Skip to main content

tv   U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business  CSPAN  May 16, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

2:00 pm
around the country by business leaders, politicians and white house officials. on c-span. >> and live coverage here on c-span from the floor of the house, meeting for legislative business at 4:00 eastern debating nine bills, including one dealing with the i.r.s. and identity theft. and tomorrow, work beginning on defense department programs and policy for the next fiscal year. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
2:01 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. haplain conroy: let us pray. merciful god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. in you, lord, is found the fullness of life and love. it is why the human heart always longs for more. we seek you, lord, sometimes without knowing it. people within our borders, within this chamber, pray for our nation. others around the world pray for the united states of america as well. so many see our potential for good, for doing the right thing, and the search for justice and peace. answer the longing of your people, lord, draw closer to us. help the members of the people's house to realize the
2:02 pm
promise you have placed within hem, not by words alone but by actions, help them as those of your choosing to be people of promise, who give you glory in their service to the nation. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory. amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from michigan, mr. kildee. mr. kildee: i ask all present to please join us in the pledge. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests
2:03 pm
for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman seek unanimous consent? >> yes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. pitts: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, today i want to recognize langster general health medicine for being a finalist in the 2015 mcgaw prize for excellence in community service. they were the only pennsylvania health system to be recognized for this honor they were singled out for its work on community programs for the chronically ill, amish community and other issues. recently they launched an effort called lighten up lancaster. for the amish lanster general offers a special free immunization program for children in rural areas. the hospital health system association of pennsylvania aid, quote, lghpenn medicine
2:04 pm
has fully recognized a relationship with the communities are the key to improving health and wellness. it is well deserving of this recognition. they used the prize money to pay for technology to track and coordinate its social services. congratulations, lan can caster general health and medicine. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? mr. kildee: i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from michigan is recognized for one minutes. mr. kildee: thank you, mr. speaker. my hometown of flint is still facing a crisis. 100,000 people still cannot turn on their taps and have access to safe drinking water. this congress faces a multitude of public health crises. zika, the opioid epidemic, but congress must also act to do its job on flint to aid the people that i represent.
2:05 pm
of my hometown. that are still suffering, still cannot drink the water coming out of a tap. 100,000 people. this is a disaster. it's a crisis that demands congress to act. congress should do its job. immediately take up the families of flint act, legislation that i have introduced that has over 150 co-sponsors. 150 members of this body co-sponsoring legislation that would replace those damaged lead service lines, provide public health service, wrap around services, especially for children who can overcome the impact of lead exposure, but just need help in order to do so. families in flint have waited too long. congress has to do its job and act on the flint crisis w that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to sclause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until approximately 4:00 p.m. today.
2:06 pm
we're working on ledge thration shah we've already passed. we're going to see the s.e.c. free up more spectrum. which can enable these des to
2:07 pm
be built, to be used, to communicate. we're on the run. putting in the legislation, encouraging those states to start to look at how do you build a road of the future, dealing with the companies that are here today, what do you need for technology to work even better? >> from the very first generation that we launched almost a decade ago, our focus has been on making your device, as useful as possible in the car, in a way that lets you keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. and for us that's always been about voice technology. >> ford understands that there is great demand for more spectrum for unlicensed use. so we are working with our colleagues to come up with a sharing solution in the 5.9 band. we're working with our colleagues at the department of transportation, and most importantly the federal communications commission. >> watch the communicators tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2.
2:08 pm
>> cspan.org is a video-rich compliment to your c-span videoing. most of our government-related programs, like the house, senate and congressional hearings, stream live on the site. so if you're away from your television, you can watch on your desk top, laptop, even your smartphone or tablet. and c-span archives, all of its programs online, in the c-span video library. so if you miss an episode of "washington journal," book tv, or any program, you can find it online and watch at your convenience. in fact, the c-span video library contains more than 200,000 hours of c-span programs. and its powerful search engine helps you finds and watch programs going back many years. to watch on your television, c-span publishes its onair schedule for all three networks and its radio station. just click on the schedule link. cspan.org is a public service of your cable or satellite provider. so if you're a c-span watcher,
2:09 pm
check it out. t's on the web at cspan.org. >> this week on q yapped a, historian -- q&a, a historian. he discusses his book. >> host: the title of your new book is equaled "spain in our hearts." what does that seen in >> it comes from a quotation, he said it in 1945, after the spanish civil war had ended. and it goes something like this. men of my generation have
2:10 pm
always had spain in our hearts. because there we learned that you could be right and still be defeated, that courage was not its own reward, and it goes on like that. host: how many americans fought in the spanish civil war? guest: roughly 2,800 american volunteers went there. they were among the 35 to -- 35,000 to 40,000 volunteers from over 50 countries. of those 2,800 americans who went to sparningse 750 did not come back. that's actually a higher death toll percentage-wise than the u.s. military had in either of the world wars. host: what were the years of the spanish civil war and why was it fought? guest: it began very suddenly, taking the world by surprise, in july of 1936. and it lasted until the beginning of april, 1939. so almost three years.
2:11 pm
it was an extraordinary -- extraordinarily bloody and brutal conflict and essentially here's why it began. spain for many centuries had essentially been a monarchy. in more recent times, 1920's, that has been micked with a period of military dictatorship. in 1931, the king left the country, they held elections, and it became a republic. the spanish republic. and people all over the world rejoiced that a country that had experienced very little democracy at last seemed to be getting it. and there were great hopes for a reform. but it was a land of vast inequalities between rich and poor. a small number of landowners had these huge estates, millions and millions of pes abilities had little or no land -- pes abilities had little or no land -- peasants had little or no land. in 1936 a coalition of liberal
2:12 pm
left wing parties won the elections. to was absolute anafama the powerful right wing sporses -- forces in spain. in july of 1936 a large group of right wing army officers staged a revolt against the elected government of the spanish republic. and this was the beginning of the spanish civil war. host: how many people lived in spain back in 1936? guest: i believe it was roughly 23 million. i may be off by a million or two. but it was something on that order. >> what kind of group was in the leadership? guest: the elected leadership of the spanish republic were people from parties that would be considered democratic /socialist, liberal democrats, elsewhere in western europe. they were at that time a small number of spanish communists in the national legislature.
2:13 pm
not very many. the generals who led this right-wing revolt, from whom a very tough talking undergeneral , very quick he will eye -- very quickly emerged as the leader, they represented a much older spain. they wanted to restore a spain where the large landowners and big industrialists would be dominant, where there would be absolutely no trappings of democracy at all. no free suppress -- press. military dictatorship. do away with elections or any kind of land reform. and hand education in the country back to the catholic hurch. they had begun to take education out of the hands of church.
2:14 pm
there were two opponents viewed of what kind of country they wanted spain to be. host: i want to show some video of francisco franco. he won, as you point out in your book. how long was he the head of spain?
2:15 pm
he died in 1975 amid signs of senility and ruled with an iron fist. right up to the end. torture was routine until the very end. no free trade unions. no elections. no free press. brian: let's look at a little bit of what he sounded like and looked like. [speaking foreign language] brian: what is the worst thing he did to his people? adam: you can see it in that clip. he is essentially saying everybody must be united and essentially expressed the popular rule this way, which
2:16 pm
essentially means "do what i ay." the worst thing that he did was to extinguish any kind of expression of democratic feelings whether through dissent through the press or through the existence of civic organizations or any elections. for example, participation in nything that had the trappings of belonging to an international organization, even if it was something nonpolitical, a group of esperanto speakers or were in he rotary club, all of these things were forbidden. because international
2:17 pm
non-spanish organizations were disallowed. he really did institute a kind of totalitarian rule that was not dissimilar to other forms of totalitarian rule in soviet union, nazi germany, fascist italy. it was somewhat different from the others in that the catholic church had such a huge role. it was a kind of totalitarianism. brian: if you are out watching this and you don't care about spain, what relationship does your book have to the american people? brian: if we roll back the clock to the mid-1930's, one of the things that was on the minds of a lot of good people all over the world was this ominous sense that fascism was
2:18 pm
on the rise in europe. hitler had come to power in germany in 1933. mussolini had already been in power since the 1920's and 1935, was when he had gone and conquer himself a colony in ethiopia. a war which finally came to an end in 1936. it was clear that fascism was expanded there. hitler was making all sorts of noises about expanding to the east. grabbing territory in eastern europe and russia that should be under german domination. the soviet union was a grim place, but not as many details were known in the west. they were not talking about expanding. the menace seemed to be expanding fascism in europe. when the coup attempt happened in spain, when all over the country right-wing army officers tried to seize power
2:19 pm
and sent a shockwave of alarm throughout the world. here was a major country in europe, the right-wing military quickly backed by hitler and mussolini who sent arms, airplanes, pilots, and mussolini eventually sent 80,000 ground troops. here was the spanish army making a grab for power. people all over the world but it ought to be resisted. if not here, where? otherwise, we are next. brian: fdr was president, what was his position? adam: he was a small d democrat as well as a large d democrat. certainly someone who was personally very opposed to fascism. he was, however, wary of being drawn into the spanish civil
2:20 pm
war in any way. he knew that the american people at this point were deeply isolationist and any kind of opinion poll that you looked at, i mean, roosevelt was a great reader of the opinion polls. that would tell you that people did not want to get drawn into another war in europe. it is also believed, it was probably never put down on paper, it is believed that he promised the hierarchy of the american catholic church, before the 1936 campaign for reelection, that he would not ntervene in spain. the catholic church all over the world heavily backed the revolt of franco and his allies. it was a matter of restoring the church to power in spain. spaniards on the other side were so anti-clerical that they have murdered thousands of priests and monks and so on. and so it is believed that
2:21 pm
oosevelt made a promise to the catholic church. in any event, throughout the war, he decided to keep america neutral, not to make any attempt to evade the fairly strict u.s. neutrality laws that were there in place and not to prosecute a major oil company that actually did evade those laws. brian: you write that two thirds of the americans that thought were jews. adam: i'm not sure i used the figure of two thirds, but people believe anywhere from a third to a half may have been jewish. it is hard to pin down because so many jews changed their name. brian: the reason i ask is why? what is the reason that they participated in much higher rate? than the percentage of jews in america?
2:22 pm
adam: to quote one volunteer, he says for us, it was never about franco. it was always about hitler. american jews, like jews all over the world, saw hitler on the rise and this all the things he was saying about jews, it fueled recruitment of volunteers to fight in spain not just in this country, but many countries as well. american jews were also disproportionally represented in organizations of the left and that was another thing that drew them spain. brian: you have written, since this book was published, about a man named dell berg. he died this year at age 100. here's some video. the last living member of the 2800 americans that fought in spain. >> i was very affected by the fascist attempt to take over spain.
2:23 pm
i couldn't tell you why. i just didn't like the idea. that was my political understanding. i did not like what the s.o.b.'s were doing. i joined the army. i didn't know how to get to spain until one day i went to work in hollywood as a dishwasher, in the hollywood oosevelt hotel, and i see on the side of the building, "abraham lincoln brigade." i turned the corner, went up there and said, i want to go to spain. brian: what was the abraham lincoln brigade? and why was it named after abraham lincoln? adam: it was, it came to be the name, it was not an official name at the time. n later years it has been used
2:24 pm
as the name to cover all of these americans who volunteered to fight in spain. at the time, the first all-american unit was called the abraham lincoln battalion and there was a george washington battalion and then he two of them merged and they became the lincoln-washington battalion. it had the name of some canadian patriots but actually it was all american patriots. but the veterans of all of these things began calling themselves veterans of the abraham lincoln brigade because it was simpler and that is how people have referred to them ever since. so, when we speak of these americans who went to spain, including del berg who is the last known survivor of the group, they were the last
2:25 pm
articipants. brian: when did you start your research on this book? adam: i started being interested in the subject many years ago. one of my first jobs was as a daily newspaper reporter at the "san francisco chronicle." as it happened, two other reporters of the newspaper were veterans of the abraham lincoln brigade and when things were slow, i would ask them about their experience and i got fascinated. over the next couple of decades, i met other lincoln veterans and was actually good friends with two more for many years in the san francisco bay area. have been fascinated by their experiences were a long time and the way, when you know
2:26 pm
omebody who has personally ived or something, it brings you closer to that piece of history and at the same time, one of my favorite writers of all-time is george orwell and i early on read his wonderful memoir of fighting in spain. his homage to catalonia which gives a somewhat different picture of this concept then you will hear from the lincoln brigade veterans. the difference is that orwell did not fight with a group of international volunteers. basically these 35,000-40,000 volunteers who were organized y the communist parties. orwell had a very independent streak. he went to spain intending to probably join and he got there
2:27 pm
and discovered a political party in spain that he felt much closer to that was a sister party to the independent abour party in britain that he was affiliated with. it had its own militia and so he joined that militia and there was very factional feuding among these different parts of the spanish republic. orwell has a somewhat different picture of the war but i think he, too, thought he was fighting a good cause and he wished they had won. brian: you said he was '3". here is a man reading part of the homage to catalonia. catalonia is where? adam: the northeast corner of spain. the big city is barcelona. hy is that relevant?
2:28 pm
adam: george orwell was fighting in catalonia and aragorn. catalonia, especially is a part f spain that, in recent years, they have a strong separatist movement. they speak in different languages. catalan. people who have lived and fought there get very attached to it, as george orwell was. brian: you can watch when they get to the picture of some of he fighters. george orwell sticks out because of his height. >> something overwhelming. it was the first time that i had ever been to town. practically every building had een seized by the workers. draped with red flags. or with the flag of the red and black anarchists. every wall was draped with a
2:29 pm
hammer and sickle and the initials of the revolutionary party. every shop and cafe -- had an endescription saying it had been collectivized. everyone called everyone else "comrades." all of this was queer and moving. there is much i do not understand. in some ways, i did not even like it. but i recognized it immediately as a state of affairs we were ighting for. brian: obviously the man at the back is talking about comrades and a hammer and sickle. you talk about a lot of americans who consider themselves communists at the time. what was their interest in communism? adam: first i want to talk about the revolution in barcelona. here's what i think was going n. look at the world as it was in the 1930's. it was a grim place. here in the united states,
2:30 pm
close to the quarter of the working population was without jobs. here were 34 million americans living in households with no cash income. huge encampments of homeless and jobless people. everywhere you look, in central park in new york near wall street, every american city had these "hooterville shantytowns," as they were called. it was easy to believe that capitalism had failed. it's also easy to believe that there was an alternative system -- communism in the soviet union -- which, what did i hear much bad news about, whatever problems the soviet union had, employment did not seem to be one of them. we always what to idealize some istant place that seems to
2:31 pm
offer a happy alternative to our own misery in one way or another. so millions of people all over the world, without knowing much about what was really happening in the soviet union, became true believing communists. something that forced that feeling was that when the war in spain broke out, none of the major western democracies would provide any help to the spanish epublic. none of them would even sell rms. republican spain had the money to buy arms. the only major country willing to sell anything was joseph stalin's soviet union. people do not realize that he was asking for some things in return, mainly top positions for spanish and soviet
2:32 pm
communists in the spanish republic's army and security apparatus. it was clearly the only major country does providing help to spain. indeed, general franco and his nationalists would have won the civil war much sooner if stalin had not done this. they would have overrun madrid in late 1936 and the war would have been over in a matter of weeks or months after he overran madrid. this was something that drew people to communism and made people appreciate what stalin appeared to be doing for spain. but, there was something else going on. which got almost ignored by the press at this time. it is one of the things that makes this war so fiendishly ascinationg. here's what it was.
2:33 pm
george orwell referred to it when he talked about the spirit of barcelona. in catalonia and spain's northeast and other pockets of the country as well, franco's ationalists were defeated in their initial attempt to take over, not by normal army soldiers. most army officers had gone over to his side. but by badly trained hastily organized militia units together by left-wing political parties and trade unions. they were the ones who beat back the coup attempt in barcelona and other cities. when that happened, these workers' militias found themselves controlling a sizable chunk of spain. during that time, this beginning late july 1936, they
2:34 pm
put into effect in parts of the country the most far-reaching social revolution western europe had ever seen. workers took over factories, landless peasants took over these huge estates where they had worked as laborers, waiters took over restaurant, trolley car drivers took over the transportation system. you see people driving railway locomotives with their initials on the night. barcelona's hotel ritz, waiters and bus was took over the dining room entered into people's cafeteria for the poor. it was an amazing, amazing spectacle. orwell saw it and was fascinated by it. the government of the spanish republic was appalled that this was happening because they suspected, quite correctly, that if spain's republic was perceived as a revolutionary society they would never have a chance to buy arms from the united states, britain, or france. as it happens, u.s., britain and france never sold arms nyway to them.
2:35 pm
the foreign correspondents who flocked from all over the world in huge numbers to cover the war in spain largely ignored the social revolution and wrote very few stories about it because they were all competing with each other to cover the battle for madrid. the city was under stage, the hotel where there was living was being bombed. that seemed to be the big story. but i was fascinated by the spanish revolution. i could find very little coverage of it by any of the american correspondents and then discovered that the most extensive record of what is that like as a foreigner to live through that amazing revolutionary. it was in a series of letters n an unpublished menu script written by a 19-year-old american woman who lived through that time.
2:36 pm
she was my favorite find in terms of the character for this. bryan: who was she? adam: she was a student at the university of louisville entucky. she had married an economics instructor he was a bit older than her. the two of them went to europe on their honeymoon. they visited france and germany and while there, they heard news that there had been this coup attempt in spain. but in part of this country, and that there was this evolution. they were fascinated by the dea that the revolution seemed to be bubbling up from the bottom up and not top-down in the party as had been in the soviet union. lois said to her somewhat older, stodgier husband that "we have to go there."
2:37 pm
the two of them hitchhiked to the spanish border, and crossed over two months after the coup began and lived for 10 months in revolutionary barcelona. they got jobs quickly and she wrote the most extraordinary series of letters home during this time. brian: where did you find them? adam: the letters had been published in a small book that was printed in a small edition only in england. it had never been reviewed in a single u.s. newspaper or magazine. that is where some of what she has to say had been printed. the other stuff is in a memoir that she spent most of the remainder of her life writing and rewriting and rewriting and never found a publisher for. there are copies of it in various archives and i got in touch with her daughter who is
2:38 pm
very helpful to me and made me copies of it. it is an extraordinary voice. here is this 19-year-old american, never out of the united states before, who suddenly finds herself in the midst of this extraordinary social revolution in a country whose language she can't speak. there are very few americans who speak catalan. she's fascinated by it. she has a kind of sweeping enthusiasm that i think only an upper middle-class person can have for a workers revolution because it is a chance for her to sort of identify with the working class, but she gives a wonderfully vivid picture of what it was like to live in barcelona. brian: where did she go after hat 10 months? adam: at the end of that time,
2:39 pm
the conflict that i referred to before between the spanish republic and these revolutionaries came to a head. both the communists and the ore mainstream parties did not want a social revolution going on while they were trying to fight this war they did not want to have all these independent militias responsible to different political parties. they wanted a unified army under central command. which was not an unsensible thing to want if you were trying to win a war against hitler and mussolini. the revolution was suppressed. there was some streetfighting. ois and her husband were arrested and let go after about 10 days and forced to leave the country. they lived in paris for a ouple of months. ivorced after a few years.
2:40 pm
barcelona remained the high point of her life until the est of her days. brian: on youtube you can see a film called the spanish earth. this is just a 42 second excerpt from it. the narrator is ernest hemingway. which in itself was controversial. let's run it and then you can explain how this movie fits into the whole discussion. ernest hemingway: living in the cellars are the enemy. they are brave troops or they would not have held out after their position is hopeless.
2:41 pm
they are professional soldiers fighting against the people-in-arms. trying to impose the will of the military on the will of the people. the people hate them. without their tenacity and the constant aid of its elite and germany, the spanish revolt would have ended six weeks after they began. brian: who were the moors? adam: spain had a colony, spanish morocco. the northern slice along the mediterranean. a series of colonial revolt there. they recruited indigenous mercenaries from among the opulation.
2:42 pm
during the 1920's and earlier and the spanish army had been much occupied. they had recruited indigenous troops, mercenaries from among the arab population of the region. and spanish they are known as moors. they were the most effective fighting force under the command of the french generals. they been fighting these wars for some years. and with the aid of transport aircraft sent by hitler they were transported from africa to spain at the beginning of the nationalist coup attempt and erved really on the brunt of the attack that took place the moors were muslims. brian: you have something in the book about how the franco provided women for these moors, the muslims. that seems not to track with what muslims would do under their religion. is there anything about that between what we see between a
2:43 pm
and the muslims and what we are atching. adam: unfortunately, organized encouraged mass rape has been encouraged as a part of many wars many times. sometimes we hear about it sometimes what is happened on a wide scale. nobody was recording them. when it happened on a wide scale was during the spanish civil war. and i think by by encouraging the moorish troops to do the raping, which the nationalists did, they were playing on centuries of racial fears in spain. you know, "you are going to be raped by an arab." there was one american orrespondent who recorded it
2:44 pm
-- debates among officers saying, you know, these women who are being raped, they are communists, but they're still spanish women. is this really a proper thing to do? it went on on a huge scale. brian: did the catholic church know this was going on and did they continue to support franco? adam: absolutely. they continued to support franco, the catholic church did. you can see offenses of catholic bishops and archbishops and even a cardinal in one of them raising their hands in the fascist absolute -- salute side by side with franco and his generals. brian: and they knew all of this raping was going on? adam: sure. sure. brian: ernest hemingway, what role did this movie play with him? adam: hemingway had been very involved with spain.
2:45 pm
the novel that first really brought him to the world's attention "the sun also rises," was based on a trip to spain in the 1920's. he called a great love for the country. he was in some ways were of the most apolitical of american writers. he never even voted the in the election of 1936, for instance, he felt a great sense of outrage at the nationalist coup in spain. as if a country he really loved was having great violence done to it. he did everything he could to attract attention and support for the caus of the spanish republic. he combined that with becoming a reporter again. he had been a foreign correspondent in europe for a time in the 1920's he signed up to write a long series of pieces from spain for the north american newspaper alliance.
2:46 pm
which was a syndicate of apers. he made numerous long trips to spain during the war to write these pieces and he was fascinated by the new medium of ilm. a film crew put together this documentary called "the spanish earth" and originally orson welles had signed up to be the arrator. somehow he and hemingway got into a fight in the production oom. brian: we will show orson elles talking about this and you can further explain. orson welles: we met in the
2:47 pm
projection room of the movie theatre to see the movie which he wanted me to narrate. he had written a commentary. many years ago. we hadn't seen each other. this was a dark projection room and i was reading the text and i said, is it really necessary to say this, wouldn't it be better to just see the picture? and stuff like that. and then i heard this growl in the darkness. "some damn faggot who owns an art theater trying to tell me how to do narration." so i began to camp it up. "you think because you're so big and strong and have hair on your chest..." [laughter] this great figure stood up and swung at me. the picture of the spanish civil war is being projected on the screen and these two heavy figures were swinging at each other and missing most of the time. brian: an interview with orson welles by michael parkinson.
2:48 pm
put the pieces together for us about the movie itself. adam: hemingway did have this tendency to get into fights with people. after this one with orson welles he took over the narration and the films it was finally released has hemingway's voice in it. it is a documentary that has some extraordinary footage in it. it was shown around the united states at the time but did not reach the vast audience that hemingway had hoped would it was not enough to shock united states out of the widespread feeling that the united states should stay out of any european wars. brian: at the same time that hemingway was in spain he was married for the second time, but he started a liaison with martha gellhorn.
2:49 pm
i want to show you her back in 1983. fit these pieces together. martha gellhorn: there was a definite enemy and we said, if we don't stop here there will e a war in europe. and we were regarded as cassandras or fellow travelers. or whenever they called it at that time. and of course, lo and behold it came about at that time. brian: who was martha? adam: martha was a young journalist and she had an affair with hemingway. it is believed it begain just before she went to spain with him. she returned with him on all of these trips to spain. they were the social center of the group of foreign correspondents. she wrote for the magazine "colliers," which had a big udience. she was equally passionate partisan of the spanish epublic.
2:50 pm
martha gellhorn had a connection hemingway hoped would be valuable, which was that eleanor roosevelt was a close friend of gellhorn's mother and the roosevelts -- who had this extraordinary habit of asking all sorts of interesting people to come and live with them at the white house for a time. they had actually invited martha to come live in the white house while she worked on her writing. but gellhorn found that eleanor really wanted her help to answer vast correspondence she got every day, thousands of letters every day. so she didn't last long but she remained friends with eleanor. she continued to write her
2:51 pm
letters from spain when she and hemingway were there and when they returned. she and hemingway actually went and showed the film for the first time to the roosevelts in the white house. in mid-1937, the most exclusive audience for a film premiere that one can think of. they hoped that this would stir at least president roosevelt, if not the american people, out of the stance of neutrality against the spanish civil war, but they did not succeed. brian: and we as a country had an embargo against selling arms to the people in power at the time over there and was that ever close to being broken where we would sell out? adam: well, it was broken in a very crucial way. a series of rules having to do with neutrality the gist of which was a neutrality act that was amended.
2:52 pm
you could not sell arms to any country engaged in war or to either side of the civil war. also some things other than rms. one thing was oil. odern armies run on oil. 60 paraof the oil going to both sides in the spain war went irectly to the armies. for trucks, tanks, aircraft, self-propelled artillery and anything else you can think of moving. getting soldiers to one place r another.
2:53 pm
this was not classified as armaments but the law said very strictlythat the oil could not travel on american ship hand it could not travel. all of these foreign correspondents in madrid never asked the questions about this. they would be bombed by hitler's bombers in the skies. they never looked up and asked, "who is sending the fuel to ower those aircrafts?" it should have been an obvious question. they knew about the american neutrality legislation. they knew that the nationalist had no transportation to transport oil even if they ould buy it legally. they also knew that spain was very short of cash so any oil sold to them what the on redit. they knew that hitler and mussolini who was supporting
2:54 pm
the spanish coup attempt were oil importers and not exporters. o it would have been difficult for them to supply franco with oil. where was it coming from? well, it was coming from texas. it was coming in violation of american law. the head of texico, one of the major united dates oil companies at the time was basically a fascist sympathizer. he had great affection for spanish dictators. dictators not just like franco but in other parts of the world like hitler. he happily supplied franco and his nationalist with most of their oil. he shipped them there in texico tankers and violated united dates law by doing so. ostensibly bound for the captains would open sealed
2:55 pm
orders and redirect them to ports and nationalist spain. all of this oil was supplied on credit. he supplied franco with the oil at a huge discount. on credit, violating united states law in another way. something he never told texaco shareholders about as far as we an tell. and he never told the board of irectors about it. he did something else as well which has only come to light in recent years. this came through the investigation of a spanish scholar who very generously shared his documents with me. texaco being a multinational company. had imports all over the world, offices and tank farms and installations and agents and insurers everywhere. a huge network of public and ports everywhere. hey sent out instructions to
2:56 pm
all these folks saying keep your eyes out oil shipments going to spanish republic. send us any data you have. this information was passed on o the nationalist bomber pilot for the use of submarine captains looking for targets. ecause the lifeline of oil going to the spanish republic was of course profoundly necessary for it to fight this war. 29 oil tankers heading for the spanish republic during the course of the war were sunk, captured, or damage. in some cases we can tie that directly to information upplied by texaco. so the united states might not have gone to war, but texaco had.
2:57 pm
brian: here is another commentator who was accused of being pro-franco. people our age will remember her philip rose, jr., was on mutual broadcasting. let's watch. philip: general franco's spain is a very interesting character. i wouldn't want him here in america. heaven knows we want no dictators here. i do think that he has does a great job for spain. time magazine, 1955. among his journalistic admirers few have been more dedicated. the charge the criticism of franco's dictatorship came from left wingers and pinkos. >> i cannot be responsible for what time magazine may print. brian: that was from 1958, mike wallace. what can you tell us about the
2:58 pm
discussion going on in this country about pro-franco or nti-franco activities. adam: there are probably a lot of people who felt as we said there that it was anti-communist dictator. that was the important thing. a dictator is ok for another place as long as they keep the ommunists out. many people felt that way. there was an enormously strong feeling among the right-wingers here at that time that because the military help that the net activity was getting for the soviet union was that if the republic won the war soviet influence would be greatly enhanced and might even become a soviet satellite. i don't think that would happen but it was certainly a feeling and fear that was whipped up very effectively.
2:59 pm
brian: many people died in the war? adam: about 200,000 in combat, at least 200,000 more were killed in political murders that happened it during the war it so. about three quarters of them were supporters of these spanish republic who were murdered by the spanish nationalists as they progressively took over parts of the country. about a quarter of them were supporters or presumed supporters of the nationalist who were killed by mobs and republican territory. t was a brutal time. especially at the beginning in the opening month of the war are people of these opposing politics just felt it was legitimate to slaughter anybody
3:00 pm
who had the opposite point of view. brian: how many of the americans that fought there between 1936 and 1939 were killed? adam: about 754. and the majority of the remainder were wounded. brian: this for you is what book? adam: this is my eighth book. brian: one was the big seller? adam: that would publicly be book number i've, king leopold's ghost. about the belgian colonial conquest of the congo. brian: in 1999? you have several others falls top you are born in new york, graduated from harvard in 1963, you now live in san francisco?
3:01 pm
adam: i teach class at u.s. berkeley. brian: why did you start mother jones and who is mother jones? adam: mother jones was a great 9th and 20th century labor heroine who battled for workers' strikes and unlike far too many people in the history of the american left she had a great sense of humor so when a group of us were looking in the 1970's for somebody to name a magazine after we picked her ame. i picked, a newspaper reporter in san francisco and then i rked for ramparts which is published no more. but i have been half journalist and half activist because i am very much a child of the
3:02 pm
1960's. when i got out of college the civil rights was on, anti-war movement was on. my then girl now wife and i were briefly civil rights workers in mississippi in the summer of 1964, the year that 1,000 people went down there from the north. i was very much involved in the movement against the vietnam war. so far me i have been drawn writing about people who have been active in one way or another in trying to change the world. i can't say that i've succeeded changing the world myself and to tell the truth, it's a lot easier writing about people who do that than trying to change it but i continue to admire who are trying to change the world. brian: i don't know if you've seen it but fun to watch. 30 seconds, 1930, mother jones was 100 years old and here she
3:03 pm
is. i've long to see the day where [inaudible] and to stand i've long to unite ow the world -- show the world what the world can do. brian: from ireland. is mother jones today making money or is it supposed to make money? adam: no, it's a nonprofit institution. from ses a lot of money generous donors and readers, tens of thousands each year but i'm pleased it's still publishing. i think it's had considerable impact. you may or may not remember in the 2012 election, the story of tt romney's 47% speech which
3:04 pm
some people think cost him the election. that revelation was a "mother jones" story. i'm proud to be associated with the magazine still. i have not claimed to have done much work there over the last 35 years but i'm still on the board of directors. brian: what about your own politics over the years? where would you put yourself today? an i would say independent utopian. i still think we need to find ways of getting to a much better, much different world than the one we're in today. if there was an international brigade of volunteers to join today, i would say it's people who are fighting against climate change. that seems to be the overwhelming issue facing us on this planet right now.
3:05 pm
and i just hardyly endorse any efforts we can do to make that far more front in center in our politics than it is right now. brian: when you went to mississippi, you were in your early 20's. obviously demonstrating against vietnam. you weren't much older than that. what was the average age of the american -- the abraham lincoln brigade, americans fighting in spain in 1936? adam: it was a little bit older than that. it was about 28. there were some students, people who had dropped out of college to go. in fact, one of the people i talk about in spain in our hearts is a guy who was a senior at college and ran away to fight in span and was fatally wounded. he was actually the first american casualty. brian: his name? adam: joe sellicman jr.
3:06 pm
brian: and you have a picture in your book with his sister? adam: 95 years old. wonderful, wonderful woman. so he was only 20 or 21 when he was killed. most volunteers were older. i say, the average age was about 28. ny of them were people who were unemployed, doc workers, longshoreman, clothing workers because there were strikes in those industries in new york city where many of the olunteers came from. so they tended to be a little older than the early 20's activists that we were talking about. brian: we're out of time but the one thing we haven't got to, there's a lot more in your book about a lot more americans. the people who taught in spain. the name of the book is "spain in our hearts," it's a story
3:07 pm
about the spanish civil war 1936-1939 that francisco franco on and our guest has been adam hochschild. thank you very much for joining us. adam: thank you very much, brian. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. isit ncicap.org] >> for free transcripts or to give your comments about this q&a.org. isit us at q&a programs are available at -span podcast. >> you can watch "q&a" sunday nights at 8:00 eastern time. next sunday on "q&a," a college of vanity fair columnist and state magazine founder michael kinsly about "old age a beginner's guide." the house has nine bills on
3:08 pm
debate. at 4:00 eastern time. one of the issues deals with i.d. theft and another with religious freedom. any votes requested will be at 6:30. live coverage of the floor of the house on c-span. >> tonight on "communicators," while visiting a technology fair on capitol hill, we spoke with fred upton from michigan, chair of the energy and commerce committee, and bill shuster from pennsylvania, chair of the transportation and infrastructure committee. we also interviewed innovators from executives from ford motor echnology gary jablonski and andrew woel f-ing. mr. upton: we're working on a major bill, legislation we already passed but wear going to see the f.c.c. free up more spectrum which will enable these devices to be built, to be used, to communicate. we're on the run. mr. shuster: putting in the legislation, encouraging them
3:09 pm
to take a look at how do you build a road in the future, what -- dealing with the companies that are here today, what do you need for your technology to be working better? gary: from the very first generation that we launched a decade ago our focus has been on making your device as useful as possible in the car in a way that lets you keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road and for us that's always been about voice technology. andrew: ford understands ere's great demand for spectrum. and we're trying to come up with a solution on the 5.9 band. we're working with our colleagues at n.t.i.a. and the department of transportation and most importantly the federal communications commission. >> watch "the commun indicators" tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> this week on "newsmakers," the chairman of the natural resources committee,
3:10 pm
representative rob bishop, republican of utah. thank you for being with us, sir. we also have with us nick timiraos, economics correspondent for "the wall street journal," and mary clare jalonick, congressional reporter with the associated press. let's begin with what the financial situation is in puerto rico and how do you view it, sir? rep. bishop: the financial situation is horrible for them. they have not had audits in the last two years. no one knows what is assets and what is not. we know they have about a $70 billion bonded indebtedness, and about a $44 billion asset deficit in their pension fund, and they don't have the resources to pay that. omething has to put this financial house back in order in puerto rico. host: and it has to be the u.s. congress? rep. bishop: unfortunately, yeah. article 4 of the constitution still says general control of our territories falls within congress. until you give them
3:11 pm
their independence or make them a state, yeah, congress is ultimately responsible. doesn't matter how much home rule we get, we still have the ultimate responsibility. ms. jalonick: so you all have tried several different versions of legislation to try to aid the territory with the $70 billion in debt. what is the status of the most recent version of this and is this something you think that you can get passed? rep. bishop: yeah, because in all the versions out there that people are referencing, the fundamental issue has always been the same. there needs to be some way of providing some kind of ecurity. so there will be an oversight board that will go down there, work with the government to come up with a plan in which they will get their financial house in order, they will be able to pay off their debts. and then they will work with the creditors who by and large want to stay in puerto ico. they want to be involved, they want to get the money back. so they will be able to come up with that plan. the board will have the ability of making sure that plan is adhered to and followed through, and that gives
3:12 pm
security to the creditors that they can stay involved and they may have some readjustments or restructuring of the debts they have, but most of it would be oluntary, and i think we can give some kind of financial order going forward to it. that is based on precedent, has been done in the past. i'm confident it will work here. that basic concept of what we want to do has been agreed by everybody that is a player. i think regardless of what the final version is, that basic structure will be there. ms. jalonick: is this something that this -- you had a lot of opposition from different sides, and as you have said, it is not to the central structure of the bill, but to smaller parts of it. creditors are concerned that they won't be a priority. democrats, the obama administration, are concerned about pensions. democrats in congress are concerned about lowering the minimum wage for young workers in the land transfer. what compromises have you made to some of these people who are concerned about this bill, and
3:13 pm
do you think that your final version will be able to make it through congress? rep. bishop: well, every iscussion draft was somewhat of a compromise, that's worked out before, trying to get everyone together. the common bond is the underlying assumptions that we met, that there would be no bailout, there is not going to be government money going down there, the taxpayers of america are going to be held harmless, but that everyone will eventually get paid. the investors will get paid, whether it is pensions or the bonds, the ones that are general obligation bonds, all of those will eventually be made whole. property rights will be respected and the constitution of puerto rico will be respected at the same time. all those things have not changed and that will be the basis of what is going on. if we piddle around with some language to try to tweak omething so it is very clear that is what the intent is, we may do that. mr. timiraos: what of the nature -- there was the hope that the bill would be out earlier this past week.
3:14 pm
there have been delays. the treasury secretary on friday morning said delays can happen because you are making rogress. can you tell us about what has been the nature of these final delays? what is the holdup at this point? rep. bishop: um -- the holdup is that different players, some on our part, some on the other side, have other ideas they want explored, and for common courtesy and to make sure we get this right, it is worth it to take the time to explore those ideas. at this stage in the game, we need to make sure we move forward and that further discussions on this bill need to be done in the open, they don't need to be done in negotiations between individuals. but saying that, with one shot getting this right, we need to do it right. once this bill starts moving, i think it moves through congress very quickly. it will be on the president's desk, and we want to make sure that if there are significant constitutional issues or legal
3:15 pm
issues we want to explore all of those and make sure it is done right the first way. but the bill will be dropped soon, and still is open for amendment process along the way, and i think you will see other people trying to do amendments on this bill. some will be successful, some won't. mr. timiraos: and what happens if this bill can't get past congress? what is going to happen to puerto rico if this legislation falls apart at the five-yard line? rep. bishop: armageddon hits, the millennium starts, entire world collapses, thermonuclear war all over the place. this is so significant for puerto rico, that 3.5 million americans are down there, they are in dire straits, there has to be some kind of structure. it is a problem that has developed for decades but it needs to be addressed quickly, it needs to be addressed soon, addressed in the proper way. we can't screw it up. i mean, it is that bad. if puerto rico spins out into economic chaos, we may never have a chance of recovering again and you are going to hurt
3:16 pm
people, and that can't be. we have to do that. that is why this cannot be seen as a partisan bill. i truly anticipate and expect a majority of republicans and majority of democrats supporting it, because it can't be reduced to partisan politics. this is too important to do that. ms. jalonick: what would you ay to someone in puerto rico who may be dealing with economic troubles on the island and maybe watching this right now? nick and i went to puerto rico with the secretary of the treasury earlier this week -- rep. bishop: oh, fine, you wouldn't go with me, you went with him, great. ms. jalonick: we saw schools dealing with bug infestations, electricity problems, hospital having trouble getting drugs or children. what you say to people there who might be suffering under these economic problems about what congress is trying to do and how congress might have help coming? rep. bishop: you know, there are some voices saying you have
3:17 pm
made bad decisions for the past several decades, suffer, live with it. that is not an appropriate response to it. yeah, there are bad decisions made, but we have a chance of doing it the right way and we will do it the right way. for puerto rico's success, they not only have to get financially sound and structured, but they also have to have economic growth that takes place in the island. one of the biggest problems they have with jobs that have left is because of the extremely high energy prices, and that is one of the reasons why our committee's dealing with it because there is an energy section in this bill that i think is significan that is going to try and drive the cost of doing business so those jobs, those manufacturing jobs, can return to the island. so we have some progrowth elements that sentence -- in fact, i did when i was explaining the issue -- put aside, but those are equally as significant, and that is why it has to be part of the bill. ms. jalonick: in that same vein, if someone who holds a pension in puerto rico -- you are talking to someone who holds a pension that might be
3:18 pm
concerned because it is either underfunded or not funded at all. how does this bill make sure they are taken care of as well? there are concerns about competing priorities among creditors and pension holders? rep. bishop: this bill is the only way you can get some kind of security because it tries to establish a process to make these decisions as it goes forward to guarantee that property rights are respected and that people are paid back. if you don't do this bill, that is where everything spins out of control, and that is when you really have to be worried about those pensions, because if everything collapses you have no guarantees of anything. mr. timiraos: so the puerto rican constitution does outline a sort of payment priority that says the general obligation debt of the commonwealth has the most senior priority, pensions come later. and so there have been conservative lawmakers in your party and bondholders have been arguing that the general obligation debt, the legislation should clarify that
3:19 pm
they will have an explicit protection ahead of pensions, their bonds will not be written down for the pensioners. the treasury secretary told us on monday that any write-downs need to balance the macroeconomic concerns because if you were to write down pensions, you are creating more economic harm on the island. how do you see the balance of pensions and general obligation bonds? will there be an explicit priority in the legislation? rep. bishop: the legislation will not take away any existing constitutional or property rights that are there. so the secretary is right. the problem is you have got to make sure that you have an economic growth model and a funding model that can pay everyone back. so we are not in the process of picking winners and losers in this, and that is why you have the board in the first place, so they can make the orderly process of going through that. so yeah, the constitution does give certain people priorities, assuming that you have met the requirements of the constitution. there is limitation of how much
3:20 pm
debt you can go into. if you have exceeded that, who knows what a court would say as to whether that justifies constitutional exception or not? but that is why you have the board in the first place. the board would have the authority to sort those situations out and try the things in a consensual manner and voluntary, but everyone has the right to go to court at the end of the day. but at the same time, you can solve almost all of these problems by the structure of this organizational board that we are going to have in the first place. so the goal is to get everyone aid, not to say, you know, only those who are first in line get paid and the rest, screw it. everyone is going to be dealt with and fairly by this board without having to make changes in prioritizations or constitutional language. mr. timiraos: and you referenced debt sustainability standards that the puerto rican constitution also specifies. so we have heard bondholders talk a lot about the payment priority that they believe they are owed. do you think that some of these debts were issued perhaps out of -- unconstitutionally, because they exceeded the sustainability standards?
3:21 pm
rep. bishop: no, no, they haven't done an audit in two years, and that is the first thing the board will demand, to have an audit. and that is why it is so mportant to actually get the board in here and get it done right and do it quickly. host: how much power will the board have versus the government of puerto rico? rep. bishop: well, the original plan will be done in consensus with the government of puerto rico, so they will buy into it. the board will have the authority to make sure that the plan is adhered to, and to be honest, if the board can come up with a more successful way or if there is some breakdown in the politics of it, the board has the ability of overwriting that. but the board has the major responsibility of making sure that the plan is in place, a plan is adhered to, and order is brought back, so the investors can actually be repaid. ms. jalonick: you said that you are hoping to get this passed quickly through the house and the senate. that would be kind of an anomaly in congress on things
3:22 pm
usually moving pretty slowly. you have strong support from paul ryan. he has spoken out a lot about this. mitch mcconnell hasn't said quite as much. is the senate part of your negotiations at all, or at least providing input, and do you think you have a product that could pass both the house and the senate pretty quickly? rep. bishop: yeah, i think the product we have is a great product, and solves the problem, and i think as soon as you realize this is something that solves the problem, and the alternative is far worse, then we can move it through very quickly. ms. jalonick: so has the senate been providing input as you guys have been negotiating this? rep. bishop: everyone has been providing input. that is part of my problem, everyone has input. [laughter] a little less input right now would be very helpful. ms. jalonick: what about the government of puerto rico? do you feel like they are comfortable with this? they have spoken broadly that this is a good approach, but do you think they will be comfortable with this if this bill becomes law, that this will work well in terms of them
3:23 pm
being ok with it? rep. bishop: well, any -- look, anybody who is an elected official in puerto rico is not necessarily happy with the situation in which they find themselves. and because this has not been just a recent phenomenon, this goes back over decades, i guess everyone can point fingers to somebody else if they wish. the issue is how do you actually solve this problem, and i think we have had conversations with elected leadership in puerto rico. they have been, i think, very helpful and very positive and forthright in coming and helping us craft what i think is a good solution to it. so i appreciate their input. they made not be totally happy with everything that is going to be involved, and i doubt that anyone is going to be totally happy. i'm not totally happy with the bill yet and i've had more input than some of these people have. but i don't want to deemphasize how productive they have been and helpful they have been because they have. nd recognizing this is a
3:24 pm
difficult situation for them, i think they have come up with some solutions that actually can work. nd if i believe the public opinion polls that are coming out in puerto rico, this is an extremely popular approach by the people of puerto rico because they realize this is there salvation so their jobs can be maintained, their lifestyle can improve, and the pensions maybe can be secured in the future. without it, it is a crapshoot. it has all sorts of negative implications. mr. timiraos: what about the obama administration? the treasury department has been working closely with lots of different groups, including your committee, on this. what is it like to work with the obama administration on this bill? rep. bishop: once again, ironically, the obama administration i think has been very helpful and supportive, especially in the overall draft. no one in the obama administration is talking about what we are trying to establish with the board and the process and procedure. there are some times when i wish they would be a little less technical in trying to
3:25 pm
come up with which adjectives they think are appropriate, but at the same time, i cannot do anything but compliment them for the help and assistance as we have gotten to this point. they have been extremely helpful to get to where we are. mr. timiraos: that is a tone we have not heard a lot over the past few years between the congress and white house. this is a technically complex, politically charged policy issue that you have been working on. why do you think this issue -- there is a long stuff things that have been been done -- tax reform, immigration, entitlement spending. why do you think this is the one issue where we are seeing an unusually bipartisan pproach? rep. bishop: i actually don't know. i can't explain that phenomenon to you, other than perhaps it is that this is a unique situation that is only going to get worse. t will become a humanitarian crisis of even greater ntensity than it already
3:26 pm
is. and you don't really have a lot of options on how to solve the problem. this is clearly the best solution. it is based on precedent of what has happened and worked in the past. so i think everyone came up to the idea that the big plan, the overall image, is actually viable, and let's work together to make sure that it happens. we're still talking about some of the small issues that surround it. some have constitutional implications, they may have egal implications. we want to work through that, and we can work through that not only in the drafting phase, but also in the amendment process as we take it through committee and then onto the floor and over to the senate. host: is there a date by which action becomes too late? rep. bishop: heh. in my mind, i think that happened about three weeks ago. no -- yes and no. already they have had three defaults on the payments. may 1 was a huge default. there is another one coming up july 1, which is an even bigger potential problem. i would like to have this
3:27 pm
process going through so at least the creditors know it will be in effect by that time. but the answer is no, because the problem does not go away, only exacerbates. whenever you do it, it is good. the sooner you do it, it is better. host: what do you say to taxpayers who are maybe hearing from their representative in their district that this is a bailout for puerto rico? rep. bishop: there is absolutely no reason why anyone should say that. i don't care how do you want to define the word "bailout," this is not a bailout. there is no taxpayer money going down there, no taxpayer put in jeopardy. this is a structural reorganization of their economic situation so that people can be paid and property rights can be respected. there is no bailout to it. however, if this thing fails and we don't do it, there is going to be a large, huge hue and cry for a bailout, for taxpayer money going directly to puerto rico to help the
3:28 pm
situation, and i can't even support that. so this is the appropriate approach. this is the best approach. if you don't do this, then you have a good chance of actually maybe ending up at the end of the day with a bailout and that is the worst scenario. that is what the speaker and everyone else involved took off the table from the beginning. that would not be one of the criteria. ms. jalonick: there are ads out there saying that it is a bailout, and we don't know who is behind them because they don't have to disclose their donors. do you think that those ads, which seemingly ran every few minutes on news channels here in washington, and i know in other places around the country, do you think that has hurt your effort, that they have labeled it a bailout? rep. bishop: you know, ronically, no. the ads were so over-the-top and so unbelievable that once people were told what we are eally doing with the -- they -- doing with the bill they
3:29 pm
were like, oh, i get that. they were in my district as well. the nicest thing they did was put a telephone number on where to call to say i don't want a bailout, and our staff was able to simply say this is what the bill does, and with one exception out of the literally hundreds of calls we got, people were saying, "oh, that makes sense." i'm appreciative of them actually putting the number in there. if they had not put the number in there, no one would have taken the time to look it up and they would have just been mad. this way they gave us a chance to explain what is happening and people realize that what we are doing has a great deal of logic to it. host: we have time for about five more minutes. ms. jalonick: one thing that has complicated the effort a bit is that some of these provisions that democrats don't like in the bill. one would allow puerto rico if it decides it wants to do so to lower the minimum wage for some younger workers. another would transfer federal lands on the island of vieques to the island of puerto rico. rep. bishop: and so the negative aspects are what?
3:30 pm
ms. jalonick: i'm asking why are those provisions important in the bill, and i'm assuming they remain unchanged in the final version. rep. bishop: well, we will have to see what the final version is, and as i said before, amendments will be allowed. but the minimum wage is one of those elements that could become a progrowth -- because it is very limited to the area of who has been affected by that. but in an area that has been trying to create jobs, you don't want to put in factors there that retard the effort of creating jobs. so that is a progrowth concept that should be in there. and there will be discussions about that as time goes on. same thing with the island. puerto rico should have had the portion of that island in the first place. when dod decided no longer to use it for military purposes, it was originally intended to go back to the territory of puerto rico. that is where it should be. it makes sense to do it. they can do a more efficient job of actually managing it and it can be a benefit for the people. right now they have hunting and
3:31 pm
fishing restrictions that have been put in that happened pretty arbitrarily done. people of puerto rico know what they should be doing in those areas and this would be an asset to the territory. there is no reason -- they should have had it already. there is no reason we need to keep holding on to that. mr. timiraos: there have been a number of divisions also on the republican side over how to treat this bill. i wonder, you have very strong support from house speaker paul ryan on this. would the gop leadership advance a bill through the house floor that is not able to secure a majority of votes from the republican conference? rep. bishop: well, i cannot answer for what somebody else would or would not do. all i can say is that there is no reason this does not get a majority of votes both from republicans and democrats. it is based on sound conservative principles. and the principle of an oversight board that will establish in conjunction with the territorial government a plan so that property rights are respected and that everyone gets their investment paid
3:32 pm
back. and i'm sorry, that should be a principle that attracts both republicans and democrats. and when -- if everyone takes a step back and realizes that this is still what we are trying to do, then divisions over partisan politics on some of these peripheral issues should be insignificant. that is why i think at the end of the day it should get a majority of republicans and democrats. there should be no reason it does not. mr. timiraos: one of the concerns a number of republicans have raised, though, on this issue of how you treat pensioners versus bondholders, people think that this legislation may set a precedent for states that have some level of fiscal distress. are those legitimate worries here? rep. bishop: no. in the first portion, that is one of the reasons why we put all of this in the section of the code which it is, because it only deals with territories. there have been some proposals which i thought may actually establish a precedent that could be in practice but not in reality or not technically but could in reality establish some kind of precedent.
3:33 pm
that has been taken off the table as well. so there is a firewall. there will be no precedent. this is specifically an issue that deals with territories, and it is written specifically for the territory, and let's face it, i said article four of the constitution says congress still has the responsibility for the territories. congress does not have the responsibility for states. municipalities, which are subdivisions of states, have rights, they are sovereign rights. you can't compare them. this is truly an apple and orange situation that is totally different. any reading that this would establish a precedent that can be used for states is misreading the situation. there is no connection to it. now, you could write it so that there would be but that is what we have specifically avoided doing. that is why we are not going to chapter nine or coming up with super chapter nine or any of that kind of crap. ms. jalonick: yeah, one thing that has complicated house bills for the last three years is the freedom caucus, the
3:34 pm
group of conservatives in the house who have often slowed to a halt pieces of legislation that leadership wanted to see move. do you think the same thing could happen here? have you been in conversations -- there are several members of your committee who are part of that group. do you think that could be a complication once this moves to the house floor? rep. bishop: no, no more than any other group that is out there. we have been meeting with members of the freedom caucus, some of whom, as you mentioned, are actually on the committee, which is why they are involved in it. we have tried to be very open with what they are trying to do. look, you could do any kind of subgroup in the house and say they may be a problem later on. i don't think any one group will stick out more than any other group. host: chairman, we out of time. thank you very much for being on "newsmakers." appreciate it. rep. bishop: i appreciate your invitation to be here. t is very kind of you. host: and we're back with our
3:35 pm
reporters, mary clare jalonick of the associated press and congressional reporter and nick timiraos of "the wall street journal." nick, you were both in puerto rico recently. nick, could you describe what you saw and how dire it is on the island? mr. timiraos: you hear a couple of different things. some people are arguing, look at puerto rico, beautiful beaches, parties on the waterfront every night. there isn't a crisis, this isn't detroit. a couple things important to remember. they had been in recession for 10 years. the hardest hit u.s. state, we have not seen anything like that since the great depression. they are losing 1,000 people a week to the u.s. mainland, because they are american citizens. and all you had to go to orlando is a ticket on jetblue. you lose that much population over a relatively short period of time, it is difficult to pay back people who are owed money.
3:36 pm
you are not going to increase tax revenues if you tax base is shrinking. there's kind of a disconnect. people say there is not a real crisis here, and yet the economy in recession for 10 years, losing 1% of your population every year. if this was happening in a u.s. state you would see a lot more people much more concerned about it. that is why the chairman's comments today were pretty interesting, because he shares those macroeconomic concerns you have been hearing from the treasury department. host: before we get to politics, sticking to the economy side of this, why does wall street care? mr. timiraos: well, wall street cares because most of these bonds are held either by american hedge funds or mutual funds. these are not debts held overseas. hey are held in puerto rico or in retirement funds for americans.
3:37 pm
this is a big concern because ven though there were some funds that in 2013, 2014, when it became clear that puerto rico's ratings were being downgraded, they said, all right, we will step back from this, this is too risky, there were others who went in and said, you know what, this is ok, we can get our economy is going to get better, and their economy has not gotten better. host: mary clare, where do things stand in congress and congress acting anytime soon? ms. jalonick: it seems like the continued delays on the bill, at least according to the chairman, are because they are getting close to a final product. whether they can get that through the house or the senate is an open question. there definitely seems to be a good faith effort on everyone's part. paul ryan is very supportive. nancy pelosi doesn't like some of the provisions of the bill but has stopped short of criticizing it too much because she clearly wants to get something done, too. mcconnell has been someone involved around the periphery
3:38 pm
of these negotiations, meaning that they are hoping this bill can pass the senate as well. as we know, just looking at congress in the last few years, very few things pass easily through congress. we have this band of conservatives, the freedom caucus. a lot of them don't love this legislation, mainly because of the precedent -- they are concerned it would be a precedent for states, even though bishop says it is not and the language is not in there that would allow it to be a precedent. that would be a concern. we will just have to see if everybody plays nice on this. it is unclear at this point. host: could it be -- nick, i think you asked this question -- could it be that the speaker says i can bring this to the floor with enough republican votes, maybe not the majority of republicans, but enough republican votes and i can
3:39 pm
count on more democrat votes and we can get something passed? ms. jalonick: we will see. we kind of joke, everything at his point is a test for paul ryan, his first year as speaker, but this will be a test for paul ryan, to see if he can get his caucus together on this bill. if they pass this with a majority of democratic votes, that might be a problem for some of the caucus. it will be interesting to watch how this moves through and if bishop and ryan are able to get t through the house. i think if they can get it through the house, it will be easier in the senate because they know how difficult it is to get anything for the house, any major piece of legislation. mr. timiraos: to add to her point, not only do you have this unusual bipartisan process, it is an election year. we are six months out from an election. i think that should reinforce to people who may be haven't been following all that
3:40 pm
carefully that it is hard to do stuff in d.c. as it is. it is even harder to do it in an election year. this is a complex financial subject. there have been a lot of political ads being run calling it a bailout. it is politically charged, election year, and here we talk about maybe something bipartisan happening, so it is really interesting issue. ms. jalonick: i think there's a lot of looking down the road that if they don't do something and all of a sudden they have to consider a bailout, that would be even more politically tough. i think that is maybe one of the reasons this has a chance even. host: well, we will be watching this week. thank you both. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> house will be gaveling back in in about 20 minutes. 4:00 eastern time debating nine measures today. one dealing with i.d. theft and another with religious freedom. any votes requested will be held after 6:30. live coverage from the floor of the house coming up here on
3:41 pm
c-span. tonight on "the commoun indicators." while visiting a technology fair on capitol hill, we spoke with republican congressman fred upton from michigan, chairman of the energy and commerce committee, and congressman bill shuster, chairman of the transportation and infrastructure committee. we interviewed from ford motor, gary and andrew, about new technology, spectrum issues and the upcoming spectrum auction. mr. upton: look where we are today in terms of communication, job creation. we're working on a major bill. we're working on legislation that we already passed. we'll see the f.c.c. free up more spectrum, which will enable these devices to be built, to be used, to communicate. we're on the run. mr. shuster: putting in the legislation, encouraging them to look at how do you build a road of the future? what do they need? dealing with the companies here today, what do you need for your technology to be working
3:42 pm
better? gary from the very first generation we launched a decade ago, our focus has been on making your device as useful as possible in a car in a way that lets you keep your hands on the wheel and the eyes on the road and for us that's always been about voice technology. andrew: ford understands there's great demand for more spectrum for unlicensed use. so we are working with our colleagues to come up with a sharing solution in the 5.9 band. we're working with our colleagues at ntia. we're working with our colleagues at the department of transportation and most importantly the federal communications commission. >> watch "the communicators" tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> the white house reacted to today's supreme court decision to send the health care law contraception mandate back to the lower courts. press secretary josh earnest held a daily briefing where he was also asked about the existence of life beyond earth. we'll show as much of the briefing as we can before the
3:43 pm
house gavels in at 4:00 eastern ime. josh good afternoon, everybody. hope you had a wonderful weekend. i do not have any announcements to begin so we can go straight to questions. kathleen, do you want to start? kathleen: i want to start with the supreme court decision or nondecision on contraception. i wonder if you view this move as a clear result of the vacancy on the court? do you have any thoughts on it? whether or not you think the court is potential low dodging these issues at this point. josh: well, let me start by saying we obviously were pleased with the announcement from the supreme court today. it will allow millions of women across the country to continue
3:44 pm
to get the health care coverage that they need. nd so this obviously is an outcome that we are pleased to see. our concerns about the continued vacancy on the supreme court persists. in this case, based on, again, the announcement of the supreme court it's not obvious that an additional justice would have yielded a different result. but i haven't heard anybody leaving rgument that the supreme court of the united states short staffed is somehow good for the country. the argument that we heard from republicans is that they don't want to confirm another president obama nominee to the supreme court, and they have made that declaration based solely on partisan reasons.
3:45 pm
and many republicans are having a tough time explaining to their constituents why they've refused to do their job simply because the republican leader in the senate has requested that they do so. you know, there are presidents in both parties who made a strong case for the senate fulfilling their constitutional duty and it was president reagan who observed that a protracted vacancy on the supreme court didn't serve the american people well. president obama has made exactly the same case. kathleen: as for the substance of the issue, are you confident at the administration -- [inaudible] compromise at this point? do you think -- josh: what is true is that the administration has put forward an accommodation that ensures that women nationwide have
3:46 pm
access to health care, including contraceptive coverage, without pay, i might add. hile also protecting religious liberty. and we are pleased to announce this accommodation and to demonstrate that we were committed to both principles. now, what's also true is that there may be another process that plays out. that was the announcement to be made at the lower courts and we'll obviously continue to engage in the process, but, you know, we obviously are pleased that the announcement of the supreme court that millions of women nationwide can continue to get access to health care. kathleen: and topics on libya, the announcement out of vienna, to lift the embarko on the
3:47 pm
government there. 'm wondering if this was a decision that was made because of the concerns of these weapons falling in the wrong hand. wonder why you're confident now? josh: well, my understanding of the way this process is working is that the government of national accord that international community has now in ally around is a position to make a specific request of weapons they would like to see provided to forces in libya that are fighting isil and securing the country. and the united nations will review that request and determine whether or not that agreed uest that can be to in a way that doesn't exacerbate our concerns that those weapons could fall into
3:48 pm
the wrong hans. so this is the beginning of a process, not the end of it. but it is an indication that the international community is coming together in support of a government of national acard in libya that's seeking to bring some stability to that country. libya has encountered difficult challenges. they had an authoritarian dictator that ran that country for more than four decades that eroded almost all of the remaining institutions that typically are needed to govern a country. and it means that the government of national accord will essentially have to come from the bottom up and start building the infrastructure of a government that rule a country that's got a significant economy, particularly based on the natural resources that they can sell on the global market, and
3:49 pm
divided that's been for a long lines time. this is a difficult challenge, and it's important for the international community to come together in support of this government of national accord that the libyan people can finally have the kind of government that reflects their preferences. kathleen: but as a sign of a vote of confidence in the -- rnment, should we expect [inaudible] particularly in the campaign against isis, should we expect to be in libya or air strikes or is this a first step for the involvement in libya? josh: ultimately our goal is to build up the community of national accords so they can secure their own country themselves.
3:50 pm
that ultimately is the goal so that the united states and the rest of the international community doesn't have to come in and fight this fight for them. but as i mentioned, they are oing some very basic work that to sort of build up the institutions of that country. and it's going to require a lot of broader international support in order for them to succeed in that effort. the united states has already taken military strikes against isil targets in libya, and when necessary to take additional strikes, protect the american people, we will have to do so back in november as a result of a u.s. military air strike, the leader in libya was killed. there was a strike earlier this year that removed a number of isil fighters from the battlefield. these are fighters who we were concerned were prepared to go out and carry out a large-scale
3:51 pm
operation. president -- the ordered military action in libya against isil targets in the past and that continues to be an option, but that is not a substitute for building the capacity of a central government in libya that can begin to secure that country and begin to take the fight to isil in that country. all right. tim. tim: just a quick one on the house invitation for ben rose to appear. there's been suggestions that he will not appear. could you tell us definitively if he will appear tomorrow? josh: tim, the answers that you heard from me before are still operative here. the truth is it is republicans in congress who criticized the iran deal, who has a lot to explain when it comes to saying things about the iran deal that didn't turn out to be true. and if they want to hold a hearing to determine whether or
3:52 pm
not republicans were just wrong and badly misinformed or if they were purposely lying to the american people, then they can do that. there obviously would be ample time. at least they should set aside ample time because there are any number of witnesses, including individuals who serve on the committee, who could provide some significant insight. i think what's true is, tim, previous administrations have en fairly skeptical of these kinds of efforts. particularly because this isn't a whole lot more than just a three-ring circus that republicans are looking to organize up there. and so i don't have an answer for you. we're going to continue to
3:53 pm
review the letter, but i think ou can sense the not-so-thinly-veiled skepticism about this whole exercise that i'm displaying here. [inaudible] josh: i don't have a definitive answer for you. but i don't have a definitive answer for you. anything else? im: mr. trump is saying he's unlikely to have a good relationship with [inaudible] could this jeopardize the relationship that united states will have with britain? josh: again, i'll let the individual presidential candidates to express their own views about what they hope to do to strengthen our alliances around the world. president obama, over the course of his tenure in office
3:54 pm
has deepened the alliances around the world because of the importance economic security and when it comes to our national security and the president has invested deeply in the special relationship that the united states and the u.k. have enjoyed for centuries , and the president certainly blobes that's an alliance that's worthy of an investment. tim: yesterday at rutgers, you aw the president criticize policies that certain republicans, one by one -- josh: are you talking about jim inhofe? tim: no, not that one. josh: he was the one that was talked about in the speech. tim: is this a signal that we're going to see the president -- josh: mr. trump wasn't mentioned in the speech, though, tim. mr. inhofe was though. tim: right. is it likely -- josh: what i'm
3:55 pm
trying to illustrate is the concerns that president obama raised were not new but are concerns that extend broadly throughout the republican party . the president talked a lot about the continued insistence by republicans to deny the fact of climate change in the face and rwhelming evidence already observed impacts. republicans continue to deny this is even taking place, and the president highlighted the example of senator inhofe in the middle of winter bringing a snowball in the floor of the senate and suggesting this somehow confirmed his denial of science. even years later it's difficult to explain exactly what he was trying to illustrate. it's not that difficult, however, to make clear what the president is trying to illustrate which is that our
3:56 pm
country has long benefited from not cal leaders that are seeking to deny evidence and facts and science in order to advance a political agenda but actually to focus on evidence and science and facts to make an argument about improving the country and moving the country forward and living up to the values that we have long fought for. these are not new arguments that president obama has made. for example, the president talked about the fact that, quote, the biggest challenges we face cannot be solved in isolation. i know that many of your colleagues, tim suggested that might be a shot at one presidential candidate or another. truth is, it sounds like a few more words for, yes, we can. and i think what's important for people to understand about the president's speech, these are values that he fought for as a candidate for president and that he spent the last 7
3:57 pm
1/2 years fighting for in office. this has been his approach to problem solving. it's been his approach to leading the country. it's been his approach to leading the world. the country and the world are better off for it. tim: just one more on the speech yesterday. while he didn't mention trump's name he did go after the temporary ban on muslims. i'm curious whether you might hear more from the president on . . trump's treatment of women josh: again, tim, there are a variety of republican candidates and a variety of republican office holders have suggested that a religious test should be imposed on individuals seeking tenant of the united states. for reasons that the president outlined in the speech, that is inconsistent with our values and it's inconsistent with a . art strategy to destroy isil so, again, this is not an
3:58 pm
argument about one presidential candidate. this is an argument about many leaders in a political party shooed evidence because the inconvenient to the political argument they want to make. that's particularly dangerous when you're talking about something about the national security of the united states and the danger that the publican strategy posed to our efforts to coordinate with muslims in america and muslims around the world to fight isil. those are some of our most important partners. and to alienate them is unwise, to put it mildly. rochelle. rochelle: thanks, josh. you mentioned with the a.c.a. decision, the status quo is intact. is it disappointing that it's going back at the very least
3:59 pm
that would lead to a compromise that's less than what you would have originally liked to have seen? josh: no, we were gratified with the ruling today. the announcement ensures that millions of women across the country can continue to have access to their health care. it is a reflection of something we have long believed, which is that it is possible to prioritize both access to health care for everybody while protecting the religious liberty of every american. that's what we sought to do and we obviously are pleased this is something that will continue to remain in effect. rochelle: things could change at the lower court level, though, in terms of trying to find a compromise, that could morph in a way you would not agree with, right? josh: again, i don't know how the process will play out. rochelle: and seeing how this was the result of an evenly
4:00 pm
divided court and looking how this could have gone another way if the president had a nominee that was accepted, you know, prior to this. so do you expect this to just solidify opposition to taking up garland? in a sense, republicans could see this as the status quo working for them in some way. do you feel like that's a possibility? josh: well, i have no idea what republicans will conclude. the truth is, all the democrats and a least a couple of the republicans have concluded that chief judge garland, the most experienced supreme court nominee in american history when you consider his 19 years of service on the federal bench, is somebody who's deserving of a fair hearing and a yes or no vote. it's even republicans who described him as a consensus nominee, and i did take note of something that leader mcconnell said last week. in some ways actually makes the case as

45 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on