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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 10, 2014 10:00am-12:01pm EST

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>> right. okay, so over the year we've added 122,000 jobs in construction. >> uh-huh. >> and the average -- let me take a quick look here, yeah. okay. and, um, let's see, excuse me. okay. but this particular month of -- most of the decline was in nonresidential specialty trade. >> uh-huh. >> all right? and when we looked into this further, we found that most of these declines were concentrated in the northeast and the midwest, and those were the areas that had lower temperatures than normal over the past month. >> but overall, there's been 122,000 jobs added in construction. >> yes. >> just when you mentioned the regional issues, i remember in the past at these hearings we've discussed that. do you see regional trends not
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just with construction, with the numbers for 2013? >> um -- >> you can get back to me in writing. >> yeah. i'm going to let tom look this up for me. [laughter] >> all right. and how about veterans' unemployment? be do we know where that is? >> yes. okay. um, okay. gulf war era veterans had an unemployment rate of 7.3% in december, and this is down from 10.8% a year earlier. >> uh-huh. >> in december of 2013, there were 2.9 million gulf war era veterans, and they served anywhere in the world since september 2001. okay. in december 2013 the unemployment rate, the unemployment rate for veterans aged 18-24 was 15.6% which is little different because these sample sizes are so small.
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this is little different from the 11.4% unemployment rate for nonveterans of that age. >> uh-huh. >> veterans overall make up about 4% of unemployed persons as of december. >> okay. i do remember we've been working hard in various ways on this issue because of the fact that, um, for a while we were having extraordinarily high unemployment rates with veterans, and we -- i know we've seen some improvement. >> uh-huh. okay. so let me get back to the regional question. >> uh-huh. >> looking at the november numbers which is the latest for which we have, um, for which we have unemployment rates, um, the states with the highest unemployment rates -- seasonally adjusted -- are nevada at 9%, rhode island at 9%, michigan at 8.8%, illinois at 8.7%. and the other ones who are kind of in that range are district of
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columbia, california, mississippi, kentucky, tennessee, arizona, new jersey. they top out top group at 7.8%. >> uh-huh. >> the states with the lowest unemployment rates are north and south dakota, 2.6% and 3.6% respectively, nebraska at 3.7%, utah at 4.3%, hawaii, iowa, vermont, wyoming all at 4.4%. here comes minnesota at 4.6% and then kansas and new hampshire at 5.1%. >> all right. i'm not going to go into analysis of that, because it doesn't seem to be in particular region, but i think it does have something to do with what industries are in those states or what type of employment are in those states, and that's something you've mentioned by what you're seeing with growth in certain areas and not growth in others. so -- >> also the aftermath of the
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housing crisis. >> exactly. and as identify pointed out, we have seen some pretty dramatic improvements in just the past year in that area. so i appreciate it. thank you very much. >> you're welcome. >> thank you. representative hand man? -- hanna? >> thank you. thank you for being here. commissioner, the labor participation rate is pretty well at a historic low, and if we took that into consideration based on the bureau of labor statistics, the actual unemployment rate would be closer, someplace between 10 and 11, closer to 11%. i want to talk about that in the context of the jobs that you've said have been created through merchandise retail, wholesale, service-oriented jobs. and relate that back to what senator klobuchar talked about which is something that is generally referred to as a skills gap. do you have of an idea of what that looks like in the real world? we talked about our lack of
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capacity to provide people to the employment that's available that are higher, more technologically-oriented jobs and what that means and what we should be doing differently than we are. >> if you could hit the microphone, please. >> sorry. [laughter] you're getting really into the realm of policy right here, and here i want to remind you that the bls and other statistical agencies don't engage in policy analysis. with all due respect, that's your job. >> right. [laughter] >> we, in particular we don't study and make determinations about whether policies are achieving their goals or propose policies to achieve those to goals, because such work could
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raise questions about our neutrality and our impartiality. >> commissioner, if i could stop you there, i may have misheard representative hanna's question, but i think it was how does the growth that you're seeing in certain of these significant industries tie into the labor participation rate which is, we all agree, at a very low rate? >> yeah. um, it's not obvious what a connection, what connection there is between labor force participation and where growth is occurring. i don't think i have an answer for that. >> so you, the -- clearly there's a increasing number of people dropping out of the work force, and i accept your notion that it's not necessarily where you're going with the bureau of labor statistics, but as an economist, you must have an opinion about that. are you -- would you like to talk about that? [laughter] maybe not? >> well, um, so i have to, you know, right now my job is as commissioner, and i really think
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it's most important for me to uphold the principles and practices of statistical agencies. but i can talk a little bit about where growth has been occurring and what we've seen in terms of industry wage growth is that by and -- much of the growth in, when you divide it up by broad industries, much of the wage growth has been in the lower wage industries. when you divide it up by occupations, which is a different kind of way to divide up job growth, there you see growth in high wage -- more in high wage occupations and low wage occupations than you see in the middle of the distribution. >> uh-huh. thank you for that. i yield back. >> commissioner, can i ask one question? because, again, i want to be clear. in your testimony you said the employment rate or labor participation rate was
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principally due not to people dropping out, but people leaving jobs. and mr. hanna's question was -- >> okay, yeah. i may have -- >> growth industries, clearly there probably is relationship between which industries you're seeing contributing to the labor participation rate. i think that's what he's trying to get to. not a policy issue, more of an insight. >> insight, yeah. okay, so we can look into that for you. that's something that we -- we do track flowings. so i think we can do that -- flows. so i think we can do that. >> thank you. representative delainey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and, commissioner, welcome. and i want to tie my comments into some of the comments my friend, mr. hanna, just made. could you expand upon this disaggregation of the employment statistics around low, middle and high skilled workers, what trends we've observed in the last year and perhaps in the
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last several years with respect to those categories? >> hmm. all right. let's see what i want to look at. um, okay. take a quick look by education rank, yes. i'm going to look at -- we're taking a look at -- >> sure. >> -- what's happening to unemployment rates by with education. >> uh-huh. >> okay? we've seen declines in unemployment rates by education for all of the categories, for less than high school, for high school graduates, for some college and associate degrees. they've all declined. the largest decline has been for less than a high school diploma, and that's partly a factor because it increased also the most during the recession.
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>> but that's getting into employment attainment based on educational attainment and the correlation there. i'm more getting at the growth in jobs based on the skill profile of the jobs. >> uh-huh. >> so we -- you made the observation that we've seen growth in high skilled jobs and growth in low skilled jobs. >> yes. >> and a lack of growth in these middle skilled jobs which implies a barbelling of our economy which is something i've tried to be focused on the last year or two because i think it reflects a broader trend about how highly specialized our economy is becoming and the implications of that. but do you have any data to show that the materiality of the growth of high versus low is -- as compared to middle skilled jobs? >> so i don't, i don't have a single measure of skill, but i can tell you which major occupational groups had the most wage growth. i'm sorry, most employment growth. so in the 2012-2013 time frame,
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we added 669,000 jobs in management, professional and related occupations. >> and that's the numerator. what's the denominator of jobs in those areas? >> this is not a -- oh, i'm sorry. so that was, so that was a 1.2% -- >> growth. >> -- growth. >> okay, got it. >> uh-huh. and in natural resource, construction maintenance occupation, there was 1.8% growth. sales and office occupations, three-tenths of a percent growth. production, transportation and material moving occupations a decrease of a tenth of a percent. and in service occupations an increase of 1.8%. >> got it. does your, do you broadly categorize jobs in these categories of high, middle or low skilled, or do you not disaggregate the data, generally
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speaking, that way? >> generally -- >> okay, got it. >> -- we do not. >> no, i understand, because that's somewhat of a subjective -- >> and it may be the bottom part of these distributions are in the top part. yeah. >> do you observe any, as we've seen the rate of health care has slowed significantly over the last several years, has that, um, does that correlate to growth of jobs in the health care sector? >> um, we're still adding -- although not in this past month -- but generally we've been adding jobs in the health care sector. it has just been, the pace has slowed over the past year. >> so you do see correlations between health care expenditures and growth in the health care sector? >> um, i haven't done that correlation. >> got it. okay. thank you. >> yeah. >> thank you. representative paulson. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thanks also for being here today to testify. you know, it goes without saying that today's employment report has some disappointing news. as you mentioned, it's not
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strongly encouraging. the numbers are well below what the country needs to do just to add on a monthly basis, 130,000 jobs need to be added per month just to keep up with population growth, so i'm sure you'd agree we have a long way to go on the road to recovery. we're still well over a million jobs where we were in december of '07 at the event, at the start of the last recession, and the labor participation rate, staggering numbers, is still really, really low, almost dropping 350,000 last month alone. let me just turn to something that many of us refer to as the jobs grab. jobs gap. the difference between the average employment growth following a recession and the more anemic employment growth that has followed the most recent recession. four and a half years after the recession ended, there are still fewer payroll jobs than pre-recession. so by various measures, there is a huge jobs gap. the brookings institution, for example, estimates that it's as high as eight million jobs.
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has the bls done an estimate at all of that jobs gap of those types of numbers? >> we've made a comparison to where we were when the recession started, but we generally don't do the kind of forecasting that would require about what job growth would have been, um, in the absence of the recession. that's not really within our skill set. >> okay. chairman brady mentioned in his opening statement that, you know, when the stimulus bill was passed -- and that was controversial for many reasons and when it was pushed through -- but at that time the administration said at this point we would be at about a 5% unemployment rate which we're not anywhere near. but at the average rate of job creation right now during 2013, last year, how much longer would it take for unemployment, for the rate to reach 5% just to get to that 5% level? how long would it take? >> i haven't done that calculation. i know it'll take about seven months for us to get back to the
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total payroll -- >> right. >> -- where we were, total payrolls where we were before. but -- >> but there would be a longer period of time -- >> you know, we can, i mean, we can estimate that, we can straight line that for you. >> okay. and let me turn a little bit to part time, because part-time employment and full-time employment has been something else that's been discussed with some concerns. and i'd like to ask some questions about that. part-time employment for economic reasons is a measure, some would say, of weakness in the labor market. as an economist, would you agree that part-time employment could be viewed as a weakness of, in the labor market? >> well, generally speaking, during recessions you do see an increase in the number of people who are part time for economic reasons; not getting as many hours as they would like, or they would perfect to work full time, that's why they're in that category. so either they're not getting as many hours, or they're taking a part-time job because they haven't found a full-time job.
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>> we've been postrecession for a while now technically, right? on the technical side. a lot of employers are unsure they need workers long term or there are regulatory disincentives to hire long-term workers. is it both of those factors, or are there other factors as well that would contribute to that measure? >> well, let me make a distinction. actually, the number of part-time workers as a percent of the total employed hasn't changed very much of late. that's fairly constant. >> okay. >> so, um, and we've had a decline in the part time for economic reasons, although it's still historically high. >> one of the things that'll be interesting to watch in the near future is just with the implementation now of the affordable care act or the president's new health care law. i've spoken with several employers in minnesota, for example, and that are now concerned about being forced to scale back full-time workers
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into part-time jobs now because of the affordable care act. and one restauranteur, and restaurants normally have part-time workers, but one i spoke with has 530 some employees, and 41% of those workers are full time. now he's essentially looked at moving all of those full-time workers to 29 hours, part-time status. so there are consequences, obviously, of moving good, full-time jobs into part-time jobs. sort of along those lines, you know, what role do mandated employer benefits play in employer decisions? you know, to hire workers either part time as opposed to full time? >> our data wouldn't allow us to answer that question. that'd be a policy research question. >> okay, good. i think we're going to be hearing more about that, mr. chairman, so i was just curious. i yield back. >> thank you, sir. representative sanchez? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and, um, i want to say something before i ask our panel a question.
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um, thank you, mr. chairman, for this morning actually trying to delve into these numbers instead of, um, you know, doing partisan, real partisan bickering and everything. because i think we're all at that point where we want to try to you said what's going on -- to understand what's going on. so i appreciate that the majority of the members who have been talking this morning have been really trying to stick to what the picture looks like in hopes to move and to try to do the policy. as you said, commissioner, that we are supposed to do. i want to go back to something mr. delaney asked about and this whole issue of barbelling or the fact that you said employment has occurred at the higher, at least higher educational level and, um, lower educational level. and that that middle portion, i
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guess we're trying to figure out what types of jobs would those be that aren't growing -- >> uh-huh. >> -- and if you have some indication of that. and if you are a -- because you have it by education and not necessarily skill set which, of course, when we're looking at it, we're trying to figure out skill set. if you're an employer trying to figure out skill set, not whether somebody went to college or not. so my question to you is when we see these young people coming out of university and they have a college degree but they may not have a set skill set because they maybe don't have the work experience, would those students fall into that, that barbell middle portion where hiring is not happening? do you have any statistics on that? >> yeah. um, let me, let me see. um, well, the middle, the middle
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area of these very large occupational groups that i'm talking about are sales and office occupations where we added only 94,000 jobs, and -- >> so that'd be like an entry salesperson, entry, like, you know, cold calling, entry receptionist, that type of thing? >> administrative work it could be, sure. and then the other areas, production, transportation and material moving occupations. which usually you wouldn't associate with a college degree, but actually i'm sure, you know, some of them probably -- >> well, lo to gistics maybe -- logistics maybe or something of the sort. when you're trying to get your foot in, if you don't have a lot of work experience, you probably start at the bottom of the rung. >> uh-huh. >> my next question for you is as you've seen over the last month or two, i'm trying to feel -- i'm trying to figure out
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if companies, was -- because i look at companies' balance sheets, the ones that we can see, and we see two things happening. and we've seen it for a while now. years from now, years of capital accumulation, cash on hand growth, as well as buyback of stock. and this is where at least the public companies, those that i can see, are using their cash. so, um, do you think that the shutdown that we had is reflective in any way of these numbers? do you -- i know these are policy issues, but did that have, do you think that that had anything, and -- i'm trying to figure out how we get companies to begin to spend cash. i mean, it's a risk. i have orange county register, they're the hometown newspaper for the home county, orange, where i represent, and they are
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creating journalist jobs, they've hired over 400 new people in the newspaper business which supposedly is totally contrarian to what we've seen in the news business these days. so do you think that when we do uncertain things, that that's what's maybe holding people, companies back? >> let me answer something a little related which is that, um, a characteristic of the market where we are now is that we've seen, excuse me, sorry. we've seen a decline in job destruction rates back down to essentially pre-recession levels. so one area in which our labor market has improved is that our job destruction rates are now more typical of what you'd see in an expansion. so what's lagged for us has been job creation. right? and you can see this in new firms both in the number of new
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firms and in the number of jobs created by new firms. and you can see it also in expansions by firms, and this is from our business employment dynamics data. so that corroborates some of perhaps what you're picking up. we did look at the effect, we have looked at the effect of the shutdown in a very direct way, and we saw an increase in temporary layoffs associated with the shutdown and then a decrease after that. so, um, we did not see numbers that were suggestive of a lot of very quick multiplier effects in the payroll data from the shutdown. we think maybe there was some displacement rather than actually multiplier effects. >> thank you, commissioner. thank you -- >> thank you, commissioner. representative duffy? >> thank you, mr. chairman. commissioner, thank you for being here today. i just want to go back to some things i think mr. paulsen had
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brought up. you'd agree with population growth we have to see about 130,000 new jobs created every month just to maintain the status quo, is that right? >> um, i, you know, it's not a very precise number, but something, you know, there are numbers kind of along those lines, yes. >> am i hitting the middle point there? is that a number that's a range, around 130,000? am i off? >> yep. tom agrees, therefore, it's true. [laughter] >> thank you, tom. and this month we created only 74,000 new jobs, right? so if you look at just to maintain, um, our employment rate, you have to be 130,000, but this month we're at 74,000. and i think often times america will hear the unemployment rate going from 7% down to 6.7%, and they would view that as the country going in the right direction in regard to job creation and economic growth. but would you agree that,
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actually, the reduction in the unemployment rate is not an indicator of strong job growth like many of americans may think? >> um, so there are -- i'm going to unpack things just a little bit. >> thank you. >> so the decline in the unemployment rate, certainly this month we think is somewhere around two-thirds due to the decline in labor force participation and about a third to job creation. right? generally speaking, though, in the employment-to-population ratio has essentially stayed about the same since late 2009. so that is problematic. but we have two different forces acting on employment to population. one is demographic changes that would tend to depress
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participation just as baby boomers like myself age, our population generally getting older, and we're getting into times -- we're more heavily weighted towards parts of the population that participate less. so we have to increase employment to population we not only have to -- we need to compensate for this downward pressure. so that's one effect. the other effect is the recovery from the recession, and that would require creation of many more jobs. >> maybe going back to the question for tom earlier -- >> yes. >> so since pre-'09 -- >> uh-huh. >> traditionally we needed 130,000 jobs per month to maintain employment with population growth. are you saying that this year and the year before, that that's actually not true? we don't -- it's been static, our population growth? so if we actually have a $74,000 -- a 74,000-job gain,
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that's actually 74,000 -- we're moving in the right direction? are you saying that we're, our population growth is taking place at 130,000 roughly per month right now? >> yeah. well, our average has been over this past year has been 182,000. but tom's going to take a stab at this. let -- >> right. just to, in general, with the ep ratio, employment/population ratio, that would indicate that job growth is basically enough to keep track with the growth of the population 16 and over. you're not -- but it's, obviously, it's lower than it was at the start of the recession, so we're not gaining ground in terms of increasing the proportion of the population that's employed, getting it back to the pre-recession levels. but we're basically keeping track with population growth, is the way to look at it. >> okay. i want to quickly switch gears. i think a lot of the
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disagreement that we find on both sides of the aisle over the last several years comes to the economy and job growth. i don't -- do you guys look at statistics and have an analysis on whether our raising the minimum wage will create more jobs, or does the effect of that create less jobs? >> this is very much a policy question. >> i'm asking statistically, do you look at, do you analyze that on the statistic front? >> we do not have any statistics that would allow us to answer that question. >> okay. i yield back. >> thank you. a vote's been called in the house, and so the former chairman of the joint economic committee, representative maloney, will be our final questioner. >> thank you. first of all, i want to congratulate you on your appointment. you're the fourth woman to head this important panel, building on the fine work of katherine abrams who i believe is still on the council of economic advisers. so thank you. >> you're welcome.
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she actually stepped down in, i think, april. >> well, in the statistics of the women's movement, they say more important than the first woman appointed is consistent, fine performance of women where it's no longer something unexpected. but i believe that you are going to be adding to that very important statistic. and i think the statistics today are very, very encouraging. with the employment increased by 74,000, unemployment fell to 6.be 7% -- 6.7%. but if you put it into the context of the overall economy, private sector jobs have grown for 46 consecutive months and a total of 8.2 million private sector jobs have been created over that period. and i believe that in 2013 private sector employment increased by 2.2 million jobs, largely unchanged there the 2.3 million private sector jobs added in 2012. so i believe that this shows
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that the economy is steady, it's durable, it's improving, and i would also like to note that the private sector job growth has been revised upward generally in october from 217,000 in october to 226,000 for an average of 177,000 new job ares per month -- new jobs per month being created. and could you elaborate on how these numbers fit into the overall economy and comment on the trend? it looks to me like we are trending in the right direction. we are trending with an improved economy. not as good as we'd like, but could you comment on the overall context of the economy and trends in the economy? >> all right. well, um, i started to say that generally speaking what we've been seeing over the past year
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is very steady, modest job growth that's been primarily in the services. all right? and this has led to improvements by many measures, yet there's still a long ways to go to return to pre-recession conditions. >> uh-huh. well, in your report you say that the payroll growth was concentrated in wholesale, retail, temporary health services and added jobs. last night there were very disturbing numbers out of new york city that i have the privilege of representing, one of our great retail stores, macy's, laid off 2,500 people. now, this is not the trend in new york state where we have added more than 140,000 private sector jobs during the past 12 months. but the progress in the city, the unemployment rate has been slower, we're now at 8.5% unemployed to 8.9%. my question is, is new york
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city's experience, how does that fit in the broader perspective or the broader national picture? are other urban areas experiencing higher rates of unemployment than the nation as a whole? >> the nation is a combination of many different regions and many different cities within those regions, so there's always quite a variety of experiences because cities are affected both by their long-term secular trends as well as by the cycle that they're under, that they're within. >> now, in joblessness recovery, is it faster usually in rural and suburban parts of the country over urban areas? is there any data on that? no? no? okay. >> i think it varies, yeah. >> i want to publicly congratulate senator klobuchar on the unshiewrns report that
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she did, and i think your report also shows that there's a need for this type of support because of the drop. you said in your testimony that the decline was driven primarily by a drop in the labor force participation rate. and it seems that keeping people hoping to find a job, working to find a job, having that support system while they try to become part of the economy and also that she noted in her report this is a pass-through. anyone who is unemployed is, obviously, going to put that money right back into the economy and help to create other jobs and to help the hope of the country in this very difficult time moving forward. i do want to note that manufacturing employment rose by 9,000, and i was thrilled to see the audit industry as one that supported the restructuring of the auto industry to see that it
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has added over 8,000 jobs. but i did note that women have been losing jobs in manufacturing while men have gained them. do you understand -- that i noticed in the report, and i guess basically the question is, are sectors of the economy wheren men are more heavily represented adding more jobs than other sectors where women traditionally have a larger presence? your numbers showed that there's been a more rapid drop in the unemployment rate for men. and what explains that rapid drop in the unemployment rate for men? in the beginning, during the recession men faced a significantly higher unemployment rate than women, and unemployment for men peaked at 11% in october of 2009 while the unemployment rate for women never exceeded 9%. >> commissioner, this is a very important question. we've run out of time. could you briefly answer but provide a written response to
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representative maloney? >> thank you, mr. chairman. right, we certainly can. the basic answer we found is that there's no very strong pattern of job growth being concentrated in male or female-dominated industries. so it opportunity seem to be a simple industry mix story. >> commissioner, thank you for your professional presentation. this was a cake walk. and we look forward to having you back. tom, best of luck in retirement. the hearing is adjourned. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> and again on the unemployment numbers, the associated press reporting this morning u.s. employers added a scant 74,000 jobs in december, it's the fewest in three years.
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the labor department says the unemployment rate fell from 7% in november to 6.7%, the lowest level since october of 2008. but the drop occurred partly because more americans stopped looking for jobs. cold weather may have slowed hiring, construction firms cut 16,000 jobs, and that is the biggest drop in 20 months. new jersey governor chris christie held a news conference yesterday addressing reporters' questions about an apparent planned traffic jam on the george washington bridge lasting for four days and possibly contributing to the death of a person needing immediate medical attention. here's a portion of his remarks followed by reaction from state legislators and a reporter covering the issue. >> good morning. i come out here to this office where i've been many times before, and i come out here today to apologize to people of new jersey. i apologize to the people of
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fort lee, and i apologize to the members of the state legislature. i am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team. there's no doubt in my mind that the conduct that they exhibited is completely unacceptable and showed a lack of respect for their appropriate role in government and for the people that we're trusted to seven. to serve. two pieces to what i want to talk about today. the first is i believe that all of the people who were affected by this conduct deserve this apology, and that's why i'm giving it to them. i also need to apologize to them
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for my failure as the governor of this state to understand the true nature of this problem sooner than i did. but i believe i have an understanding now of the true nature of the problem, and identify taken the following action -- i've taken the following action as result. this morning i've terminated the employment of bridget kelly effective immediately. i terminated her employment because she lied to me. >> and joining us now on the phone is new jersey state senator raymond lesniak, he is a democrat. senator, you called this the biggest scandal in new jersey since abscam. why is that? >> guest: well, it involves corruption at the highest levels, use of hit call force for pretty -- political force for political retribution. and very importantly, as the
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previous caller just said, recklessly endangering people's lives, possibly criminally negligent homicide, and that's just the start of things. now we're seeing a massive cover-up. i don't believe governor governr christie had anything to do with the lane closures, but he certainly set the tone for retribution against his political opponents. that was well established. but then when they concocted this phony traffic study cover-up, there's no doubt he was in the middle of it. there was no basis for a traffic study, and that, that whole story had to go beyond people we've heard mentioned so far. there are redacted e-mails with people's names on it, we don't know whether the governor's name was on it, whether his chief counsel was named on it, his chief of staff. there are a lot of things
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involving the cover-up that could amount to obstruction of justice. so this is very serious, and it's going to take a long time to get down to the bottom of it. next tuesday we are hearing the governor's nominee for attorney general, kevin o'dowd, who's a very good person. we like him. but he has to testify under oath, and he is the governor's chief of staff. there's no doubt in my mind that he was right in the middle of all the discussions regarding the phony traffic study. so that's going to be the next big event that's going to bring out more information if he actually appears before and goes for confirmation. >> host: and that's going to be at a state senate hearing, is that correct, senator? >> guest: it'll be the judiciary committee of which i'm a member, and he's been nominated for attorney general.
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i support him, but we do need to know what role he mayed. his name has not -- he played. his name has not surfaced at all on this, and yet there's no tout when the phony traffic -- no doubt when the phony traffic study explanation was developed that he had to be in the middle of it. and he'll have to answer those questions under oath next tuesday. >> host: and are there any special hearings scheduled by the state senate right now regarding this lane closure issue? >> guest: no. the assembly has been taking the lead, and the chairman has been doing a great job getting down to the bottom of it, getting these e-mails revealed. the next step from their standpoint will be not only to call additional witnesses like this bridget kelly person who ordered this lane closure, but also to get the redactions on the e-mails which will certainly
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reveal additional information of other people involved. >> host: how would you describe the above's relationship with the state senate and the assembly? >> guest: well, with the republicans there is no relationship. they do what he says. they've been called bobbleheads. actually, i think there's some positive fallout for new jersey from this. the governor's going to have to drop his presidential aspirations and focus on our problems. i believe the republicans will be freed up, because they haven't participated in government throughout his administration because they just march to his orders. and that's why his -- by the way, i am not a bully statement. hey, i was around when richard nixon said i am not a thief. it doesn't ring true just like that statement didn't ring true. he is a bully. that's the biggest fabrication
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of his -- he was very contrite. he sounded very, very sorrowful and almost tearful. but when he said i am not a bully, that belies everything he said because he is a bully. he took pride in being a bully. he established his reputation on being a bully. people like the fact that he took no prisoners. he was a politician that didn't have to cater to anybody, who didn't care about the effect of what he said, he just said what was on his mind. that's what, that's what boosted his popularity. it's what people liked. but then when he said, goes back and says i am not a bully? i'm sorry, governor, you are a bully. you have been a bully, and you can't take that back. but maybe, maybe he can now recognize that, you know, that's not a good way to be. and maybe he can change. and maybe we can now work in a better relationship to get more things done for the state of new jersey. >> host: and that's raymond
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lesniak, state senator, democrat in new jersey. thank you for your time, sir. senator pinaccio, what do you think about this? >> well, i think there are two parallel universes going on now. first, it's a state issue and a state challenge to the governor. and unfortunately, these things happen all too often where there are corruption, and the leaders have to vet them out. i think the interest here, of course, is that the nation is looking at chris christie and, quite frankly, we're vetting him out potentially for being a future president. and, of course, as we get this type of attention, we want to know how he responds. and, of course, you can't help but compare him to, let's say, the current president that we have. so if you look at the current president when he was faced with these challenges whether they were benghazi or the rollout of obamacare or the irs scandal where the government also was using overreaching to hurt some citizens because some citizens
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didn't agree with the philosophy of the administration, we take a look at the president, and he just said he did not know. we take a look at this governor yesterday, he took full culpability, he was responsible. quite frankly, he looked very human when he said he was humiliated. i've never heard a public official say that they were humiliated, but that's chris. that's chris christie. so i think people lied to him, and i think part of his charm is that he isn't that empty suit type of politician that you get from hollywood. >> host: now, rush limbaugh said on his show yesterday that republicans are not going out and supporting chris christie. what's the governor's relationship with state republicans and national republicans? >> guest: well, i've been in the legislature going on 12 years now. i could tell you, i'd rather -- [inaudible] i think he's done a world of good for new jersey and its citizens compared to when he came in. when he came in, we had a pension system that was broke, we had $2 billion of debt of the
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current budget that we had and projected 10 or 11 billion debt of the budget that he had to deal with in four or five months. he managed to straighten all that out, the sky did not fall, and he did it, quite frankly, with a hostile legislature, democrat legislature. so you have to give him kudos. he may not -- [inaudible] but he's at the table, and he's slicing that bread. >> host: does this hurt his chances in 2016 if he decides to run for president? >> guest: 2016 is a world away. you know, my focus as well as his focus is on new jersey. he hasn't even been inaugurated for his second term which will be shortly. i can't answer that. >> host: mr. simons, were you at the press conference yesterday, and what was your impression of it? >> guest: um, i was in the building watching the press conference, but i was actually covering one of the court hearings and the committee hearing where david wildstein
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did not testify. obviously, caught a lot of the governor's press conference, and it was interesting. i think that, beg your pardon, i think one of the things that a lot of people are paying a lot of attention to today is that when the governor, um, let his deputy chief of staff go, one thing everybody focused on rather extensively was that he was lied to by her rather than focusing on the actual act of closing the lanes to the george washington bridge. >> host: so, mr. symons, what we saw yesterday in that press conference, you've been covering the governor, you've written a book an governor christie as well. was that governor chris christie who we saw yesterday at the news conference? >> guest: sure. yeah, i mean, i think a lot of people have a view of him that is solely, um, derived from a lot of the youtube videos and
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ore other things being put out. obviously, that is a side to him, the confrontational part. but he also has sort of a, he's, you know, just like any person, a well-rounded figure, so to speak, so he's got an introspective side, he has a funny side -- you didn't see any of that yesterday -- but to talk about in things in very personal terms, he kept trying to relate, essentially, to people by saying things like, you know, i just finished my workout when i learned about it, read it on my ipad, different things like that to try to make those real details in a way that you don't necessarily always see from a politician. it's actually kind of classic christie. >> host: in the "wall street journal" this morning are some of the players in this issue including david samson, bridget kelly, david wildstein and bill baroni. how close is he to these four?
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>> guest: um, let's see. starting with the closest, i guess, would be david samson, who is the chairman of the port authority of new york and new jersey. mr. samson is a former state attorney general under governor mcgreevey at the start of mcgreevey's term in 2002 and '3. david samson was the counsel, the governor's first election campaign, was the chairman of his transition committee when he was transitioning into office. so of those four, he's closest with samson. he went to high school with david wildstein. they weren't in the same class, and i know it appeared they were necessarily close, but part of what, i guess, part of wildstein's interesting connection to this whole thing is that he had been anonymously the editor of a political web site here in new jersey for years. he ran under a pen name, ran
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columns. a lot of the sort of stories of the things that christie was accomplishing as u.s. attorney and his focus on weeding out political corruption got a lot of attention and publicity through the web site. so there's a sort of connection, i suppose you could say, between wildstein and christie's operation not from the time that he was governor, but going back further. baroni was an ally of christies -- pardon me, beg your pardon -- through the state legislature, so they have a connection. of the four probably the least close to him was bridget kelly. >> host: who was the deputy chief of staff. of those four, who is still employed in new jersey? david samson? >> guest: um, yeah, although being chairman of the port authority is an unpaid position. so, i mean, he still has that job. david samson is founder and head
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of one of the state's bigger, more influential law firms, and so he doesn't rely on the port authority job for his money. but he still has the position to which christie has appointed him. the other three have lost their jobs, baroni and wildstein in december, and then bridget kelly yesterday. >> host: so, mr. symons, what comes next? >> guest: the state assembly is going to continue its hearings into the matter. they attempted to hold -- well, they did hold a hearing yesterday where david wildstein was called in under a subpoena to testify and then refused to answer any questions beyond things like state your name and spell be it, what town to you live in. -- do you live in. each when asked -- even when asked what was your job title at your most recent position, he
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exercised his fifth amendment right to remain silent. and the legislature, the assembly transportation committee, wound up holding him in contempt. they had a unanimous vote, and all the members from both parties said, basically, that the assembly rules state and state law says that if you're under state law, you can't refuse to answer relevant questions, the rules also say you essentially have prosecutorial immunity at those hearings, law enforcement can't use that to build a criminal case. .. of legal counsel was otherwise. host: will there be more hearings in new jersey? guest: there will be more hearings in new jersey. they will be calling in wildstein back to answer questions. they want to hear from bridget kelly. bill, who isr from
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an influential person on the political side. was stripped of his influence by the governor yesterday. he has been forced to withdraw ndom karen -- consideration he's not going to be an adviser to the association, so they want to hear from him. they want to hear from a couple of the people in the governor's office who were named in some of the e-mails, fell one what we know of was leading at to what was done at the george washington bridge but afterwards as part of what the democrats call to find a way to frame it so that it was not as damaging in terms of explanting with the port authority did and that kind
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of thing. the federal government, the u.s. attorney's office is looking into it, the inspector general has an investigation, the u.s. senate transportation committee may also look into it and it has a long way to go. >> michael symons, state house your reporter and the author of chris christi the inside story of his rise to power, which came out last year. mr. symons, thanks so much for your time. we appreciate it. >> guest: thanks for the opportunity. threat george mitchell, bob dole and howard baker -- >> now former south dakota
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senator tom daschle will be talking about challenges with bipartisanship in congress. the former senate democratic leader expected to touch on immigration, energy policy and federal budget. he is co-founder of the bipartisan policy center. he's speaking this morning at the washington center for internship and academic seminars in thank you for that kind introduction and reception. i have been looking forward to the opportunity to be with you this morning and would love to get into a dialogue in a few minutes, but let me share some thoughts with you. in politics you get introduced in a lot of interesting ways. i think my fond introduction came a few years ago when i was introduced as a politician and model leader american. my wife linda f. lee iran showed me that night model of the find in the dictionary and a set a small replica of the real thing.
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[laughter] so that is a book that i appreciate very much, but i think that you have had a model week and i'm thrilled that the bipartisan policy center at the institute had the opportunity to work together. i hope that it could be the first of a series of projects like this and i would love to have more of your input as to whether it is anything could be done to improve the experiences that you have this week. you have talked about some of the key issues within it is reform and energy, immigration, the federal budget, and so we have spent a very rewarding experience for most of you. harry truman in 1948 and cited the first president of israel to come to talk about an agenda in the oval office. and as they were talking president truman leaned over and
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said you know, a lot of these complicated issues how would you like to be president of 180 million people? he replied how would you like to be president of 2 million i think that is the essence of that story is that in the state of israel and in the united states today there are many people who would like to be president who have opinions at least as prominent and as strongly held as the president of the united states, and that increasingly creates the challenges of governments that i'm sure you have confronted in our discussions today. the national environment today is the most polarized and over 75 years and as a result of this polarization, we have great
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difficulty in recent consensus, and you probably have a better understanding of why it's been difficult to reach a consensus as a result of the conversations and the discussions that you have had. but on the national environment it's polarized in many different connotations, and i think the most prominent of all the connotations is the polarization that exists between those that believe the country was built on individualism and we do everything we can to protect that individualism and believe that the way that we achieved in this country it was done in large measure because of collective action. rugged individualism versus collective action. i don't think that those two positions are irreconcilable. but history has shown over time that reaching some
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reconciliation between those two philosophical points of view is oftentimes an extraordinary challenge. because what happens as a result of this the the date is that in large measure it becomes a debate about what is the proper role in the government and society today? that is one of the most important central questions and factors that play themselves out in a myriad of different ways as these dates about issues take place. what is the role of government? and, no one that i know of that on the view we should have no government, the question is along the spectrum of complete government involvement, a responsibility to the minimum responsibility where is that spectrum to lie, and of course it varies from one particular public policy question to the
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next. i call this the date the malaise of democracy. the noise of democracy. it sure beats the alternative is as you consider egypt, syria, iraq, afghanistan, countries in africa, and the millions of violence is even worse. the sound of silence where people disappeared because of what they believed is at least equal. so this noise of democracy is part of what happens in a space republic. it's been amplified in the recent years especially by the team party -- tea party that has
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strong views about the government. their view is in most areas the public government shouldn't have any role at all. i have a note to turn off my phone, but i've already done that. [laughter] so, the government argues that they can't do things right, so should really not to do much of anything at all. because the group of the gender is an enormous amount of political club ranks especially they've almost gotten their wish this is as the congress has been in 100 years and as a result of the realization and the lack of productivity is a part of the agenda of the tea party, that is something of itself that is the data. should we be celebrating or should we be lamenting the fact
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that we have not seen a very productive congress today. one still has to keep it in somewhat of a historical perspective. things were a lot worse in the mid 19th century. the man. they all had to occur off of the floor of the house of representatives. of course there is the very famous incident where congressman preston brooks came over and with his cane he beat charles sumner within inches of his life in 1856. i'm proud to say we haven't had the same incident, we haven't had any to my knowledge on the senate or the house floor with several generations. so maybe we are making a little
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bit of progress. yet this cacophony of voices and this noise of democracy is certainly one that i think we need to be very concerned about. this believed in large measure not only in a very limited role of government, but they have a tactical approach that has had a lot to do with productivity in congress, and that tactical approach is imperative to stand their ground rather than to find common ground. finding common ground is tantamount to capitulation and members of congress sent to washington to represent this constituency should never capitulate. but obviously in a democracy in a space republic, it is
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literally impossible to govern without finding common ground. governments cannot work in a democracy without some compromise and appreciation of the importance of reconciling the differences of opinion that exist among the 320 million people. and so, that is really the challenge is how and the light of the back number one that you've got a very strongly held point of view represented by a very vocal minority in congress who believe that there is a very limited role for the government. at the same time, they believe that there shouldn't be any compromise. that leads oftentimes then to the circumstances that we are facing today. and the challenges that we face with regard to productivity in the congress itself. i used to keep a photograph of president johnson before his
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presence, as you remember he was majority leader for six years, and there is the specter of lbj towering over senator theodore reena of rhode island demanding a vote on something. and the reason i kept that picture in my office is because isi year to have that capacity. but obviously i couldn't do that if i wanted to. a towering over anybody isn't my strong suit. but i kept it as a reminder really of lyndon johnson's extraordinary capacity to serve as a leader and use whatever was required at time to get the job done and there are so many people i have come first with over the years that expressed that day when you could back a
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cementer into a corner and twist his arm. but the fact is when lyndon johnson was the majority leader in 1954 to 1960. how many votes do you think that you have to deal with. you might be surprised that they only had one and that was the 1957 vote on the civil rights act of 1957. harry reid in the last six years of the majority leader has had a 322 cloture votes. so, one in the 1950's, 322 in the first decade of the 21st century. we've had more filibusters on nominations in the last five years than we have had and all of history.
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and so, the number of filibusters and the extraordinary change in the environment has had a lot to do with how problematic at this to govern today on the critical issues. the federal budget i have to acknowledge this morning as i began the second session of this congress for getting any of those done come substantially would be 50/50. immigration may have the best chance. so what do we do that we consider as we look at the seat of government in our elective capacity here in washington in
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the year 2014. i would argue that there are a number of things we could and probably should do and i would argue they are defined in large measure by how difficult they are coming defined as if i could in such simple terms to say there are big things and little things that could be done to advance the cost of bipartisanship if we want to achieve it. some don't. but i think the vast majority of people in the country want to see the congress act more productively. we want to see more inspiration and aspirational approaches to our national policy agenda. so, let me just talk briefly about the big things and the little things, and then i would love to get into the conversation if i could with you. on the big side of things, the things the but take real effort
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and heavy lifting, finally number one is where we select our candidates. increasingly in this country today, our elected officials shoes at the voters, the voters would choose the elected officials. and they do that of course through gerrymandering in particular, moving district around, to make sure you have a very defined group in your congressional district. we also have primaries today that are skewed and in many cases dominated by a very small fashion. the tea party has had enormous success in the party's and members of congress with a primary because they are so organized and recognizing of voter turnout in the primary so that is number one.
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we've got to look at the way that we select the candidates for public office. number two, i think that is one of the biggest challenges we have, believe it or not and i should explain. they leave on thursday this and come back on tuesday when they try to govern on wednesday. and one can't run a country with this one day a week. we've got to recognize we've got to spend more time in washington dealing with the nation's business than we do today, and i will come back to that in a minute. but the airplane and all of its ramifications have had a profound effect on how the congress works with each other. all of that is contributed to this lack of time spent in the
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city doing what they were elected to do. it's changed dramatically. when i first started there were three networks and walter cronkite was the referee. now the media is more the participant and the referee whether it is rachel makarov or rush limbaugh or anybody on either end of the political spectrum there is a significant amount of philosophical and political inclination as these media celebrities are able to influence the perception of and ultimately the actions of many of the members of congress. finally i would say the big issue is money. in the last cycle there were two races where the amount of money spent in the race exceeded $80 million. a typical congressman or senator
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has to raise, i should say senator has to raise about $10,000 every single day he or she has an office to be able to accommodate the average cost of the senate campaign today. money is driving a big part of the agenda, and it's something we've got to be concerned about. now let me turn to the smaller things. i mentioned already we don't spend enough time in washington. in 2014 we are going to spend about nine days every month in session. nine days. we are scheduled to spend 113 days total out 365 in session. one can't do the nation's work nine days a month. secondly, there is a real case to be made in my opinion for your marks. i don't know if you all know the term year marks, but it gives an
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opportunity to correct certain funding for the constituencies. we've eliminated earmarks, and i think there was another reaction and earmarks system. but because members of congress the longer feel it is strictly and personally invested in legislation it is much harder to pass it and it's ever been before. third, transparency. too much sunshine actually burns coming and i think in some cases we've got to be concerned about how much transparency there is because it has had a very subtle thing affect. it has caused a constrained environment in regards to the ability to express themselves in an honest and candid way as the discussions are held about legislation and somehow we've got to work on that. the so-called rule where you have to have a majority before the legislation can be taken to the floor is not in keeping with
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the founding fathers notion about what a democracy should be having more caucuses that our joint caucuses where republicans and democrats would sit in the room like this and meet with one another is also something smaller than we would have an enormous impact over time if it were done more frequently. finally, they're just is not enough socializing like i wish there were, like there used to be, among the members of congress because there isn't enough socializing, there isn't enough relationship and the reason enough relationships, there isn't enough trust and if there isn't enough trust, there isn't enough opportunity to come to some terms and agreements. succumbing each of these fixes i think requires attention and ultimately could make a major difference in how washington functions. but as i said, it's hard coming
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to some alternate evolution about the role of government in the society it's going to be absolutely essential. i might add one last thing, and that is the importance of leadership. we need leadership. we have been very fortunate to have it in critical times in history. washington, lincoln, roosevelt. we certainly need as it relates to finding ways to ensure that we can put responsible and representative democracy is at work again. i think the consequences could become an increasingly problematic affecting the quality-of-life, affecting our security nationally and affecting even our stature around the world. so these are not small matters. these are ones i think we all need to be very concerned about, and it's something that i hope you have given a lot of thought
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about over the course of a week. before i take your questions, let me just can't you the story that i always thought was pretty special that benjamin franklin who as you know is one of the key members of the initial group of men who came together to write the constitution and to write most of the initial foundational premises upon which the democratic republic was built. as he was leaving one night early in the deliberations about the constitution, a woman from the crowd just outside of constitutional hall yelled out mr. franklin, have you decided what would be anarchy or will we have a republic. he yelled back to the woman and the crowd we will have the
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republic if we can keep it. that's been our charge for 200 years, to keep this republic. there's only two ways to do it. one is to go forth when you have to and over a million americans have fought for it over these 220 years. and the letter is to work out every day. it's the responsibility of members of congress of course to work at this and as hard as it is to work at it these days especially in times of polarization and reaching consensus, the challenge has hit new heights. but it's the responsibility for some. each of us in this room have the responsibility to work at that. you know it or you wouldn't be here. i hope you've had a good week and i look forward to taking your questions. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> thank you for being here. my name is michael r. from stanford university. my question is on gerrymandering. what reforms have been proposed, and what you think would be an effective solution? >> that was a great question. as you know, it is largely a state responsibility. some states have taken it very seriously. i applaud hours in particular. iowa has made this as non-political and effort over the years as they possibly can, requiring that all the counties with any congressional district continues that would be roughly equal and the balance exists in
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large measure as a result of what is already in existence rather than slighting the new boundaries as one goes, and they've had enormous success and an equal balance between republicans and democrats today in large measure because they felt so strongly about this. the other thing that has been done in recent years occurred in california, which is it requires now that the top two in the prairie process run against and so it also is probably too early to tell if that has worked as well as people have hoped. but the early signals are it's working reasonably well so far. but these are the kind of things that have to be done if we are going to get this addressed. i also think we've got to be concerned about the primary function today and dealing with
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very low voter turnout and the influence that certain groups can have a result as a result of that is something that has to be addressed and that is partly a function of how much we spent on campaigns, which also is a big factor. >> thank you. >> my name is mike, and i know you touched on the filibuster already good as a former senate majority leader how do you feel about the decision to take that option? >> well, it is a very difficult decision, and i support it. i think senator reid probably had very little choice. i have to say it is just unacceptable for a nominee who has been vetted and nominated by the president of the united states to be required to put his or her life on hold for a couple of years without knowing what
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the circumstances are going to be. you can't do that. and so, number one, i think that factor is one of the most important. i also believe, given the fact as i said in my comments, we have had more filibusters on nominations in the last five years than all of history but to get there. the trends are not good. so, senator reid limited the nuclear option that is eliminating the filibuster only on the nominations. my concern is that this could slip into other periods of legislating as well. and i would be concerned about that. the two things i think would cure the problem that they are hard to do is one, require members of congress to hold the floor if you're going to be filibustering coming and number two, not move onto another piece of legislation we call that dual tracking. but stay on that particular
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issue until the nomination is resolved. of those two things i think are one of the reasons why we had these filibusters in the past. thank you. >> my name is kimberly, and i was wondering if you can share some ideas he might have about decrease in the debt. >> as you know, we have a chasm between what we spend and what we've raised today. it's getting better. the economy is getting stronger, and as a result -- and i will come back to that in a minute -- as a result, with what we spend and what we raise is different. obviously in times of a recession you spend more because there are a lot of safety net programs that are used a lot more frequently. but in essence, what i think we have to do is to bring our revenue to the historic levels
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we've had in the past, around 20% of gdp, and bring our spending that is between 16 to 17%. so, we have to raise the amount of revenue to get up to 20% and bring down the level of spending. not on the discretionary side but on the amount that is appropriated on the entitlement side from about 22.5 down to 20. and that would bring us roughly in balance. and it's not necessarily that we do exactly that balance, that there would be my each place. how do we raise revenue? there are three things that have to be considered. first, it is important, by far the most important is to keep growing the economy. the more the revenue is going to be raised. second, we have an imbalance. we don't have the progressivity that we have had in regards to the tax code like we had before and i feel we have to continue to build it to make it more
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progressive. third, we have to look at a lot of these loopholes. we have amended the tax code in 1986. probably before most of you were born, and we had over 8,000 amendments to the tax code since 1986. and most of them have had to deal with creating more loopholes so we have a challenge. on the spending side, i think we can do a lot with the entitlement programs. the legislators have two choices they can cut and shipped the programs command that is what we have done in the past is put those programs back and put the cost on somebody else or we can redesign and improve the programs and reduce them and improve their efficiency. health care is the best example. we spent 2.5 trillion on health every year and about $800 billion of that is
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unnecessary. so there is a lot that we can do on the entitlement side by redesigning and improving. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> hi, my name is kate triet earlier you spoke about how silence and how people shouldn't be left in silence in the country. as you know we've been talking about immigration a lot this week. what do you propose we do to ensure the millions of undocumented immigrants fighting for citizenship in our country have voices that are heard and are not lost in the silence? >> that such an important question right now. i think it's tragic that we have the circumstances we do today with regards to undocumented people in this country. they are denied health care, insurance, i shouldn't say
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health care because it is illegal to be denied health care per say. but oftentimes it is tantamount to deny them health care to deny them insurance, because they are not likely to be received well if they come in without insurance and documentation even in an emergency room. about 25,000 people a year die simply because they have no health insurance in this country. so it is basic life-and-death issues like fat. i think it's important for us to realize that immigration has always hit stokely in one of our greatest strengths. i look around this room, and i see an impressive diversity. i think i see more women than men, which is a good thing, and i think diversity in this country is something we've almost taken for granted. but the diversity came because
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we have such an open policy with regards to immigration and we have migrated to different parts of the world. was asia announce latin america, and i think that has always been one of our greatest strengths. there is a lot of resistance to that today, so i think there are three things to ensure that we have. number one, they're has to be more congressional focus on the perils of living in this country has an undocumented person today. and i don't think the congress has focused eloquently just on that question. so how do they live and what are those circumstances? number two, the advocacy groups really need to step up to the plate and the more visible. and number three, i'm hopeful that these groups can organize themselves more effectively than they have in the past, and if
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not, what influence at least by increasing the visibility and the understanding and therefore the empathy of the challenges that they face and as a result the country faces by this dilemma. thank you. >> my name is alexis. you mentioned earlier that the debate is over the role of government in this country. but what is your opinion of the role of this country in the world? in your opinion of the next generation or even the current legislature's and executives in office, will they continue military action pour wealthy seymour negotiation, diplomacy and put up a bipartisanship world wide? >> i think that's -- we are seeing a dramatic change in the
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world landscape over the last figures. it used to be a very bipolar coexistence in the cold war between communist countries and the non-communist countries. that bipolar simplicity was both good and bad. there were great dangers like the cuban missile crisis and the possibility of a nuclear exchange. that simplicity is i think put us in a complacency about the we that we look at the world. it's far more complicated today. and i would say that there are four levels, not just one. is there is the military level that will continue to be dominant militarily for a long time to come and then there's that second level economics competition. china has become very powerful as a nation not because of any military strength but largely on the basis of the economic
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strength and that's different than it's ever been before and i think that change has made a difference and i think that's a realization that we have not fully absorbed yet with regards to our own strategy. at the third level there is a nationalism that's taking place all over the world. the smaller countries that try to exert themselves more effectively in countries like israel and taiwan and south korea and singapore and a lot of other countries. they have had sort of a new-found prominence in the world as a result of their success and then the fourth is the most troubling and intriguing and that is what i would call for transnational level that is dominated by people who have no national
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identity. there's the terrorists and the hackers that have a huge influence whether it is al qaeda or an entity that may exist somewhere in the world and does the enormous damage. we have to be concerned especially with that here. i think our security will be more affected than the first year going forward so the question is what do we do about it and my solution is it's not that anyone can do it in a sustained way that first is defense. we need to continue to recognize that there is a need for the military strategy and presence and infrastructure and second this diplomacy. we need to put more emphasis on the nation relationships and how critical the are and fair day's development, recognizing how important it is that we try to allow them to rise anywhere in
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the world especially in the developing world and putting a greater emphasis on the development that's critical and for this democracy because people have to have leases for themselves and there is really critical and we minimize that. unfortunately, today we've put more resources in the first d than all of the other three put together and i think we have to find a better balance as we go forward. that is a long answer to your question but that is a good question. >> thank you. i know in the past few years you have accepted the place in the role that health care has taken in the country and moving forward, we can work to cover everyone in the country. the news reporter praised the governor for firing the top aides immediately after the failure in the administration by lying to him and there is criticism of president obama's
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lack of responsibility to his administration so that the slow rollout and the promise and the health care. what is your opinion on that and how obama didn't i guess really criticize his administration for the health care rollout? that is a very valid question, and i think what the president would probably say and i haven't talked to him personally but i have had many conversations with people around him to i think they would argue number one, there wasn't any one person who was responsible who could take all of that responsibility to the extent he or she should be fired as a result. as a team effort with and as a result, the team is being held accountable but i think what the
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president would emphasize is that it's almost like a sporting event. the first month was the first inning and the second was the second inning. we are now in about the fifth inning and the question is the game isn't over and how will it look by the time we have reached the ninth inning or the end of the game, to use a baseball analogy. but i think today circumstances are dramatically different than they were on the first of october. about 2.5 million people now are enrolled in the exchanges. about 4.4 million people as a result of their eligibility for medicaid are now enrolled in medicaid for the first time, and about 3 million young adults have signed up on the family plans, so you've got almost 10 million people since the first of october that have
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insurance if not for the first time who have ventured into a permanent way and a better insurance than they probably ever had before. set to take any action with regards to the disappointing somebody before the game is over would have been premature and i am very hopeful and somewhat optimistic the circumstances are going to get even better as these unfold. >> a earlier in the week we had the senator come over and he made a comment about how many countries show support because he likes to listen to them whether you agree or not sometimes and the support on having big contributions. what problems have you faced?
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>> first of all, i think we've compounded the problem dramatically allowing large contributions. it hasn't done anything but accelerated the arms race and that is unfortunate. a typical member of the senate today he has spent two-thirds of his or her final two years in the senate raising money if it is a competitive race and you shouldn't have to do that. so, what favor a constitutional amendment that would allow us to put limits on the amount of money that is raised and spent. i wouldn't allow any fund-raising while the congress is in session and i would put individual limits much more constrained than the other in an effort to bring down the cost of campaigns.
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>> cody cooper, you're talking about the media having more participatory extent rather than a referee approach. i was wondering how he would influence the media to adopt the approach whenever they had a profit motive? >> that's why i say that is one of the big issues that really defies at least any simple solutions. i think it's imperative when i talk about leadership, i think it's imperative that it's not just government leadership that we need, but it's private leadership. we need to ensure that the networks and others in the media take the responsibility and show the leadership to ensure that there is a great balance. we lost the fairness doctrine that required a balanced. while we have that requirement, it was a lot more of a playing
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field with regards to political rhetoric and all that came from that. that will probably never happen again. it's important that we encourage leaders to be more responsible, and sometimes i think they are today. >> i come from nepal and we have achieved a democracy. as someone that has seen the inside of the democratic system what is the piece of advice that you give to the democratic nepal? >> i've been to that country many times as part of the national democratic institute for international affairs, and we have worked with many of your leadership and i just am inspired and very excited about what i see and although it's been a rough and uncertain road
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you have made real progress. i think there are four pillars that the countries interested in building a democracy have to succeed. the first pillar is in many respects probably the most important a willingness to accept the fact that you may even agree to disagree that other people's views and beliefs is fundamental to success. that's number one. second is respect for the rule of law because you make a mockery of democracy, and respect for the rule of law is the second pillar that is so critical. third is participation. the quality of our democracy suffers in primaries with very
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low participation. so it's true in the developed democracies like ours and doris. but having high levels of precipitation is critical. fourth is what i just said about leadership. leadership in the public and private sector, that is an important pillar without leadership you have anarchy if all you have his participation. you need leadership to get that participation direction. so those are the four pillars. i don't think the united states is as tolerant as a society as we should be and i don't think it is always the case that we respect the rule of law the way we should. we lacked participation sometimes and there are times we could do better with leadership. thank you. >> my name is dorothy and i graduate from arizona state
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university. i'm not usually nervous to ask questions but i grew up watching you govern and have been affected by a lot of the things you've done and appreciate your contribution to the country. i'm impressed with the knowledge you have about our government and how it was formed and the history with several the extent that created in my mind how that applied. it really hit me how important it is that we know where we come from and how we got there and what worked and what didn't work my question is more in line with next week but in my life social media with the election of president kennedy and nixon and how people have used the media to get their point across and i can't remember the issue but i
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remember one time that you had a public meeting you were trying to get the people that were watching to understand the point that you're talking about. it might have been a response to the president's address to the congress but it hit me and i noticed today that you used symbolism to create things and that the understand what you're talking about. from an educational point of view you want your citizens to understand the decisions that you are making and i truly appreciate that and i was wondering if you always had that or is that something that you learned as you govern the that you want to include in your constituency and you want them to understand and how does that come about and what kind of benefits have you seen in your ability to govern? >> partly it is acquired. you have seen many different
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approaches to the communication and politics that some fit the individual better than others but i think it is important to use the description paint the picture. it's important to communicate in a way that paints the picture and that is an acquired ability i'm still trying to learn. but i think it's important to speak in ways people understand and that allows sort of the picture to be painted. the more that one can do that, the more effective one can be as a communicator and you would call attention to that. i had mentors who was a congressman from florida who had been in a senate and she was
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such an eloquent speaker and i learned a lot from him. he also had that capacity. but it's a tool to acquire a public speaker. >> we become a part of what is going on. >> thank you. >> my name is eric calmar -- erica martin. we have been talking about the voucher system and i was wondering your opinion on school choice and the voucher system. >> i generally think that having school choice is a good thing. i think sometimes it is overrated. i think the vouchers can be a good thing that i think that they are overrated.
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i think that if everybody got to get a charter school or private school it's too simplistic and we need to look at all of the tools we have available to us. i know extraordinary public schools that serve the community is extremely well, but i also know that there are charter schools and private schools that served the school community as well so i don't think there is any one solution. we can find the best on these and apply them when they work best in the community. >> i'm a graduate student at university of san diego and i appreciate your comments. i've been at a lot of political events and frequently when you ask a representative questions, using to get the rhetoric of them to answer, and i've really appreciated the fact we could
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ask questions that are contemplated. i'm really interested in a couple things. my relatives have always said why does congress have different benefits and different types of health care packages that in the constitution at rights we are not allowed to have anything in the congress the people don't have would be the first question, and white is not a momentum like if there is a low rating for congress right now why would the congress not to band together to show good steps that the effect would make that change where they would show the are equal in the populous they represent clacks the second question is it seems there is so much conversation about cutting back on expenditures or increasing taxation and its close to bipolar conversations. why is there not more emphasis on the contributions that the
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wealthy are getting as a corporate fare, so to speak, that there is so much of a concern to continue to cut welfare when on a budget sheet if you continue to get tax incentives to only one image of the population, then that is the same effectively as giving benefit packages to the wealthy and it doesn't seem to come out in the media. i'm a republican and i'm a conservative republican but as i've studied this i realize that is pretty absent from the argument. but not that it's actually on the balance sheet. that either if you get an incentive or a benefit, it is coming from the revenue streams that come into the company or the country. >> that is a good point. i will take the second part of your question first. we spent over a trillion dollars a year on the tax loopholes.
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a trillion dollars. and, you know, it's gotten far more expensive in the recent years. the tax loophole has been phenomenal the last 20 years. it's not only complicating the tax code, but it has created a lot of the inequities that you've eloquently at rest. that's why we need meaningful tax reform. but we don't score those tax loopholes the same way that we do as direct spending. it doesn't get the same attention. so i think that is where it starts. it is the relative budgetary value that is almost the same as a direct expenditure, but they are not looked upon budgeteer early in that same way. so that's the first thing. let's create parity. it's kind of like the loopholes are called tax expenditures but
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they are not scored as an expenditure oftentimes in the budgeting process the way that it should be, but that they should start with that because i would put it in a proper perspective just as you have suggested. with regard to the members of congress, what a saint sometimes they do things for which they don't get more credit. you may or may not know everybody in congress is now required to participate in health exchange. they are not able to be eligible. they are no longer eligible for the system as it was originally designed. they can still access it, but it has to be through an exchange probably the district of columbia exchange or you can probably sign that in your own state as well. but i -- so, i think they are trying to attempt a greater effort at doing what you
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suggest, finding ways to ensure that they are not treated differently. i still think 59% approval rating right now, and i think that approval rating in part is reflected by the extraordinary polarization and what appears to be somewhat of a attitude towards one another finding things about which the fight can argue, rather than raising the level of debate to issues of magnitudes people care deeply about whether its energy or immigration or the economy. so that as part of the problem as well. it's not just that they set themselves apart but they are not accomplishing all that needs to be accomplished in this country of ours today. but you're point is taken. how can we make sure they've relate more to the people in this country, and we have a big job to do in that regard.
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>> i have enjoyed your questions very much. thank you. have a great weekend. [applause] >> we have a token of our appreciation. a washington center briefcase. i want to say publicly thank you as well as your colleague, the former senator olympia snowe, for supporting the program and was senator daschle that introduced us to the folks at the bipartisan policy center when we had the idea for this academic seminar and they've been a wonderful partner. thank you for your leadership there and your friendship. [applause] with that we will go ahead and move into some closing business as we wrap up the seminar but let's go ahead and take a two minute break really quick.
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it's disappointing to all loveless to see the deterioration of the security inside iraq. i spent a lot of my life over there. from 2006 into september, 2010, i was their house we continued to reduce the level of violence in the sectarian violence that has been going on. i believe we left it in a place that was capable to move forward. we've now seen at because several political issues internal to iraq, that security situation has found evolved into something that is in my mind concerning. but this is not just about iraq. in my mind it is something we've to be cognizant of what's going
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on in syria, what's going on in lebanon, what's going on inside iraq. and it's this sectarian potential building of conflict between the sunni and shia and the exploitation of that by the non-steve factors such as al qaeda and other organizations who will try to take advantage. i think there is a way in which we have set up this sort
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of a possible series of expectations especially for the president, but for elected officials as a whole lot they are going to come in and save the day and when it doesn't happen we get an 9% approval rating to the president, 49%. expectations have to be lowered and i think that is part of what is really quite amazing about the american founding. it's not that the founders themselves said look don't expect much from government. the government isn't going to be the main driver of our liberty. it's going to be civil society. at the federal government exists to do certain things and i better do them well and if it does not do them well, nothing else will be properly situated. but the main area of activity is planned to be in the private and the civil society. and in the election of the local officers and carrying out of the local and state level. there is even in fact a little
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of modesty. it's not possible for people from washington, d.c. to run a nation of three injured $10 million. virginia governor bob macdonald delivered his last state of the commonwealth address wednesday. he taught at virginia's low unemployment rate and budget surpluses. he also addressed for his involvement in a scandal that added that no laws or broken. the incoming governor will be sworn in tomorrow and c-span will provide live coverage starting at noon eastern. [applause] [applause]
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[applause] >> as speaker of the house of delegates and president of this joint assembly it is my pleasure to present his excellency, the governor of the commonwealth of virginia, robert francis mcdonnell. [applause]
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