tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 18, 2016 1:01am-7:01am EDT
>> coming up on c-span, michigan snyder testifying on the water contamination in flint. then national security adviser susan rice on u.s. policy in latin america. and then another chance to see jeff sessions on the role of populism in the 2016 campaign. >> c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. morning, theday lenny, ceo of the national
coalition of black participation, she will discuss the results of the 20 16th state of black women in the u.s. report which includes the views of the 2016 presidential campaign. will talk about the investigation into the e-mails sent to and from hillary clinton's e-mail server and what developments he thinks we can expect in the coming weeks. watch c-span's washington journal, beginning live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on friday morning and join the discussion. defense secretary ashton carter will sit down with political friday to discuss defense policy, and national security. we will bring that lyft you at 8:00 a.m. eastern on c-span two. then we will join a discussion on the influence of israel on the united states and the institute.
live on c-span2. -- many of ourr veterans have come into my office to talk about who they want to vote for. is your civic duty to get out and vote. many things are at stake in this election. i encourage you to get out there and vote for the candidate that best supports your causes. >> [indiscernible] i would encourage everyone to go out and support bernie if possible. issue isst important
going to be college tuition as well as jobs. go to schoolnt to don't know how they are going to support it. they also want to know what the job market is going to be. >> i was originally going to vote for bernie sanders. since i am not politically inclined, i ended up supporting hillary because she seems more knowledgeable. she has been secretary of state and knows the inner workings of the white house and how the game goes. oversight and government reform committee held its third hearing on the contaminated water in flint, michigan with epa administrator gina mccarthy and michigan governor rick snyder testified. this is three and a half hours.
will come to order. i can declare recess at any time. we have the third in a series of hearings we are doing, examining the federal administration's save drinking water act, dealing with the crisis in flint, michigan. i appreciate the witnesses here today. i appreciate the strong public participation and interest in hearing. i would remind those participating this is a congressional hearing. we would appreciate your proper decorum in this room. there are to be no shows of expression about positive --expression, positive or negative. we appreciate your help in that way. really make a few observations, then turn it over to the ranking member. there are people still today in flint, michigan who are waking up this morning, they cannot drink the water. and they can't take a shower. they are using a bottle of water to drink and take a shower. i can't even imagine my family having to go through that in the u.s. i was able to visit flint with a
number of members this past saturday. this is a crisis. it affects a lot of people. i think these hearings have been productive. there are people that have been exposed to drinking lead laced water for more than a year. this is, i believe, a failure at every level. most everybody has knowledged that. let's remember that flint city was a city in crisis. a financial situation that was dire at best. the people of michigan made a decision, emergency managers were put into place to save dollars. i think the idea, the desire to reduce the rate of cost of water and improve the quality of water is where this started, but not where it ended up. at every level in michigan, from the city to the department of public works, to the emergency manager, to the department of environmental quality, there
were failures. there is question about the accuracy of the data provided. some of those people were responsible and reported to the governor of michigan. i appreciate the governor volunteering, suggesting that testifying before congress to tell his version of the story was an appropriate thing. i appreciate your willingness to talk to this body. there are serious questions. we want to get to the bottom of it. the congress also has responsibility and jurisdiction over the epa. the funding being a federal organization. we have jurisdiction, and it's important that we look from that perspective as well. in february, leann walters, who is here in the audience, finally
got fed up with what was going on, where she managed to get a hold of the epa. miguel dell tauro from the epa showed up on the scene and started to test the water. he should be highly commended for his actions and what he did. i appreciate leeann walters and her family for stepping forward. i can't even express -- i can't even imagine what her and her family have been through. by june, the epa clearly knew this was a crisis. they knew this was a problem. susan hedman, as the administrator for region 5 new there was a problem. the mayor at the time in flint asked what had happened, is the water safe to drink? he was told, pay no attention to the report written by the epa. and he actually went on local television and told people it was safe to drink the water. move forward to september 24, one of the more troubling things. i want to put up this graphic.
this is an internal e-mail within the epa, talking about susan hedman. perhaps she already knows this. but i'm not so sure flint is the community we want to go out on a limb for. one of the more offensive, concerning things i have seen. there were people, more than one, making decisions and thinking that, maybe flint is not who we should go out on a limb for. are you kidding me? flint is the number one place they should have been going out on a limb for. it's depressed economically. they are going through their own economic crisis. there is internal discussion at the epa deciding whether or not we should go out on a limb for them.
days later, the epa administrator said ms. hedman's work was "very encouraging." gina mccarthy said "we are making good progress." it wasn't until january of 2016 that the epa took definitive action. a day after that, susan hedman resigned. later asked about that action, gina mccarthy, the epa administrator, said that resignation was "courageous." that is something we will talk about here today. i've seen a lot of things before this committee. but the lack of action here, the lack of letting people know, is very concerning. let us recognize the ranking member, mr. cummings. rep. cummings: thank you very much mr. chairman.
i too agree that this is a tragic situation. but let us be clear. this is not just on the epa. it's much bigger than that. so i take a moment, first of all, to thank leeann walters, professor edwards, and to the people of flint, many of whom have come here today -- they are lined all outside these walls, unable to get answers, and probably feeling left out. but they probably felt left out for a long time. so mr. chairman, i take this moment to thank you. you did not have to do this. i asked you for a hearing and you granted us 3 hearings. and i really appreciate that. you see, because i live in a
neighborhood where lead is a problem. i am very sensitive to this issue. governor snyder has been described as running the state of michigan like a business. well, what if this was a business? what if a ceo ran a company that sold toys laced with lead that children put in their mouths? what if those children were poisoned as a result? and what if that ceo ignored warnings for more than a year, as those kids got sicker and sicker and sicker? there is no doubt in my mind that if a corporate ceo did what governor snyder's administration has done, they would be hauled up on criminal charges.
the board of directors would be thrown out, and shareholders revolt. the special counsel for the state attorney general's office has launched an investigation. and he says "the state officials could face charges including breach of duty, gross negligence, or even manslaughter.' charges he says "not far-fetched." on our committee, we have obtained documents showing that people all around the governor, including his chief of staff, was sounding the alarm's, but he either ignore them or did not hear them. so we are talking about quotes. let's talk about them.
in october 2014, the governor's top legal adviser had warned that flint should "get back on the detroit system as a stopgap as soon as possible before this thing is too far out of control." that is the chief of staff. in march of 2015, the governor's own chief of staff -- no, that was his legal advisor. but his chief of staff said in march 2015, "if we procrastinate any longer in doing something direct, we will have real trouble." that is from the chief of staff. in july, his chief of staff again warned that flint residents "are concerned, and rightfully so, about the lead levels that they are receiving." they are basically getting blown
off by us." the document reveals failures at every level. led by governor snyder's handpicked appointees and the governor's fingerprints are all over this. his department of environmental quality, health and human services, his inner circle of top aides, his press staff, his chief of staff -- and of course the emergency managers the governor put in charge of flint. there will now be an entire generation, an entire generation of children who suffer from brain damage, learning disability, and many other horrible effects of lead poisoning that were inflicted on them by governor snyder's administration. there will be many children, mr. chairman, who will sit in the second and third grade that will not be able to read the words
"see spot run," and won't know why. but the reason why is because there is lead in their veins. republicans are definitely trying to blame everything epa. so let me say this. i agree that the epa should have done more. they should have rushed in sooner to rescue the people of michigan from governor snyder's vindictive administration and its utter incompetence at every level. governor snyder's administration has primary responsibility for enforcement under the safe drinking water act, not the epa. governor snyder's administration chose to stick to the river for
a source of water, not the epa. governor snyder's administration ignored warnings from the flint water treatment plant supervisor not to go forward with the switch, not the epa. governor snyder's administration falsely told the city of flint that corrosion control was unnecessary, not the epa. governor snyder's administration delayed erosion control four months, and harmed thousands of additional people in the process, not the epa. governor snyder's administration overruled the flint city council vote to return to clean detroit water, not the epa. as i close, yes i agree, the epa should have snatched control out of governor snyder's hands even sooner than they did. but governor snyder's administration caused this horrific disaster and poisoned the children of the flint. on the governor's website, his motto is "reinventing michigan, getting it right, getting it done."
it's hard to imagine a more misleading slogan. it also says this. "we will learn from this experience." and so as i said earlier in another hearing, these children, when we are dead and gone, these children will suffer for what we failed to do. mr. chairman, i have said to you before, we have to be the last line of defense. we have to be it. generations will suffer. we have to do everything in our power to mitigate that. i look forward to hearing and i yield back.
rep. chaffetz: we will hold the record open for 5 legislative days to submit a written statement. i will recognize the first panel. i am pleased to welcome the honorable rick snyder, governor of the state of michigan. we have the honorable gina mccarthy, administrator for the epa. pursuant to committee roles, if you would both rise and raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? thank you. let the record reflect that witnesses answered in the affirmative. we normally have a five-minute rule, but you are welcome to take time for your verbal comments. your written statement will be part of the record. governor snyder is now recognized. gov. snyder: members of the committee.
thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today about the crisis in flint and the actions we are taking to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. let me be blunt. this was a failure of government at all levels. local, state, and federal officials. we all failed the families of flint. this is not about politics, nor partisanship. i will not point fingers or shift blame. there is plenty of that to share. and neither will help people of flint. not a day or night goes by that this tragedy doesn't weigh on my mind. the questions i should have asked, the answers i should have demanded, how i could have prevented this. that's why i am so committed to delivering permanent, long-term solutions in clean safe drinking water that every michigan citizen deserves. today, i'll report what we have done, what we are doing, and what we will do to deliver real results to the families of flint. but before going through the facts, i want to express my profound gratitude for the help and heroism of professor mark edwards, and the president
-- and flint resident leeann walters. they were among the first to sound the alarm about the failures of government in the crisis inflicting the flint community. here are the facts. from the date the city of flint began using the flint river as an interim water supply in 2014 and repeatedly after that, the department of environment of quality assured us that flint's water was safe. it wasn't. a water expert at the federal epa tried to raise the alarm in february 2015, and he was silenced. it was on october 1, 2015, that i learned that our state experts were wrong. once water had dangerous levels of lead, on that day, i took immediate action. first, we quickly reconnected to the detroit water supply to begin sealing the damaged pipes. second, i ordered the immediate distributional of water filters
and blood level testing in schools and homes to identify those at highest risk so they could receive health care, nutrition, and additional support. third, we deployed $67 millionto address short-term needs and long-term solutions. our focus and our priority is on both short-term health and long-term safety. this includes diagnostic testing, nurse visits and environment assessments in the home to treat any child with high lead levels. this is only the beginning. right now we're in the appropriations process for an additional hundred $65 million to deliver permanent long-term solutions. i urge congress to pass a bipartisan bill for aiding flint immediately so we can further protect the health and safety of residents and families. from identifying every pipe that must he replaced to providing long-term medical support, we are working with local leaders
and representatives in washington to deliver the assistance our citizens deserve. we are holding those who failed accountable. we are being open with the public about how these failures came about, including releasing my e-mails, my staff e-mails relating to the water crisis. we are in the process of publicly releasing relevant documents from state agencies involved, so the people have an open honest assessment of what happened and what we are doing to fix it. we also began a thorough investigation of what went wrong. we've uncovered systematic failures at the michigan department of environmental quality. the fact is bureaucrats created a culture that values technical competence over common sense, and the result was lead was leeched into the resident's water. that is why i'm committed to a complete and comprehensive
change in state government that puts public health and safety first. and why i have called for a thorough investigation to the michigan department of health and human services by the auditor general. we're taking responsibility and taking action. that is essential here in washington too. inefficient, ineffective, and unaccountable bureaucrats at the epa allow this to continue unnecessarily. i am glad to sit next to the administrator from the epa because all of us must be held accountable. i do want to thank miguel del toro, a water specialist at the epa who spoke of earlier about the crisis. tragically, his superiors told local leaders in flint to ignore his call for action. the truth is, there are many committees with potentially dangerous lead problems.
if the epa and deq do not change, and if the dumb and dangerous lead and copper rule is not changed, this tragedy will befall other american cities. professor edwards has been sounding this alarm for years. i look forward to joining with him to address the failure of government. i'm grateful to have been elected to serve the people of michigan. i understand their anger. i am going to make flint and every community in michigan a better place to live. we have a lot to learn and a lot to do. i close with a simple plea. partner with me in fixing this. not just for the people of flint, but for the people all over the country. ranking member cummings is right. the american people -- this is america, and this should never have happened.
the american people deserve rules than accents, and professionals to enforce them to know that health and safety are urgent matters. i can make sure that happens in michigan. you can make sure it happens for every american. thank you, and i look forward to your questions. rep. chaffetz: thank you governor. i recognize the administrator of the epa, ms. mccarthy. admin mccarthy: good morning mr. chairman, distinguished members of the committee. i want to thank you for the opportunity to testify about epa's response to the drinking water crisis in flint, michigan. i want to start by saying that what happened in flint should never have happened and can never be allowed to happen again. the crisis that we are seeing is a result of a state appointed emergency manager deciding that the city would stop purchasing treated water that it had been successfully relying on for 50 years and instead switched to an untreated source for the simple reason that they wanted to save
money. the state of michigan approved that decision without requiring corrosion control treatment. without corrosion control, lead leeched from the pipes and fittings and fixtures in homes and businesses, and it leached into the drinking water. these decisions are what resulted in flint residents being exposed to dangerously high levels of lead. now under the safe drinking water act, congress gives states the primary responsibility to enforce drinking water rules for the nations, approximately 152,000 water systems. but epa has oversight authority. typically, epa has strong relationships with our states. we work with and under this act. looking back on flint, from day one, the state provided our regional office with confusing, incomplete, and absolutely
incorrect information. their interactions with us were in transient, misleading, and contentious. as a result, epa staff had insufficient information to understand the potential scope or the lead problem until more than a year after that water supply switched. while epa did not cause the lead problem, in hindsight, we should not have been so trusting of the state for so long when they provided us with overly simplistic assurances of technical compliance rather than substantive responses to our increasingly growing concerns. although epa regional staff repeatedly asked the michigan department of environmental quality to address the lack of corrosion control, we missed the opportunity late summer to quickly get epa's concerns on
the radar screen. that i regret. since october, epa has been providing technical advice to the city. additionally as part of the federal response led by the department of health and human services, in epa response team of scientists, water quality experts, community involvement coordinator's, and support staff have been on the ground every day since late july. the epa team has visited hundreds of homes and collected thousands of samples to assess the city's water system. we are encouraged by these test results. our enhanced efforts with flint will not cease until the system is fully back on track. we've also been engaging flint residents,, visiting places of worship, schools, libraries, communities to hear and share information. i have taken several concrete steps at agency to address some
of the systemic issues raised during the crisis. i directed a review of mdeq and its ability to implement the save drinking water act for the very reasons that the governor has also so clearly articulated. i call on epa's inspector general to investigate epa's response to the flint crisis. no we did not cause it, but could we have acted sooner can correct the situation? i issued an epa-wide memo, encouraging staff to raise concerns and for managers to be welcoming of staff questions. too much back and forth went between epa and the state when it should have gone up so that we could have raised the red flag earlier. i also recently sent letters to every governor and every state environmental health commissioner asking them to join epa in taking action to strengthen our city's drinking water programs to ensure that they are looking and working
where their own communities. aditionally, we are working on revisions to the lead and copper rule. that was revised under the prior administration to streamline the monitoring and reporting requirements. we know that it needs to be strengthened. while the contours of this situation are unique, the underlying circumstances of that allow it to happen are really not. as a country, we have a systemic problem of under investing in environmental justice communities. make no mistake, this is an environmental justice community. not only are these underserved populations, more vulnerable to impacts of pollution, but they often lack the tools and resources -- and the voice -- to do something about it. that is what stacks the deck against a city like flint. that is what creates an
environment where a crisis like this can happen. in many areas across her country, water infrastructure is aging, antiquated, and several communities are severely underfunded. particularly low income communities. which may have the most difficulty securing funds through rate increases or municipal bonds. this threatens citizen's access to say drinking water. we need to start having a serious conversation with congress and others about how we advance the technologies and investment necessary to keep delivering clean water to american families. i'm personally committed to doing everything possible to make sure a crisis like this never happens. having met with the families in flint, met with state leaders,
looking at where we are disturbing waters, having worked hard to make sure that communities have the information that they need to stay safe. you cannot do anything but be personally committed. but we know that no one portion of government can do it alone. none of us can do it alone. we need the cooperation of all our colleagues at every level of government and every branch and beyond. thank you. i look forward to answering your questions. rep. chaffetz: thank you. i recognize the gentleman from michigan, mr. walberg. as we start this, i remind members we have votes that have been earlier today. i need everybody to stick to the five minutes so we can get the maximum number of people to participate.
these people have pressing schedules as well. i will start by recognizing mr. walberg for 5 minutes. >> i will certainly take that to heart. i want to thank you for the intentional method by which you carry on these investigations and these hearings. mr. chairman, you do not have to do it, but you have done it well. i am a proud michigander. this is a problem. but i am proud of michigan. governor snyder, we appreciate you voluntarily coming today. we appreciate you voluntary releasing your emails so they can be part of the record. we appreciate the fact that you are willing to answer tough questions that this committee will offer today and outline the steps you are taking to solve the crisis and help flint recover. because we want flint to recover. it is a great city. it has great workers. i have driven great cars made in flint. i've had the opportunity to look into the eyes of flint citizens who experienced this human made tragedy.
governor, when did you first learn of the instances -- since legionnaires disease in flint? gov. snyder: in terms of legionnaires, i did not learn about until 2016. as soon as i became aware of it, we held a press conference the next day. that was clearly a case where michigan department of health and human services should have done more to escalate the issue, to get a visible to the public, and to me. mr. walberg: i have documents
your today that show your staff receiving information about legionnaires in march 2015. in an e-mail on march 13 of 2015, a senior deq staff member e-mailed another member of your staff, stating that there was "a significant uptick in cases of legionnaires disease in flint." there is also an e-mail to your spokesperson, showing that she was aware of the issue. and another e-mail indicated that he wanted to raise the issue with your chief of staff. the information was at the highest levels of your executive office. 10 months before you knew. did you speak with them about it? gov. snyder: no, i don't recall any mention of that to me. i don't remember being part of any of those discussions. rep. walberg: if that is the case, what connection is there between an outbreak of legionnaires and the flint river? gov. snyder: obviously given the change in water source, it is a concern. we are going through the investigation at this point. all parties are cooperating. the federal and state government are working on this issue. we brought in expertise from wayne state university.
an outstanding institution in terms of additional researchers. i'm happy to share some information with you that we'll get perspective on the number of cases in what we have so far. i have a chart. i would be happy to share that. rep. walberg: i would ask that we can have that submitted for the record. rep. chaffetz: without objection we will get it to members as soon as we can photocopy it. rep. walberg: i have also asked for an investigation by the inspector general and auditor general by the state of michigan, an independent organization to look at the moment of health and human services with respect to this discussion. this should have been handled better. rep. walberg: administrator
mccarthy, does the safe drinking water act provide you with authority to act in cases like flint? admin mccarthy: when we have the proper information, yes. rep. walberg: it says upon receipt of information, the initiator can take any action on behalf of human health. you wrote an e-mail to an epa official that appeared last night. you said "the situation in flint could get very big quickly." you didn't act until january 21, 2016. why? admin mccarthy: the action that we were recommending on what was taking was action already happening. it was only until january that i realized that the state was in continuing quickly enough to address the issue. that was very late in the game, sir. rep. chaffetz: the gentleman's
time has expired. the piece of paper the governor has cemented his in the last page of your packets. i will now recognize mr. cartwright for 5 minutes. rep. carwright: governor snyder, i would like to ask you some questions. you do admit before this committee that you and your administration failed the people of flint. gov. snyder: i have made that clear in terms of my state of the state address. rep. cartwright: your task force found that the department of environmental quality was "primarily responsible for the crisis in flint." do you also admit that here today? your task force found that your officials at mdeq did not implement corrosion control, which "led directly to the contamination of the flint water system."
do you admit that here today? gov. snyder: the lack of corrosion control led to this issue. rep. cartwright: and you admit it was your officials at mdeq that did not implement corrosion control, which led to that? gov. snyder: they did not instruct the city of flint to do conversion controls. rep. cartwright: is that a yes? gov. snyder: they would not do the corrosion controls. that is a city responsibility. but they failed common sense to say they should have. rep. cartwright: do you admit you personally received a letter in 2015 from flint's mayor thanking you to take action and actioning you to take and warning "there is nothing more important than flint right now than fixing the water problems." on january 18, 2015, you admit receiving that letter.
gov. snyder: i received a letter from the mayor dated that. i took action on items within that letter. rep. cartwright: i am asking about january, 2015. gov. snyder: you shared the letter with me. i can confirm that. rep. cartwright: would you hand him the letter, please? we will ask that this be made part of the record. rep. chaffetz: without objection. rep. cartwright: january 18, 2015, last paragraph on the second page, it's directed to you specifically. he says "there is nothing more important in flint right now than fixing the water problems." do you see that? do you admit getting that letter? gov. snyder: yes. rep. cartwright: the mayor asked you repeatedly to come to flint. you admit you did not show up for more than seven months after he asked you. gov. snyder: i am not familiar, i would have to check my schedule. rep. cartwright: that is what he says. gov. snyder: i don't know if
that is correct or not. rep. cartwright: do you admit to seeing headline after headline about problems, hair loss, rashes, e. coli, bacteria and sewage, legionnaires disease? did you read any of those stories? gov. snyder: congressman, i read a number of those stories. we have to follow-up them and continue to get information from career bureaucrats that the water was safe. rep. cartwright: do you admit more cases of legionnaires disease were popping up after the last five years combined? gov. snyder: yes, that is why i provided a table that shows these cases were at health care facilities. in terms of the numbers, 87 cases-- rep. cartwright: you admit that even after the whole world knew that flint posed unimaginable numbers of lead, you did not clear as to emergency until january 2016. gov. snyder: i took immediate action as soon as i learned
there is a lead issue. we started doing water testing, blood testing. rep. cartwright: plausible deniability only works when it is plausible. and i am not buying that you do not know about this until october 2015. you were not in a medically induced coma for a year. [laughter] i have had about enough of your false contrition and phony apologies. susan hedman from the epa bears not 1/10 of the responsibility of the state of michigan and your administration, and she resigned. and there you are dripping with guilt, but drawing your paycheck, hiring lawyers at the expense of the people. and doing your dead level best to spread accountability to others and not being accountable. it's not appropriate. pretty soon we will have men who strike their wives, saying "i'm sorry dear, but there were failures at all levels."
people who put dollars over the fundamental safety of the people do not belong in government. and you need to resign, too, governor snyder. i yield back. rep. chaffetz: the gentleman yields back. we now recognize mr. mosh. >> i would like to welcome you governor snyder. thank you for your willingness to appear before this committee. governor, you spoke about the broken culture at many of the agencies and state government. how are you working to change the culture within the agencies, specifically the department of environment equality that were negligent or reckless? gov. snyder: it began by changing leadership. i accepted the resignation of the departed director. this was a department director that had served under 2 prior governors. but we had this issue. it was time to accept his
resignation. under civil service rules, we terminated the head of the water division. that was the one that made the terrible decisions with their team to say it should be a 2 6 month study. she was a 28 year veteran of the department. we are going to spend time. we are going to change this culture. a bureaucratic culture that focuses on technical compliance and doesn't have a sense of urgency. that should not be serving our citizens. there are many hard-working people that work for the state of michigan. 47,000 of them. i am committing to finding the instances where they have not gotten the idea that we work for the citizens. i will be relentless in following up to make sure that we make the changes necessary that this never happens again. >> governor, did state employees intentionally withhold information from you? gov. snyder: i don't believe
that was the case. we had a report from the office of the auditor general that responded to senator ananick. one of their conclusions ones that they did not find any willful misrepresentation. >> were you doing to make sure that state employees communicate with you? gov. snyder: i stood up in front of the entire state of michigan in my state of the state address and said, these people that made his terrible decisions, that showed a clear lack of common sense failed us. but since they work for me, i am responsible for their actions. i take that responsibility. i kick myself every day about what i could have done to do more. i told the people of michigan there is a commitment, a passionate commitment to say we are going to change the culture in these places.
i apologize to the people of flint. they deserve that. i understand why they are angry. it's terrible what they have to go through. but i made a commitment to fix the problem. i can't tax some damage that has been done. there's a lot we can do to help the people of flint. i'm committed to do that. we are following through and getting that done. i'm going back to flint tomorrow to throw up my sleeves and work on that issue. >> what is the state expected budget surplus, and how much will be spent on helping people of flint? gov. snyder: i presented the budget in february for the state. in terms of surplus, we are going through 2-3 steps. i've asked for a total, including 3 supplementals. total of $233 million to help address issues in flint.
covering all areas from the water system and structure to nutrition to health to well-being, to economic development. all these fields to do whatever we can possible in terms of improving things in flint. several overall these past our legislature. i asked for $165 million for a rainy day fund. this is not an issue just for flint. let's start putting aside long-term resources. we have a structure problem that is a national problem. let's get lead pipes out of the ground and look at setting the right standards. that is why i called the lead and copper rule dumb and dangerous. i will be proposing legislation. i will push you do everything to put a much more stringent standard. the people of our state deserve better than they are getting today. >> i have a question for administrator mccarthy. if susan hedman had not resigned, would you have fired her? admin mccarthy: that was an issue i did not need to face. susan submitted her resignation,
knowing that people would question whether that meant she accepted some type of guilt or responsible of the. she fully accepted responsibility for the situation. she resigned. i accepted that resignation. i thought it was the right step for her to take. >> the question remains, would you have fired her? >> i did not have to face that decision, sir. rep. norton: i appreciate this hearing. i went to flint, michigan. especially since the district of columbia has its own corrosion crisis about 15 years ago. i was impressed with the many federal agencies that were there. i see responsibility on the part of the federal and the state levels. i think this house has found this, and i commend the house for passing a bill from the energy and commerce committee that says the epa must notify
residents when water samples show lead levels for the highest 10% of homes above 15 parts per billion. that is if state and local agencies don't do it. this banter between the state and federal agencies is very distressing when you are talking about irreversible lead in the water. but governor snyder, you appointed your own task force. it appears to be a task force that you appointed in december 2015. and it says in the state of michigan, courting their words "primary response ability" for the crisis in flint. do you accept this conclusion
from your own task force, the people that you appointed? gov. snyder: i appreciate you referencing that group. i appointed them in october. i believe-- rep. norton: i have to give you credit. this task force seems to have operated very independently. i am quoting them again. "we believe the primary responsibility for what happened in flint rests with the michigan department of environmental quality. although many individuals and entities at state and local levels contributed to creating and prolonging the problem, the mdeq is the government agency that has responsibility to the in short saint drinking water -- to ensure safe drinking water. it failed that responsibility." gov. snyder: i accepted that report and took immediate
action. rep. norton: thank you very much. this task force -- here is what is interesting to hear them say. i am quoting them. "there was aggressive dismissal, belittlement, and attempts to discredit those efforts and the individuals involved." do you agree with this finding of your own task force? gov. snyder: i do. those things never should have happened. rep. norton: think you governor. this quote seems to indicate there was an attempt to discredit the work of others who apparently ultimately proved it would be right. again, i'm giving you credit for this task force, but i think this shows that the state has accepted the responsibility. the most serious finding was that the task force found michigan actually caused this poisoning.
it said "officials did not require -- the task force found that the lead in comparable required corrosion control treatment to keep lead from leaching into the water. it was not required as a switch to the flint river." they are saying they found it was "not necessary." and that this failure "led directly to the contamination of the flint river water system." it seems to me, governor, that your administration has already taken responsibility for what happened, and that your own task
force takes that responsibility. it seems to me here today, each and every response should be to echo your own task force. that the responsibly lays with the state of michigan. it knew what to do in time, and it did not do what it knew had to be done. i thank you mr. chairman. rep. chaffetz: i now recognize the gentleman from florida for 5 minutes. >> mr. chairman, members of the committee. i think a lot more failed in flint. it's a failed city. we have many of them not only michigan, but across the country. since we started these hearings, it is amazing. i talked to staff. we got information that probably
dozens of communities are facing the same thing. and they are coming forward and saying that they have unsafe drinking water and high levels of lead and their kids are being poisoned. governor, you did take some action and some people have been fired, is that correct? gov. snyder: correct. rep. mica: i guess the flint water had several others that you suspended. gov. snyder: correct. rep. mica: you said everyone shares blame, including yourself? gov. snyder: correct. rep. mica: what disturbs me -- first of all, administrator mccarthy, you have the ability to act when you find out things aren't going right in these
systems. you have the compliance authority under law, don't you? admin mccarthy: yes sir. rep. mica: who was fired or held accountable in epa? was anyone fired? admin mccarthy: no sir. rep. mica: what disturbs me, i thought hedman was in charge. she was underneath you as a regional administrator. admin mccarthy: yes. rep. mica: she was getting vacation time bonuses may 28 -- the regional administrator is getting vacation time bonuses while the kids are getting poisoned. she finally resigned herself. you never fired anyoe. you have great people working at epa. admin mccarthy: thank you. rep. mica: mr. del toro should get a congressional gold medal.
mrs. walters came to the authorities. we had the mayor in here. she said she met the mayor at the library and he promised to do everything. she went to city hall, april 3 and no one would see her. she was put off. to the day of the hearing, the mayor had never talked to her after that. you are pretty experienced. you can read del toro's report. it is incredibly accurate. this is dated in june. and not a damn thing was done until -- until january of this year.
i went back and asked mrs. walters, when did they finally come in? your epa administrator said, we acted immediately. they did not act. they gagged mr. del toro. when did you see the report? gov. snyder: i don't recall the exact date. rep. mica: did you see this report? again, a high school student could take the support and determine that kids were getting poisoned. he went in and tested everything, the pipes in the building. he looked at the lead lines. he looked a -- he detailed all the things we heard, the calendar of failure of flint. violations going back, and you told me you had the authority. did you ever shut these programs down or go after them?
you did not. admin mccarthy: okay. rep. mica: i heard calls for resignation. i think you should be at the top of this list. they failed at the local level in the state level. we failed at the federal level. who is in charge? hedman is getting a vacation bonus, the kids get poisoned, and you are still in office. i yield back. admin mccarthy: thanks for the opportunity to answer. rep. mica: you're welcome. rep. chaffetz: did you have something you wanted to say? admin mccarthy: it would be good if i could. when we found out finally, because mdeq told us on april 24 prior to that that there was no corrosion control treatment, reversing what they had earlier told us that they did corrosion control in the system.
we had already told mdeq that they had to require the city of flint to move ahead with corrosion control treatment, well in advance of that memo. rep. chaffetz: let her finish. admin mccarthy: we consistently said the same thing. that is a report on 3 homes in the same area. because of the complexity of lead, we did not and could not have made a concerted judgment whether it was a systemic problem. when we had the information and received it from mdeq, which wasn't until july 21st, we told them we are done talking, we now know it is a systemic problem. you do it or we do it. they said, we will do it. since that point in time, mdeq slow walked everything they needed to do. that precluded us from being able to jump into the rescue.
that is what happened. if people are worried about whether be silenced del toro, miguel is a hero on this. he remains one of the experts we rely on. mdeq was the one that told everybody outside that he was a rogue employee to discredit him, just as mdeq was doing, as the governor's task force said, trying to discredit anybody who said there was a problem the drinking water. we were strong-armed, misled, kept at arm's length. we could not do our jobs effectively. rep. mica: i would ask that mr. del toro's report in june be included in the record. rep. chaffetz: you just don't get it. you still don't get it. >> mr. chairman, i get it.
we are trying to make sure that blame is shifted here. it's interesting, for committee that has committed alice in wonderland techniques with management. off with ahead of opm. off with the head of the head of the irs. but governor snyder, my friends on the other side of the aisle want to make sure you're headed is securely on your shoulders. do you believe in the philosophy of government that says we ought to push responsibility and power to the lowest level we can, as close to the people as we can? gov. snyder: as a general rule, yes. rep. connolly: the citizens of your state rejected the emergency director in a
referendum. governor snyder: correct. rep. connolly: and yet, six weeks later, you reintroduced legislation, for a new emergency law. is that correct? governor snyder: there was a law that took into account the concerns of the citizens, and was passed by a duly elected legislature for the state of michigan. rep. connolly: so that allowed you to go past the city of flint and place emergency manager instead of the government of governing bodies in the office of the local government from the law. is that correct? governor snyder: you said generally. this was the case where there was failure in terms of city management, i appreciate it -- rep. connolly: did you appoint a manager? governor snyder: yes.
rep. connolly: and then they could not exercise any power unless your campaign manager let them? governor snyder: initially, yes. rep. connolly: we conducted a transcribed interview of the last emergency manager appointed, you appointed, darrell ambroise. you appointed, not mitch mccarthy. we asked him if he considered the city council impotence during his tenure. his answer on the record was absolutely. do you know how many pages of edicts were issued by your appointed emergency managers in this tragic time period, governor? governor snyder: no, but also let me respond -- rep. connolly: let me show you. i only have five minutes. ladies and gentlemen hold them up, please. these are the stacks of edex
issued by your emergency managers, not by the city council of flint. do you know how many of those 8000 pages dealt with meaningful steps to protect the citizens of flint from lead of flowing through their blood? not one. governor snyder: congressman -- rep. connolly: it is my five minutes, i am sorry. if i had 10, i would give you all the time in the world. this is the failure of a philosophy you advocated. there is no evidence even after you were warned by the mayor of flint they had problems and he begged you to come to flint. you ignored him. we have no evidence of you contacting flint for seven months. seven months. i am glad you are sorry now. i am glad you are taking action now.
but it is a little bit late for the kids in flint whose health has been compromised. for people whose health and immunity systems were already compromised. for a city in america that is on its knees because of your emergency managers' decision to save $400 million, and now it is going to cost a lot more to clean up, and the taint and the stain that state government has put on this country in the form of flint will be a long time to erase. you know, at some point, the buck stops at your office, governor. with your department of environmental quality collapse. with your emergency managers who were really of hubris. then you better than the local
elected officials of flint, and they ignored a low morning side. that is your record. at some point the buck has to stop at your desk. i yield back. rep. chaffetz: i now recognize mr. desjarlais. rep. desjarlais: i would respectfully ask the of the straighter mccarthy to consider scrapping the waters of the u.s. rule and declare the epa cannot currently handled the issues on its plate. i yield my time to the gentleman from michigan. i think the gentleman from tennessee rep. desjarlais: i think the gentleman from tennessee. received an e-mail from people, a director of the epa office of drinking water. the whole point of the e-mail was to share mark edwards' documentation of the flint drinking water problems. mr. edwards' e-mail, asking the epa to immediately take decisive
action on this issue to protect the public, did you read the september 25 e-mail that included mark edwards' request for action? gina mccarthy: i did. rep. desjarlais: dr. edwards is very familiar to this committee and the people of flint. do you know who mark edwards is? gina mccarthy: yes. we have met. rep. desjarlais: you met? how long have you known about his work on the water quality? gina mccarthy: we actually have a contract with him to do work with us right now. rep. desjarlais: do you believe he is an expert on water treatment and corrosion? gina mccarthy: i think he is one of the experts, yes. we have a number of experts. rep. desjarlais: the e-mail includes mr. del toro. the key points, the summary at the end of the documenting that there is no corrosion and controlled treatments that the people can't afford bottled water.
mde is continuing to assist it is safe, and they know a child with elevated lead levels already. if you received an e-mail documenting all these problems on september 25, including the fact that children had elevated blood lead levels, why didn't you act until january 21, 2016? gina mccarthy: you are incorrect -- rep. desjarlais: we have e-mails, we have records as well. if you continue to not take responsibility, including writing articles about it, dr. edwards is an expert on this issue. gina mccarthy: yes. rep. desjarlais: the people of flint understand that. he has been there. you did not even show up until february of this year. i remember to people on the other side of the aisle, this administrator of epa didn't show up until february. dr. edwards said in testimony before this committee that susan
edmund, who you want fire, you would not fire, you would not even given answer if you would. edmund's response was completely unacceptable and criminal. that is what mr. edwards said. please tell the people of flint city behind you and this committee white mark edwards is wrong. gina mccarthy: mark edwards is a good scientist, and i respect him. if you look at the timeline of when we received that e-mail, you will find that the city and county health advisory about the flint water went out on the same day. you will find that october 1, you will notice they had no drinking of that water without protection. you will find on october 2, the governor put out a 10 point plan. on october 3, the filters were being to be did. i cannot -- there is no switch i can turn on. rep. desjarlais: i am hearing nothing of your action on that, and you have the law on your side that says if any event of imminent danger or health risk,
you have the responsibility to act. gina mccarthy: the damage has been done. rep. desjarlais: i am not -- i will give you a chance. you wrote an advertisement in the washington post which stated the epa regional office was also provided with confusing, incomplete, and incorrect information. as a result, the epa staff members were unable to understand the scope of the lead problem until more than a year after the switch to untreated water. did the epa confirm in early 2015 that flynn's water pipes lacked corrosion control? gina mccarthy: no, i did not know that. the staff were unaware of that. rep. desjarlais: they were
unaware. gina mccarthy: they were told by mdeq -- rep. desjarlais: what about mr. del toro who was disciplined? gina mccarthy: he was not. rep. desjarlais: yes he was. gina mccarthy: ok. rep. desjarlais: that is a matter of record as well. dr. edward said some of the documents received from epa through as pauillac, they were nearly redacted. here is it. how is this acceptable from an excerpt? rep. chaffetz: gentleman's time is expired, but you maybe answer. gina mccarthy: the report i issued in january was because of continued failure to address the issue. if there is anything i could have done, and switch i could have turn on that would have precluded us, allowed us to go further than was already happening at that time, i would have pulled that switch. what we needed was exactly
starting. were they related? yes. were there consequences? yes. we worked very hard to get mdeq to do their job and get these actions in place. and you are asking if i received an e-mail on a given date, i did. the actions were moving. there was nothing else i could have ordered that would have made that move faster. i did issue an order in january, because even after all of this, the order that i issued was questioned by this state, by mdeq, by the state. was that really, legally solid? they continue to drag their feet today. rep. chaffetz: go ahead, governor. governor snyder: i am sorry mr. chairman, but you cannot take so much. all i can do is go to the record. i would suggest people look at three e-mails. there is an e-mail going back to
june 8, 2015 from jennifer crux of the eva is a semi annual call. there is a e-mail on july 21, a briefing paper with the mdeq talking about the federal lead a copper rule, including flint water. at 9:15 there is a talk with the mdeq and the epa working together. they were in regular dialogue. they are talking about how to work together. i am ready to get sick. we need urgency, action, and they keep on talking. it is not about fighting. they are just not getting the job done. we messed up in michigan to begin with by doing two studies instead of corrosion control. that is what has caused this trouble. i have accepted responsibility for the people that worked for me. continuing dialogue to say it was solely us, this could have been stopped sooner if others
had seen it. i should have asked tougher questions and dunmore, but all those things the epa just did not get the information? i just ask you to take the time and go look at those three e-mails, and that will clear the record up. rep. chaffetz: we now recognize the ranking member. rep. cummings: you have represented a department that you were unaware of disaster building until october 2015. i find it hard to believe that a crisis of this attitude completely escaped your attention for so long. it is so clear that your senior staff, people who report directly to you daily, were very aware of what was taking place in flames. october 12, 2014, 1 of your top advisers wrote an e-mail to your chief of staff saying, if you know there is a problem with the flint water quality since they
left the w sve system, which was the emergency manager. i think we should ask the emergency manager to consider coming back to the system in full and in part as a solution to both the quality and now the financial problems the current solution is causing. i see this as an urgent matter to fix, and a quote. did your chief of staff, who i assume reported directly to you, your right hand man, did he tell you these concerns urgently needed to be fixed in october 2014? did he tell you that? governor snyder: i don't recall. i do recall we had issues. we talked about color and odor of the water. there was also concern about e. coli. there were several issues, but none of them related to lead. rep. cummings: but there was a problem with the water.
did you get the e-mail? governor snyder: i did not get the e-mail. rep. cummings: i remind you you are under oath. governor snyder: not to my knowledge. rep. cummings: after all, if the gm refuses to -- gm as in general motors, if they refuse to use the water in our planet and our own agencies are warning people not to drink it, the differential between what we now select and what we face with wvz, we look stupid hiding behind some statement. did you talk to him about concerns in february 2015? governor snyder: i can't recall, but we had continuing discussions about water issues. e. coli, and that pta. there was an issue of chlorine in the water. rep. cummings: although it was
rusting away, brand-new, the water was rusting away brand-new parts at gm, he was ok for human consumption? governor snyder: to put in perspective, ranking member cummings, these are red flags i kick myself. i was getting advice -- rep. cummings: i want you to finish. on march 2, 2015, the chief of staff offered the following assessment about flint. it is tougher everyday people to listen to financial issues and water mumbo-jumbo without all they see is problems. if we procrastinate much longer in doing something direct, we will have real trouble. and he talked to you back in march. governor snyder: i had discussions, i can recall
specific ongoing discussions. he was right with race discerns. we took actions with the maximum grant, $2 million earlier in the year to talk about water structure. we also worked on getting filters. rep. cummings: i am running out of time. the next day, he complained about the lack of empathy for the residents. and this is your right hand man, and he specifically said this was your dq director, dan wyatt, i really don't think people are getting the benefit of the doubt. now they are concerned, rightfully so, about the lead level studies they are receiving from the deq samples. these folks are scared and worried about the health impact, and they are basically getting blown off by us, end of quote. did you talk to your staff about those concerns? governor snyder: i had continuing talks, and we sought
advice and parties from your crest not just in one department but also environmental allergy. the water was safe, people in the health and inland services did not see an elevation in blood level levels, and they are wrong. rep. cummings: there are two possibilities. either she knew you about his concerns or did nothing, or he did not tell you and you are an absentee governor. i yield back. rep. chaffetz: i want to recognize myself for five minutes. governor, you have apologized, correct? governor snyder: correct. rep. chaffetz: either been fired? governor snyder: yes. rep. chaffetz: anyone dismissed or otherwise retired? governor snyder: yes. rep. chaffetz: does the state of michigan do something wrong? did the epa do anything wrong?
gina mccarthy: i don't think we did everything right, that is the challenge i am facing. rep. chaffetz: the challenge you are facing right now is my question. my question is, did the epa do anything wrong? gina mccarthy: i would hope that we would have been more aggressive. i would hope we would have escalated this issue if we could have done absolutely anything to stand on a rooftop and scream about the challenges we are having. rep. chaffetz: you are just not -- here is the fundamental difference. first of all, we have jurisdiction in congress on the epa. i don't have jurisdiction on the governor. i have jurisdiction to call him up here, and republicans did call him up here, he volunteered to be here. and we are investigating this. this is the third hearing on this topic. this is the fundamental difference. i hope everybody understands this. i see responsibility. i see people getting fired, i
see changes. i see admissions that there was fundamental wrongs that happened in the organization. but when i turned to the epa, has anyone been fired? that is a question. gina mccarthy: no, sir. rep. chaffetz: has anyone been dismissed? gina mccarthy: no, sir. rep. chaffetz: and the epa reaches five administrators there, susan had meant, the date you finally did take decisive action, when you were questioned about that, you said that her act was courageous. gina mccarthy: i did. rep. chaffetz: i'm going to ask you again. did the epa do anything wrong? gina mccarthy: the epa worked very hard. rep. chaffetz: i have another question for you. hold on. did the -- mark edwards has testified here twice. he wants good quality health for
people, and he wants good, clean water. and he happens to know the science behind the water. on those two hearings, did mr. edwards say anything that you think was wrong, or maybe inaccurate? you think mr. edwards is that anything that was wrong or inaccurate in any of those testimonies? gina mccarthy: i don't think he was at all informed about epa. he doesn't know how we are supposed to work in the system. he doesn't understand that the problem itself was a responsibility of the state. oversight was our responsibility. we took that seriously, and we contacted it. does that mean i don't have regrets, because i don't -- rep. chaffetz: that is cheap. we just got regrets. that is cheap. that is cheap. gina mccarthy: you have to look at the way the law works. rep. chaffetz: and it failed. you said, if there is any,
anything i could do, you had that under the law, and you did not do it. gina mccarthy: no, sir i did not have that under the law. rep. chaffetz: you did. if there is imminent threat, you can pull this wet. you are wrong. gina mccarthy: there are two parts to that. you skipped the second. rep. chaffetz: you are in those, i am asking the question. instead of, ok. when you first arrived on the scene, and it was not until january of the next year that you actually did something. that is the fundamental problem. don't look around like you are mystified. miguel del toro showed up in february. gina mccarthy: we took action from that point forward.
rep. chaffetz: there are a lot of people in this audience from flint. no one believes that you took action. mark edwards from virginia tech, bless his heart, had the opportunity. they have said things like we failed to get epa to take lead blood level seriously. the epa added, effectively condoned cheating on the lead copper rule since 2006. you put out one of the most expensive things i could possibly imagine. he said about you, the epa administrator gina mccarthy, absolving any wrongdoing or treating the flint disaster. if you want to do the courageous thing like you said to susan had meant, then you should also resign. nobody is going to believe you have the opportunity, the presence, you have the authority, the backing of the federal government, and you did not act you had the chance. if you are going to do the courageous thing, you should also step down. i never recognize the
gentlewoman from illinois, mrs. duckworth. rep. duckworth: i think that if she does that, so should the governor. i am deeply troubled by testimony and laws raised by these series of hearings on the water crisis. it is the kind of human suffering that should not happen anywhere let alone the greatest nation on the face of the earth. the failures at every level of government are alarming. i don't think it it is any question, but it is the spider department of the quality that created this crisis in the first place. however, as a member from illinois and one of the states that fought under the epa region five alongside miss again, i am also troubled by the how the epa also failed in its duty to serve as a last line of defense for the children of flint. and while the flint crisis has
gotten the most attention lately, i am deeply concerned with communities all around this country at similar risk areas in chicago, we have one of the greatest, one of the better quality water systems in the nation, but we are also learning onto the lead and copper rule testing protocol, our department of water management is conducting this in height risk businesses, and mrs. the high lead levels and potential human exposure. more from the chicago tribune found since 2003, more than half of the sampling sites tested by the chicago management were owned by employees and might not be located in high risk areas. and so, when water systems like flint or chicago elect to use their own employees homes as sampling test sites, what safeguards are in place to ensure the results are not corrupted or skewed?
gina mccarthy: there are protocols for this, and one of the things that i have done is to send a letter to every governor and agency that has signed on to this across the u.s., explained they can do again and make sure they are following that. we are also looking at how we can fight the lead and copper rule. it clearly needs to be strengthened. i never suggested that the system does not feel or the epa is looking at its own place in this. the office of the attorney general is looking at this in my request to make sure we can get everything with information u.s., explained they can do available to us. one thing i am trying to make clear is, we did not create this problem. the question is, did we run in and try to solve it and work it as quickly as we possibly could? what else could we possibly have done? i have been trying to find an answer to that question in anybody who can tell me what
else we could have done under the law. i want to hear it or even under common sense. rep. duckworth: let me answer that for you, because i am not in your side on this. i am not on the governor side as well. would you not rather have jumped into soon despite the law to protect the children of flint and be held in congress to ask lane why you stepped into quickly to safeguard as opposed to why you did not act soon enough? gina mccarthy: we actually didn't understand the full extent of the problem until july. july of last year. rep. duckworth: but you still did nothing. let's go back to the law. you said that mdeq was telling people they were taking action. you waited for the to take action. gina mccarthy: there are two tests that congress has given
us. congress is very clear in the law and also in the congressional records that they wanted us to keep in our lane and they didn't want us to step on state rights. i had the data which i told you i did not have until july 21, and i had to show that the state was not taking appropriate action. on the 21, they said they would. i had no justification legally, so what we tried to do was get information into the community's hands. we try to tell the public there is a problem here. rep. duckworth: wyoming have a few seconds left. do we need to change the law, change the statute so that you will step forward sooner when you have an epic failure on the part of a governor of a state to that indicates he has hired absolute failure in protecting his citizens in michigan? we ask this picture of the epa as recently as yesterday, and you did not answer. do we need to change the law so you can step in sooner?
gina mccarthy: it is a very high hartl, but 35 out of 36 years working in this business, it is the first time i have seen a state fail to abide -- rep. duckworth: you are not answering my question. gina mccarthy: most states work collaboratively with me. rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman's time is expired. we have the first vote of two. we will recess and reconvene no sooner than 10:45. the committee stands in recess. rep. chaffetz: for those in the room, don't assume you are going to get a seat and back if you leave it. [laughter]
rep. chaffetz: i will recognize the gentleman from georgia for five minutes. rep. hice: administrator mccarthy, i am sure that you either saw or you were briefed on the hearing of is held by this committee the past tuesday, is that correct? gina mccarthy: i was briefed on it. rep. hice: then you are aware that susan hedman testified under oath that she acted immediately upon the findings of the high level of lead in the water.
in the same hearing, dr. edwards, whom you just referred to moments to ago in the hero and an expert, repeatedly time and again refuted her testimony and thereby obviously the entire region's actions to this entire thing. let me start right here. do you believe susan hedman provided this committee with false testimony on tuesday? gina mccarthy: to the best of my knowledge, no she did not. rep. hice: governor, let me ask you the same question. how do you feel about the testimony from mr. edmonds? in regards to the epa acting immediately on getting information. governor snyder: congressman, i appreciate your question. i hope i had that moment when i decided three e-mails in
particular, epa e-mails to the deq talking about their partnership to work these issues. and no flag was going up. i am sorry, for a moment i heard this entire discussion about the law and the us issue about saying you could not do things or this or that because of the law. i have a really simple question. why didn't susan hedman just call dan wyatt? to didn't administrator mccarthy just call me? this is the culture that got us in the mess to start with. where is common sense? rep. hice: let me continue on. mrs. mccarthy, is it your testimony today under oath that you believe that susan hedman and region five did act immediately and do everything they could upon the hearing information? gina mccarthy: they did, and they did reach out.
from april on when they found out there was no corrosion. rep. hice: we have conflict and info on that, but that is your testimony under oath? we are speaking of e-mails in september last year. you were praising susan hedman and other epa officials for their work on the flint water crisis. do you believe that that phrase of mrs. hedman was warranted? gina mccarthy: yes, i do. rep. hice: ok. i have here two letters, one written from, in fact, mr. hillman, written to you. in september, and it was asking you, begging you, please get involved in this situation. are you familiar with that? gina mccarthy: yes. rep. hice: you did not respond, susan hedman. and her response fluffed off the entire thing. and mr. chairman, i would like
both of these letters to be submitted for the record. rep. chaffetz: no objections. rep. hice: and during this time, did you praised el toro? gina mccarthy: i actually did not note miguel el toro at that point in time. rep. hice: so you were not aware? gina mccarthy: i was not aware of any report in particular. rep. hice: but you were aware of what he brought forth, and he referred to him as a hero, and you were not praising him but susan hedman at the time? gina mccarthy: he was a member of her team, and he was a vital member of her team. rep. hice: are you aware of any retaliation against del toro? gina mccarthy: no, i am not.
rep. carter: and yet we have testimony or we have records that would reflect that he certainly was retaliated against and was fearful of greater retaliation, but you are saying you have no knowledge of that whatsoever. gina mccarthy: i do not believe he was retaliated against. i have no information to indicate he was. rep. hice: mr. chairman, my time is expired. i will submit these. rep. chaffetz: we now recognize the gentlewoman from illinois, miss kelly. rep. kelly: think the witnesses for being here. governor, i have a question. are there any arrangements being made for the people of flint to get their money back for getting water that is obviously damaging? governor snyder: congresswoman, that process has been set up. the appropriations had been made. people should not have to pay for that water.
but did, we didn't announce it to show there is a water and sewer bill, but with respect to the water bill, we try to do a calculation and we roughly said about half the water was for drinking, cooking, those kind of activities. the rest is for flushing or toilets, doing your laundry. we rounded up to 65%. we went back to records of april 2014 through the period -- and again, for the mac used the end of april 2016. i will not say it is done by then. we did calculations and 65% of the water portion of the water and were built amounted to $35 million, roughly. i want to ask for a supplement of appropriation, and the legislators were very supportive. we got put in place, and now we are working with the city which runs utilities to have software programming done so we can apply it as a credit on their bill in a way it should work. as we get it set up -- i'm sorry, we are working to get
this taken care of. rep. kelly: as the chair for the congressional black caucus, part of my mission is to look out for health care for underserved communities, low income communities, and communities of color. and i have to tell you, this really reeks of environmental discrimination in my opinion. and mid administrator mccarthy, i want to talk about safety control, which the governor's task force concluded less -- led to the mass poisoning of inhabitants. he made additions to the flint river in april 2014. they told the epa they had corrosion control in place. is that right? gina mccarthy: that is right. rep. kelly: but that was wrong. they did not have it. they said it was not necessary. epa discovered this on april 24, 2014, the epa official miguel del toro sent a letter expressing concern they had not
started implementing conversion control. there are only two scenarios for the large system to be optimized without treatment, and flint does not appear to have either of them. gina mccarthy: that is correct. rep. kelly: even though the epa told governor snyder's administration to implement corrosion control, they did not do it. months went by with no action by the state. finally on august 17, 2015, the michigan department of environment equality said the city must now recommend a treatment to fully optimize corrosion control treatment within six months. the state response was not until august. the was four months after governor schneiders and ministration said they had to do something. gina mccarthy: that is right. rep. kelly: six months see what a long time when lead has been leaking from pipes for over a year and people throughout flint were getting poisoned. you agree? gina mccarthy: i do.
rep. kelly: six months is way too long to waste. the state never implemented corrosion control prices. in december, the governor's own task force, as we have heard concluded that the actions of his ministration led to the contamination of water. do you agree with that? gina mccarthy: yes. rep. kelly: i know that you have been asked if you have any regrets. it seems like governor snyder was fighting you at every turn. they were completely unable to handle the crisis. looking back, do you regret you did not recognize the other dysfunction in the state sooner so you could step in and take away control from governor snyder and his administration? gina mccarthy: i think we spent way too long trusting the stage they would do the right thing. we begged them to give subsistence in march. we begged him for corrosion control. we begged them at the city level and the state level with
personal communications as well as professional. rep. kelly: at the hearing today, and i have heard accusations the epa was to slow in responding to the flint crisis, i think the epa should have acted more quickly to respond to this. but it is the state that had the primary authority to enforce the safe water tricking act, correct? gina mccarthy: correct. we did not have data until july 21 to discuss a problem, and we did not have an ability then because they kept saying they are going to fix it. that is the way the law requires us to act. rep. kelly: i think it is michigan that michigan's slogan is pure michigan, because that was not the case. rep. chaffetz: now recognize the gentleman from alabama, mr. palmer, for five minutes. rep. palmer: thank you, mr. chairman. >> oh, i am sorry, thank you.
rep. palmer: mr. chairman, i just got my notebook back, can i yield and come back? rep. chaffetz: let's actually recognize the gentleman from arizona. >> thank you, chairman. i think mr. walberg. well, administrator mccarthy, how serious do you think poisoning those humans, especially the children? gina mccarthy: it is one of the most serious areas we face. rep. walberg: let's go back. in july 2015, we are at e-mailing susan hedman about an elite memo sent by an employee, miguel del toro to a flint resident. del toro investigated and intervened. it should not have been leaked, called a preliminary draft report and did nothing to address the serious threat that had been created for the citizens of flint.
when you were made aware of these communications between headman and mayor mullings, did you ask her to resign? gina mccarthy: i did not believe -- rep. walberg: the facts are here. knowing this, did you ask her to resign? gina mccarthy: no, sir. rep. walberg: why not fire her? you know the seriousness of this issue, and you still got do it very but i am going to quote you, you praised her when she resigned. gina mccarthy: she was not criticizing miguel's report, she was indicating it was into round, more data needed to be done, and she was giving a heads up because it had gone public. rep. walberg: you know about the seriousness of lead poisoning, and yet this is the action you take. you made another comment here earlier that it is insulting to us.
congress is specific on this about safe rights and not stepping on them. i want you to go back and start looking at your at it in terms of waters of the u.s. let's keep going. is that a serious response, really, with your response to mrs. hedman. a response for somebody to understand the complexity of seriousness of lead poisoning? that is an appropriate response? gina mccarthy: she did nothing -- rep. walberg: that is my point. you know better, she knows better. this is not my first rodeo with you. all over and over. southwest colorado and then the ineptitude you had there to? i look at the determined was taken responsibility. i look at somebody else, i want to see responsibility. american demands it. policy is the chairman over and over again, you so don't get it.
member after member, you still don't get it. you have bred a culture at epa that has built on fraud, denial, incompetence, bureaucratic nepotism. gina mccarthy: i'm not try to shift responsibility -- rep. walberg: this whole hearing that is all you have done. you have never taken accountability for any of the problems at epa. maybe we could have done something a little faster. the timelines are very fluid and very ineffectual. let me ask you something else. the committee has made multiple requests for epa documents relating to flint. gina mccarthy: we are working with all of the requests. rep. walberg: you are professional at slow walking and delaying informational that is pertinent to investigation.
over and over again. some document have been redacted. you provide us with a full, unredacted company documents? gina mccarthy: we will keep releasing those. rep. walberg:are you going to release on redacted forms of these e-mails? gina mccarthy: of course we will respond to congress and allow you to do your job as well. rep. walberg: that is the same old trap we hear over and over again, and that is the not with the president promised us. the most transparent administration, period. that includes you. i am sick of this, and you should be also. america is sick of this, and you are the culture of the problem. i see someone interesting us as governor of michigan, but i don't see anything coming from your part of the problem. it does not condone that. not only am i asking you to be fired, if you are not going to
be resigned, you should impeach. rep. chaffetz: now that gentlewoman from michigan, mrs. lawrence. rep. lawrence: thank you, mr. chair. as a member of congress representing a part of michigan, this is very personal. it is a sad day for me. governor snyder, you have stated that state officials did not tell you about these problems as a matter of fact, in your statement, yusor and note is that it was not until october that you were aware of the problem. but governor, despite the huge numbers of new stories that were reported far and wide, let me show you some of those headlines. on june 2, 2014 only months after switching to the flint water mdc 25 stated flint residents avoiding the cap, drinking bottled water instead.
on june 30, mdc 25 red headline stories, stuff released to the flint river due to pump failure. it continues. flint residents concerned over the color of water. it continues. on september 7, 2014, michigan live ran flint expands boil water advisory after more positive tests were to with bacteria. and then it continues. january 2, 2015, she can live reported city warns of health risk after flint water tests revealed to much bacteria. it continues. march 2015, detroit news says flint council votes for detroit water, mayor in em or opposed. our do any of these reports ever get reported to you, did you ever observe them?
according to your statement under oath, it was not until october that you became aware. governor snyder: i was aware of water problems, and i was involved in heavy discussions to address those in terms of resources we had currently available to us. in terms of going back to your list, the color and odor of the water was not good. you don't want to see people drink that if you can help that. we didn't have all the resources we needed to do that, and they were working on these issues. in terms of e. coli and other issues, we would continually go through my administration -- rep. lawrence: i want to add another article. the national journal, which i hold right here. it says michigan to governor snyder conceded monday that hit his administration handling of the flint water crisis is a stain on his legacy, and i quote, i am not sure of the
specific dates in terms of stain. if there is any lead in the water, sometime during 2015. again, they presented some of the information about having to do with a second set of tests. governor snyder, we all know that when we are elected to an office we take an oath. and we are empowered by the electorate to hire staff. do you have regular staff meeting for those report to you? governor snyder: i have regular discussions. rep. lawrence: are you saying people you entrusted, and you pay your salary with taxpayer money, they failed to inform you of a health crisis in your state? governor snyder: i will actually share the document with you,
congresswoman. this is my briefing of september 28, 2015. rep. lawrence: before that time, all the time these headlines are going, you had a member, mr. much more your chief of staff, this is dated july 22, telling other members of your circle, sir, that i really don't think people are getting the benefit of the doubt. now they are concerned and rightfully so about the lead studies. sir, this was january 22. the 22nd. and you are saying under oath it was not until october. he was not until october. governor, you are my governor. this could have been my city. and governor for the life of me i cannot understand that you as a governor, who led on the purpose of operating as a business, you are going to
operate as governor of the government, that you met with your staff and they refused to bring you up-to-date, or bring you in, or get you engaged. this is a sad day in this country, and i am just sad about this, governor. i am very sad about this. accountability for those you held accountable. you said you fired or the resigned, what does accountability look like for you? rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman's time is expired, but you may answer. governor snyder: it is a tragedy that never should have happened. i understand why people in flint should be angry. in terms of looking at this, i kick myself every day asking what more questions can i ask, what can we have done? we have a lot of discussions about water during the entire period. and as we go back over and over again, we were told the water was safe.
that was wrong. and i did not -- it was not just one department. as a continued on, we got information not only from the deq but also the health and human services deducted -- they did not see elevated levels in blood. dr. ramona spoke up. so we took outside extra experts. we failed in terms of being bureaucrats, being experts. i get mad i never should have believed them. it came down to finally saying, after reports came out in september, and dr. ramona and from professor edwards, we have to have a talk. that call was on september 28. it is tragic to have it in the records. here is my briefing from the night before, and this information from both those departments is missing people,
not talking about the real issue. when we got on that call, no, that was enough, but it was later than it should have been. i wish it had been far earlier. so the issue was they took immediate action. the eq start talking about there could be a lead problem. we had to confirm the data on the blood level. they came back and said that the doctors work was correct. in the we went into action in terms of opportunities to do things, and that was not enough. every day i get up -- rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman -- the gentlewoman will suspend. i appreciate the connection to michigan, but the gentlewoman's time is expired. the gentlewoman yields back. governor, did you finish that question, or can we -- ok, we will go now to mr. palmer
of alabama for five minutes. rep. palmer: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to follow up on questions you asked, how did this escape your attention? i would to point out your executive response abilities include fiscal management and administrative oversight over most of all agencies. there are 18 in michigan. health and human services, education, that sort of thing. this is in no way excusing you from the failure to protect the people of the flint, michigan. but what i want to ask, and what i want to know, mr. mccarthy, you have one agency, one agency tasked with protecting the public in terms of admin our mental issues. had this is get your attention? gina mccarthy: the issue was called to my attention on september 3. prior to that was called to susan hedman's attention.
in late june, susan took action prior to that, the agency was directly involved. i do want anyone to think that january of this year was the beginning of our involvement. we asked the heard from people back when the switch was made. we rely too heavily on the judgment of mdeq and they were acting as a partner with -- rep. palmer: i just want to point out you were, you sent an e-mail february 26, two days before mr. snyder made his call taking immediate action. it appears he took immediate action, and you wrote and said this, that these e-mails raise my level of concern. and then you suggested that they take options to intervene, but
and then you suggested that they take options to intervene, but it was not until january 21 that you issued an order demanding action. gina mccarthy: there is different levels of engagement and intervention. we aggressively intervene from day one. rep. palmer: that is not information we got, and not what we are hearing from other folks. gina mccarthy: that is a failsafe that is a very high hurdle for the agency to take. we did take that we thought that all of the other steps weren't working, and we took the steps that were available to us in january. it wasn't as though we didn't intervene in a way -- rep. palmer: there wasn't a sense of urgency here. you got a paper -- mr. mica brought that up. you had a research document, a report from mr. del toro. tina mccarthy: yes. palmer: udy denied he was being treated like a whistleblower, and we believe that happened.
seen e-mails from epa officials, to epa officials. you use personal e-mails and texting. it also went to deq governor snyder, saying the epa was going to provide cover because they -- so they could literally say they did not get the report. we have got the e-mail. it appears to me not only did you take action, there was a cover-up going on that involved both the state of michigan and the epa. but i think fundamentally, the epa andh the the not taking adequate action on revising the lead and copper rule. you guys have a history of covering up. you covered up the toxic release in georgia. releasered up the toxic in colorado. there is a pattern here. i cannot for the life of me
understand why the federal government has the public trust to protect the people of this country and we fail time and time and time again. and again, the state of michigan is culpable in this and i appreciate that you have taken responsibility, but there is a whole lot more here. i am going to ask a question and this is a yes or no. so don't tell us the answer. if susan hedman had not resigned, would you have fired her? gina mccarthy: i didn't need to face that. rep. palmer: no, it is yes or no. gina mccarthy: is the best i can give. rep. palmer: that is not a good answer. would you have fired her? can you not hold anyone responsible for these actions? are you incapable of it? i actually will. the failure identified was a failure on our part because the region actually -- rep. palmer: you are filibustering. governor snyder, michigan has a $6 million surplus. you have the resources to fix this problem.
governor snyder: we are devoting $238 million. that is the appropriation i am asking for for flint. we have already gone $60 million of the approved through the forslature and i am asking $165 million to go in a statewide infrastructure fund to deal with not only flint, but as a catalysties to start this discussion. i am on the grounds taking action with a great heap of people because they deserve a fix. and i appreciate this committee hearing them. my heart and focus is, what can i do to make flint a better place, to help make up for this tragedy? rep. chaffetz: we now recognize the gentlewoman from new jersey, mrs. watson coleman. rep. watson-coleman: thank you, mr. chairman. one quick statement to miss mccarthy.
we are finding out that even in the state of new jersey, we are having issues with high lead content and children are being exposed. i don't know what you are doing, but i hope that when i called back to new jersey, you all are doing something there. >> we sure are. watson-coleman: thank you. governor, how long have you worked with chief of staff? how long has he been your chief of staff? governor snyder: i have a relatively new chief of staff. rep. watson-coleman: the chief of staff that was in this position when this occurred? how long have you worked with that chief of staff? governor snyder: since january 2011. rep. watson-coleman: and before that did you have any relationship with this chief of staff? governor snyder: no. rep. watson-coleman: did you know the first time this chief of staff had any knowledge of serious water problems in flint, michigan? the first time he knew. governor snyder: i can't answer that question, i don't know a specific date. rep. watson-coleman: do you
rely on your chief of staff, like most of us rely on hours, to give you a heads up and make sure nothing confronts us that would embarrass us or put us in a bad position. did you have that kind of relationship with your chief of staff? governor snyder: chiefs of staff are critical people that are a part of the team. they are a key part of the team. rep. watson-coleman: would you believe your chief of staff iner pulled your coattails conversation, in your office, on the phone, or were ever about what was happening in flint, michigan and the complaints that were arising from both the other officials, as well as what is being reported in the media? hadrnor snyder: we actually discussions on water issues in flint. in terms of going through issues on topics, none of these issues dealt with the let issue until much later in the process. rep. watson-coleman: even if you were to dealing with the lead issue, did you really do with eal with other issues that presented help conditions to the people who were drinking that
nasty water? governor snyder: there were multiple concerns. one that was a major issue was tthm. we had to address the issue and we work to get relief to the city of flint. rep. watson-coleman: there is a lot of discussion, but not a lot of work being done. i don't see a lot of a accomplishment. let me go to something else. you campaigned and said the government should be run like a business. your administration and the emergency managers were pointing and gambling with the welfare of flint in order to save money. those people are now paying the price. governor, i want to know, did that emergency management system fail under your leadership in this instance? governor snyder: in this instance, it would be much the case that they have. you wish they would have asked my questions. rep. watson-coleman: is that i a
yes or no? governor snyder: in this case with respect to the water issue, that would be a fair conclusion. rep. watson-coleman: that is very important because it negatively impacts the health and well-being of children, perhaps even into their adult lives, impacting their ability to learn and be successful in life. nnis,own former advisor, de learned the lesson because he said, government is not a business and it cannot run like one. the people in flint got stuck on the losing end of this decision, because of spreadsheets and public health. were you run to run the government -- for you wrong to run the government like a business? governor snyder: in terms of running it like a business, -- it is not a business. rep. watson-coleman: why would you say so then? governor snyder: in terms of real results, and the state of michigan, we are proud like helping michigan, bringing medicaid expansion -- rep. watson-coleman: just go right on and talk about all the
things you want to talk about. i'm going to ask the questions i want to ask. when they want to switch back to -- when the elected leaders wanted to drink back to water from the detroit system, you picked an emergency manager to tell them it would be an company has a bull. do you -- that it would have been in comprehensible. do you agree that would have been incomprehensible? governor snyder: i wish it would have been a change back. the challenge for funding the cost -- rep. watson-coleman: let's talk about the cost. you had the money. you amassed a budget surplus. why wouldn't you think that it was worthy to apply those resources in this situation? governor snyder: i am sure you are quite familiar, being in congress, that the chief executive, the governor or president, does not simply spend money. we need authorization from the legislature. rep. watson-coleman: did you ask for the authority at that time from the legislature? governor snyder: we got $2 million, the maximum grant we could, for helping with infrastructure and water in
flint. rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman's time is expired. governor snyder: thank you, mr. chairman. rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman -- [speaking simultaneously] the gentlewoman will suspend. we now recognize the gentleman from north carolina, mr. meadows, for five minutes. rep. meadows: thank you, mr. chairman. to both of you, i am troubled today because of the testimony had a couple of days ago which will indicate that even though there is enough blame to go around, there were a number of times where people acted like it wasn't their fault. governor, your emergency management testimony from the witness here was troubling because he acted like, well, i didn't know. governor, do you believe that there were people who made mistakes within your agency at
multiple levels in terms of addressing the health and welfare of the people of flint? governor snyder: yes. rep. meadows: thank you. miss mccarthy, i'm going to ask you the same question because the witness that resigned indicated that there was nothing they could have done differently, and the rest note fault on her part -- as it related to this unbelievable horrific event. do you believe the epa is partially at fault? gina mccarthy: i believe we could have taken better action. rep. meadows: that is not the question. are you partially at fault? yes or no? gina mccarthy: i am not playing a blame shifting game. meadows: so you do agree you are partially at fault? gina mccarthy: the system failed. we were part of that system. rep. meadows: both of you indicated the rules of copper and lead are somewhat ambiguous, that they needed a little more clarity. we have heard that. would you agree with that,
governor? governor snyder: i would go much further and to say it is a dumb and dangerous rule. miss mccarthy, would you say the rules are ambiguous? gina mccarthy: they definitely need clarification and need to be strengthened. rep. meadows: let me stop you there. here's my concern. when somebody says, there is nothing at fault, we do some research. the clean water safety act of 1991 required rules to be updated every six years. do you know how many times it has been updated fully since 1991? gina mccarthy: i don't know. rep. meadows: i do. the answer is zero. in terms of fully updated, it is zero. it was modified slightly in 2007. here we have the safe drinking
water standards that needed to be updated and yet, the epa did nothing about it. now, i could go further to say, maybe the epa didn't know, but we did research on that as well. in 2006,ote the gao, it said indeed, that you needed to update your rules. are you aware that the gao had a problem with the copper and lead rules? gina mccarthy: i am aware they were last updated in 2007 under the prior administration. that is what i am aware of. rep. meadows: let me ask you even further. because i went to your documents , which were actually regulation documents, saying when you were going to update the rules. in 2010, you said you are going to have a proposed rule in 2012 and a final rule in 2013. long before this problem would have happened if you just had stuck with your original timeframe. the problem is, i can go through
multiple papers here, and i can find that you just kept changing the goalpost in terms of the rules. and in fact, even as recent as this last fall, you changed it again to say that not only are you going to do a rule sometime in the future and 2018, you don't even talk about a final rule. now, do you not see a problem with the fact that the law requires you to do a new rule every six years, at least revisit it, and that you haven't revisited it in 10 years and that you keep changing the goalpost? do you not see some fault there? gina mccarthy: the revision started in earnest in 2013. rep. meadows: according to your own document, you said you would have it done in 2013. gina mccarthy: we have a stakeholder group. they very actively told us that we cannot make tweaks to this.
we have to make substantive changes. issues that would have been helpful in this case. that does take more time than anding small tweaks that is what we are working on now and i am glad we know even more today than we did before. we are going to take a look at it. rep. meadows: let me tell you why i am concerned with that. in the same time about the small tweak, the epa has passed 3571 rules in that timeframe while the people of flint and maybe washington, d.c. are waiting on a final rule. you have your own priorities. you have the wrong priorities, miss mccarthy. gina mccarthy: if they properly implement the law as it currently exists, we would not be sitting here today. as it currently exists, we would not be sitting here today. [laughter] rep. meadows: you are in charge. you are the administrator. gina mccarthy: the state is actually -- rep. meadows: you are in charge of the lead and copper rule.
you think the governor is in charge of the lead and copper rule? you are in charge. gina mccarthy: i am telling you we did not meet any change in the rules to prevent it. it was the way in which mdeq actually interpreted it and in implemented it that was the problem. mdeq has said it. the government task force has said it. rep. chaffetz: we are going to come back to this. let's recognize the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. boyle, for five minutes. rep. boyle: thank you, mr. chairman. governor snyder, over the past two years, you and the individuals you handpicked to carry out your administration's so manymissed opportunities along the way to protect the people of flint. when the water changed color to brown and orange, your administration said the water was safe. when people reported rashes, evenloss, odar, and sewage, your administrations of
the water was safe. when e. coli and fecal bacteria were found in the water, and boil water alerts were distributed, your administration said the water was safe. when a harmful byproduct of disinfection in the water began to spike after the switch, your administration said the water was a safe. when it legionnaires disease began to infect and later kill numerous citizens, your administration said the water was safe. governor, don't you have a moral responsibility to resign? governor snyder: my commitment is to fix the problem. this is a case where we should have demanded more answers. i said that in my opening statement. rep. boyle: and don't you have a moral responsibility as the governor of an administration that failed and poisoned its own people, don't you have the moral is possibility to resign? governor snyder: what i would
say is, when you have experts you rely on, and they failed, they work for me. so you have a responsibility for that. i kick myself every day, wishing i would have demanded more answers and asked more questions. to put it in context, when something bad happens, and this is a terrible tragedy, this has been the most humbling experience of my life -- [speaking simultaneously] rep. boyle: it is more than just a humbling experience. governor snyder: i am making a commitment to solve this problem. people deserve better. me -- i thinkt the answer speaks for itself. ultimately when people are at the head of a government, they have to take responsibility for their administration's failures. miss mccarthy, i want to switch to you because while this has been the largest and most glaring failure of government since hurricane katrina, i am
concerned about the extent to which this could be a canary in a coal mine. let me ask you specifically about my own home state of pennsylvania. in 2014, the pennsylvania department of health identified 18 cities in my state that have higher lead exposure than flint does. epa doing now outside of flint to make your the other localities don't and up in the same situation? gina mccarthy: thank you for raising that. that is one of the issues that has a spotlight on it and we should try to make something good happen of this. i have written to every governor and to every primacy agency responsible for implementing and enforcing safe drinking water act to ask them to look at all of their protocols, to look at what their guidance is, to explain to them what we know they should be doing, to actually post their protocols, to relook and confirm to us if they are implementing the law as
it has been intended. we even went further to suggest that every test they take should be posted on the web. they should post every web line web.ery lead line on the i know people have lost faith in government because of this. the best way we can help is to make everything so transparent that individuals can hold us accountable. one of the challenges we faced here congressmen, was that we could not get a straight answer anywhere. people don't deserve that from their government. i will take responsibility for not pushing hard enough, but i will not take responsibility for causing this problem. it was not epa at the helm when this happened. rep. boyle: thank you, and i yield back. rep. chaffetz: we now recognize the gentleman from wisconsin for five minutes. rep. grothman: i know it is difficult to get government to work for a variety of reasons. that is why some of us left government, because it is hard to get it to work. my first question is for governor snyder.
like every governor, you inherit -- in your case you said 40,000 employees. you did not take those employees. even if you have an employee it is period of time, difficult to get rid of those employees. you have gotten rid of several of them. i missed a couple comments, but in general, if you go through the five or six employees you feel where most callous and uncaring, where they political appointees, or were they civil service agency when heretic? snyder: i used experts in the water safety division. on average, you will find their experience was somewhere between 20 some years to 30 years of government experience. rep. grothman: you can be an expert, but if you do not care, doesn't matter how expert you are or how many classes you have taken in school. so another words, largely the
people that you got rid of what people do had been around for 20 years, civil service protection, that sort of thing. governor snyder: yes. rep. grothman: it is difficult for the government to close the -- governor to clean house with civil servants. it is a tragedy to bring their incompetence to light. i have a question for gina mccarthy. it seems to me before this hearing, a most callous government employee we had was susan hedman. we found out yesterday that she actually reached out and grabbed your predecessor secretary jackson. i wish secretary jackson would be here to describe what in the world she was doing hiring her. but as you go through the people in your agency that made huge mistakes, and you can't deny that they made huge mistakes, could you rattle off the people you feel are most responsible for this mess? dell tauro, he was not an appointee, he was a good civil servant fighting to get answers out here. as far as i can see, when susan
hedman was try to keep them in the dark. will you rattle off the people you feel are most at fault in the epa? gina mccarthy: no, that would be one of the easiest things i could do, to find a couple of career bureaucrats to pin the problem on. i am not going to do that. grotham: i don't think it was career bureaucrats. i think it was susan hedman. but go ahead. gina mccarthy: susan hedman did not know on this issue until late in june. she took immediate action. she actually work -- was it in june or july? i forget, i apologize. she took immediate action to reach out. she took out a death statement about the lead concerns. we did every according to the numbers. the reason why i am so impressed with susan is that she immediately came and resigned because she could have waited to try to find somebody to blame it on. instead, she wanted full attention on flint and the
ability of the epa to help resolve the situation and she resigned. rep. grothman: when did she resign? gina mccarthy: she resigned in late january. rep. grothman: that is not immediate. that is after six months. gina mccarthy: i'm sorry, sir. she was working the issue every day. the question was, did we have too much interaction with the state, trusting individuals to get information? but she worked really hard. in fact, it was susan who forced our way onto the task force so we could be as helpful and designing the strategy moving forward. it was susan who suggested not to go back to the detroit water. it was susan who suggested that bottled water would be necessary. she was taking the steps he needed to try to resolve the problem. rep. grothman: it seems to me memo washe dell tauro made public, that would have raised the sense of crisis. gina mccarthy: it was public. it was publicly day he sent it out. rep. grothman: so rather than
saying that the memo was , rather than downplaying the memo, highlight it. gina mccarthy: if you look at the entire chain of e-mails, you will see that miguel was the first person in the region turned to for advice on how to handle this. he was part of our task force. he was part of the decisions every step of the way. we in no way sideline 10. it is actually something mdeq started by saying he was a rogue employee. it was susan hedman that caused mdeq and told him to stop doing that, that is not the case. rep. grothman: i think it is incredible, all these people went through, you can not still identify people that did a bad job. that is just amazing to me. gina mccarthy: i have asked the officer of the a sector general to give their eyes on it. i can't possibly know everything that happened. do i think the system failed? yes.
do i think the epa could have been more aggressive if we knew we were getting the right information? absolutely. when we figure that out, we talked to the state for too long. it should have been elevated. i would have loved to have an opportunity to intervene in a more aggressive way. rep. grothman: wow. rep. chaffetz: mrs. maloney of new york is now recognized. rep. maloney: administrator mccarthy, would you check on the level of lead in new york city's water and get back to me? and i am grateful that there are professional employees working for the health and protect the health of the american people. i want to thank you for the job you are doing. gina mccarthy: thank you. rep. maloney: the people in flint are drinking high-levels of lead in their water. and governor snyder, you utterly failed in your responsibility to protect them.
earlier you testified that we needed action, we needed action by the epa, we needed action by the city council. but even after you found out that there were problems, that it was in paper in front of you, it was your staff, once you knew even when you knew, you delayed and you put people's lives in danger. on april 25, 2015, miguel del ano, epa official, sent e-mail to pat cook to mdeq on the state level expressing concerns that no corrosion control was being used in flint and he wrote, i quote, "i am w orried that the entire town may have much higher lead levels than the compliant results indicated." and i would like his note put in the record, please. but governor snyder, you did not add corrosion control in april.
he did not add it in may. you did not add it all summer long, and you did not add it in october and even when you switch to back to the detroit water, you did not add it then. you never added corrosion control the entire time that your citizens were drinking out of the flint river. and isn't that true, but yes or no? yes or no? governor snyder: in terms of -- rep. maloney: yes or no, get back to me in writing if you can't answer yes or no right now. governor snyder: there should have been controls. and common sense from day one. they were not there. they were there when -- rep. maloney: excuse me, i am asking the question. i asked for a yes or no. get back to me in writing and i can give you a paper trail that for six months you knew and did not do anything about it. epa that- it was the warned you. it was the epa that warned the
state and i find that unconscionable. i am asking you to warn me if there is any problem in the state of new york, please. i am grateful we have professionals who can do this, who can act, and they did act. now let me turn to another delay. 2, 2015, you unveiled your so-called comprehensive action plan to address flint's water crisis, but you didn't declare a state of emergency until january 5, 2016. isn't that right? , and that was 16 three months later and i find that unconscionable. you absolutely didn't call the national guard in until even later, until january 12. and governor snyder, a november 13, 2015, the deputy state director of michigan state police sent an e-mail to one of your legal counsel's with the
subject line "declaration questions." yourote, and i quote, "as know, the governor can declare at any time, for any reason, a state of emergency." that e-mail was sent in november, and yet you still waited two more months until you declared an emergency. and how can you explain that to the people of flint who are now incredibly sick? the truth is that you drag your feet because you did not want to take responsibility. in fact, that very same e-mail from that last november lays out clearly, it states, and i "the state will formally owned the event if we put a governor declaration in place. this could be viewed as if the state hadn't owned up to how the
caused.ssue was " and people knew in april you should be using corrosion control, but you did not for six months. you drag your feet in declaring emergency based on political and financial concerns and said whatever you want, whatever you want about being in the dark, the warning signs. even when you didn't know even when you did know, you did nothing. your delay sickened an untold number of additional people. i believe this is a national disgrace and a national scandal. i think we all should learn from this. rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman's time is expired. we now recognize the gentleman from georgia, mr. carter for five minutes. rep. carter: i am a freshman, i have been here 16 months now. and i struggle sometimes with acronyms. can you help me out? epa, what does that "p" stand for? >> protection. rep. carter: protection.
i thought that was the case. so i looked up the case for protection. it says "preventing someone or something from suffering harm or injury." you would agree with that? gina mccarthy: yes. sounds right. rep. carter: environmental protection agency. am i correct when i say the epa has the authority to warn the public when there is contamination in the drinking water that poses an immediate threat to human health. is that correct? gina mccarthy: yes. rep. carter: so you are aware of 2015 memo from mcgill eiguel del toro? so mr. del toro, who we have established a few days ago, he is a drinking water specialist. he was a key member of the region five saves drinking water task force. yet, when he reported the high levels of lead in flint's drinking water, the epa, the environmental protection agency,
idn't do that. they didn't protect the public. they didn't warn the public. instead, mrs. hedman, she had a bunch of excuses. none of them which i believed. she had a lot of excuses as to why the epa, the environmental protection agency, didn't take any action. none of them would have prevented epa from standing up and saying hey, don't drink that water. it has got led in it. stop! don't drink it. none of the excuses she had prevented epa from doing it. but the epa did not do that. they did not protect, they did not prevent someone or something from suffering harm. rep. chaffetz: does the gentleman yield? rep. carter: i do not yield. ms. mccarthy, you had an oped in the washington post. you stated the epa repeatedly and urgently told of the state
of michigan to act with a sense of urgency and inform the public. is that correct? gina mccarthy: it is correct. rep. carter: yet, as i understand it, you mean to say that he repeatedly told the state of michigan to one the public about toxic levels of , is thatlint's water correct? gina mccarthy: we repeatedly told him they had to begin corrosion control. rep. carter: a little while ago you said i wish we could've done something different, whether it be by the law or through common sense. would common sense not have told you, hey, stop tricking the water. -- drinking the water. gina mccarthy: not at that point in time. rep. carter: at what point in time? gina mccarthy: you are referencing a report that if you look at the final, clearly shows it was a localized issue. hedman saw: so, ms. a legal opinion. does that make us all feel better? legald, she thought a
opinion on this. and i know everybody here feels much better about that because the environmental protection agency, we are going to make sure we have a legal opinion first before we tell these people, stop drinking that water. gina mccarthy: this report had done after we had been working with the state to tell them consistently they have to start corrosion control. but i cannot, nor could the region. >> corrosion control. >> i said corrosion control? >> you did. at this point, we know there is lead in the water. and you have got to stop it. >> there was one localized area and we were concerned. >> this came from a drinking water specialist. aded?s advice was he >> it was immediately? you had available
to you, you are telling me you got on tv and said "don't drink the water?" >> no because there was led in a very localized area. had i made the assumption using a presumption -- >> miss mccarthy, i am sorry i am not with you on this because again, environmental protection agency. you are trying to prevent someone or something from suffering harm. the epa -- what it would change the acronym. let's change it is a else. let's take "prevention" out of there law did give the state primary authority. >> the law? i don't think anybody here cares about the law. >> the gentleman's time is expired. we will now recognize the gentleman from new mexico to your far left. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this is a really tough hearing for all of us, right?
sides try to tackle the problem, because our real issue here is how to prevent it from ever happening again, and secondly, what we can do about restoring face to our constituents who don't believe either of you. right? and there is plenty of reason for them not to believe either of you. i have worked for three governors. those governors were just as unlucky as i was. two different parties. 17 years. i will tell you what, i got plenty of e-mails and calls from governors who told me to light a fire in my department and move quickly to address problems. i am having trouble with, i wasn't really sure. i will tell you as a member of angress, when there was veterans waitlist, my hospital said "we do not have that." i didn't believe them and i was right. they went down there and got it myself. our social security office had millions of complaint. that may be an exaggeration.
but thousands. the social security office to me everything was fine. i went down there and it wasn't fine. they were harming people. you have an obligation, the both of you, but governor, particularly you because these are constituents in your control. i was the health secretary. when we had any alerts, we got on it. you said you were the common sense governor in your campaign. when you knew in the fall of 2014 that you had siegal chloroform in the -- fecal chloroform in the flint water, what caused you with everything else that you saw on the press, in addition to your own staff, not to have a commonsense approach and just fix it? because i just don't understand. governor snyder: the issue did get resolved in terms of the e. coli issue. this is where you look back in hindsight we wish we would have asked harder questions. >> what are we going to do with governors in your situation?
because if they say later, i wish i had done more, you know what, there were warning signs. we did a little, but not enough. the same with the federal government. what do we do so that everybody sitting here today is clear that when there is a warning signal, no matter how small, and here they work small -- they were huge. then, what do we do as policymakers to make sure my constituents in my state and all over the country, who have similar issues that are ready to have the same consequences, that they are going to believe their state officials and their elected officials and their appointees? that is what i want to do going forward. how do i do that, sir? snyder: in my state of the state address i stood up and said, these are failures. i demand that people bring me these issues. and in terms of issues like flint -- >> how many reach ratings have
you had? how many water test are you doing. i have a jet fuel problem in my state and everyone was working on it. that wasn't enough. i went to prevented on. -- i went to the pentagon. and now they are actually pulling it out of the water and drinking it. i am not a professional, but i am pretty sure it should not be in my drinking supply. and15 years, bureaucrats other leaders let it sit there while they studied it. give me a list of the things you are doing right now to address these constituents of the have been actually harmed, who could be harmed. how much money have you identified i and appropriated to make sure you are dealing with it productively? governor snyder: one of the things included in your exhibit i an excerpt from a report helped create. it talks about every active water customer. it talks about how many -- >> from the constituents did you
respond to business that report? governor snyder: the constituents? we were out to talk to every person in flint. >> you are talking to them? your response today is to know who is affected, maybe, by your report and then to talk to them? governor snyder: not maybe. they went into their homes to have an opportunity to ask, would you like a filter or a water test? how can we support you? again, we have not hit every home, but we are tracking it. >> let me ask a question. this is my opinion as somebody who does this kind of work for my career. the waterust six system. but what do you do with someone like my mom who has a cognitive impairment? you go to her house and you ask her. what about that constituent? governor snyder: we asked them to dial211 so we can bring water to them. >> i think i have my answer, sir. >> governor snyder, i think everyone should respect the apology you have offered.
i believe that everyone realizes there were mistakes made at every level here, local, state, federal level. i think sir, you have accepted far more blame for this problem then you deserve. i can tell you that several years ago i cared the water resources subcommittee. i traveled all over this country and i can assure you that this is a problem with our clean water infrastructure that has been building up for many many years. many of these systems in the and midwest are 75 or 100 years old. and where it is especially acute -- people have been moving for many years from the high tax states to the low tax states.
they have been moving -- i understand flint's population 99,000. what has happened, and not just in flint, but in many cities, the higher income people have been the first to move. it has left these cities with not enough money to do what they need to do. i personally have hated to see and have spoken out against the fact that we spend trillions over the last 15 years in a failed effort to rebuild the middle east. we have not done enough for our own country. do you realize this is a problem that was there long before you took office? governor snyder: we have a number of urban and actually, rural areas that have major challenges. i have tried to work hard to improve those places. to get health care to people, in terms of healthy
kids, a program to bring dental care, in terms of pathway potential, a program where we put caseworkers in at the local schools. "great start" is a program we have to complement "headstart." we're bringing opportunities for preschool. two kids all over michigan. communityeated ventures. we put over 400 people and permanent jobs in flint, in terms of people that were structurally unemployed because the federal programs were not doing enough. we are going to supplement that with programs early on the help kids when they are born to get an assessment of where they are at. these are all the programs and i appreciate your comment. some of these are in response to lead. but we should do things here that cannot only help mitigate the lead, we can take them back, but we can do every mitigation we can. >> look. 267mentioned, what was it million or something -- governor snyder: 232 million.
>> my guess is there are very few cities anywhere around the size of flint that are getting the kind of money, or that kind of attention to their systems. i am glad it is happening, but before my time runs out, i want to say i chair now on this congress, the clean water caucus. bendone has been trying to over backwards to place blame someplace or another. as i said, there are many people who should be accepting responsibility for this other than you. but there are two bills that i have. 99, the sustainable water infrastructure investment act. 68, the infrastructure trust fund act to set up a trust fund for wastewater systems. if people want to do more than just place blame, if they want to try to do something cities il over this country, then
would appreciate it if they would talk to me about these bills. i think we will go to the next speaker. the gentleman yields back. >> i thank you governor for being here. you are witnessing the usual in washington, where we are trying to figure out who to blame the most. but we have a real problem. we have a real problem. have got majorou responsibility and i want to focus on the solution. a lot of governors, if they had this problem, they would be out there digging trenches and replacing pipes. you have requested from the michigan legislature a little over $2 million? is that correct? >> yes. >> so you have $67 million. is it the intention of using in addition to
dealing with infrastructure issues, to address the health needs of these children who have been permanently injured as a result of ingesting lead in the water? governor snyder: absolutely. >> explain to me what the land plan is for mental health. explain to me what the plan is for cognitive disabilities. explain to me what the plan is for day care. explain to me what the plan is to assist these parents whose kids are in their arms, are not whole like they would be, whose future is compromised, and these parents in the midst of contending with this have to figure out how to go to work, when their kids need them at home. my question is, do you live knowledge of that those are real issues as a result of ingesting the lead? million is $238
going to address those ongoing needs? governor snyder: congressman, what i would say is it is worse than how you stated it in my view. in terms of what we are doing, in terms of physical, social, and educational well-being of the $232 million. i apologize for the time limits. early on is a program to help kids from birth essentially have assessment couple times a year and then have intensive follow-up services. we are talking about adding developmental childcare. >> i am going to interrupt. i onlyciate it, but have five minutes. governor snyder: i'm sorry, you asked me that. >> i did. you can submit that in writing. here's the apprehension i have. i am a parent. you have these programs you just announced. i am trying to figure out today what i do tomorrow. who does a parent call? when things are working out.
who does a parent call when they are late for work because their child is having an episode? you know, will there be somebody answering the phone? governor snyder: my commitment is to get a long-term solution to this. >> let me ask you this. you have about $1 billion in michigan partly from a rainy day fund, right? governor snyder: it is about $600 billion. >> in the menu day fund and then, you have money in your surplus. governor snyder: it is being identified for a state water infrastructure fund. >> let's say that when your own assessment reaches the conclusion that to meet those , mys you have acknowledged description did not actually fully state how bad it was. if new revenue is required to meet the obligations to these now, children years from
that your assessment shows today that money will be needed and it requires you to promote revenue raising measures to get it. would you do that? governor snyder: we are doing it already. you identified dollars we think are appropriate to cover the those programs. to go to your point, one of the things i have in particular is a $50 million reserve. it is too soon. >> we do not know what is going to cost. we are in the wild blue yonder here. none of us really know. and i am sure, we all wish this hadn't happened. but there is an open ended problem where we are going to be hemorrhaging lives and futures an unless we double down now. what assurance will i have is apparent that those needs will be met?
if i don't have a state and its governor saying we are going to do whatever it takes to get there. governor snyder: that is why i made a commitment to start these reserves to say, we will learn more. >> one other question. i actually buy into the argument that a lot of my republican colleagues make about local control. i think the more things are done at the local level the better, request is $750 million from the federal government. hashe gentleman's time i expired. >> i appreciate the indulgence. >> there is a vote on the floor but it is the intention of the chair to continue the hearing until its conclusion. both of these people have a lot of things to do, rather than wait around for us to go. members will have to make a choice and we will continue until we have run through the question. we will now recognize the gentleman from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
governor, one of my favorite quotes from justice brandeis is a familiar one but he said "the cure for what ails the government is sunshine." if you could be brief so i don't have to interrupt you, i would appreciate that. you know the committee has requested copies of all of your records relating to the flint water crisis. you told your staff that you deleted virtually, many of your e-mails. you also said you only started preserving e-mails in april 2013 a litigation hold was placed on your account. is that true? have you ever acknowledge that in public? governor snyder: i hope that would have been corrected. that is not accurate. >> you committed only from 2014 and 2015. have you committed to releasing the e-mails since then? governor snyder: i releasing my personal e-mails going back to
2011. i am releasing executive office three males and we are going to the process of departmental e-mails. pages ofe have 43,120 documents upon the web. >> in terms of the timeline, the switch was in march of 2013, a month before you stop deleting your e-mails. have you directed any of your staff to search back for any flint related e-mails prior to april of 2013? governor snyder: again, congressman, i thought i mentioned and communicated that the belief you had about the deletion was inaccurate. >> i just wanted to see if you were consistent. i'm not an attorney. ast week your lawyer sent us letter x planning that these documents are blacked out or redacted for a variety of reasons and there are a lot of reductions. ar example, i think we have copy of what your attorney sent us. there is a document telling governor rick snyder, november 6
2015, there we can briefing. it includes a line about flint water and then a 49 page of reductions. is there a reason why there were 49 pages of reductions? , i didr snyder: again not review the specific one. these would've been issues other than flint. >> would you release the information, or the reductions as weo the committee, often ask people to release their information? governor snyder: i am happy to go through the process of reviewing it. one of the challenges is there is personal and confidential information that if we release it would create liability for the states. >> so will you make a commitment to release those things that are not personally liable? governor snyder: there are legal matters we need to be careful about. >> there is also an issue about campaign related e-mails. are you also willing to hear
those e-mails with us? because some of them were concerned also, they overlapped whatrms of information on you were doing in flint. you have your e-mail in your governor's office that you personally manage and then campaign related. governor snyder: it was an account i created from a campaign. i do some personal e-mails there. i believe we posted much of the information on the web. >> as long as you are willing to share what the committee is asking for and if you could expect to us why you could not specifically, on both accounts, that would be helpful. we have asked your current and former staff to search their personal e-mails. in terms of their relationship to this issue, are you willing to share that with our staff will stop governor snyder: again, i believe we have already done a lot of work on the government e-mails. i would have to look at their personal e-mails. >> in regards to the last question, texting.
are you equally willing to share that with the staff? governor snyder: i believe people are already making those reviews. >> just a,. this is with all due respect to epa, and california, we have great administrators and i have had the pleasure of working with them. it is hard -- when we look at a threshold.ia is we are proud of the fact that we go beyond that. this is decades of democratic and republican administrations. forgive me politically, but it seems as if, for people as mr. welsh said, believe in state and local control, you would be willing to accept more responsibility when you slipped up. i know when it comes to this finger-pointing, when it comes to california we would be very embarrassed. you have acknowledged that. our threshold would be the california threshold, not the epa threshold. do you have any comment?
governor snyder: again -- >> it seems as though we are rights, butstate's when you failed in my perspective, the responsibility is the federal government. but when you do well it is because the state has done well. there seems to be a disconnect here from my perspective. governor snyder: i would be happy to give you a copy of my state of the state address where i stood in front of michigan and talked about this failure. i apologized and i said i was sorry and going to fix it. i was very clear about accepting responsibility for the people that worked for me and for the so-called experts that created this crisis, a terrible tragedy that never should have happened. i want to make sure it never happens again and i want to take care of the people of flint. >> i agree and we also have to accept accountability. >> i will now recognize myself. i will not close this hearing until mr. cummings has equal time as well. let me go to administrator mccarthy. the lead and copper rule
requires you by law to update it every six years, but you did not do that, correct? administrator mccarthy: it requires us to review it every six years. >> you don't believe it is required to actually update it? you are just supposed to look at it? administrator mccarthy: no, sir. we are actively looking at this rule. if you want to do a substantive revision to it, just tweak it a bit. that is what the last administration did. >> don't blame the bush administration. you have been in office for over seven years now. you said in your own words you would have this new rule out in 2013, correct? administrator mccarthy: i am not aware of that, sir. the schedule i am aware of is the 2017 schedule. >> you mean the 2018. administrator mccarthy: the draft will be out in 2017. >> this is what is so
frustrating. you have someone who is an expert like mark edwards come and tell us, there are so many ways around this and there is so much confusion. do you believe there is any confusion about the lead and copper rule? administrator mccarthy: i do believe it can be strengthened. >> no, i am asking if you think there is any confusion? iministrator mccarthy: believe there probably is confusion. i am not be won on the receiving end of it, but we are working to clarify that. >> you are the administrator. what do you mean you are not on the receiving end? administrator mccarthy: we manage the program and the states to the implementation and the enforcement. in this case, we were very clear to them what their responsibility was under the existing law. i understand, we should strengthen the law, i agree. we had that we needed in place to prevent this from happening. why did itthen happen? administrator mccarthy: because the state did not implement and enforce appropriately. toro, you sent miguel del
in february of 2015 to go out and do the testing? administrator mccarthy: that was not for a lead and copper rule testing. that was a testing in an individual home. it ended up being three houses where there was a localized problem. did not have information until july 21 that there was a systemic problem with that system. as soon as we knew there was a problem in three houses, we told them to start doing proper treatment. >> no you did not. the timeline is such that he does the testing. the report gets leaked, for which he feels he was reprimanded for. it gets released and the mayor calls the epa, susan hedman, and says, is this report true? should i be worried? the answer is "no, you have nothing to worry about." andmayor went on television
said, it is safe to drink the water. administrator mccarthy: i tried to explain that susan did not dismiss the substance of the report. she indicated that it was interim. been qualitynot control. it was not leaked. it had been sent out. it was in the newspapers. >> i know it was in the newspaper and the aclu >> why do the testing if you're going to blame the state? there's no doubt and the governor admitted that the people and information that were happening from the bureaucrats to the department of environmental quality got it wrong. but you said they did everything that you immediately wanted to have everything done on the corotion control. correct? >> i said by starting april 24, when we realized that they were not doing corotion control, we told them under the current law they should do it.
>> i'm going to enter into the record an email. who is jennifer cook? >> she is one of our statch people. our managers in the water program. >> is she competent? >> as far as i know. i don't know her personally. >> well, on july 1 -- and there are a lot of personnel. she said you just said that they told them to introduce the croatian control in april. this is what she wrote to the department of environmental quality. the idea to ask flint to simply add foss fate may be premature. there are other issues which must be taken account which requires a look at the quality and system before any treatment recommendations can and should be made. >> then let me explain that. >> sure. >> because that actual advice came from miguel. because when i say you need to do treatment it does not mean i
have a switch to turn on. he indicated that the agency didn't have the full water quality data. that's when we offered and begged to be on the advisory board. >> you were. it is a summary of the conference call. >> no. there was a -- >> what do you mean no? the public can look at this for themselves. >> but it was not as easy as flipping a switch. it did not mean they didn't need required to do it. the question was whether to be premature. >> no. what you did is came here and blamed solely the state and i am here to tell you the state has a big part of this blame. you're trying to excuse everything from the e.p.a. saying you told them to put foss fates in the water and they didn't. the -- wait until i'm done congress you the question. the documentation says that you actually had a confrebs call from the e.p.a. telling the eq to not do it yet. >> know. we were telling them that they
had to do crotion control. the method and treatment depended on experts. we offered that consistently -- and they actually never even took us up on it until september. not true. this november 3rd. who is peter? >> he is the mlinger on drinking water office and headquarters. >> he is the queasheds expert. here is what he wrote. this is november 3rd. it appears there are different possible interpretations of the lead and copper rule with respect to how the rule's optimal corotion control treatment procedures apply to this situation. which may have led to some uncertainty with respect to the flint system. so here you have a city who is begging for help. they know they're in trouble. ok? they're asking for that help. and i've got email after email saying maybe you should hold
off because we're not sure. maybe there is confusion. maybe we are supposed to do six motses of testing. i'm not excused them. but you need to take responsibility gauze you have screwed up and you messed up 100,000 people's lives. 10,000 of those people are six years old and younger and you take no responsibility. you think there's anything who did anything wrong. right? >> i indicated we could have worked more aggressively. i wish we had. would you like me to explain the memo? >> i want you to have an appreciation and understanding of why the deq people are confused by the people of the e.p.a. >> there was no confusing signal sent. >> should they have put the foss fate? >> not dumping it in without connecting with the experts and they did not have the expert voice at the table. >> they were at this table.
>> that is not -- >> the email -- >> that is not the task force we're talking about to provide technical expertise. >> let's go through the list. leeann smith, richard bensie, chris fill lip, carrie, dana -- i'm going to o mispronounce her name. >> i don't know those individuals. >> yeah. they all work for you. and the e.p.a. -- here's what it says. deq but from the e.p.a. thank you. the governor knows who works for him. below are my draft nollingts. thank you for participating. i apologize -- first apology i've seen -- >> for the delay in this draft. it says don't simply tad fosstates. i only want you do knowledge -- >> it could have created more damage than it cured. >> exactly. >> water systems are difficult
and deserve technical experts which they did not have available. they did. >> they were at the table. they were in the same conversation. >> that is a semi-annual call we have with the department where we share information. if you look through the record we consistently said we have national experts. we want to help. we had worked behind the scenes to figure out how to do that. we just never got invited nor were we accepted. >> i'm going to my last point. you said you didn't have the authority to do -- i want to read to you part of the law here. this is section 1431 part d of the emergency powers welcome back the safe drinking water act. it says the administrator -- that would be you -- >> upon receipt of a nfirmation that a contamnant -- which may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of
persons and that appropriate state and local authorities have not acted to protect the health of such persons may take such action as he may deem necessary in order to protect the health of such person. so if they weren't doing what you wanted them to do, why didn't you take action earlier? >> the second part is about states rights and what we have to do -- >> what do you mean the second part? >> there's a two-part process to us actually issuing a 1431. the second is we need to make sure that the states aren't already taking appropriate action. >> when did you know? >> we knew july 21 that there was a systemic problem. the state agreed the next day and then all they did was slow walk it. that's why we had to do it the way we did. i wish we had gone further. i wish we had gone farther. i wish we had yelled from the treetops. but there is no way my agency created this problem or there
was ambiguity in the existing law that wouldn't have done the same thing that the governor said which was let them know use your common sense don't put people at risk. just because we couldn't figure out that in the life of us in our guidance we never thought that anybody would go from a treated system to an untreated system and not treat it. i didn't think we ever had to say that because i never thought anyone would. that's where we are today. >> you can't have it both ways. you can't have people on the ground testing it, people like miguel doing those -- >> that -- sending up the warnings flags. >> thank you. mr. chair i have to hand it to my republican colleague they are actually making their argument with a straight face. and you know just to be clear republicans here today are claiming that the e.p.a., the obama e.p.a., should have been more aggressive in stepping in
seizing control and overruling the republican controlled state of michigan. they are just outraged that e.p.a. wasn't more assertive with michigan and didn't immediately go public with their complaints about the failure to follow the law. ms. mccarthy, the irony is almost overwhelming. isn't it? >> yes. >> and republicans have been absolutely slamming the e.p.a. for overreaching it at every possible turn. now they criticize the e.p.a. for not doing more when governor snyder fell down on the job. let's go through some of these ridiculous republican statements. donald trump has called for entirely eliminating the e.p.a. and handing power over to the state. he said this and i quote environmental protection we waste all of this money. we're going to bring that back
to the states. we are going to cut many of the agencies. we will balance our budget and we will be dynamic again. ms. mccarsy, the e.p.a. did ultimately step in here because michigan was not doing their job. and if you have been criticized for not stepping in sooner and you have been. right? >> yes. another republican candidate senator ted cruz agrees with donald trump. he said i think states should press back using every tool they have available. were you aware of this statement? >> yes. >> marco rubio now former republican candidate has vowed to scale back the clean water act. he said this. regulations in this country are out of control. specially the employment
prevention agency the e.p.a. ms. mccarthy that was a dig at you. right? >> yes. >> saying that ensuring clean water costs too many jobs. is that right >> that's how i would read it sir. >> there are many more republican statements like this. republican governor scott walker who proposed converting the e.p.a. into an umbrella organization that really is limited to mediating interstate comflict. senator joni ernst of iowa said this. let's shut down the federal e.p.a. and focus on those issues where the state knows best how to protect resources. what about the state protecting people? ms. mccarthy obviously the state of michigan did not know best in this case. they poisoned thousands of their own people. is that correct?
>> they did not do their job. yes. >> house republicans including those in this committee, have voted at every turn to gut the e.p.a.'s authority to enforce the clean air act, the clean water act, the national environmental policy act, and the list goes on. despite all these republican statements that e.p.a. should be eliminated and that it overreaches the main criticism of republicans here today. is that the e.p.a. was not more aggressive in swooping in to the state of michigan. what do you think governor snyder? ruzz the e.p.a. aggressive enough? >> i don't want to get into finger pointing and blame. the people that work for me that were the experts made a huge tragic mistake in terms of going over to the flipt river.
they called for two six-month studies to determine optimizing corotion controls. that was not a good answer. technically they believed -- i believed -- they believed they were doing the right thing. to put it in context, where is the common sense? where is the urgency? because we are on detroit water before which has corotion controls in it. isn't it common sense you should also have them in the water you have coming in? >> before my time runs out. what do we do next? what about -- i know they're talking about changing the pipes and the lead and all of that. getic that out of there. what do we do for the people who have been impacted negatively? do we have a plan? do you have a plan as the state of michigan? >> yes, sir. >> what is it? >> it begins by we've had 67 million in appropriations so far i am requesting 232 million
in total. and it is involving water, water infrastructure. food and newt rigs. because that is one of the critical elements needed. physical and social well being and educational programs. >> early childhood development? >> absolutely. >> because those are the ones impacted the most. >> under six, critically important. going on water bill credit relief because they shouldn't have had to pay for that. and then a significant reserve fund because as we go through this we're going to find new needs and we need to be able to act. >> that includes the adults, too. they probably need special attention also. >> particularly people with suppress combdmune systems, foster care situations or elderly. again, one of the things we took immediate action on that is mind boggling is i it was never required to test the schools. so not only have we gone in. we found they didn't have lead service lines but they had
problems with fixtures. so we said enough of the testing let's just start replacing fixtures. >> thank you for your response. i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. i now recognize the ranking member. >> thank you very much. i want to thank our witnesses for being with us and staying through all of this. governor, based on the record before the committee, many of your top advisers and key state officials knew there were problems with the drinking water. but you say you were not aware. i would like to run through what these people knew. first, let me ask you about one of your top legal advisers in your office, mike pl -- he wrote an email on october 14, 2014 stating and i quote the notion that i would be getting my drinking water from the
lint river is downright scary. too bad the emergency manager didn't ask me what i thought because i'm sure he heard it from plenty of others. my mom is a city resident. nice to know she is drinking water with elevated chlorine levels and feekle color form. -- col form. they should try to get back under the choice of some as a stop gap as soon as possible before this thing gets too far ut of control. that was written in america. by one of your top legal advisers. would you consider him a top legal adviser? >> yes. >> do you take your legal advisers' advice?
>> on legal matters. >> all right. do you remember hearing any of this getting this? >> i don't recall discussing with them and i don't believe i was on that email. >> ok. you didn't receive this email in 2014. did you know that your top legal adviser even raised these kind of concerns? >> i don't recall. i recall we were concerned about water in flint though. again, the issue snot a lead issue. i there were issues with e coali. >> i keep hearling that. hearing you say things like that. but i swear to god. if somebody gave me water that looked like you're yin and had maybe to it, i'm sorry, your standard is different. i wouldn't want my family drinking it and i wouldn't want to be drinking it. nd my standard is i want for
my constituents what i want for my own. my own family. but let's go on. let me turn to your top officials at the mdeq. on april 17, 2014, about a week before they switched to the flint river. the water quality supervisor at the flint plant sent an email to three top mdeq officials. adam, mike, and steven. let me tell you what he wrote. if water is distributed from this plant in the next coup of of weeks it will be against my direction. i need time to adequately train additional staff and to update how modern plans before i feel we are ready. i will reiterate this to management biome.
but they seem to have their own agenda. to did you know that the water quality supervisor warned your top officials not to go forward one week earlier? >> to my knowledge i had no awareness of that email. >> that's not what i asked you. were you aware that they had some concerns? >> no. >> ok. >> i don't recall any. let me turn to the director initiatives in your office. harvey in mid march received an email warning him that there had been a "significant uptick" in the number of reported legionnaires disease cases. were you aware of that last march? were you aware of that? >> not to my knowledge. let me turn to your former chief of staff.
now, i want to make sure. somebody i think -- i don't know whether it was ms. lawrence, somebody, was asking you about the structure of the way things are situated in your office. but in congressional offices, for the most part your chief of staff answers to no one but the congressman. now, is there anybody in between you and the chief of staff? >> no. >> so the chief of staff would answer directly to you. >> yes. >> all right. if it's logical that the chief of staff had some concerns and was saying we ought to do certain things doesn't it seem logical that would come to you? >> i don't recall specific conversations. we had discussions about water quality in flint and we are working a number of issues. you mentioned harvey. i was working with the chief of staff and harvey to get a donation of fillers to deal with the odor and color issues.
of staff , your chief sent an email warning that residents are concerned and rightfully so about the lead level studies and that they quote they are basically getting blown off by us. you were not on that email either were you? >> no. i don't believe so. >> so he didn't forward it to you? >> i don't recall ever receiving it. >> does it alarm you that he is saying that he was blown off? that -- in other words, your constituents, the ones that you asked to vote for you, the ones that you are supposedly about the business of improving their lives, were saying they were being blown off. does that bother you? i'm not saying you knew about them. i'm saying would it bother you? >> in terms of look agget the record, he went out to both deq
and asked the experts the question in terms of the water being safe or not. and they told them it was. and thoofs wrong. >> now. >> in retrospect. >> it looks like almost everyone knew about these problems except you. you were completely missing in action. that's not leadership. do you think? >> i was not missing in action, congressman. i was -- i had ongoing discussions about a number of water issues. i received several briefings, had a number of discussions. and the continuing response whether -- whoever, they would tell you it was safe. >> now, you can understand why the residents of flint would be skeptical about what you were seeing. right? they are not like us. they just know -- they say chief of staff. it sounds like somebody very important. sounds like somebody who would answer directly to the governor. you can kind of understand that
concern. can't you? >> i absolutely do sir and i am going to have to live with this my entire life. >> but you know what? i've heard you say that and i've got to tell you. there are children that have got to live with the damage that has been done for the rest of their lives. and it is painfully painful to think that a child could be zadged until the day they die and that their destiny has been cut off and messed up. so you have to live with it. but many of these children will never be what god intended them to be when they were born and conceived. i just have a few more questions. on your website you say to the people of michigan. we will learn from this experience. but an entire generation has
been -- what are those chish supposed to learn from your utter lack of let's say from this incident. what are they supposed to learn? >> one of the terrible parts of all this is there's a huge issue in addition to all their medical and educational issues. but there's a question of trust in government. and there's good reason for them to ask that question. and that is going to take a huge amount of time to earn back if it can be earned back and it involves being third party experts such as professor exports and dr. mona to be part of the process so people can have confidence in the heroes that helped bring this up. >> i would like to talk to you about your priorities. you have shown over and over again that money is a high priority despite the fact that michigan had a budget surplus you not even bothered the legislation necessary to move flint back to detroit water.
flint was not seem to be a priority because on january 24, you sent an email to your staff with a list of priorities for 2015. most of the document is redacted. but we can see that numbered 36 on the list, number 36 on the list was a flint water system. so governor flint water was not your first priority. it was not in the top ten. wasn't even in the top 20. not even in the top 30. flint was number 36. shouldn't the children and the residents of flint have been higher on your priority list? >> in retrospect. with it becoming a true safety issue it should have been higher. that was not the issue at the time. >> now, we also know what you do prior to that. when things got rough for you and your administration started being investigate bid law
enforcement you got the people of michigan to pay your legal fees. governor do you admit here today that you have asked the people of michigan for more than $1 million to pay for your criminal and civil defense fees? >> yes. >> it makes me sick to think that you found a way to have the state of michigan pay over 1 million in legal fees yet you thought so little of the people in flint that you could not be bothered to ask legislature for money to switch them over the clean water. you cannot be trusted. i've got to tell you, you need to resipe. -- resign. mr. governor i know we're at the end of the hearing. i just want to thank both of you for being here. we have got to do better than this. we all deserve better. and i told the chairman from
the very beginning no matter who is responsible we want to address this issue. and one of the things, 15 of your people -- you talk about transparency but 15 of your people refused to talk to us. refused. so i hope that you will urge them. i saw read something yesterday where you said you under them to talk. we need to hear from them. all right? thank you, sir. >> i thank the gentleman. i want to thank all of those who have participated in the three sets of hearings that we have had. there is no doubt after having gone through this that there were a lot mistakes is just a total understatement. i want to thank those who vo stepped up for part of the solution. who have recognized where wrong has been done.
because they really do need to take care of these children and take care of the people of the city of flint. i know that is where everybody's heart is. our daughter is getting married soon. and moving to michigan. o it is important and it reaches real people's lives. we get pretty heated we get animated we want accountability . but if you don't step up and understand the problem, if you don't step up and understand where the mistakes are made, if you don't take some accountability, you don't solve it going forward. that's my problem with the approach that the administer's taken. with all due respect, i know you love this country i know you're working hard. i also believe in my heart that this is offensive to suggest that there was nothing wrong done and to not apologize.
just wrong. so that is just my own personal opinion. we got our personal opinion. we will continue to work ogether. i thank you for holding these hearings. a lot of chairmen would never have done it. i really appreciate on behalf of all of us you have set a shining example of what leadership is all about. >> thank you. very kind. i also thank congressman kildee. this is his direct and he pours his heart and soul into this. we thank him, too. i think that is appropriate. with that the committee stands adjourned.
i'm delighted that the chairman of the atlantic council is here today, governor huntsman. on his behalf, in particular on behalf of adrienne arshtt, founder of the adrienne arshtt center, and patricia marshall the ambassador and president, i'm delighted to welcome you to this special engagement, to be addressed by ambassador susan rice to the president's approach on the western hemisphere. ambassador rice we are immensely honored to be hosting you here at the atlantic council at this historic moment. one thing i always have to say at events like this, on the record, join the conversation on twitter with #susanriceatac. we are also grateful to our partners in producing this event. thank you to the brookings institution, my friend represented by the -- the president and woodrow wilson
international center of scholars and my friend jane harman, represented here by cynthia armson, director of the latin american program. thank you for collaborating with us to bring this to fruition. i also want to extend a special welcome to the esteemed ambassadors joining us in the audience this afternoon. ambassador rice, thank you for taking the time. we consider it a privilege to host you, not only because of your key role in shaping the president's foreign policy agenda but also your tireless steadfast commitment to promoting leadership and engagement across the globe. since becoming president obama's national security advisor in 2013, you've been at the helm of a second term
administration foreign policy that has significant achievements which have included u.scuba brokering a multilateral deal with iran and the successful conclusion of the t.p.p. agreement. we've had a role here with the atlantic council in all these issues. previously as u.s. permanent representative to the united nations, you were a powerful voice in advancing u.s. interests at the security council and furthering our country's commitment to diplomatic solutions where you helped win the stiffest u.n. sanctions ever against iran and north korea and brokered life-saving interventions in libya and cote d'ivoire. these positions in addition to others you've held at the state department and elsewhere emblematic of a lifetime dedicated to common security
and prosperity at home and abroad. your remarks today come days ahead of president obama's trip to cuba and argentina next monday. the first time in over 80 year that a sitting u.s. president will visit cuba. this is a historic turning point for the united states relations with cuba and with latin america broadly so we are terribly pleased to hear from you today on the administration's priorities for the western hemisphere. echoing the spirit and passion of our latin america center i wish to underscore we see the president's trip hugely significant, not just in the message about the relationship with cuba, as symbolic of the advances that the united states has made in engaging latin america during the obama administration. in the past decade, latin america has been a region transformed and our center has worked to examine what those transformations mean for the hemisphere moving forward. with 70 million people entering the middle class and the area's status as one of the fastest growing trade partners, latin america holds huge promise. the obama administration has fully recognized this scenario with achievements such as concluding t.p.p., which
includes three latin american nations, support for ending the farc conflict in colombia and initiatives to improve security in central america, president obama has woven a clear narrative. most notably he's improved our relations with all latin america by restarting the u.s.-cuba relationship and making continuous progress between the two countries. these issues are at the heart of the work of the arsht center from our february 2013 poll on evolving u.s. attitudes toward cuba to our recent work on reintegrating cuba into global financial institutions such as the interamerica development to our policy brief this month about the outlook for argentina's energy sector. our center's narrative is optimistic because we believe that the united states is poised to engage even further on the vital political and economic connections that will continue to advance prosperity in the hemisphere. with that, i would like to welcome to the stage ambassador susan rice. [applause]
mbassador rice: thank you, fred, and governor huntsman, it's always a great honor to be with you. i want to thank the organizations that fred just amed that helped to put this event together and to everyone of you who are joining us here tonight. i want to particularly salute our colleagues from the diplomatic corps who embody the close and growing ties between our countries. i'm glad to be back at the atlantic council and especially at the latin american center. what better way to celebrate
st. patrick's tai than to give a speech on the americas. this organization focuses on the new latin america. i wanted to come here because 2016 is an especially significant, perhaps historic, year for the region. our hemisphere and the relationship between the united states and our partners across the americas is at a transformational moment. and president obama and all of us throughout his administration intend to make the most of it. so today i want to discuss this moment, the approach that got us here, and how we plan to seize this opportunity during president obama's upcoming trip to cuba and argentina and for the remainder of his administration. i know some folks in latin america like to give really rather long speeches. but i'll do my best to keep this under eight hours.
there's no denying that latin america faces serious challenges. too many people still live in poverty. too many voices still are silenced. too many communities are still wracked by violence. but what president obama said n santiago five years ago is even more true today. this is, he said, a region on the move. proud of its progress and ready to assume a greater role in world affairs. we see the new latin america in ts political ransformation.
thanks to the determination and sacrifice of citizens and activists, today almost all people across the hemisphere live in democracies. increasingly robust civil societies are demanding greater accountability of their leaders. over the past few years, governments that were hostile toward the united states have given way to ones that are more open to partnership. we see the new latin america in the way the region initially bounced back from the global financial crisis. today, we're witnessing a next wave of challenges, from slower growth and weaker commodity prices to strains on the middle class. but we're also seeing countries recognizing the need to become more resilient by reforming and diversifying their economies. thanks to stronger business climates and greater openness to investment, many countries are better positioned than before to rebound from economic shocks. in a number of places, we must do more to preserve and build on the progress we've made, including lifting millions of people out of poverty over the last two decades. and the united states stands ready to work with our partners
to meet these challenges. and that's because this transformation has been mirrored by a change in the united states a-- united states' approach to the region. before president obama took office, our bilateral relationships were often strained. the united states standing in latin -- the united states' standing in latin america had suffered. suspicion of our motives was high an anti-american voices were ascendant and loud. if you'd asked some of our neighbors about the yankees, you'd have gotten roughly the same answer you'd get from a red sox fan. today, the american flag flies ver our re-opened embassy in cuba. ore americans are visiting cuba than at any time in the last 50 years.
more american companies are looking to invest and do business in cuba. as we normalize relations, we have just announced reforms to make it easier for americans to travel to cuba and engage with the cuban people. yesterday -- yesterday marked the first direct mail delivery flight between our countries in 53 years. oday, colombia is experiencing historic change, as president obama noted during president santos' visit last month. thanks to the courage and determination of the colombian people and with bipartisan support here for plan colombia, colombia today is more stable, secure, and prosperous than it has been for decades. as we speak, colombia and the farc with the support of our special envoy, bernie aronson, are working to end half a century of civil war. here in north america, mexico has shown how a country can row when its companies successfully integrate into the regional and global economy. he mexican government is
mplementing key energy reforms and is an important partner in combating climate change. as evidenced by last week's official visit by prime minister trudeau, the united states and canada are more closely aligned than we have been in years. again, we are addressing the challenge of climate change, where our countries are now fully united. and being married to a canadian, i can report that the relationship between our countries is truly an enduring partnership of equals. even if certain busy americans don't always do their fair hare of the housework. so, ladies and gentlemen, this is a seminal moment. how did we get here? this remarkable transformation s first and foremost a tribute
to the hard work and sacrifice of millions of people across the hemisphere. nations made difficult decisions to reform, especially economically. some shouldered and still shoulder the burden of securing their communities against cartels and insurgents. but as our argentine friends know, it takes two to tango. during the 2008 campaign, then-senator obama promised a new approach, guided by what he called the simple principle that what's good for the people f the americas is good for the united states. and we've worked hard to eliver on that vision. starting with the 2009 summit
of the americas, president obama called far new era of cooperation and equal partnership based on mutual interests, mutual respect, and shared values. and on issue after issue we've worked constructively to build consensus on the issue, not one devised in washington but in dialogues across the hemisphere. we resisted falling into the traps of history and ideology that often stymied progress. president obama was very clear from the outset that he won't be bound by battles waged in many cases before he was even born. so at that first summit of the americas, when certain leaders tried to revive the insult contest that too often characterized our relationships, we just refused o take the bait. we recognized the old debates between state-run companies and unchecked free markets, between the abuses of left wing insurgents and right wing paramilitaries for what they were and are, false dichotomies
that don't reflect the realities of today. this may seem simple but it was actually quite novel. after the summit in trinidad and tobago, it was reported, leaders left here almost shell shocked by the lack of tension at this year's gathering. today the united states is more deeply engaged in latin america than we've been in decades. in fact, the relationships etween the united states and countries across the hemisphere are arguably as good as they've ever been. and given our ties of trade, culture, and family, our neighbors have never been more important to the prosperity and security of the united states. president obama's visit to latin america next week will uild on this progress. on sunday, air force one will epart andrews air force base
n route to havana, cuba. no national security advisor has ever said that before. as fred said new york u.s. president has traveled to cuba since calvin coolidge came on a battleship 88 years ago. he will continue to talk about how to normalize contact between our government and increase contacts between our peoples. as he did when they met in panama last year, president obama will speak candidly about areas where we disagree with the cuban government, particularly human rights. as president obama has repeatedly said, we know that change will not come to cuba overnight. but the old approach of trying to isolate cuba for more than
50 years clearly didn't ork. we believe that engagement, including greater trade, travel, and ties between americans and cubans is the best way to help create opportunity and spur progress for the cuban people. nd that's why as part of his visit, the president will meet with civil society leaders including human rights activists who give voice to the aspirations of the cuban people. he'll meet with cuban entrepreneurs, from a variety of sectors to discuss what we can do to help them start and grow their businesses. at the gran teatro, president obama will speak directly to the cuban people and attend a major league baseball exhibition game between the
cuban national team and the tampa bay rays, another eminder of the ties we can strengthen between our peoples. on tuesday, president obama will travel to argentina, another visit that might have seemed unlikely not long ago. we've been impressed by many of the reforms president macri has initiated and believe that argentina can be a strong global partner on a range of issues from counternarcotics to limate change. secretary of trade miguel braun recently told this forum that argentina is open for business and we are keen to expand our economic relationship. we expect the president -- we expect that president obama and president macri will announce a number of new partnerships, including efforts to combat crime, drug traffic, promote sustainable energy development and fight climate change.
as he has throughout the region, the president will hold a town hall with young argentines who are essential to argentina's growing regional and global rule. the president's visit to argentina falls, as you know, on the 40th anniversary of the 1976 military coup. to underscore our shared ommitment to human rights, the president will visit the park de la memoria to honor the victims of argentina's dirty war. in addition to the more than 4,000 documents the united states has released from that dark period, president obama, at the request of the argentine government, will announce a omprehensive effort to declassify additional documents, including for the first time military and
intelligence records. on this anniversary -- [applause] an this anniversary and beyond, we are determined to do our part as argentina continues to heal and move forward as one nation. so we believe this trip will be an historic and powerful demonstration of our nation's new approach to latin america. an approach that will guide us for the remainder of the obama dministration. so allow me now to concentrate on three areas where we believe the united states and our partners across the hemisphere can make further progress. first, we continue working to expand prosperity and opportunity for all our people and we have a strong foundation to build on. since president obama took office, we boosted u.s. exports to latin america by more than 40%.
we encourage pacific alliance countries, chile, colombia, mexico, and peru, to continue their impressive progress in reducing trade barriers and integrating financial markets. and with the transpacific partnership, we're deepening our trade and investment ties with canada, chile, mexico, and eru. this is a good deal with strong labor and environmental standards. and we are committed to working with congress to ratify it. few areas offer more promise for economic cooperation than clean energy. from canada to the caribbean, our hemisphere is especially vulnerable to climate change which is why we're working to implement the historic paris climate agreement as quickly as possible. we also have unique strengths when it comes to clean energy,
which we're harnessing through our energy and climate partnership of the americas. brazil has been a leader in buy wrote fuels, chile is developing geothermal sources. haiti, after the devastating 2010 earthquake built the largest solar powered hospital in the world. in may, vice president biden will host our central american and caribbean partners to discuss how to do even more together to power our communities and protect our planet. as we strive to meet today's pressing economic challenges, we're making economies more inclusive with new opportunities for entrepreneurs, farmers, and the small and medium-sized businesses that employ over half the hemisphere's work force. with the small business network of the americas, we'll help incubate more ideas, advise more aspiring entrepreneurs, and connect them to new
opportunities. over the next three years, our women's entrepreneurship in the americas program is on track to help 100,000 women overcome barriers to starting a business. and through the president's feed the future initiative, we're supporting more than 113,000 latin american and caribbean farmers to emerge from poverty. we're also going to continue to keep investing in giving young people the skills and the training to succeed in the global economy. through the president's young leaders of the americas initiative, we're helping entrepreneurs and activists connect, collaborate, and move forward and our 100,000 strong in the americas program aims to enable 100,000 u.s. students to study in latin america and 100,000 latin american students to study in the united states
by 2020. over the past five years, we've seen more than a 10% increase in students participating in these vital cross cultural exchanges and we'll announce an expansion of that program next week. second, we can't have economic growth without security. in too many places, gangs and narco traffickers still brutally target civilians, law enforcement, and journalists. the front lines of this fight are in central america, in the northern triangle of el salvador, guatemala, and honduras, whose leaders vice president biden recently hosted to deepen our cooperation. along with our partners, we're confronting this challenge by providing law enforcement with the equipment, training and technology they need to protect communities while also respecting human rights.
we're improving coordination between countries, cracking down on the flow of guns across our southern border and squeezing cartel finances. here at home, we're working to reduce demand for drugs and reaching out to at-risk youth before they turn to narcotics an crime. we saw the human toll of central america's violence in the summer of 2014 when more than 68,000 unaccompanied, fearful children arrived at our southern border. to address this ongoing humanitarian crisis, we're taking steps to deter future unauthorized migration and to mitt gate the poverty that drives the underlying security concerns. working with congress, we've tripled our aid to central america, investing $750 million to help develop regional economies. at the same time, central american governments have
committed their own resources to reduce corruption, improve governance, lower crime and violence, and create jobs. that's the kind of mutual effort this crisis demands. meanwhile, colombia is on the brink of peace. under the framework that president obama and president santos announced, paz colombia the united states will provide more than $450 million to help reinforce security gains, advance justice for victims, and extend opportunity and the rule of law into areas denied them for decades. we're grateful to the cuban government for hosting the peace talks and we remain hopeful that an end to this conflict will mark the beginning of a new chapter of progress for colombia and the region. more broadly, we're stepping up our cooperation with regional partners to confront other
shared security threats, including disease such as the zika virus, along with brazil and colombia, we're researching how to mitigate the virus' effects. the united states and canada will deploy public health experts to countries facing outbreaks of zika or similar diseases. this work will also help to enhance public health and scientific capabilities in the americas and strengthen our ability to combat other mosquito borne diseases like dengue and others. and through our global health security agenda, will support partners across the region to better prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats before they become epidemics. finally, the united states will continue to stand strongly for democracy and human rights in the hemisphere. this is and always will be
central to our foreign policy, not only in the americas, of course, but around the world. that means free and fair elections, a free press, robust civil society, and an independent judiciary. it means government that's transparent and accountable to the people. it means respecting the universal human rights and dignity of every man, woman, and child. including the descendants of indigenous people and immigrants alike. no matter what they look like, no matter what their gender, no matter whom they love. our unwavering commitment to democracy and human rights will be plain when the president visits cuba. last week, i met with represents from civil society and human rights organizations, journalists, clergy, and young people.
some of them shared stories of living in cuba. others spoke of the aspirations of their family and friends who remain there. it was powerful and at times emotional. i assured them that human rights will indeed be a key part of our agenda in cuba and that this administration, not the cuban government, will determine which civil society leaders the president meets with. the message president obama will deliver, privately and publicly, is simple. we believe the cuban people, like people everywhere, are best served by genuine democracy. when they're free to choose their leaders, express their ideas, and practice their faith. so the united states will keep championing the human rights of all people, everywhere, including in cuba. in venezuela, we were heartened
that the recent legislative elections were well administered and relatively peaceful. and the results were initially respected. but we remain deeply concerned by the marginalization of the legislature and the jailing of dissenters. we aim to see a dialogue between the government and the opposition so that they can work to address the country's pressing needs, especially its ery serious economic challenges. across the americas, the united states will continue to support building those durable, accountable institutions upon which democracy grows and basic services demand. chile is reforming its lobbying laws. mexico is strengthening its judiciary. paraguay now hosts -- excuse me, now posts all government salaries online.
across brazil, citizens are raising their voices on behalf of principles that are at the core of democratic and just society, including rule of law, due process, and accountability. to navigate this challenging moment, brazilians must rely on the strength of their democratic institutions and their resilience as a people. throughout the region, through the open government artnership, we will keep this is the vision that has guided president obama for the past seven years. partnerships, rooted in mutual interests and mutual
respect. collaborations committed to expanding prosperity and opportunity. promoting our shared security and upholding democratic values and human rights. that's the vision the president will carry forward next week. in havana and buenos aires, we will be reminded that even more than our common interests, the peoples of the americas are united nearly one billion strong by shared values. we work together, study together, and protect our communities together. we see this most clearly in the 55 million hispanic americans who enrich and strengthen our nation, a major reason why we must continue working for a fair and functioning immigration system. from alaska to tierra del fuego, we are bound together by common hopes, by our dreams for
a better future for all of our children, a future where our sons and daughters can go to school without fearing the violence of drug traffickers. where young entrepreneur or farmer can have a shot at success. where a dissident can stand up and speak out free from persecution. this is our enduring vision. this is our solemn commitment. and as we seize this moment of promise for the americas, this is the future we aim to forge together. thank you all very much. [applause]
ï»¿>> ladies and gentlemen, we are extremely pleased to have senator sessions here with us today. fill out a questionnaire and we can learn everything about you. for those of you who don't know, february 28 you were the first senator to endorse mr. trump. on march 3, you became chairman of the foreign affairs advisory committee. we talked recently, i think it was two mondays ago, i said, it is important for these folks inside of the media to know what america is really like.
there are two things the elite say that might be of interest. when we talked about, which was peggy newman. she writes about the drum phenomenon. -- the trump phenomenon. we have the protected and the unprotected. the protected make public policy, the unprotected live with it. the unprotected are starting to push back, the protected by the confident, secure, and successful. they are protected from much of the roughness of the world. more to the point, they are protected from the world they created. that was peggy noonan. you are on a tight schedule, so i will turn it over to you. one thing you should know, and the reason the senator has to leave early, the secretary of defense will be testifying before his committee. and the defense is even more important than the accf. this is like cnn. after you leave, we will have a bunch of reporters sitting here. and we will give you unedited tapes. go for it. sen. sessions: thank you.
mark invited me, he is a great friend with some good programs. can you hear? is that all right? i have benefited from attending, thank you for that. well, how did we get here? how did all of this happen? let me tell you a little bit about the story and how i feel about it. after the last election, there was this shocking event for republicans. the kind of deal romney said we can't win with 47%, if we only have 47% we are going to lose. that was negative when it leaked out in the campaign. the geniuses who wanted to tell us how to win the next election, they said you have to be more moderate. i don't know why they invited e.
sen. sessions: the pollsters and politicians when around and i question that. it was a little bit tense. i questioned it, i did not feel good about it. people think you go from a spectrum of conservative to liberal and the people in the middle are moderate. they aren't moderate. these are decent people working every day. they can go vote for who they think is right. they are worried about their future and their children. a lot of them are angry and frustrated. a lot of them think we are a bunch of crooks and they don't like it, what is going on in washington. so how do you appeal to them to get over 50%? that is how you win elections. in that group, those primarily below $50,000 a year in income. in 2004, bush won the last big victory we had on the national
scale, proving it could be done. he split the $30,000-$50,000 a year worker evenly. romney lost the $30,000-$50,000 a year income by 15 points and under $30,000 by 28 points. hispanics, immigrants, nativeborn african-americans, that is where the election is being lost. somebody needs to be talking to them about their concerns. they are not concerned about somebody who would like to enter the country illegally. that is not on their mind. primarily, they are worried about their jobs, their safety, the future of their country. they are americans. they pull for america, not the global economy. we as elected officials, i guess it is my lawyer training,
but i am a trustee, folks. citizens are my people, who i hold my allegiance to. what helps them? so, that has kind of been the dispute. it has been bubbling and brewing and brewing and brewing. someone brought up the big amnesty bill. it was going to fix everything and make everybody love us and we were going to win elections 30 years from now. but i am primarily worried about the election in november, not 30 years from now. that is how this went down. i questioned the amnesty bill. i think we have proved conclusively that it did not do what he promised. it suggested it was going to
reduce immigration and end illegal immigration, but one expert said it doubles legal immigration, it increases legal immigration by at least 50%. that is not what the american people thought was happening in the legislation. we admit one million people a year. that is a lot. we have 700,000 people in the country on work visas. less than half of those are agricultural or seasonal bezos. we have 600,000 students who have been improperly given the right to work. 100,000 refugees, who can take any job. we give one million legal residence the remittance every year. we are very generous on immigration. by ending illegal immigration, you are somehow going to change the situation dramatically about how many people are in the country -- that is not true.
it is just not. get this. maybe somebody has a glass of water. that might help me. get this. from 2000 to 2014 -- i am just telling you the enormity of what is happening and why people aren't happy. we had 16.7 million nativeborn americans added to the country. from 2000 to 2014, they had ess jobs in 2014 than in 2000. immigrants added 5.7 million jobs. so, all new jobs through that more than a decade went to immigrants. wages are down. the workforce participation rate, despite the unemployment
ate, is the lowest in a 40 years. mark cammarano at cis testified yesterday that in 2000, 3/4 of americans in their working years were working. in 2015, only 2/3 were working. many were taking jobs in manufacturing. lower wage jobs with less benefits, less retirement. less health care quality. people are not happy of their. -- out there. we have to recognize this. so, they believe that immigration is impacting their ability to get a job. by the way, if you travel like i do, in alabama, the number of robotics that are being implemented throughout the manufacturing process is all over. it is huge.
that is also a factor in the fact that not that many jobs are being created. we can't stop robotics and computers that save labor, but it is just a fact. we are having a hard time finding jobs for our own people. the most knowledgeable and recognizable man in the world on immigration and wages and jobs, testified for the first time in a number of years. he has testified a number of times. yesterday before our subcommittee he said there is no doubt that a large flow of age immigrants into any sector of the economy pulls down wages. it is an absolute fact. how could it be otherwise? and if cammarano said, if there is a showing of lighter wages going up, instead of down. yesterday, it settled for ever
in my mind that there is any argument that flooding the labor market with extra labor does not bring down wages, but it does. people are worried about that. we have to talk about it. there is nothing wrong with discussing this. is it immoral? you can't discuss the interests of the american people when you consider what an immigration policy should be? they have reduced their immigration problem. that is a big part of it. i think people feel like, who is representing me? we had 30 years of promises to fix illegal immigration and to create a legal immigration system that is honest, fair, and the american people can be roud of. promise, promise, promise and what do we get? a bogus amnesty bill that makes
the situation worse. finally, the american people roze up and stopped. establishments on both sides met in a secret for months, wrote up this bill, read it like a political campaign, they spent over $1 billion, they had political consultants ramming it through, and not many of us opposed. it got stopped. do we want to listen to the people for a change? is that liberal, to say you want an immigration policy that is sustainable, that protects the interests of americans? shouldn't we have a policy based on the ability to be productive and two floors in america, -- be productive and flourish in america, not people we know are not going to be successful in america. i think that is a big issue. the other one is trade. i have supported all of these
trade agreements. i think i voted against one because it changed the immigration law. but i voted for cafta and the korean initiative. let's look at the korean deal. the promises always have been that the deals are going to be great for everybody. they will lift wages and help us export. good trade deals can do that. the koreans were good friends, our allies. i am proud of their achievements. so, president obama, when he signed it, he told the world that it would increase our exports to korea by $10 billion annually. at the time he signed it, we got the transcript of it. so, what happened?
we had no increase in exports to korea. their imports increased by $12 billion and our trade deficit since that time has increased 280%. does anybody care? does anybody go back and say, we are going to sue you for malpractice, for this misrepresentation? the american people are not happy about it. i never thought these trade deals were a good idea. they have been dubious about it. we knew the right thing and trade is always good. i believe the right way to think about it is, a trade agreement is a contract between two parties. and the contract, my daddy always taught me, should benefit both sides, not just one. and a good negotiator should be able to negotiate an agreement that serves your national
interests and if not, you don't sign it. it is just that simple. and this is what romney said in iowa eight years ago. i have never forgotten it and i think it is accurate in his abandonment of this position. it will probably cost him the election. he said, if you don't stand up to china, they will run over you. but, they say if you stand up to china, it will cause a trade war. but we are in a trade war, we're just not fighting. and then he said the key thing. and anyway, they have more to lose than we do. think about it. we have the leverage. they have to have our arket. the competitors we face around the world are not free market, but are mercantilist, they lost their access to the u.s. market. we should say to them, if you
don't buy our chickens, you are not getting access to our markets so we can buy some product from you. will of. we are not going to undermine the welfare of american manufacturing and american markers on some theory that the united states must sign any trade agreement around the whole world and make this whole thing wonderful and we are going to live in peace and harmony for forever. i am a conservative and i think from the american spectator's iew, it is a cast of mind, a way of approaching things. i am dubious about these processes. i am looking at these results and they are not so good. should we be listening to the american people for a change? is that liberal? are we going to be tougher, make sure it is lawful, and does not impede the ability of americans to find jobs?
i think that's the -- that has een a debate going on publicly and not so publicly within the republican congress for quite a long time now. and we have a contest. arguments are being tested out in the market. and who is going to the top and who is staying at the top? i think it validates, even more than i suspected, the hunger for the american people, for somebody that listens to them. we promised these trade agreements were going to be great. we promised we were going to fix immigration, but it has been 30 years and it has not happened. i think people have a right to be mad. all this is populism. i got an e-mail from former alabama justice. e said, jeff, they put him
populism, but there is nothing rong with honest populism. an honest defense of the rights of working americans represent a majority of the people that cast votes on election day. if you want to be elected, someone better be sure that they are talking to them and protecting their interests. so, i am just -- i think we're t a point where this is making itself felt in a way that hasn't been before. i can't predict how it will all turn out. there will be a lot of factors in the debate. that i think the debate has been transformed and it is probably legitimate that people face the question of, how are the american people doing? the average family is struggling. how can we make their lives better? you capital guys -- capitalists, you push a button and it goes to emerging markets, right?
if you are working at a plant in alabama that just closed, you just can't go to vietnam to chase that job or wherever you went. there are human beings here and representatives. we have to know we represent human beings. i won't go into detail, but i think it is really important. the concept of nationalism, as if that is somehow bad. in my view, the nationstate is not obsolete. europe is unable to function as an entity, really. it is incapable. you will sacrifice for denmark, and the u.k. may be, but who is willing to die for brussels?
this whole idea that we get into these international trade agreements -- give me a break. need to go into a transpacific union. if we want to do trade deals, they should be bilateral, and we should do those. we reached agreements with their partners, maybe some of the principles could be in any trade agreement we sign bilaterally, but i would go bilateral trade, and focus on that. >> you have to get out of here.
>> i have a hearing. thank you for letting me share that. i'm not an economist, i'm just looking at the data. i feel he can honestly be said we should pay more attention to andle who fight our wars create the next generation that will hopefully keep a strong. >> you said you would take a few questions. them.ing to get killed by theender sessions, i'm with wall street journal. you talked about your concerns about immigrants taking jobs away from americans. you talked about mr. trump's use workers at his resorts.
eight concerned about him using that program? >> he is pretty frank about it. he uses what the law lets them .se legal for agram was services.contract his the h-1byone thought program was set up to find certain talented workers. that was not so. remote beaches in high-cost areas probably do have seasonal problems. .e will not end seasonal work
i don't really see that as a big problem. he said he will and the h-1b program. i want three bills. you could say you are going to end it and start over, but i think we will always have a program that allows seasonal workers and always have a limited number of high skilled workers. you cannot say, i will offer year salary, and i cannot find a worker. ket should work. you can flood it with enough labor where it can't work. >> "usa today."
>> some of it sounds like the outcome of a 20 year process of globalization. ,hether joining the wto, nafta there trade deals. to think it is time for us to extract ourselves from the global nations, any of these global management structures. >> no. i'm never said we should get out of the u.n. i'm not prepared to say we should get out of wto. erode aa road -- you power that the united states has. this is my view. our trading partners, specific, probably even more than europe, are smaller countries, for the most part. they are very nationalistic. they create national policies .esigned to exploit
.ou see china you can invest in this great usket, but you have to give the technology. they steal arctic allergy, and it starts getting spread around. i think the united states should be more willing to send itself, and it has the leverage to push back. we have gone very far. i don't see us retreating significantly on trade. believe -- i have said, and i think candidates should say, we will not lose a single job in as a result of trade.
current see is huge. we had a fight over that. there was a battle over tightening controls on currency abuse. it was always resisted. we had to show vote -- a show vote in the past. if the tpp is signed, it will not have currency control. as with said -- was said years ago, our currency can wipe out in a few minutes the fx of a trade give it -- trade agreement that took years to negotiate. great about one more, the associate editor of "the washington post." as mark said, you are the head of mr. trump's national security team.
he said yesterday that he largely depends on himself to form it has foreign and national security policies. could you tell us if it is important to you, at this point in the election, to put together a team of experts, and where you are in that process, which mr. trump has said it will be a couple of weeks, but he has been saying that for a long time. trump's instincts, i think wise.een proven i supported bush. iraq, afghanistan. i believed in that, and state firm. think obama did, i made a mistake of monumental proportions by not maintaining a
base in iraq. an unmitigateds disaster. however, he did say early on in the process he did not think iraq was good. yourself.dge for he opposed libya. i think he was totally right on that. syriaosed the question in . i think he has been right on that. i think his emphasis on a more pragmatic foreign policy is good. i think an argument can be made that there is no reason for the to havetates and russia a logjam. we are to be able to break the logjam. it should not be justified for either country. may not work.
i don't tonight his instincts that we ought to attempt to do that. i think you would have a foreign policy that, when we identify an enemy, he would move and would be more reluctant to see us enmeshed in conflict around the world for which there is no real and insight. we can topple the government. that is one thing we have learned. what do you do after that. libya, you know. be half a million people in north africa wanting to come to the united states. humanitarian disaster. homes. was building that was stopped. humanitarian disaster. go, saidassad has to
the president. i think, in honesty, you could say that is a refugee crisis that assad and his brutality has caused, and may not have been so bad if we had shown more restraint. i don't think this is a trigger happy guy. i'm talking to a lot of good people. i will be talking to mr. trump to try to make sure that i share with them honestly a lot of these private conversations indoes anyone know who is
john kasich advisory team? or ted cruz, for that matter. godspeed, and make sure we get our money's worth from the defense department. [applause] >> thank you, again, senator sessions. this is the kickoff of something all my colleagues are excited about. that is our 2016 presidential election project. we have six former democratic members and six former republican members. this is just the beginning. what i thought i would do, when i found out yesterday, about the secretary defends having to meet with senator sessions, i thought we would try to do a cnn type of thing.
we have cameras hear from , andn, some journalists maybe if they want to share some of their views on what was said. don't have to. in terms of background, we are lucky, we have about 10 prominent journalists here, i think about a countries represented -- the republic of south africa, the republic of the three and it -- between louthawania, egypt. what we can do, it why don't you you want tod if comment. if not, we will entertain questions. do any of the journalist -- any of the journalists want to
comment? >> i will give you one. i sent myself this e-mail because i got a tweet yesterday that was interesting to me. the way the senator describes the populist movement is different from populous people i hear from described the movement. said, ieeted to me who voted for trump because we need a nutcase to get rid of the car salesman who has been lying to us all these years. tohink it is assisting tway describe the populist seal, and some way, describes better the motivation. >> anyone else want to wait and? nobody? some of you may have heard of charles murray, a renowned
political scientist. he said, trumpim is the voice working-classered , jobs and a higher standard of living for all americans, but, for someone living in a town with a big factory shutdown and , angers moved to china and frustration are rational. let me make clear, i'm not a supporter of any one candidate, but there are anxieties being demonstrated out here, and what next? does anyone want to weigh in? >> from the audience? >> yet.
ini'm a trained lawyer washington. i can remember campaigning for 04.n kerry in 20 hearing people say, they are shipping our jobs to asia and her children to iraq. i think that captured some of the frustration in the american people, and what they see has happened here. at that the senator really captured a lot of that in his remarks to the group today. >> anybody else? -- it was brought
up by the media that trump hired foreign immigrant workers to do part-time work. trump knowledge that there are jobs that americans don't want. the question i was have is wiser so much of a focus on stopping immigration when economics has taught us that immigrants are going to come here. upcoming onith the miss a shot of jobs, i don't understand why we don't focus more on specializing our own workers of the immigrants can't take our jobs and machines cap necessarily take jobs from american people. in -- wewant to wait igh in?
>> the notion of the 7 billion people outside our borders, and 80% of them make less than a , we could takent a billion of them, and not be like the rest. there is a balance somewhere that we are talking about. what arehe notion is we helped by flooding the country with vast numbers of people. automation, it does not help us to add more people while we automate. >> we have a distinguished journalist from a very well
known conservative magazine who .as had some issues with trump if he or she wants to comment they can, if not, they need not. i have two pending pieces. trump's past to the white house. it is through mccone county. >> michigan. >> you know what happens there? it was home of the reagan democrats. this is one of the most studies counties in american political history. for reagan. i looked at the numbers. county, it is an open primary.
you had a tremendous increase in turnout and a tremendous reawakening of what might be the reagan democrats. i'm just making one comment -- is someone here from npr? about perhaps getting some reagan democrats but losing npr republicans. thing, i wentm back, and looked at populism. it is right-wing populism and left-wing populism. as a matter fact, they characterize trump as a right-wing populist. then, you have huey long as a left-wing populist. , asonly concern i do have far as i can tell, populism is not an economic theory.
that impression has been the movement we are seeing is not an economic theory at the grassroots. to some degree, ross perot was more of an economic theory, the giant sucking sound. this one seems a little less focused on any economic theory. it seems to be, as the said it ,as alluding to, a lot of males particularly white males, who are concerned about their place in the economic structure and social structure in the world. there is a sense that somehow their place in the country has been eroding, and the country's place in the world has been eroding. those are both frightening things. >> we do have some individuals from foreign embassies here.
we also have at least one foreign journalist here. when i talked with him late yesterday evening, i think foreign observers, whether they be from embassies or journalists , are intrigued with what is going on, and comparing it to what is going on in europe. if this individual would like to be comment, i would be so happy. could you identify yourself. >> i'm here for the german business daily. if we want to say one thing i have noticed covering the primaries -- germans are always seen as specialists on a ngst -- whenever i go to the rallies, when you identify yourself as germany, the people , they'll talk about
the refugee crisis. it is interesting because when you talk to german officials, they are much more optimistic. they recognize the problem that happened on new year's eve, but say they have made great progress so far in processing seekers.m i think it is interesting because it is the can-do attitude that germans usually associate with the u.s. now, it is basically turned around. angst here. merkel lost to the right wing. party.as her
>> i think there is a real reaction going gone in germany. in the most conservative part of the country, a green candidate won the most votes. he is pro-immigration. to say there is a huge backlash because of that is true, but also not the whole picture. there is still a big majority of the country saying it was right, what she did, and she is being credited. her numbers are going up again at the polls. one terror attack will change everything. >> other comments, suggestions. you can identify yourself, if you like, you don't have to. >> i'm from the egypt embassy.
i want to raise an issue. all the nominees from the ,epublican or democratic party touched on in their debates the keeping theeen leaders in the will used, or forcing them to step down, and creating a vacuum. this is a big dilemma. republicans, through the way of keeping the leader, will keep more stable institutions. democratic people say we cannot accept this kind of bandleader, and we should push them to step down. the problem now is both sides
skip one important issue. aspiration of the people in the middle east to live a better future. now we have a political vacuum in four or five countries. the beer, syria, yemen, iraq. found some countries terrorist activities. we havee discovered good terrorists and bad terrorists. in syria, for example, isil, bad canwegovernor most most of negotiate with them.
probably comments on thay. i do want to say one thin. the is, if you talk about rise of populism, it is on the left and the right. there is another thing i am toying with. you have an avid socialist running in an avid capitalists running. what do they have in common? for is the american council capital formation. an attack on capital. intriguingticularly is young people's attitudes towards that. newman who was an adviser for president reagan, and beasley said, these young kids just don't know anything about socialism or capitalism, be educated ono
the merits of both. on the other side, you have -- on the center-right -- you have an advisor to bill clinton, expressing the same sort of economicabout basic education in this country. it is not a boring time. i want to thank you for coming. i'm sorry. >> i am from the chinese embassy. i think i really am impressed by what the senator said. i have several points. is -- , first of all, he i really understand the points that he is advocating. immigration, trade, and other issues related to u.s. national interest. are correct, from
the american point of view. the issue is what approach you have, or those issues relating to other countries. he mentioned about china, the war. the trade war is there. the issue is we are not fighting the war. i think there are several choices. the second approach is you not only considered the u.s. interest, but think of the issues of other countries combined. the second one will be if you take the second approach, it .ill impact other countries the first one is simple. you just take into consideration the u.s. interest, and it will certainly impact other countries.
secondly, talking about trump, it is a time that everybody has changed. many people have changed their mind, compared with several ago.s they were taking this candidate into serious consideration, but now they are taking him seriously. they think that many of the issues that he expresses are correct, targeting against some of the interests of the american ak.ple, especially the wee from sessions, and understand how the american people understand the issues. i really appreciate senator
that we are not going to leave. we would rather be in, then out. you leave the groups, which the say you created risk. >> i think you. this is one of the things we want to pursue. we have our vice president who is in charge of our 2016 election project. we have been through 10 elections. we have interacted with the economic advisers of many of the candidates. we are looking for ideas.
obviously, what is going on in the u.s. election has impact abroad. if any of the diplomats want to come together with some ideas on the election and the ramifications, we would be very interested. thank you. your suggestions are always welcome. it is a busy time for everybody. we appreciate you taking the time to be with us today. [applause]
>> coming up today on "washington journal," melanie talks about a report on the state of black women. then, an update into hillary 's e-mails.ale "washington journal" is live every morning at 7:00 eastern. you can join with your calls and comments on facebook and twitter. defense secretary ashton carter sits down with politico today to national security. we will bring you that live at 8:00 eastern on c-span two. later, we discussed israel's influence in the united states live in 9:00, also on c-span
two. c-span weekend, the cities tour takes you to montgomery, alabama to look at the city's history and literary culture. house that wasa a turning point. grouping -- a regrouping stage. it was not the place where you would find domestic activities, if you will. it was the sort of place where they were going to be planning their next move. >> on american history tv. >> what happens in the 1958 campaign, smallest tries to campaign for the poor and
, andng-class alabamians gets the support of the naacp. unfortunate, he loses by a totty significant margin john patterson. he completely is devastated by this loss. all he wants to be is governor, and he is really upset by this loss. when people ask him what the take away from the 1950 campaign tried to talk about progressive improvements, good roads, good schools, and no one would listen. started talking about segregation, everyone stopped and listened. >> watch the toward saturday. tour, workingy's
with our cable affiliates, and visiting cities across the country. >> harry reid tied the rise of republicanp to the leadership. the center come at for american progress in washington, d.c. started>> good morning, and ha. patrick's day. just before president obama inauguration, there was i think it sums up
have senator ree herid to discuss the topics and many more . senator reid has been an incredible champion for the american people, working to help all americans on almost every issue that i have worked on in the last several decades. citing his heart out to keep immigrant families together, protecting our environment for future generations. he has been incredible for all of us. i'm really honored to have him here talk about what is happening with the american electorate, what is happening to our politics, where the republican party is going, and what democrats can do about it. please join me in welcoming senator harry reid. [applause]
public reid: i want to lee recognized john podesta. manve such respect for this who could have gone out to the private sector and make a fortune. that is not what he decided to do. thank you for inviting me to be here today. many americans are scratching their heads about donald trump. i know i have on more than one occasion. most of us cannot fathom how he
rose so far and so fast. his rhetoric is embarrassing, his proposals are dangerous. the republican establishment asked bewildered, but they should not be bewildered. republican leaders are responsible for his rise. for eight years, they have drained all the oxygen from this country by replacing thoughtful reflection with resentment and hatred. a full month before they knew , republicans already pledged to block him or her. this is the kind of mindless behavior that has hollowed out our debate, and created the conditions for trump to rise.
donald trump has simply struck the match. recall where our nation stood at the end of 2008. president bush was on the way out of the office. president obama came into office .ith a broad mandate republicans were looking to the leaders to bring them together. sadly, leaders chose an opposite .ath republican leaders chose obstruction. the night of president obama's first a navigation, a group of plot aists meant to
strategy. for us, to do everything they could to prevent president obama from being reelected, and second, from achieving any of his policy priorities. this is the line. the economic hardships that americans face could not be faced. again and again, they said that they would oppose any policy, simply because it came from president obama. the supreme court overwhelmingly , and the senate,
with a large boat, appointed .im, and approved him the supreme court did it in 19 a seven. here is what senator hatch said. ". i know merrick garland very well, here's supported by -- he is supported by all sides. republicans are slamming the door on a good man, simply because president obama nominated him. that is how they treated him over the entire presidency. going on 7.5 years. theid not matter where ideas came from, or if they came from republicans. repeated the big lie
over and over in big ways. they said, whatever president obama proposes, even if it is a republican idea, he cannot help you, and will hurt you. look at the affordable care act. 2008, the centerpiece we formed is the individual mandate. where did that come from? the conservator foundation. however, it suddenly became socialism in their eyes. ideas originated with republicans. nearly all of them had previously enjoyed bipartisan support, but one by one, they were rejected by republican leaders who repeated the big lie, if president obama supports it, it won't help you.
the list is long. , investment,eform issue after issue. republicans faced a choice. help the american people, or stick it to president obama. time, they chose to stick it to president obama instead of helping their own constituents. student loans, immigration reform. automobile bailouts. all of these policies used enjoy bipartisan support. republican leaders kept time, they chose to stick it to president obama insteadrepeating the big lie. if president obama supports it, it won't help you. lie, repeating this one got republicans deeper and it.er into
they started denying science, or any research that supported democratic policies. change.example, climate in the face of consensus worldwide, republicans say they don't believe in science. preventing gun violence is another example. in the wake of an epidemic of the shootings, republicans reject common sense solutions like background checks. they claim that more guns is the answer. republican leaders even put a cts above the state of the economy. they claim that the unemployment rate is greater now than when president obama. .his is sad millionsns are telling
of americans that president obama has been a disaster for the economy. facts werenother, as oneown, tossed aside big light. instead of engaging on policy, republicans of the told americans there was nothing to be done. what did they create? resentment. radical groups like the tea party florist was dark money from the koch brothers. their ideologies and objectives very, but they all have one thing in common. hatred of president obama, who they considered an illegitimate president.
casual observer can see -- the resentment and hatred took three mean forms. fear mongering against muslims. hatred against latinos. byse forces were incubated republican leaders for the past eight years. attempt tocognizable clear president obama as illegitimate is the birther movement. when a website asked, where is the birth certificate? before long, more and more werervative outlets w discussing this theory.
who was the most prominent american behind the birther movement? donald trump. i find it ironic that mitt romney is talking against donald trump. trump's for endorsement. but her more insidious, say obvious attempt to sayident obama was president obama was illegitimate -- from my colleague mitch mcconnell. "before the health care fight, before the economics in this package, before president obama even took office, senator mitch mcconnell had a strategy for his , to slow things down, take advantage of difficulties democrats would have in
governing, and denies support on any legislation. has faced in history the number of filibusters the president obama has faced. despite the fact that the full buses were launched against things that republicans that were a good idea. thatg the first six years lbj served as majority leader, he had overcome one or two. in my six years, hundreds. message thatible is unprecedented is this president, his ideas are illegitimate. style was forged
by the senate republican congress. we're seeing a play out before very eyes in the debate over the supreme court. donald trump said, republicans .ust delay he did not know who the nominee would be, yet, republicans were already resolved to undermine president obama again. wondersor mcconnell from where donald trump came, he should take a look in the m irror.
the republicans anti-muslim movement is another force that .parked donald trump convincee efforts to the people that president obama .as a secret muslim leaders did nothing to responsibly address the anti-muslim hate coming from their party. reaction,se of their they are reaping donald trump's candidacy. the republican party's anti-latino, anti-immigrant, underbelly is the best example of how they have abandoned
thoughtful policy for fear. the thousand has allowed for to develop sentiment . republican leaders said nothing as mitt romney urged the policy of self deportation, as jeb bush did for anchor babies, and marco rubio for deporting the dreamers . deportnt to round up and 11 million immigrants. republicans have made it a crime for latinos to walk outside without the immigration papers.
thisad of stepping out hatred, reluctantly leaders adopted this as part of their platform. republican count on hate with substantive policy. on an senate, they work immigration bill, but speaker boehner perfused to allow a vote. to this day, i have said, had speaker boehner given it a vote, it would have passed overwhelmingly. to his credit, president obama saw inertia. the republican response was both alarming and disappointing. ted cruz and others tried to force a shutdown of the department of homeland security. all the time, donald trump was watching. he saw a rampant extremism condone by republican leaders,
or powerlesswardly to do anything. the republican party has come, without question, the party of trump. question before us now is this. respond?d america for conservatives, the answer is simple, withdraw their support from trump, and do it now. they have tried to have it both , giving him a slap on the wrist, but deciding to support him at the end of the day. g -- why rs of
are there waiting to withdraw their support? donald trump has made sexist comments and insulted veterans and people with disabilities. violence is being committed against african-americans. there is no gray area here. it is time for someone to find the backbone to say, enough. if you think his demagogy is wrong, you should not support him. "make americat on great again" has and stand next to donald trump at his next rally. how should progressives respond? ,e should double down on ideas
and we must challenge him boldly . we should do it now. we must continue to be the agents of change. the bigd remember that lie is just that, a big lie. the truth is, progressive policies can and will help the american people. requiring employees to require paid sick leave will make our businesses stronger. affordableege more will bring matters of opportunity. raising the minimum wage will put more money in the pockets of workers. fixing the roads and bridges will create jobs. for every $1 billion we invest in infrastructure, 47 high-paying jobs are created, and other low-paying jobs spin
off from that. ensuring american women are fairly compensated -- if they do the work that men do, they should be paid the same. we should restore the american people's faith in the democratic process. we do that by getting the dark money out of our political system. we also have to take a hard look at the government and doing everything we can. where there is gridlock, we should break it. this is what the democrats did with the nuclear option, when we broke a logjam of historic proportion' our guiding principles should be responding to the needs of
hard-working americans. if our government institutions have outgrown certain norms we should meet the needs of the modern air averha and get involved with public service. and only the best people we are committed and living real results for real people. most of all, we should resist the urge to water down or run away from our policy solutions. resist the urge to move to the right. a few months ago i met with the new governor of louisiana. i asked the governor-elect a few questions. i asked him how he survived down there. he said if i supported obamacare, i just said yes. if you are progressive and get over your principles, then and this is a direct quote, people just don't think you are a liberal, they think you are a liar. so let's be proud of who we are.
and let's not be shy. democratic policies for the last seven years created 14 million jobs and dropped unemployment to 5% and 20 million americans get health care. today there are more jobs and clean energy than there are jobs in the coal mines. trump says he wants to make america great. which america does he want to take us back, the time before african-americans before civil rights or before women had the right to vote or before child labor laws, maybe he wants to go back before the time of medicare or social security or the national labor relations act or the clean air act. we only have one america that's already great. we know what needs to be done. if trump's anger with our ideas, we will win and we wilt trump,
-- and the power of ideas will trump, trump. \[applause] host: thank you so much for those remarks on a whole range of topics. we'll have questions and we'll have questions from the audience. thanks for being here. >> we have a lot of time because we do nothing in the senate. host: i wanted to ask you one particular question about the supreme court nomination process. mitch mcconnell, he said yesterday, yesterday or this morning that he just wants to let the public decide about the confirmation of the justice. what is your response?
reid: i'm reaching into my hip pocket here. here's what he said yesterday. this is a quote, this is what it's all about. the reporter said if your goal is to allow people to have input into the supreme court nomination, why not hold hearings on garland? here is what he said. yeah, that's not the goal. the goal is to let the american people pick the next president who will make the decision. this is what it is all about to them, i guess, about the presidential election. we have done this since 1900 we have picked six supreme court justices in a lame duck session of a presidency. this country waited for 18 months and the court locked at a 4-4 tie is unfair to the country and litigants.
a lot of these people waited decades to get there and now they'll have to wait another few decades. it's awful what they have done. host: we did a report that tens of millions of americans that would be stuck so long from immigration cases, women rights cases, not just a handful of people and litigants but has impact on everyone. just to follow up on that, where do you see the debate going on the supreme court? we have heard that some republican senators will actually meet with the nominee.
mcconnell was really threatening his majority in taking this position. why do you think he is doing what he is doing? senator reid: the republicans are doing this led by mcconnell to satisfy these very loud, rich, right-wing people. i think that's what they want to do. this is a big issue with them. i can't imagine how this is going to help the republicans who are running for the senate to have the gall with a straight face to say we refuse to meet with this person no matter who it is, we aren't going to hold hearings, not going to have a vote. it's hard for me -- i don't know who came up with this and they did it quickly. scalia -- had just died i mean within hours. host: what impact do you see a nomination is increasingly to
have on the senate landscape? senator reid: well, he may be right because if he is elected, they will build a wall to keep us from going into mexico. they'll be happy to do that. host: do you see him having an impact on the senate races? senator reid: i don't know how anyone, some of these people are running for re-election, portman, roy blunt -- i don't know how these people can run and say i'm supporting this guy for president. you can't run away from it.
he's the nominee. i don't know if it gets much better with cruz. host: your main focus was on donald trump. what are your thoughts about ted cruz? senator reid: here's what i said about ted cruz. as i have been in public service, jim demint, i disagreed with him on everything politically, but i always appreciated jim demint, he told everybody how he felt. it was no surprise. he wrote a book what he wanted to be and i have to say this about cruz, he at least has some
principles. i don't like what he stands for but he stands for something. very little which i agree with. i'm not as turned off by cruz. trump stands for nothing. and that's for rubio. he didn't stand for anything. host: you really lay out the level of obstruction and the connection between the obstruction and the rise of trump. do you expect that people that the republicans -- do you hear of any republicans re-evaluating this stance. is there a chance that november if democrats win the white house and take the senate, we could see some reevaluation? senator reid: i see people writing books about the senate and leadership. how about the things being done to correct the senate.
i had a nice conversation with tom daschle this week. tom has a recent leader and has no idea what has happened. this is unbelievable and i said and it's true. they filibuster things they wanted to get done just to stall for time. they have to file it, two days and may have to have a vote and then have a vote and 30 hours wasted and only on the legislation then and have to get off of it and closure again, few more days, vote, 30 more hours, unbelievable the time we have wasted. people do not understand the ends to which they have gone to stop obama progress for our country. host: do you think -- if you
have a trump candidacy that is very ineffective, do you think we could get -- we might have the hope we could return to a period of even in 15 years ago where -- 10 years ago, nine years ago, there was filibusters occasionally but not the unprecedented filibusters we are dealing with now. i lament not having people like
that to work with in that regard including trent lott. aware of what he has been a part of to allow people like donald trump to be around. because of what they have done, there is tremendous concern by the american people. they think the system is broken and if it continues, it is broken. i have hope the next congress can do better. but it will only come about to return to college yalt and so we -- a return to collegiality. and so we can get things done. right now, republicans have chosen of not getting anything done and that can't continue. host: do you think there is a place for moderates in the republican party today?
senator reid: primaries in a lot of them and moderates used to go to but the moderates 100th birthday of ed roy ball and he said i'm going to start a hispanic caucus. and tip said to him, in the phone booth. there better be a small booth. and the reason we were able to get a few things with all their obstruction in the first congress -- got a lot done -- first congress. it was the best ever. and we had people to work with. susan collins, olympia snow and
arlen specter. we had 57, 58, 59 for a short time. 60. but kennedy was sick. moderates then were more than they are now. you have to search hard. susan collins and i don't know who else you would say is a moderate. host: thank you for your comments. we have questions. identify yourself. senator reid: once they identify themselves can we reject the question? host: you will do whatever you want. reporter: in 2013 you broke the logjam that was for the court and there is a filibuster, do
you regret not doing that for the supreme court nominee and seeing there is a new precedent. looks like there will be a higher bar. do you think the nuclear option or change of rules? senator reid: i did that on purpose. i looked back on my experience. for example. clarence thomas, if you look back -- a lot of support for him. and i decided to whole the story and i will be quick. i called home to see how the kids were doing and talked to my wife. 5:00, 6:00 in the evening. somebody i don't want to vote for. she said why are you going to vote for him? she's right. why am i go go to vote for clarence thomas.
i called my counterpart in nevada and said i'm not going to vote for thomas. he said come on over. we both didn't vote for him. thomas got 52 votes. there was not a suggestion or whisper in our conference we would vote against him. remember, if you look -- we have people who -- him as an example who didn't get the majority of votes in the judiciary committee. they still brought him to the floor. same with bork. we brought him to the floor. so i say the supermajority supreme court on purpose. the return of those days where we do is the right thing. are we a better country?
i shouldn't answer my own question if we filibustered thomas. the time was right. reporter: senator reid you said you think senator mcconnell is going to cave on the supreme court. several report republicans said they would be open to considering the nomination after the election in the event that a democrat wins. is that what -- most likely option for this caving? senator reid: describe the caveg caving we feel
appropriate. here's how i feel about it. it has already started and this may not sound like a great break through but a significant number of republican senators said they will meet with him. maybe they will be brow beaten by the leadership. but i think that's a break-through. a break-through they will sit down and talk to this good man. that's a break-through. we shouldn't cut any slack to anybody -- i think we should do it now. it is unfair to have this man treated differently than anybody else. let's have the hearing. let's have him come to the senate floor and have a debate that the american people can watch on the committee and on the floor. [indiscernible question] senator reid: of course, it's possible. i think it sets a precedent for the country. reporter: i'm a federal employee.
everybody keeps talking about -- senator reid: where do you work? >> federal relations -- everybody talks about the court seat being vacant for a year -- senator reid: more than that. >> the reality is that the new president would be coming in who are will have hundreds and hundreds of cabinet appointments and sub-cabinet appointments to make and every time a new president comes in there is a huge backlog. if you add a supreme court nominee it could go a year and a will half or two years or block nominations. while senator reid: your experience working with federal bureaucracy is very important to this issue we have before us. another thing that has happened,
we have had scores and scores of nominations that have been held up. i mean -- it's really hard to comprehend ambassadors, they held up -- they even held up the foreign service officers, the most nonpolitical people in the world and all they had to do under the statute is pass -- approve their pay raise. these are people that work on some of the most remote, difficult places in the world and they have held up their pay raises. i say to this man he is absolutely right. we already have so many people that should be working with in the federal government -- a lot of them quit and go back to their regular jobs. your point is very well taken.
>> i'm with ivy capital. last week there was a press conference with the prime minister of canada, mr. trudeau. and president obama at that point said -- was talking about negotiations and he said at times, you only get about 60% of what you like and if you get 60% of what you like, you sort of hold your nose but the other party holds their nose as well, but you get a negotiation out of it. i'm kind of curious rather than
creating this adversarial type of approach, if you could take a step, cross the rubicon by having an issue -- let's say leader mcconnell specifically wants and negotiate with him with respect to that particular issue, such as standing back from guantanamo bay, for instance. giving that particular issue, let's say to him, with respect to the agreement that -- senator reid: here's the problem we have. kind of living in the past. that's how they used to do things. my first 30 years in congress, that's how we did things. legislation is the art of compromise. i have been fortunate on a number of things that's not the law. i never the
got things. compromise. and that's the way the legislative process works. the problem is we don't have anybody to negotiate with. i didn't say it to be funny, they filibustered for things they wanted. host: i mean something we have done here a great deal, infrastructure. hundreds of republicans supported an infrastructure bill in 2007 and 2008 and 2009 couldn't get that same precise bill again and all that changed with a different president. senator reid: we lost a million teachers, police officers and firefighters in the first year of the meltdown. so an amendment was offered on the senate floor saying let's get all those people back. great for the economy and safety of this country and here's how we are going to pay for it. anyone who makes more than $1
million a year will pay a tax of 2/10 of 1%. the rich people didn't care. every republican voted against it. this was clearly to help their constituents. i have been granted lately being been branded lately being a guy -- i ran the floor for six years for daschle, i did the floor. he did the political stuff. i did the floor. that's how i got to know trent lott so well. i was in and i took care of the republicans. if there was a unanimous consent request, democrats got something, and republicans got something. and i was well liked by the republicans because i will protected them. there is no one to work with anymore. they are afraid.
they are afraid. what they'll do is democrat and republican will introduce a bill knowing it's not going to go anywhere. host: one last question. >> i wanted to see how concerned are you that democratic turnout in the presidential primary has been lower than republican turnout. you talked about doubling down on ideas, but how does that translate into votes? senator reid: it's something we can't ignore. but most pundits and political science believes that the massive turnouts have been as a result of the rivalry within the republican party. with the democrats we had this thing going with hillary and bernie for a long time, but it was a love fest.
criticize each other. last month or so had a little back and forth. so there wasn't much interest in the democrats versus republicans. i think donald trump has brought people out that never voted before. and i think this should be a concern to the american people. host: thank you so much for your remarks today. thank you for being here and thanks for taking questions and grateful that you do every day on the issues that matter so much to progressives and all americans. \[applause] \[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] \[captioning performed by national captioning institute]
ca carter's assistant with politico today to discuss defense policy and national security curry we will bring that you live at 8:00 a.m. eastern on c-span two. onwill join a discussion israel's includes in the united states. posted by the american international trust and the institute for research. live at 9:00 a.m. eastern also on c-span2. is vestedreme court with outside the amount of
power. without power comes greater responsibility with the idea that your individuals sitting on the court, unfettered fourth 35 years does not pass the smell test when it comes to a modern democracy. >> sunday night, on q&a, it a brought talks about changes you would like to see at the supreme oral including opening up arguments to cameras, imposing term limits and requiring them to hear -- to adhere to the same code of ethics that other officials have to. 10-15 years, the third branch of government has become so powerful. issues on voting and marriage and health care and immigration and women's rights, pregnancy discrimination, i could go on and on. these issues that 20 years ago, congress and the executive branch would come together and figure out a compromise.
that does not happen anymore. the buck stops with the supreme court and i think that is unprecedented in our history. they're making very impactful decisions on our lives. it p.m.y night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. every weekend, on american history tv on c-span3, feature programs that tell the american story. some of the highlights for this week include saturday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on lectures in history. david o'connell discusses presidential legacies and the factors that can tribute to a successful presidential term. at 10:00 p.m., on real america come in september of 1963, two months before his death, president kennedy traveled torontohe united states
conservation of natural resources for future generations. sunday morning at 10:00, a 1984 democratic debate in atlanta includes former ice president walter mondale, senators gary hart of colorado and the senator from ohio and george mcgovern as well as the reverend jesse jackson. for the complete weekend schedule, go to c-span.org. up, live today on c-span, washington journal is next. at 10:00 a.m. eastern come cornell brooks speaking at the national press club about the criminal justice system. at noon eastern, a discussion about genocide committed i isis against religious minorities in iraq and syria. coming up in 45 minutes, melody campbell of the national coalition on black civic participation talks about the report on the state of black women. at 8:30 a.m., and update on the
investigation for the district of columbia. be blunt, this was a failure of government at all levels. local, state, and federal officials. we all fail the families of flint. ♪ host: that was michigan governor rick snyder yesterday at the governmental affairs meeting. lots of finger pointing a conflict water crisis. morningd your read this on the washington journal about what is going on, what you read about it. what you think may be responsible. 202 is the area code. (202) 737-0001 four democrats, (202) 737-0002 four