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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 10, 2015 1:30pm-3:01pm EDT

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files. it stood for in god's hands. i thought it was so far beyond my ability to buy a company -- i did not have the money to do it. i borrowed half the money from the owners of the company to buy their company. so, we named the foundation that and we wanted to focus on kids that were really in difficult circumstances. that might feel uncared about. and we wanted to remind them that they are in god's hands, too. at the time, we focused just on not going towere school in africa and had lost both parents to aids. then we worked on children who had been sold into prostitution in india. we wanted to get them out of that environment. we have given away 2200 wheelchairs in memory of our daughter grace.
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we have done a lot with disaster assistance. we have done a lot in the last five years or so with wounded warriors. it began to go the other or action. it has been a great privilege to see kids get some help, or people get some help. we are catching you and the couple days before the end of session. a light legislative day. what is a typical day like for you here in the house? representative macarthur: long. [laughter] you know, there is a mix of being atduties like hearings or briefings. there are relationship building -- i will spend time with other members and try to get to know them and them me. there is getting my mind around voting on, and
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while it is hard to get deeply involved in every issue, i simply will not vote on an issue without knowing why i am voting the way i have voting, even suspension, which means the rules of been suspended because it is an easy bill to pass. even those, i have a need to understand what i am voting on. so, i will spend some time on that. there are political responsibility sometimes they go beyond the official office. governmentleave property and go do that. there is a lot to it. bill: how is your relationship with speaker boehner and his team? representative macarthur: it is good. the speaker was incredibly helpful to me when i was running and he has been helpful sense. just in terms of giving guidance , i have spoken to him on a number of issues that concerned me. he has been helpful politically to me outside of the official duties. bill: your district is
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considered a tossup district. do you think leadership understands the political calculations you have to consider as you prepare for the next round -- representative macarthur: they do. and i make sure they understand. republican-- i am a for a reason, so i vote in a way that a republican would vote much of the time, but there have been time he votes were a simple not support my party's direction times ofere have been key votes where i simply could not support my party's direction. bill: you say that you are republican for a reason. your dad was a conservative republican you read your mom was pretty liberal. your mom's political views or your memory of her do you appreciate or agree with? representative macarthur: there are a few things. my mom had a healthy skepticism about the use of power, because
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it can corrupt and it can be abused. i am very careful about the use of power. business and i am in this position. my mom believed government could be a force for good. i think sometimes more so. i think she saw government being involved in areas that i think are better left to the and local or state government. but i certainly appreciate her strong conviction that government can help. in fact, that is one of the reasons america is the wonderful country it is. because of the form of government we have and how it has been implemented the last 200 years. bill: if you had to give a grade for the government, let's take new jersey, hurricane sandy, what grade would you give fema on that? representative macarthur: you
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know, that is a mixed bag. fema did some things that were incredibly helpful to people in my district to read if you have not been there, it is hard to imagine the devastation. homes that floated away. cars, boats strewn everywhere. roads that were impassable. gas lines under the road that bubbled up. it was a mess. fema did help. has been great disappointments as well. it has been two and a half years later. there was evidence of fraud that engineeringre companies were mismarking -- couldo fema to get get out of paying claims. fema knew about that in august 2013 and it just came to light during a 60 minutes interview of one of the senior staff. that to me is atrocious. from my perspective, there is not been enough accountability.
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forthat reason, i called the director's resignation over months, because i felt they had really dropped the ball. i feel like they did a terrible job of helping my constituents understand the programs they eligible for. i will give an example -- the small business administration was making loans to individuals -- normally they support business. they were helping individuals. they were aggressively offering them, but they never told those people if they took those, they would be ineligible for the main kind of grant that allows people and left their homes. i of people now ineligible for the grants they -- i have thousands of people now ineligible for the grants they need and i have proposed legislation that would eliminate that, that would make a loan -- which has to be repaid and secured by your home -- not considered a grant, which makes
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you in a little brother grants. do you dread the knock on the door from the constituents, or that a part of your job -- ipresentative macarthur: never dread that. that is one of the greatest privileges. we have two offices in the state, one in each county. toire staff specifically focus on serving those constituents. i wanted people that would be able to get to know the federal yurok receipt, that had compassion for people, that would not get frustrated and i have been really proud of what we have done. we help veterans. we help people on social security who have been fighting, in some cases for years, to get justice. and because we got involved, some people get checks. some for a few thousand. there was one case where we got someone a check for $40,000 that had been denied them. i never dread that. myis what informs
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legislation. of my legislation comes out of interactions with my constituents and finding out what their needs are. finish, a couple questions. the broken skateboard on your wall. what is the story of that? representative macarthur: that is my campaign manager, who is now chief of staff in new jersey. he did that for me. he is a skateboarder. maybe i am too old for that. it is one of his great passions and he did that for me. have seen the photographs of you in the new jersey cranberry bogs, and there are instruments below that that looked very old. tell us about that. representative macarthur: everything in my office reminds me of things back home. that is an antique cranberry rake. it reminds me of the farming community, about 800 family farms in my district. i have
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paintings all over the wall of boating and seascapes and i have a lot of military things in my office because i have the only tri-service joint base is in my district. back to the rake, that is how i cranberries. today it is a mechanized process. back then, they used those rakes. bill: it has been a pleasure to speak with you. thank you. bill,entative macarthur: thank you. >> this afternoon, we turn to the house hearing on the epa plan to revise air-quality standards for ground quality ozone. it is supposed to be for october 1. you can hear that it 3 p.m. eastern time. then the c-span city store -- cities tour visiting sites across the country. we show these every other weekend on c-span2 and american history tv on c-span3.
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congress is in recess, you can see the cities tour right here on c-span. we will look at lincoln, nebraska. we will have a discussion with nebraska governor pete ricketts. and tonight, reverend al sharpton, arne duncan, and civil the nationalsts at urban league conference in fort lauderdale, florida. topics included police shootings, the voting rights act , and others. here are some comments from al sharpton. we must begin now, whether it is the national urban that we are on the brink of a post-obama era. we have had for seven years a black president and a black first lady and a black first family. whoever wins this election will
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in thefirst whites history of this country to succeed a black president. we have never been there before. [applause] onee need to say who is the that we feel is qualified to follow eight
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crosses were burned and people were beaten for not acquiescing demands. conservatives quickly retook of the south. without black legislators to stand in opposition, what follows is the era of jim crow. the poll tax. the literacy test.
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it destroyed the dignity of life for african americans in the south. at the heart of these policies and tactics was not just the desire to win elections, but also the deep-seated, ugly, racist hatred against african-americans. in response, starting with the landmark ruling in brown versus board of education -- followed by the most significant experiences in our history, nine,ing the little rock the transformative leadership of .r. martin luther king to secure federal protections guaranteed by the constitution.
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in congress ultimately passed , one tol rights act 1964.- 1957 a can in in an effort to attract bipartisan support, both pieces of legislation contained weekend voting provisions, largely leaving the harmful poll tax and literacy test in place. as a result, while african-americans saw progress, they still saw their voices dayely on march 7, 1965, a known as bloody sunday -- 600 ,archers assembled in selma alabama, led by my colleague john lewis and other activists, crossed the edmund pettus bridge
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te tothe river on rou montgomery. they were blocked by alabama state troopers and police who ordered them to turn around. when protesters refused, the officers shot tear gas and waited into the crowd, beating the nonviolent protesters with clubs and ultimately hospitalizing over 50 people. bloody sunday was televised around the world. response, dr. martin luther king junior called for civil rights supporters to come to selma for a second march. two daysthe protest later on march 9, 1965, but was forced to turn back, facing the same hatred and violence. only afterrch 21, being armed with federal protection were activists able to successfully march to
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montgomery. at the conclusion of the march, dr. king directly pressured president lyndon b. johnson to pass conference of voting rights legislation. however, president johnson initially denied the request, reminding dr. king that he had just passed the civil rights act, claiming that law sufficiently addressed african-american civil rights. of course, dr. king persisted, explaining a sentiment that withoutue today, that comprehensive, strong, and fully enforceable voting rights legislation, all the protections afforded in the civil rights act were done in vain. dr. king's persuasiveness eventually took hold and five days after the march, president johnson announced a joint session of congress -- announced to a joint session of congress that he would bring them an effective voting rights bill.
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johnson signed into law the manyg rights act hailed by as the most effective civil rights law ever enacted. of the most effective civil rights law was rightfully earned. the voting rights act of 1965 contained extraordinary measures -- section five, which required southern states with histories of black disenfranchisement to undergo preclearance, which means to submit any future changes in statewide, national, and local boating laws for approval by federal authority -- local voting laws for approval federal authorities. it was effective. three years after the voting rights act became law, black voter registration had increased substantially across the south, 62%. this was a clear indication the legislation was not only needed,
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but at work. the law was deemed the ultimate affront to states continued to face political attacks. despite these attacks, the voting rights act was reauthorized. 1975, 1982, 1992, and most recently in 2006. since enacted, african american progress has been very evident. madelack community has voting and voting registration a top priority. in 1994 and 1998, when jesse jackson ran for president, his campaign registered thousands of new voters. i worked in that campaign with reverend jackson, traveling across this country.
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pointt get home for one 46 weeks. i know about the registration that he did -- i did not get weeks.r one point for 6 i know about the registration that he did. it helped elect hundreds of andk legislators in state local races. there are 146 members of the caucus.ional black which i once chaired. its primary purpose is addressing the concerns and advancing the interests of the african-american community and to maintain a commitment to ensuring voting rights, increasing voter registration, and enhancing voter protections for everybody. and of course, we can attribute the voting rights act to the changes in this country that ultimately led to the election of president barack obama, the first black president.
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dash camadvent of great opposition. in the years that followed the president obama, we have witnessed a resurgence of tactics that originally started in 2004 in the bush versus gore presidential race. all004, we can truly remember florida, where there were two few polling places, long lines, and a disproportionate number of minority votes not being counted. shortort years later -- 4 years later, president obama one the election. in response, in 2010, several states started attempting to roll back early voting, eliminate same-day registration, disqualified ballots found outside of their own precinct,
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and create new demands for photo ids at polling places to discourage and prevent this new base of voters from getting to the polls. , through the persistent and tireless advocacy of civil rights organizations, black leadership, and the efforts of then attorney general eric holder holder, section five of the voting rights act eliminated the implementation of the majority of these harmful boating laws. consequently, in 2012, for the first time in history -- harmful boating laws. consequently in 2012, for the for some in history, black voting outnumbered white voting. great backlash followed in 2013. in the case of shelby versus holder directly shut down the
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section five authority of the voting rights act. chief justice roberts, john roberts junior, writing for the majority declared, that because the voting rights act worked so well, assumptions of voting discrimination were no longer valid and the law was no longer needed. ,ith section five behind him republican state legislators immediately preceded with a new round of even more restrict voting laws. since the passage of shelby, 31 states have introduced a total of 82 bills that restrict voter access at the polls. for example, states introducing voters tohat require present voter identification. all of these statutes have the same effect as literacy test and poll taxes disproportionately limiting african-americans and all minority voters.
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decision, the shelby these tactics are not only legal, but are implemented without any review or approval from the federal government. as a result, in 2014, voters in 22 states faced tougher voting requirements in the most recent midterm elections. at the same elections that saw declining minority voter turnout. unless congress acts, the 2016 election will be the first in 50 not havere voters will the full protections of the voting rights act that so many lost their lives to obtain. in thet as black leaders reconstruction era and the civil rights movement persevered when confronted with opposition, black leaders in congress are continuing to fight, to restore the voting rights act. as i have done every year for the past 20 years, this year, i along with nearly 100 of my
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colleagues traveled to selma, alabama to commemorate the anniversary of bloody sunday and the march in selma. had special significance because not only was it the 50th anniversary, but it is a time when we face the exact same fight. history has indeed repeated it health and we find ourselves again without full protection of our right to vote. robbers whend by john lewis, ranking member of the judiciary committee, and longtime advocate john conyers, and members of the congressional black caucus, three pieces of legislation have been introduced to resolve this urgent problem. hr 28 67, the voting rights amendment act, hr 12, the voting rights and empowerment act -- however, as we look at these
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bills, we again see history repeating itself. the first bill, the voting rights amendment act was a so-called bipartisan piece of legislation introduced in 2014. similar to the civil rights act, which had weak voting protections in an effort to obtain this bipartisan support. the voting rights amended act faces the same problem. at the time of its drafting, members of the congressional black caucus were not at all happy with this bill. since 2010, we have been struggling against the republican majority, strongly influenced by their most conservative arm, the tea party. it has been difficult to get support for progressive legislation of any kind, in particular for voting rights legislation strong enough to overcome the damage done by the shelby case. when then republican majority leader of the house democratsr promised if they kept the bill limited in
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bipartisan it would come up for a vote, many reluctantly accepted under the philosophy that some voting protections were better than no protections at all. therefore, my colleagues 8-55, whichr included republican-forest cover such as an exemption for voter id laws and four states to be automatically covered under section five provisions. despite these major concessions, the republicans never kept their word and the legislation was never voted on. fed up with republican refusal to keep their word, this your democrats decided to introduce legislation that was fully -- that would fully restore voting rights protection. with that led to was hr2867, the voting rights advancement act. it restores section v by requiring states with 15 voting regulations -- voting violations over the past 20 years to submit
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future election changes for federal approval. this would initially fully cover 13 states including alabama, arkansas, arizona, california, florida, georgia, louisiana, mississippi, new york, north carolina, south carolina, texas and virginia. this new legislation was decidedly better than the previous legislation which only covered four states. georgia, louisiana, mississippi and texas. the 13 states account for half of the united states population and encompass most of the places where voting is commission is most prevalent today like florida, north carolina and texas.
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this formula includes the southern states that were initially targeted by the voting rights act, where discrimination against african americans remains a problem. along with diverse coastal states like california and new york, which have more recently discriminated against ethnic groups like latinos, and asian-americans, reflecting the continuing changing them at graphics of this country. additionally, hr2867 does not contain any carveout for discriminatory voter id laws, and requires states to get free clearance for changes that often target minority voters today. states would need to get federal approval for things like new voter id laws, and proof of citizenship requirements. hr2867 currently cosponsored by 88 democrats, but has not secured one republican vote. no republican support. lastly, congressman lewis has introduced another piece of
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voting rights legislation that could work to strengthen both of the previously mentioned bills. hr12, the voter empowerment act serves as a cover hence if proposal to modernize the way that we vote. -- serves as a comprehensive proposal to modernize the way that we vote. it would assist voters with disabilities and ensure the equitable distribution of polling place resources. our voting system is in much need of technological improvement, and there is no reason why congress has not acted to pass this legislation. this bill has no republican cosponsors. congress is now in recess, we will be away for the full month of august, without strong voting rights legislation in place. the right wing conservatives are exercising their extraordinary influence over the entire
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congress and country. we are up against mean-spirited, states rights conservatives, who resent the growing power of minorities and who are intent on creating laws and policies to curtail it. congress, under the leadership of the congressional black caucus, must do everything possible to pass & into law a credible -- past and sign into law a credible bill. this is no small matter. this is not just another ordinary piece of legislation that we are dealing with. we are dealing with the right of the people who demand and deserve justice and equality in this country. after the years of construction, african-americans and -- reconstruction, african-americans --
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while the tactics may no longer be ku klux klan and forced, there are no less important -- enforced, they are no less important. there has been a decades-long attack to ensure certain people are in power. certain voices are heard and certain voices -- interests are favored. we are up against people like the koch brothers and world citizens united who build support to fund right-wing elections and preserve the conservative agenda. voting rights are set up in pretty packages. history demonstrates that at their heart is the desire to prevent african-americans, and other minorities, from participating in the electoral process. this is unconstitutional, undemocratic and un-american. i, and my democratic colleagues, college students, student rights activists, progressive women's
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organizations, lawyers, and ava, will not accept any erosion of our rights. we are prepared to engage in whatever is necessary and will not quit until we can restore voting rights protection for all. [applause] >> thank you congresswoman waters. i think it is time to get our panel involved in this. let me give some brief
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introductions. to my left is hans spakowsky. he is a graduate of m.i.t. and vanderbilt. he has written for the washington journal and -- for the washington post. he was counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights. he has been a member of the federal elections commission, and he is a senior legal fellow and manager of the heritage foundation election reform institute. next to hans his tom. he taught civil rights at the university of southern california. he clerked for judges at the court of appeals. here certain the los angeles department of education. he is a commissioner and the aba commission of hispanic rights and responsibilities. one of our co-commissioners with the diversity commission and is carly president and general
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counsel to the mexican american legal defense and education fund. finally, for a medical reason soledad o'brien was not able to be here but we are very fortunate to have andrea. she received her bachelor's degree at harvard university. she has been a partner at major law firms. she has held executive positions at corporations including sears, sara lee, and epsilon. until recently she has been the chief executive officer of the chicago urban league, and she recently announced her candidacy for the united states senate from illinois. hans,m let me start with you. you have heard next one nation that the voting rights act is still very much needed and in the two years since shelby county there have been tremendous abuses and voting rights, what is your view?
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hans: i will be the dissenter in the room. but let me say a couple of things. the voting rights act was the most important piece of legislation passed in the last century. more important in the civil rights act. finally helped and the segregation and lack of political power for black americans. when that law was passed, blacks are registered at a rate of only 27% in georgia. and mississippi less than 7%. by 2004's election, the year before section v would expire, in many parts of the southeast, blacks were registering and voting at higher rates than white voters. everyone has been talking as if the voting rights act has ended. that is not the case. it has a number of different sections. the most powerful tool against racial discrimination is section ii. it is permanent and nationwide. we also have section xi-b. what was at issue in the shelby county case was one provision, section v. it was originally supposed to be an emergency provision to last five years, and it only covered
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a small number of jurisdictions. the reason for section v, is a justice department would go to court and get a court order against a piece that was discriminate against black voters and that would evade the court. the idea was they could not make changes in voting laws without making -- getting permission of the justice department. the symptom of the discrimination going on was low voter registration and turnout. congress cannot with a coverage formula. if you had less than 50% turnout of all voters, not just black voters. in the 1964 presidential election, if you had a prior test advisor in case, you would be covered. after that, they never updated the coverage formula. they didn't do it in 2006. the reason for that is if they had looked at it not a single state would have been covered because the systematic, widespread, official discrimination was ended. just a couple things. black registries in and turnout was higher in the covered states than the rest of the country. there were far more black officeholders in the covered states than the rest of the
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country. the states with the fewest black elected officials were states that had previously not been covered like illinois and delaware. the court was fully justified in saying history didn't stop in 1965. there was no evidence that states like georgia were so different still today from places like massachusetts that georgia needed to be under special protection. the point was if it occurs, not only can the justice department sue under section ii, but they can even get folks under a preclearance regime. of thing that is not often
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mentioned is section iii. if you can prove a section ii case and you go to the judge and you say we have evidence this will -- they will try to evade this court decree, you should put them under a five-year regime with a have to get an okay from you to make a change to voting rights, the judge can oppose it. that is a much more equitable way of putting in a preclearance requirement, based on actual evidence in that jurisdiction, than a blanket covering of all the states. shelby county -- the alabama county where they filed the suit, the county government has
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never had an objection filed in the entire history of the voting rights act. i want to show you this. you cannot see this map, but it is a map of the united states. this is from the 2013 census report. ecb's green areas -- you see these green areas? those are states where the census bureau says, black americans outvoted whites by anywhere from -- up to 6% more. those of the states were conditions are best today. there has been no evidence that a new sectionv needs to be applied and if there is a problem you consume under section ii and get remedy from the court.
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>> tom, let me turn to you. one of the lines of majority opinion and shelby is that the voting rights act imposes significant current burdens and so it needs to be justified by a showing of current need. is that not correct? tom: i think the premise that there is some significant burden from preclearance is unproven. what the court majority talked about at length was stigma and equal sovereignty. in many ways it is the quintessential states rights case. was not given new attention are a number of things. with respect to the burden of section v preclearance, there was a ready mechanism that could have been used by shelby county
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or entire states, if they could prove they had complied, and not had a change over a period of time. they could bailout. that is what the supreme court had in an earlier district number one case rested its decision upon. the was a mechanism used to get out of the tremendous burden of preclearance. let's talk about what the burdens maybe. hans is correct that the main provision is section ii, does
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prevent the federal government or private litigants to challenge practices. there are two problems with section ii, often you need the evidence of implementation to demonstrate the discriminatory effect. that means you have to suffer through a number of elections with folks denied their vote, before you have a chance to realistically go into court and have that overturned. second, as lawyers understand, section ii is a notoriously inefficient way of adjudicating these matters.
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since 1982, when congress acted to reauthorize the voting rights act, and 9086 when the supreme court upheld what they did, the operative test is " totality of the circumstances." a lawyer in any. of the law can understand what must be involved in satisfying a totality of the circumstances test. there are experts on both sides and hundreds if not thousands of hours of lawyer time on both sides. that great expense before you have an opportunity to overturn what may be clearly discriminatory changes. that may give you the quintessential example. while shelby kept it was being decided, the supreme court had two cases. one involving redistricting, the other involving a voter id provision made much more draconian. in those cases, the supreme
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court chose to bypass the administrative process of preclearance and went to the district court in washington dc. there was presented tremendous evidence of not just discriminatory effects but intentional discrimination. intentional discrimination by the texas legislature to prevent the power of latino and african-american voters of -- from increasing. the judges concluded that was strong evidence of intentional discrimination, but as a result of shelby county, those cases are still being litigated, with those provisions potentially in place. fortunately, on redistricting there was legislation that resulted in new maps being drawn, but there could still be in place even though a judged included there was intentional discrimination. that is a demonstrable difference between section ii and section v. lawyers in the room should understand that in addition to being the most effective piece of civil rights legislation ever enacted, the had one of the earliest and most effective alternative to dispute resolution mechanisms ever put into federal law. that is how we should see preclearance. it is an effective way of timely resolution.
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and prevents them from being implemented and having an election occur. once the right is denied, you cannot unring that bell if a judge later decides it was his commentary you need -- decides it was discriminatory, you need a rule to prevent that. the department of justice, in the vast majority of cases would improve the change and it would be implement it. it would send section two under the totality of the circumstances test. >> we mentioned a room full of warriors, and have students from the st. real catholic high school. where are they? we would like to welcome them into the room. [applause] as well as illinois state representative amalek reese harris of chicago. [applause] andrea, let me ask you, from your perspective, until very recently ceo of the urban league, what impact has the voting rights act had and is it still important? andrea: of course it has had significant impact. we heard statistics on the increase in the number of people
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voting and the number of african-americans voting and an office. there are some real things you can understand. the first is -- i want to remind people, this argument about states rights and the importance of states rights, how that argument was levered against the civil rights laws as well. that has been historically the idea that balancing states against civil rights. it is important to rub a the role of the federal government in overcoming the and recognizing -- important to remember the role of the federal government in overcoming that and recognizing it. something that troubles me little bit, the argument that hans made, look, the voting rights act worked, african-americans are being elected. it's like, we have an african-american president. that is great. we are good now. [laughter] the idea that pay it is all good, we do not need those protections is the false understanding. we are good because we have those protections and preclearance. the immediate response to shelby, which was states like texas, north carolina -- immediately pursuing restrictive
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voter id laws would indicate that the protections of the preclearance reviews were critically important. the other thing to remember, about the voting restriction, that preceded the voting rights act, that the voting rights act recognized, voting is a very local activity and the restriction is a very local activity.
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congresswoman waters, touched on it but the idea it is you say we will have equal voting rights, but at the local level there is the opportunity to restrict voting rights. that is why we put in preclearance. to set you cannot just change it as we cannot get to every single one of the thousands of jurisdictions where you can be discriminating, so we will not a lie you to change anything. it is that protection we are missing. as pointed out, we all know as lawyers, litigation takes a long time.
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while that is happening, elections are occurring where rights are being limited. >> justice ginsburg said if you have an umbrella in the rain keeping you drive that is not the time to close your umbrella. [laughter] rep. waters: if you're going -- hans: if you're going to say that a certain number of states have to be under federal protection then you have to provide evidence of current, systematic, widespread discrimination that would justify it. that is not been shown. let's talk about voter id. it is a myth that this all occurred after shelby county ester decision. i would -- shall the county's -- shelby county's decision. i would remind everyone that georgia's law has been in place since the 2008 election. indiana's law since the 2008 election. they have at election after election. the data on georgia, which has a large african-american population, shows that after the voter id law went into place, the turnout of black and hispanic voters went up dramatically.
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at a higher rate than the turnout of white voters. the same thing happened in the 2010 election.
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>> justice ginsburg said if you have an umbrella in the rain keeping you drive that is not the time to close your umbrella. [laughter] [applause] rep. waters: if you're going -- hans: if you're going to say that a certain number of states have to be under federal protection then you have to provide evidence of current, systematic, widespread discrimination that would justify it. that is not been shown. let's talk about voter id. it is a myth that this all occurred after shelby county ester decision. i would -- shall the county's -- shelby county's decision. i would remind everyone that georgia's law has been in place since the 2008 election. indiana's law since the 2008 election. they have at election after election. the data on georgia, which has a
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large african-american population, shows that after the voter id law went into place, the turnout of black and hispanic voters went up dramatically. at a higher rate than the turnout of white voters. the same thing happened in the 2010 election. in 2008, when indiana's voter id law was in place for the first time, there case went all the way to the supreme court, 6-3 decision. justice stevens a stalwart liberal wrote the majority opinion. barack obama was the first of a win the state of indiana since the 1964 election. folks have also complained about cutbacks in early voting. most states do not have early voting. it is a new phenomena. on friday, you probably know, it was a last day of the trial in north carolina, over the fact
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they had changed the early voting days from 17 to 10. the justice department had a lot of trouble in that case. you know why? they had put experts on more than one year ago when they tried to get a temporary restraining order to keep that change from being in place for the 2014 mid-election -- midterm election, they had experts in places said if this early voting is in place, the turnout of
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black voters will go down because the experts said -- which i find unbelievable, because they said " that black voters were less sophisticated voters" and " it is less likely to imagine these voters can
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figure out how to avail themselves other forms of voting." i find that to be a patronizing and bigoted attitude. so the cutback in early voting times was in effect for the may primary and the general election in north carolina. in the may primary, black turnout went up 30% over the 2010 riemer he -- primary when the change was not there, and white turnout only 14%. in the general election, the black share of the vote went from 38.5% in 2010, to 41.1% in the election. remember, the midterm congressional elections this year, turnout went down all across the country. one of the only states in the country in which turnout went up was north carolina, where these suppose it voting changes had kept people from voting. all of the data from these states, the turnout data, as opposed to experts connections, voter id does not keep people from voting. changes to early voting do not keep people from voting. in fact, you can google this, the university of wisconsin and several professors just put out a study on early voting. the conclusion is, early voting hurts turnout.
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they conclude that it may decrease turnout by 3% to 4%. the reason being that the campaign spent the majority of their money on get out the vote efforts. if they spread that money out over 2-4 week period, it is not as intense or effective. apparently people who would normally vote on election day keep saying, i can vote tomorrow or the next day. apparently it is enough to hurt turnout by a small percentage. that is not me saying this, this is the study by the unit -- university of wisconsin professors and another study that says it may hurt turnout. >> the headline i will be taking from today is that apparently voter id restrictions are better to increase turnout. [laughter] >> [indiscernible] [both talking at once] >> that is my headline, but i think you would have to say thanks but no thanks to that. i do want to talk about the double standard used in these discussions. we are always asked to produce current evidence to support the
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need for prophylactic measures against discrimination. we have 150 years of evidence that demonstrates the need to keep that umbrella, that justice ginsburg talked about, in place. they never put the burden on themselves to justify why they need a voter id provision. there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in this country in the last 50 years. [applause] >> if anybody could produce such evidence, there might be justification for these measures being put in place. that is if they actually spark greater turnout. when you have data with voter id in place, and you have no data from what might have occurred, with the drawing populations, new candidates appeal to minority populations,
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impressions that voters do cap. maybe -- impressions that voters do count. of course these measures were not put in place to increase turnout. they were put into place to prevent certain people from voting. they do not only prevent those who are engaged in voter fraud, because that number is a most nonexistent. in fact, the people who get prevented from voting are the people who have every right to vote. the burden on an individual who has to obtain an id to vote is in many cases extraordinary. we are talking about people who may lack a birth certificate, whose birth the certificate may no longer exist, even in the county where they were born, either because it was never created in the first place because they were born with a
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midwife outside of a hospital or because the records in that county may have been destroyed by flood or fire, and before they were digitized. what am i talking about? i'm talking about older voters. who else will have difficulty obtaining voter id? to obtain the idea you need, there are a huge number of counties that don't have a single place in the entire county that you can go to obtain what you need to vote. i know many of you have been to texas or are from texas. you know what it means than to go from the county you are in to a neighboring county or even i county two or 30 way to obtain what you need to vote. that is hundreds of miles. let's talk about that burden being placed on people who have every right to vote. compare it to the burden on those poor states that are required to submit to the
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department of justice electoral changes and projections of what the effects might be. it is an easy calculus. i am tired of the double standard. if we apply the same standard, this would not be an issue at all. >> you said you were misquoted, so clarify yourself. >> i never said voter id would increase turnout. for the last eight years, they have been saying it would depress turnout. the actual certified election return data from states with voter id shows that is not true. if you would like some examples of voter fraud, give me your address and i will send you a copy of my book which shows cases of prosecution, and i believe you said there has been no voter fraud for the last 50 years. >> no. >> one or two voters.
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i will be happy to send you a copy of the publicly released -- i will be happy to send you a copy of the federal grand jury report released by a federal grand jury in chicago in the mid-1980's about the largest voter fraud case ever prosecuted by the u.s. department of justice in which the estimate was that 100,000 fraudulent ballots had been cast in chicago. it was that case and the many convictions of that case and the observers that the u.s. the puppet of justice sent into the next election the a lot of people credit with chicago of electing its first black mayor ever. >> that they say two things about that. note that hans went to the 1980's to come up with voter fraud. the evidence that we have to present to overturn it has to be current in the media. also, let me know that illinois now has one of the most
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expansive opportunities to vote in the country. the point being that in no more recent cases like we had in the 1980's. in light of that case in the 1980's, illinois choice not to -- chose not to restrict voter rights, but to enhance them. the fallacy that -- and this is the point i think comes was making -- because we jump through the hoops you create to vote, we found ways to make sure that people could get registered to vote. we found ways and we did. many organizations including the urban league helped people jump through the barriers created by legislators to restrict those votes. the fact that we were successfully able to do that does not mean that the discrimination was not intended or did not occur, it means -- the question is why is the
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barrier there in the first place? there is no justification for it. why in a country that is founded on the constitution that we have, we would not be pushing everywhere to enhance, not restrict, the right to vote is a question that hans simply does not answer. he says it is ok because we restricted it and it did not really matter. the truth is that it did matter. minorities and older voters had to jump through hoops that others did not to vote. that is the issue. that is the discrimination, not that they were able to finally get through it, but that they had to go through an effort that others did not. that is discrimination, and that is the problem.
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[applause] >> so i think you made a fair point win you said an example from the 1980's might not be relevant to 2015. would you and the congresswoman as part of your remarks addressed this, one of the points in the decision was that before their is going to be an intrusion on state's writes, there should be a current fact-finding and turned over to congress to do that. isn't the ball and congress's court? if there is a problem, isn't it in congress?
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>> i can answer -- well, i think we have touched upon it. of course, there's a problem in congress right now. [laughter] >> the answer is a very partisan problem, and that is a significant issue. there are three bills you talked about, even the bipartisan bill that the democrats came to -- but, in the spear that does not exist in congress. we will compromise for something that we do not think it is the best bill because it is better than no ill, and we will work to improve it over time, even that [called. the challenge -- even that bill got called. the fact is, and this is the problem with undercutting the voting rights act to begin with
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and the problem with the decision, clearly there is an issue in congress. >> one additional dimension to the problem in congress. the problem is we have leadership that will not allow the evidence to be heard. they refuse to even hold a hearing about that more water down voting rights amendment act because he personally does not believe there is a reason to have preclearance in place. that is well and good. that is something for him to take up with his constituents, but that is not how congress is supposed to work. there is a hearing scheduled, they listen evidence -- the last reauthorization, super majorities in both the house and senate voted for that.
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>> congresswoman? >> the first thing that i would like to address has been adequately addressed. talking about and reminding about that when states -- cause us to have to have id, we have to work hard to help people to get the idea that they need. we have to travel long distances. we have to try and raise money to assist people. and so, i don't know what that study was. i have not seen it. the study you alluded to does not address the fact that we worked very hard to overcome the fact that the state had made a law to say that you had to have certain kinds of id, not just id, certain kinds of id. that should not be discounted. of course, i did speak to the difficulty we have in congress.
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it is played out every day in every way by the tea party activists who are now members of congress who are in almost control of what they call their conference, the republican caucus. they threaten the leadership. as a matter of fact, one of them attempted a coup before we left. for a lot of reasons, it did not take place, but this is what we are confronted with every day. and so, i'm not even optimistic that after we go back after the august break that we can get these right wing, conservative activist tea party types to be decent and to recognize that shelby needs to be fixed, and so if you are wondering why, it is because those who know believe that we have the right to vote, and all of this business about how look, how blacks outvoted whites. there could be more if we are not prohibited from doing it. what is wrong with that? >> sometimes with regard to one
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of the issues, there was a loyola university soon very best survey where they found -- where they found 31 cases of voter fraud. >> we created a database that is just a sampling of cases from across the country that is already up to 250 cases. >> wow, across the country, 250 cases. [laughter] >> the point of this is that as the supreme court said voter fraud can make a difference in a
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close case. there are close connections -- elections decided all over this country at the local, state, and county level. the saddest thing about all of this -- and i outline this in my book -- is that the communities are the targets of this kind of voter fraud, poor, black, urban communities. i site to cases in my book, one from the 1990's prosecuted by the justice department, one from just three years ago prosecuted in new york, in which the targets of the vote thieves were poor, black, democrats whose votes were stolen, and why were they targeted in these cases? because one of the people who was convicted, one of the guys in new york said that they are the people the least likely to complain about it. the saddest thing about one of the other cases in the 1990's in
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which 11 people were convicted of stealing the votes of african-americans in the democratic primary in a democratically -- democratically controlled county. these were young, african-american democrats who were challenging the incumbents in this very corrupt county government. when they called the naacp asking for their help because they set our election has been stolen, the end of a lacie p did not come down to help them. they came down to help the vote steelers, those convicted by the clinton justice department for doing it. kudos to janet reno who refused to drop the case despite
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meetings in washington with the heads of certain civil rights organizations who wanted them to drop the case. my point here is that this idea that voter id is a big problem, well, the american people don't agree with the people. you can check the polling. you can check the polling on rasmussen and you will find that the majority of americans, majority republicans, democrats, defendants, that a majority of whites, blacks, hispanics all think voter idea is a
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commonsense reform. i suggest you google it and you will find the polls that show the american people support this. >> let me ask in the couple of minutes that we have left. each of our panelists kind of give their view about what i think has been a very spirited debate about this issue. >> i have to say thanks, but no thanks to the assertion that these protections against voter fraud are actually protecting minority communities, who are the victims. if that is the case, let's allow the communities that are the victims to decide whether voter idea and the burden placed primarily on those communities of the solution, or whether vigorous prosecution as you have described is enough of a deterrent. i think i know what the outcome will be, regardless of what the polling data may show. there is a campaign of misinformation and disinformation out in the nation around voter id provisions and around the existence of voter fraud. if the polling question was if there is no indication of widespread voter fraud, do you think the voter should be burdened by having to obtain identification that they do not have, and in many cases would have to go through great efforts to obtain, i know what the results would be. there is misinformation and disinformation out there that we in this room have to take our part in combating.
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we have to combat the fraud that is the notion of voter fraud. we have to combat the notion that there is such a burden on those poor states by having a mechanism in place that ensures that we can protect against both of those serial vote killers, the states and jurisdictions with long histories of voter dissemination, and the copycat vote killers, the new jurisdictions that use the same old tired electoral change that the others used to suppress the turnout and decrease the growth in voting power of new minority communities. we have something to do in this room about ensuring that folks
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understand that our choice is an effective and timely efficient mechanism of resolving disputes around voting or the totality of the circumstances are our only protection after the fact, after folks have been denied the right to vote. >> so, i would simply say -- i would note a couple of things. when pushed on data, he went to the 1980's, then the 1990's, we are in 2015. also, as someone who prosecuted voter fraud cases, i just inc. the idea -- and he said there are samples -- there are 200 and 50 k -- 250 cases with millions of votes cast. none of that is an argument still for restricting the right -- the fundamental critical right -- to vote. as someone who's that countless hours encouraging and reminding people how important it is to go vote in a state very fortunately
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where we do not have the strands of restrictions, it is just a point to me -- a board that we are still talking about restricting and how we overcome these restrictions. it has been pointed out the fact that when these restrictions are in place, they are significant people. the fact that we have communities that fight hard to overcome those restrictions does not make them right or correct. and so, i think we have to continue as representative waters has stated and, stated, and everyone here is to understand, to fight against these restrictions, understand exactly what they are, which are efforts to take away the right to vote, restrict the right to vote, for people, minorities,
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young people. the idea that many of these laws do not allow you to use your college id. in texas, you can use your your firearm owners card, but you cannot use your college id as your voter id. how can that be if your objective is to do anything other than limit young people's right to vote, and how can that be right in the country we live in. >> look, don't get the wrong impression, i think the voting rights act is the most important legislation passed. it is essential and still in place today. it should be in place. it has powerful tools to prevent discrimination when it occurs. how much discrimination is occurring in this country? the last six years under eric holder and the obama
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administration, do you know how many files have been -- cases have been filed under section two claiming discriminatory practices? section 11b, not a single case file. this idea that voter idea keeps people from voting, the data shows that is not true. as lawyers, you will appreciate this. the indiana and georgia laws were challenged on their face back in 2006 and 2007. in both cases, the courts throughout the cases saying there were no evidence that they were discriminatory or unconstitutional. absolutely nothing has prevented either the u.s. just apartment -- justice department or civil rights organizations for filing an as applied challenge in those two states in the last seven years if they actually could find individuals who were unable to vote because of those laws. no as applied challenge has been filed. just a year ago, i wrote an article in which i went and looked up the name of the
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witnesses that were put forward in the georgia case, all of whom is were under oath that they didn't have an id, would never be able to get an id, even though georgia was providing a free idea, and i checked the voting records with the official voting records of the secretary of state. all of these individuals who have they would never be able to vote, including a number of elderly voters, had all been voting in election after election in georgia with the id in place. the idea that that is a problem is not true. we are one of the only western democracies that does not uniformly require an idea -- id to vote, even mexico requires a
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photo id to vote, and they have had no problems with it depressing turnout, just like the states here who have had the id in place. >> that me just say that mr. hans has made arguments that we don't know what is in our best interest, and they are looking out for us, whoever they are. that we are to unsophisticated to appreciate that early voting dates are not in our best interest and we don't know how to use it. there is so much fraud, we ought to be ecstatic that they would have voter id laws, because in the final analysis, they protect us. where you have found fraud, well, those arguments don't hold water. and so, while he has a book with all this information that he is sharing with us today, we must understand that no matter these kinds of representations, we have got to organize, work hard, do everything that we can to get
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congress to do what it needs to do, and the fight is on. we do not buy any of his arguments. [applause] >> we will try to ask our panelists if they will join us in the riverside room downstairs where the expo is. you have a chance to talk. i don't think any books are being sold. you will have the opportunity to get a -- secondly, our real goal here was to have a full and spirited discussion of every aspect of this important
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problem. i think we succeeded. let's think our panelists for that. [applause] >> august 6, this week, the 50th anniversary of what every single person who you heard from today identifies as the major civil rights legislation that we have passed. take this opportunity on august 6 to celebrate the importance of civil rights in america. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015]
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>> tonight, we take you on one tours,c-span city visiting literary and historic sites across the country to hear from local historians, authors, and civic leaders. this month, you can see the city tours on c-span every day at 6:00 to today, lincoln, nebraska, the past and present and a discussion with the governor. tonight, the national urban league's annual conference in florida. topics included police shooting, the voting rights act and education. we heard from an attorney who talked about voter suppression and the importance of voting in local elections. here is a look. >> passing all kinds of laws to toenfranchise our community
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stop the souls to the polls and stop the early voting to make the voter id, voting polls, to intimidate us, and stop us from voting. thatwe are focused on is we are going to challenge them and we are not concerned about our corporate sponsorship, right inhe fundamental america is your right to vote and vote for the prosecutor, vote for the judge. confused sometimes with the presidential vote and think that that is the most important vote. to that courthouse. the most important vote in many instances is that v.a.. he will decide whether your kids go to jail or not. same offense. get fingerprinted and handcuffed.
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that is all on the prosecutor. tommy what is more and -- more important to vote for, the prosecutor or president? jury duty? the vote injury duty, just one person in that back room. just one person. we have got six. st. louis, they have got 12. one to have the courage to say, i will be on this jury, i will answer the question, i will be there, i will go back in that thisand decide the fate of young, black prison today, it makes all the difference in the world. your votes really do count when you are on jury duty. as also at that conference, the reverend al sharpton, and civil rights activist. entiretyatch in its here on c-span. epa, a closer look at the
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air quality regulations. a house subcommittee heard from the administrator for air and radiation. her about theoned economic impact on state and local communities. the hearing ran about two hours. about two hours. [gavel pounds] >> i would like to bring the hearing to order. this morning's hearing is going proposedon the epa rule -- i would like to acknowledge myself for five minutes for an opening statement. these proposed levels are so low, that in some parts of the


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