a great burden in trying to figure out how you're going to fix that without contravening the first amendment. >> it is a great burden, your honor, and -- >> why is it a great burden? does it change because you elect the judge, that you're changing the fundamental role of the judge? >> i don't mean that it's a great burden to make that point. what i mean is that we have election of judges, which many people think is a burdensome system for selecting judges for a lot of reasons. but the fact is we have that and florida, under the united states constitution, is entitled to have that. and what's more, in order to change the florida constitution, 60% of the voters of florida would have to vote to change it, and a substantial number of the voters in florida have voted to
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change it unsuccessfully, and so what we're faced with is we're faced, as we said in the brief with the reality that florida is trying to weigh two fundamental constitutional interests and find a reasonable compromise. one is the interest in free speech. the other one is the undeniable interest, because it's essential to a stable democracy, of having a judiciary which avoids both the reality and the appearance of corrupt influence. >> if we looked at if somebody looked at the contributions to the candidates in an election for a county court judge in florida, what percentage of the contributions would be found to have come from practicing lawyers within the county who appear in who appear before that court. >> that's not in the record, your honor.
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however, studies have shown, i think, not only in the county court but in all judicial elections that the great the large percentage of the contributions come from practicing lawyers. and i think that that's where judges naturally seek the contributions. thank you. >> that could be either because lawyers expect judges to respond by favoring their cases or it could be that lawyers care more -- >> i think -- >> about who the judges in the courts are. isn't that quite natural? >> i think that's true, your honor. >> i'd be surprised if the statistics were any different, but it doesn't show any corruption whatever. it just shows that lawyers want good judges and care more about it than the average citizen does. >> i think that's absolutely true, your honor. but i think that what we're concerned about is the two things that this court has identified in the past, which is avoiding the potential for corruption that the court has found is inherent in the quid
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pro quo relationship. and, as importantly, avoiding the appearance of corruption that the public sees. and if i can address one more thing, your honor, because i am responding to your question, i understand that your honor does not believe that buckley was decided correctly and the day may come when your honor persuades this court to recede from the parts that are applicable here. but in the meantime, i think that it is reasonable to urge the court respectfully that the same rules that apply or at least the minimum degree to which the court has applied these rules to the other two branches, needs to be applied to the judicial branch. but there's certainly no basis it would be totally inappropriate to carve out a right that judges have that the court has not accorded the other two branches, and this case is an example of where that consistency is important. thank you, your honor. >> thank you, counsel. mr. pincus, you have four minutes left.
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>> thank you, mr. chief justice. i want to start out by pointing out, because i think it's important, that all of the examples that my colleague used about buttonholing people in the hall and calling people one on one are one-to-one, in-person or in-person over the phone solicitations, not the kind of written communications that are at issue in this case. and i think that's because it is very difficult to say that a written communication fits either of their two interests, and i think it's important to keep them separate -- >> suppose i'm a judge and i say dear joe, you've been in my courtroom many times and i hope i've always been fair and i know you're going to be here some more times in the future, and i hope i always will be fair. and you know i'm running for judge and i'd really like a contribution of a thousand dollars, signed judge smith. >> and i think the issue, your honor, is the campaign committee under florida law can write that exact same letter and can start
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by saying -- joe, as you know 12 know -- >> it can't say "i." it's a very different letter. >> it can say, i'm writing on behalf i'm one of the people who judge smith personally selected to solicit funds for his campaign and then say the rest. and i think the difference in coercion there is really immeasurable and doesn't rise to the level of a compelling interest. i think it's important to make another point, which is my colleague said a reasonable compromise and maybe if rational basis applied here, this would be a -- >> a rational basis but i think until citizens united in one opinion, which wasn't the majority in the more recent case, the court had never used the words "strict scrutiny" in respect to campaign contributions period. and i don't think it's used the words "strict scrutiny" either, ever in respect to first amendment limitations in respect to what judges say. am i right about that or wrong?
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i'm not positive. >> i think it did use "strict scrutiny" in white, your honor and i think that was a case about what judges say. >> in white. >> but it also has used the strict scrutiny standard with respect to charitable solicitations, and i think it will be an odd state of affairs if charitable solicitations got less protection under the first amendment than election-related solicitations, given that election stands at the core. >> did you say that right? >> yes, that it should get more protection, i'm sorry. and just to go back to justice breyer, your question about coercion, i think it's important to separate coercion and quid pro quo because they get mixed up. quid pro quo and preventing the appearance of quid pro quo corruption is an interest the court has found compelling with respect to all elected officials. so i think if you expect accept my colleague's argument that preventing the appearance of quid pro quo corruption is sufficient to ban solicitation then there's no reason why or florida couldn't say, such a great idea, we're going to apply
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it with respect to legislators i think you the focus here, i think, really ends up being on coercion. >> that's not -- >> the preventing of corruption. >> i'm sorry, your opposite party did make the point that the legislative process presumes influence and presumes coercion, putting the arm on people to help you get into office to maintain a position that you've promised you'd maintain. but that's not the focus of a judicial election. >> well, i want somewhere -- >> can you point to -- >> i think corruption -- >> i hope you don't want someone who keeps to a position merely because you gave money. >> that goes to a different question, your honor, i think, which is bias. and i think there's a difference between quid pro quo corruption, which is a quid pro quo deal, a corrupt deal, and judges being unbiased. so i think my colleague refers to quid pro quo corruption
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because i think he wants to use the court's analysis in mcconnell, which i think is inapplicable anyway, but i don't think it's possible to say that quid pro quo corruption should be the basis here. >> thank you, counsel, counsel. the case is submitted. >> u.s. house meets at two eastern this afternoon for one minute speeches on any topic. legislative work will get underway at 3:30 p.m. eastern with six bills doing on -- dealing with human trafficking. later this week, we could see work on the bill dealing with natural gas imports. coming up at five eastern, the house rules committee will meet for that border security bill. it had five years to complete. the rules committee is going to decide which amendments will be allowed.
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c-span3 will have live coverage. douglas elmendorf will give the annual budget and economic outlook. that will start at 3 p.m. eastern. president obama's nominee to be the next attorney general, loretta lynch, goes before the senate for her confirmation hearing this weekend. c-span3 will have live coverage of that on wednesday morning at 10 a.m. eastern. recently, governor nathan deal georgia gave his state of the state address where he allowed -- outlined his lawmakers to support infrastructure investments. he gave a half-hour speech at an assembly in atlanta. this is courtesy of georgia public broadcast. [applause] >> good day, governor cagle.
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speaker robinson. speaker pro tem jones. members of the general assembly. constitutional officers. member of the council of core. and my fellow georgians. today marks the 50 year that i've reported to you, the people's representatives, on the state of our state. this is our annual checkup exam on the body politic where we measure our vitals, celebrate our areas of good health, and seek cures for the things that als. in each succeeding year, we have seen the green shoots of our economy grow a little taller. each year we have seen more georgians return to work or get their job for the first time. each year, we have seen hundreds of more businesses open or relocate here. each year, steady revenue growth
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has allowed us to slowly mend the ravages wrought by the great recession. now, our economy is seeing positive growth with thousands of new jobs added every month. we are seeing the telltale signs of cranes and bulldozers humming over newly cleared land. we have seen home values were covered in georgia families begin to rebuild their savings. georgia has been named the number one place in the nation in which to do business i several major rating agencies and has repeated that designation by one of them already. in short, i'm here to report to you that the state of our state is strong and growing stronger every day. [applause]
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but for every milestone that we reach, for every victory that we attain, for every improvement we achieve, new challenges await. certainly, there are those who focus only on the negative. zero dan on areas where we should do better. they downplay any progress as "not good enough." to them i say, celebrating our progress puts our challenges into perspective and reminds us that together we can achieve greatness. our shortcomings do not go on a knowledge. -- unacknowledged. they are simply what we are going to adjust next. when focusing only on the negative, the job before us can seem overwhelming. those feelings are not new to our generation. a top president kennedy's desk
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set a fisherman's prayer which that this, "oh god, by c is so great and my boat is so small." when confronting the challenges of 10 million people, challenges that can appear insurmountable, it is easy to feel that the tools that we have been given are not up to the task. when it comes to our consistent -- constituents needs in education, public transportation, and safety, the sea seems great and our boat seem so small. we have 10 million challenges, but remember, we also have 10 million wars -- oars. in a turbulent waters of recession and recovery, we have rowed forward.
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it has set the rhythm for our economy. georgians have spoken clearly that the conservative principles which have guided our decisions are the very ones that brought us out of the recession and must continue to guide our future growth. these include -- keeping our government small prioritizing and balancing a budget, and emphasizing its wrong business -- a strong business climate. government cannot address the needs of our constituents without revenue. last year, we based in revenue growth of 3.4%. that is keeping with our pattern of conservative budgeting. so, when fiscal year 2014 ended our actual revenue was 4.8%. that differential between what we spent and what we collected is deposited into our rainy day
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fund. every budget cycle since i've been governor, we have added to that fund so that it is increased by some 643% since i took office. [applause] annual revenue growth coupled with conservative spending at a grow new -- and a growing rainy day fund is evidence that georgia is better today than it was at this time last year. since i took office, over 319,000 new private sector jobs have been created in georgia with nearly 93,000 of those coming in the past 12 months. the announcement last week that mercedes-benz usa is moving its north american headquarters to georgia is further evidence that our state will continue to be a
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leader in job creation. [applause] but with job creation comes population growth. georgia is now the eighth most populous state in the nation, moving from the number 10 position and just four short years. people do not move to a state unless it provides them with opportunities. the mercedes benz slogan is "the best or nothing." the company that accepts nothing but the best chose georgia. i will take that. [applause] and in the near future, porsche north america will open their headquarters near the atlanta
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airport. let us not forget our first major automotive manufacturer in modern times, key to -- kia which employs some 3000 georgians and whose supplier base continues to expand in our state. he is example told the world that we have the quality workforce and business environment needed to thrive in the automotive industry. kia officials remind me often that there west point, georgia plant produces the highest quality vehicle and their worldwide chain. [applause] furthermore, home prices are up in the past year and up significantly since 2011. an example of the resurgence of this sector and the confidence in the market. construction, manufacturing, and other key georgia and -- key
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georgian industries continue to rebound. as georgia has experienced growth in incomes, this leaves more money for the types of things that are fellow citizens want to be doing rather than just the essentials. virtually every reliable indicator points to one thing -- a growing economy. and so those of you who have been paying attention, you will notice that the unemployment rate, the prodigal son of indicators, is even falling back in line. [applause] for those who were too long unemployed or underemployed, for their relatives who watch them struggle to get hired, and for the georgian to understand that it working economy is an economy in which people work, we are making a difference.
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the ocean of need is vast, but it is shrinking. we will continue to close the distance between where we are and where we wish to be. still, need does exist. over 19,000 students dropped out between grades nine and 12 over the past school year. that is far too many. neither georgia nor these young people can afford the disparaging of facts -- the facts that typically result of someone leaving high school prematurely. this is why over the next two years, we intend to take a copperheads of look at how we can make k-12 education more accessible and more effective. a child is not graduate from high school is that much less prepared for the workforce.
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that much less prepared for college and that much more prepared for a life behind bars. i'm establishing an education reform commission to study a number of questions regarding our education system, such as increasing access to george's world-class early learning programs. recruiting and acquainted -- retaining high-quality teachers in our classrooms and expanding school options for george's families. this group will be composed of legislatures, educators, and a variety of other stakeholders who will recommend potential improvements to me by august the first of this year. i fully anticipate this process to be as successful as the one involved in our justice reforms after which it is model. in addition, a subset of this group will examine the most appropriate ways to modernize
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our qbe funding formula from the 1980's. this model is older than every student in our classrooms and some of their parents. just as most of us would not just our children and parachute pants and jelly shoes -- [laughter] -- and would not teach them on computers or commodore 64's, neither should we educate them under a 1980's formula. [applause] our students are now using ipads and androids. white tie them to a desk when technology can take them to a moon and back? this undertaking will require detailed work. my vision is to create a formula juvenile by student need that
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provides local schools and district leaders with real control and flexibility. it is our hope that funding changes based on the commute's recommendations will go into effect as early as the 2016-2017 school year. while me was certainly -- we must certainly address the outside funding formula education still remains a top priority in our budgets. this year's budget coupled with my proposal for next year's budget represents an infusion of over one billion additional dollars for k-12 education. [applause] working together, we have devoted the largest percentage of the state budget to k-12 education of any governor or general assembly in the last 50
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years. [applause] now the focus is on turning those dollars into academic progress. i look forward to working with all of you as we accomplish that goal. however, no matter how well we fund education, the fact of the matter is that far too many students are trapped in a failing georgia school. roughly 23% of schools have received either a deed or an f which constitutes a failing grade for the past three consecutive years. when the system fails, our children have little chance of succeeding. new options can enrich lives brighton futures, and rekindle hope.
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three years ago, the legislators here called for and the voters of the state overwhelmingly approved the georgia state school amendment. i've good news. it is making a positive difference. this year, i'm asking you to continue the trend of restoring hope and opportunity to areas of our state that could use a helping hand. i'm proposing a constitutional amendment to establish an opportunity school district. it would authorize the state to step in and help rejuvenate failing public schools and rescue children languishing in them. this model is already been successfully used in other states. my office has been in contact with a student from new orleans who tells us that he cannot read and he -- until he was 12 years old. now, because of the recovery school district in new orleans twice i meant is going to barton
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college in new york where he intends to earth -- and earn a degree in american literature. his life has changed. there is no sweeter story than a man who cannot read at all may one day teach others to read and read well. [applause] let us stop making excuses. if we would like to break the cycle of poverty, lettuce educate those children so that they have the skills to escape poverty. if we want to interrupt -- [applause] -- if we want to interrupt the cycle of dysfunctional families. lettuce educate their families and those homes so that our children can return to normalcy.
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if we want our children to have hope, let us give the greatest beacon of hope that we can offer -- a quality education that leads to a good job, a stable family, and the stairway to the future. [applause] there will be those that argue the problem failing schools can be solved in ending more money. -- by spending more money. they ignore the fact that many of the feelings will often spend far more per child in the eighth average. the problem is not money. more money without fundamental changes in the delivery system will not alter the results. you will only make state and local tax payers greater enablers of chronic failure. [applause]
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if we take this step, more students will be able to gain employment, go to college when they graduate, more employers will be satisfied with hours its workforce, and more of their colleagues might just decide to locate in georgia. above all, students and parents will relinquish the burden of having nowhere to go to get a proper education, something no family should have to experience in the first place. now, liberals cannot defend leaving a child trapped in a failing school that sentences them to a life of poverty. conservatives like me cannot argue each child in georgia are ready has the same opportunity to sit feed and compete on his or her own merits. we have a moral duty to help
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these children who cannot help themselves. [applause] the sea is great and the boat is small, but the boat must not have first and second class seating. [applause] i am calling on you to do your part in this session to get this referendum on the ballot so that georgians can ensure a child's hope of success are not determined by his or her zip code. our places of learning should be in places where a child learns how you, not defeat. -- learns trial, not defeat.
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leah experienced i am in the criminal justice system where we have obtained rough seas. -- we have experienced triumph. we have combined taxpayer savings with personal salvation. in return, our reforms are closing the revolving door that has led to many georgians back into the prison system. crime may not pay, but stopping it does. [applause] i have rv shared with you just last month in the inaugural address the promising results of some of the efforts. -- i have already shared with you last month in the inaugural address promising results of some of the effort. the next that we are taking to improve the delivery of justice will further me georgia a leader in this area.
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on many locations one trouble family or neighborhood will deal with a multiple of agencies from parole to defects to the department of juvenile justice for. agencies do not work effectively on these cases. this fails to bring holistic approach to the needs that hand and does not deliver services efficiently. for this reason, i am proposing to create the department of community supervision to eliminate redundancy and enhance communication between these related groups. this new agency will pull from the relevant existing portions of corrections, juvenile justice and partisans and parole while the division of family and children services will not contribute to the agency itself
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we will include the defects director on the board of community supervision to facilitate the transfer of appropriate information. recently we have seen tremendous growth in the number of child welfare investigations, due in part to the 24 hour call center. this is why we will continue to earn additional resources to meet the unfortunate need, including 278 additional caseworkers. in addition, the child welfare reform council, which i created 2014, has released its review on the division of family and children services to address some of the recommendations i am proposing in my budget that we fund the role of great. these will include a mentor program for supervisors providing for greater career and salary growth for personnel. promoting the safety and
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resources available to caseworkers, and enhancing recruitment and training of foster parents. by caring for our caseworkers and foster parents, we can better care for our children in need. [applause] i am happy to say the council will continue its work into the upcoming year. one of our most vulnerable populations is our children who are suffering from seizures. last year our's -- i sent in motion trials at the state medical school to test the possibility of using cannabis oil to treat severe seizures of these young people in a safe and non-intoxicating way. this trial involving georgian children have artie begun and will continue to ask hand. the sheer i hope to sign legislation to deep criminalized cannabis oil in georgia.
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-- this year. so that families who need it can possess it and not be prosecuted. [applause] let me be clear, i do not support legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. we are focused narrowly on an oil that contains fractional amount of dhc.we want to find a pathway to bring our children home from colorado without becoming colorado. [applause] we still face these significant and more complicated issue of access. that is why in addition to
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decriminalization, i promote singh study committed to research a proper role in the state of georgia and the ongoing debates about the types of medical conditions that can benefit from the product and how we can best address this in a logical and controlled manner. i know for many families time is of the essence. i want to answer the question of access as quickly as we possibly can while going through the proper steps to ensure safety and compliance with federal laws. there is broad agreement that we must do something, and we can do something. let us also agree that we must do it right. [applause] even a small boat -- boat
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conquering the sea must dock every once in a while. we must therefore ensure our network of bridges, roads and other vital infrastructure are well-maintained and the increasing transportation needs of the population are met. so let me present to you our options. since only three regions in the state invested in plan a regional 1% sales tax or designated infrastructure projects, we acted to implement plan b, which includes reprioritizing ending and a focus on the most essential projects that will target the most congested areas. for example, we are constructing new capacity express lanes along long stretches of i-75 and 575. we are extending the managed lanes on i-85.
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over the next four years we will open to traffic more than $1.1 billion worth of new, reliable interstate lanes in metro atlanta, the largest interstate expansion since the 1980's. [applause] we are making further progress in the form of the i-284 interchange, which will ease congestion for hundreds of thousands of travelers every day , but let us not forget those things we have artie accomplished, including the removal of the tolls on georgia 400, the opening of the i-85 connector ramps, which many interstate are already using and of course, we continue to construct the jimmy duluth project extension and other improvements connecting the
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south georgia cities. at the same time, another important project, other necessary projects left funding necessary to proceed. this brings us to the next option, plans the, a transportation plan to which this general assembly and i can agree that will address the ongoing needs of maintenance and repair, as well as straight corridor and other transportation improvements. i believe this is something that can and should be accomplished. i need does exist. -- a need does exist. the excise tax which is a per gallon flat fee has remained the same since 1971, that is 44 years. in that time, the fuel efficiency for the average vehicle has almost doubled which means the amount of excise tax collected for each mile
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driven has roughly been cut in half. the federal government is mandated new standards that would again doubled miles per gallon for the average vehicle over the next 10 years, meaning the amount of excise tax collected for every mile traveled will continue to shrink every year. that does not even count for inflation. in $2014, we have collected approximately 17% less in state motor fuel funds per capita for transportation then we did a quarter of a century ago. in part, because of greater fuel efficiency. at the same time we have millions of more people traveling on our road. according to industry experts simply maintaining what we currently have through the roadways requires a minimum of hundreds of millions of dollars
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in new revenue each year. some industry experts even suggest it is more than $1 billion per year. over the years we have added more highways to monitor and control. in addition, our state has seen significantly more freight on the runways with more and more goods and raw materials entering through savannah. we are already the second busiest container port on the east coast and getting busier. it is estimated truck traffic out of the port will increase by 50% in less than 10 years. we have to be ready to meet that need. without the proposed plan c, a new strategy transportation investment, we will be forced to go to plan b, which is to do nothing. if that is the plan, then our
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roads will place the into disrepair, the safety of our citizens will be jeopardized, and our economy will be stagnated by increased congestion. for me, that is unacceptable. we are currently operating at a rate that requires over 50 years to resurface every state road in georgia. so if you are road is paved and you graduate from high school, by the time it is a again, you will be eligible for social system -- social security. we must increase the percentage of roads being resurfaced annually. with only current funding levels, new capital projects will have to wait as we tend to the existing transportation network. if we do nothing, we would continue to have to defend on the federal -- depend on the federal government whose
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transportation funds are also dwindling. if we should choose not to maintain and improve our infrastructure even -- economic development would stall. companies would be able to conduct business efficiently. commuters would waste more time and gassed up in traffic and no one would be satisfied. were those of you who believe like i do that there are certain powers left to the states and to their citizens, a principal set forth in the nations tend amendment, here is one way we can put our beliefs into practice. if we become less dependent on federal revenue for our transportation project in georgia, we will avoid some of the regulations and extra costs associated with federal involvement. we will get more for our money on new road, and it will be one of the best the goals the state
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of georgia is willing to's and our money -- to spend our money to solve our problems. [applause] four years ago we decided hours late need to develop its own reservoirs to be less dependent on federal water resources. maybe it is time we apply the same logic to transportation. we must improve and maintain our roads and bridges. we must provide congestion relief, and we must prepare for more freight and businesses. we can debate how much it will cost to do something, but let us not forget how much it will cost to do nothing. i do not believe we georgians will choose to do nothing. we know the problems. let's now resolved to agree on
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the solutions. that is the outlook we must embrace as we tackle all of the challenges that i have discussed with you today. the sea is indeed fast, but our 10 million orders row on word -- oars row onward. let us demonstrate we can grow together in a safe when steadily forward on a charter chart of progress with a short line of promise and prosperity on the horizon. i pray for wisdom for all of us as we carry out the public's trust so that we can give georgians a state that is even better tomorrow than it is today. may god bless you, and may god continue to bless our great state of georgia. [applause]
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west earlier this month governor pete ricketts discussed his plan for improving career in vocational training. the ceremony was held at the state capitol in lincoln. >> do you, peter riggins solemnly swear or affirm you will support the constitution of the united states and the constitution of the state of nebraska and will faithfully discharge the duties of governor according to the best of your abilities, and so please answer i so i swear or i know a firm.
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[applause] quick state senator, constitutional officers and they guess, i present to you the governor of the great state of the breast, governor pete ricketts. -- the great state of nebraska. [applause]
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>> thank you all very much. before we get started i would like to take a moment chris kehoe passed away this morning. i want to ask if my heartfelt sympathy to the family. please join me in a moment of silence. chief justice foley henderson members of the state legislature, distinguished guests family, fellow
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nebraskans, congratulations on beginning the 104 nebraska legislature. i am humble and honor to serve as your 40th governor of the great state of nebraska. welcome to the new members and my fellow constitutional officers. i look forward to looking -- working with each and everyone of you. today, as with all not girl days, a time of new beginning. as i look forward into the future, i am optimistic that -- optimistic about the road that lies ahead. we have a great state filled with great opportunity. also a time for taking stock.
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we just turned the calendar to 2015. in a little over two years we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the statement. our rich history is deeply rooted. freedom, opportunity liberty and hope for a better life for future generations. a few years before statehood in 18 to two -- 1862, the homestead law was signed into law may nebraska popular for the great railroad. they travel for hundreds of miles to nebraska by foot, wagon train or railroad. searching for a better life.
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one of the first homesteaders daniel freeman comments was one of the patriots awarded with special incentive for serving the union army. he claimed land at the creek. another robert paul anderson was a former slave who earned his freedom in the civilian army and in 1870 became the first freed african-american homesteader. as we gather here today in lincoln, our capital city, named one of our great american president to help shape the destiny of our great state, we continue to welcome people who value freedom and search for a better life. we welcome people from all around the world who come to study at our great universities
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run our businesses, farms and ranches. and as our forefathers did a century and a half ago, we continue to honor the veterans continue to sacrifice and serve our country. [applause] >> yes, with a great state, a beautiful state filled with opportunity. nebraska is what america is supposed to be. [applause] the strength of our state lies within its people. nebraskans are engaged in the communities. their schools and churches. and when we have problems, we
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find a way to work together to stall the common problems, the right our differences. our continued success here in the state will depend upon our ability to pull together to solve problems and grow brusca. i am excited -- and grow nebraska. i'm excited to work in a collaborative spirit to move this great date forward. to build those futures. our nebraska and families want and deserve. we need to work toward four goals. the first, we must strengthen the economy and create jobs. these two priorities go hand-in-hand. we must create more and better jobs for our kids and grandkids. attract kids from across the country. we must put in place the 21st
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century pro-growth policies that will foster investment by businesses and productivity on the farms and ranches. however, there is a barrier for creating jobs and they, and as nebraska's high taxes, we must cut taxes. [applause] whether you are a homeowner, a farmer or rancher or business owner, everyone bears the burden of high tax. nebraskans have expressed their strong entrance that will be my number one priority in the session. [applause]
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at the same time, we must act responsibly. it is our constitutional duty to balance the budget while funding the priorities that the people of nebraska care about the most. next, we must reduce regulation. whether you are of livestock producer in bridgeport or the manufacturer and deshler nebraska businesses face onerous regulation. as governor, i will stand up to the egregious overregulation that we get forced on us from washington. at the state level, i will work to ensure the regulatory process is fair, transparent and more efficient.
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in addition, we must strengthen education. we must ensure our young all have the tools they need to compete in a 21st-century global economy. in particular, i want to focus on career and vocational training. every manufacturer i have spoken with has told me they cannot find enough skilled labor. and it is a barrier for expanding in the state and these are wonderful careers. in the coming weeks, i will continue to meet with members of the legislature to build relationships so we can grow nebraska. you will have other goals on how we can work together to achieve these goals. you make your other concerns from issuance. i promise to listen closely and with an open mind. the people of nebraska expect
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government to work. they hold us to high standards. i will work each and every day to meet those standards safeguard the public trust. and to nebraskans everywhere, i encourage you, stay involved stay engaged. hold us accountable for the results we achieve and help us grow the state. in the words of virginia smith the only woman to ever serve nebraska at the u.s. house of representatives, there is no excellence without great labor. on may -- on behalf of my wife susanna and my entire family thank you very much and god bless people of this great state. [applause]
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select live at the u.s. house now meets or one minute beaches this afternoon. legislative work underway at 3:30 for a debate on six bills on human trafficking. voting has been postponed due to the snowstorm hitting the east coast. later this week we could see work on a bill dealing with natural gas imports. we are live on the house floor here on c-span. we expect members to gaveling in just moments.

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