tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 21, 2014 10:30am-12:31pm EDT
meet the law, i was unable to do so because there were hospitals who simply declined to evaluate my credentials. and i'm not sure why -- >> i think your experience just points out how difficult these laws make it for women in certain states to have access to certain kinds of health care services. ms. northup, i would imagine these kinds of restrictions would disproportionately imact certain pop belations such as low income women, women of color and immigrant women. would that be the case? >> that is absolutely the case, and i gave the example in my testimony that in the rio grande valley, which is one of the poorest areas in the nation, the clinic in mcallen, texas, that had been providing good care for a long time to those residents had to close. and, again, it was under those circumstances where the doctors were not allowed to get their privileges. >> thank you. i just have one question for
ms. tobias. do you believe roe v. wade should be overturned? >> i do. >> thank you. >> i'm sorry, the answer is, yes. i believe unborn children should be protected. >> thank you. senator graham? senator graham. >> thank you. thank you very much, mr. chairman. i want to thank you for having the hearing, because i think it's an important topic, and i would like to join with ms. tobias' recommendation that we have a hearing on my bill which is the pain-capable unborn child protection act, 1670, and have a joint vote on the senate floor and see where everybody falls out on it because it's a subject worthy of debate. let's see if we can find some common ground here about how all these laws work. ms. tobias, is it your understanding that 1670 would proprevent a ban -- prevent a ban on third trimester abortions that protect -- with exceptions for the life of the mother and rape and incest?
>> 1670? yes -- >> excuse me, the other one. 1696. >> the one today? >> yes, ma'am. i'm sorry. >> yes. this bill would limit, would prevent a ban on abortion in the last trimester. it would prevent -- >> could you, ms. northup, do you agree with that? >> the bill has provisions that track the constitutional standard that do say that post-viability, there needs to be an exception for a woman's life and health as the supreme court has said. >> so could a state pass a law that banned abortion in the last trimester except for life of the mother and rape and incest? your answer would be no? >> the standard would have to be that which the supreme court has recognized. >> what do you say, ms. tobias? >> i think probably one of the best examples would be when the sponsor of the bill, chairman
blumenthal, was asked if this bill would ban abortions. it talks about life or health, and he said the health would make no distinction, the exception makes no distinction between physical or psychological health. so it would be very difficult, it would be impossible under this bill to ban abortions for health if psychology and psychological health is going to be -- >> there are 13 states -- thank you. there are 13 states that ban elective abortions after 20 weeks except in the case of rape and incest and the life of the mother. would this bill strike those laws down? >> yes, it would. >> do you agree with that, ms. northup? >> >> like the 9th circuit did with arizona's 20-week ban, yes, it would be unconstitutional, and this bill tracks the -- >> states that have waiting periods, requiring a waiting period before an abortion is performed, would this bill strike that down? >> yes. >> ms. tobias, do you agree with
that? >> i don't. it depends on what the court would look at. so, again -- >> so you don't know how the bill works? >> yes, oh, yes, i do. the first question would be is this type of waiting period -- >> well, the ones that are on the books, the ones that you're familiar with, can you wait one state law with waiting period that you think would survive? >> well, i would say that i think it's important that we look at the factors in the bill. does it apply -- >> you name one state with a waiting period requirement that you think would survive scrutiny under this bill? >> well, if it were able to say that it did not significantly impede access to services -- >> thank you. >> if it was a waiting period that -- >> so you can't give, you can't give an example. ms. tobias, does this bill ban states' requirements that a person can exercise their conscience and not that of performing an abortion? there are laws on the books that say that, right? >> yes. if someone says they cannot take
the life of an unborn child, that would be impeding or reducing access to abortion which would would be -- >> would this legislation invalidate those? >> yes, it would. >> do you agree, ms. northup? >> i don't agree. this legislation doesn't address the issue of conscience objection. >> would you accept an amendment offered by me to make sure people of conscience don't have to do something like this? >> well, i think we have important laws that are on the books that respect people's rights of conscience. >> well, i mean, as to this issue would you accept an amendment by me to this bill to exempt conscience? >> well, i'm not elected to make those decisions -- >> i've got you. fair enough. >> i think this bill clearly doesn't cover that. >> fair enough. i think the answer would be, no. so, dr. parker, is it standard medical practice for physicians operating on a child at 20 weeks to provide anesthesia to that
child? >> well, senator, i'm not well versed in fetal surgery because most surgeries at 20 weeks would have to occur in utero. >> yeah, right. ms. chireau? are you familiar with that? what would be standard of care there? >> yes, it is, and that's because when fetal surgery is done, and i'm very well aware of the fetal surgery landscape, initially when fetal surgery was being done can, fetuses reacted very strongly to incisions, to placement of catheters -- >> so standard medical practice to provide anesthesia when you operate on a baby at 20 weeks. >> yes. >> medical encyclopedias, and i'm sorry i'm running over, i'll wrap it up here. encourage parents to talk to babies, they can react to a voice, they can hear your stomach growling and react to loud noises. does that make sense to you, ms. chireau? >> yes, it does. >> okay. has anyone ever been born at 20 weeks that survived?
>> as far as i'm aware, no. >> not to my knowledge. >> i can show you twins. thanks. >> senator hatch. >> well, thank you, mr. chairman. you know, congress has a few times told the states that they had to pass certain legislation, but only as a condition of receiving federal funds. of some kind. now, i'm in my 38th year here in the united states senate, and on this committee. and i don't recall congress ever passing a law that prohibited states from enacting entire categories of laws simply because congress says so. i don't recall that. can anyone on this panel give me an example of that? and if not, why is abortion so unique that congress has this authority in this area but not in any other? anybody care to take a crack at that?
i've seen et, personally. well, let me ask a question to you, ms. tobias. states have been passing laws regarding abortion for almost 200 years. the supreme court took over in its roe v. wade decision, and since 1973 the united states has had the most permissive abortion laws in the world today. but most americans have opposed most abortions, and the vast majority of americans support reasonable and common sense abortion regulations. that's been my experience, and i don't think it's a false experience. this bill attempts to wipe it all out to eliminate even minimal regulations that most americans support and that the supreme court has already said are constitutional. now, i oppose this kind of legislation more than 20 years ago when i was ranking member of what is considered today the health committee.
this bill would not regulate abortions, it would regulate the states telling them what laws they may or may not pass. how does congress have the authority to do that? >> i think it would be -- currently, the laws other than what the supreme court will or will not allow has the state legislatures elected by the people setting the laws for their states. i think that's actually a very good way to handle this. the states have been dealing with the conscience clauses, setting up the waiting periods, informed concept provisions, and -- consent provisions, and the courts have been allowing these, so it's difficult to say that a law that the court has upheld is unconstitutional. so we certainly think that congress would be overstepping in passing a law that would completely override a procedure
that the supreme court has said is different. >> well, this bill would prohibit restricting abortions based on the reasons for the abortion. the way i read the bill neither states, nor the federal government could prohibit abortions performed because, for example, the child is a girl or because the child has a disability. is that the way you understand it? >> yes. >> dr. chireau, this bill sounds like it is very deferential to medical judgment and that abortion should be treated like any other medical procedure. but under this bill politicians, lawyers and judges would make final decisions on such things such as which medical procedure, which medical procedures are, quote, comparable, unquote, which tasks doctors may delegate to other personnel, which drugs may be dispensed, which medical services may be provided for
telemedicine, how many visits to a medical facility are necessary, the relative safety of abortion services, which methods advance the safety of abortion or the health of women more or less than others. now, from your perspective as a doctor, doesn't this bill actually compromise the practice of medicine? >> i think it does compromise practice of medicine, and i believe that's on two levels. number one, for the reasons that you've enumerated. number two because i do believe that current legislation in the states to set clinic, specified access to clinics and so on and so forth be is protective to patients. so i think it's doubly a problem. number one, for those reasons that you've listed and also because the regulations that have been enacted were enacted in an attempt to prevent abortion providers from being exempted from the same sorts of
regulatory frameworks that other medical practitioners have to operate in. >> this bill would prohibit restrictions on abortions that are not also imposed toen what it called medically-comparable procedures. now, that is just one of the key terms in this bill that are brand new and completely undefined. but this bill makes a pretty clear statement that there is nothing unique about abortion, nothing that makes it different from any other medical procedure. and then, of course -- that, of course, is not true. >> that's correct. >> whether you're pro-abortion or anti-abortion. even in roe v. wade the supreme court said that the state has unique reasons for restricting abortion because it involves what the court calls potential human life. and the supreme court in 1980 held that the abortion, quote: is inherently different from other medical procedures because no other procedure involves the purposeful termination of the a potential life, unquote. i don't think that we need the supreme court to tell us that
there it is. doesn't that settle this question and completely undercut the entire theory behind this bill? be. >> yes, i believe that it does. and i think that the issue of comparable procedures is really false. i believe that abortion is a unique procedure, as you've said. it is the only procedure that terminates a human life. in addition, from the technical perspective, an abortion is a very different procedure from, say, completing a miscarriage or doing a dilation and curettage on a nonpregnant woman. >> okay, mr. chairman, could i ask just a couple more in. >> sure. >> i know that there are just two of us here. >> we're approaching a vote and senator cruz is here -- >> oh, i didn't want see -- >> [inaudible] >> well, let me just ask one more. the supreme court created one set of rules in 1973 for evaluating the constitutionality of abortion regulations. then the court changed the rules in 1992. now, this bill creates yet
another standard, prohibiting regulations that a state cannot show by clear and convincing evidence significantly advance the safety of abortions. now, it's bad enough that the supreme court sometimes does congress' job, but here's congress attempting to turn around and do the court's job. but it gets worse. this bill applies its rules and regulations to all state and federal statutes, to all state and federal regulations in the past, in the present and in the future. does this mean, for example, that states would be required to repeal any laws or regulations already on the books that do meet these new rules? >> yes, sir. i think that that's a very important point. i think that, essentially, this law guts states' rights with respect to abortion. it creates abortion as a special protected class of procedure and abortion providers as a special protected class of providers. >> well, i can't imagine why any
state legislature would support this. no matter their position on abortion. i'm having real trouble here with this approach. but at least i wanted to raise these issues, because i think they're important. thank you, mr. chair. sorry, i didn't mean to impose on senator lee and -- >> senator cruz, senator lee was here earlier, so i'm going to call on him at this point. thank you. thanks, senator hatch. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks to all of you for joining us today. there was a time when the humanity of an unborn child could plausibly be dismissed as conjecture. today we know it is a biologic fact for every excited announcement, every baby shower, every ultra sound image posted
on facebook, all of us attest to this scientifically-confirmed, very deep human truth. the only difference is that unborn boys and girls are small, and they're helpless, and they're mute. they cannot speak for themselves. they rely on strangers. they rely on us to speak for them. i believe in the innate dignity of every human life, and i believe every human society is rightly judged by how it treats its most vulnerable members; the aged, the poor, the sick, the disabled, the abused, the homeless, the widowed and the orphaned, the pregnant mother in crisis and, of course, the unborn child in the womb. neither our society at large, nor our laws have to pit the
vulnerable one against another. we can choose. we have the power to choose instead, to welcome and to love and to protect all, even -- and especially -- the weakest among us. making that choice presents an enormous challenge to all of us as policymakers, as citizens, as neighbors and friends, as parents and children ourselves. but the challenge of life is, after all, why we're here. to use our strength in defense of the weak. we should choose to embrace that challenge and to do so with love and with open arms. we can choose life, and when this debate finally one day ends, i think we will. i think we will choose life. let me start with a couple questions for ms. tobias. if i might.
at a rudimentary level, does s. 1696 even consider the possibility that there might be more than one life involved and at stake when a woman seeks an abortion? >> no, it does not. >> and yet this proposed legislation would have far-reaching effects potentially not just for one life, but for two in any given instance, isn't that right? >> for every abortion that is performed, there is a human life that is destroyed. this bill doesn't mention it, treating the child as a tumor. instead. >> so in that respect, it's very different than other legislation that height just affect one person, might just affect the health of one person. this one involves the potential in each instance for the destruction of one person's
life, its complete termination. >> yes. >> medical experts and health providers have strong moral and ethical concerns. as they have every right to have with providing abortions. and yet this bill, as i understand it, would have the federal government telling the states that they, the states, might protect the rights of conscience for medical providers. my own state, for example, guarantees the right of a medical provider to refuse to participate, admit or treat for an abortion based on moral or based on religious grounds. these laws matter. i can point to several instances in which absent such laws university or hospital policies would have forced medical
personnel to perform abortions notwithstanding and against serious moral or religious objections. so, ms. tobias, let me just ask, what role do freedom of conscience laws currently play, and what effect would this bill have on those laws, and what concerns should we have and would you have with such an outcome? >> a lot of people go into the medical field because they want to take care of people. they go into obstetrics and gynecology, they become delivery room nurses pause they want to take care of pregnant women and babies. if they are told -- and they do not want to kill unborn children. if they are told they have no choice, that they will have to perform or participate in the performance of an abortion procedure, they will either be doing something that is very strongly, deeply offensive to them, or they will leave the field which means we would have a lot of wonderful doctors and
nurses that could be helping pregnant women and their children finding something else completely, you know, something else to do. so i think that would actually be a huge detriment to the medical community. and this bill would strike down conscience laws because those laws would impede or reduce access to abortion. >> thank you. thank you for your with answers. i see my time has expired. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator cruz? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank each of the witnesses for coming and joining us today. the legislation this committee is considering is extreme legislation. it is legislation designed to eliminate reasonable restrictions on abortion that states across this country are put in -- have put in place.
it is legislation designed to force a radical view from democrats in the senate that abortion should be universeally available, common, without limit and paid for by the taxpayer. that is an extreme and radical view. it is a view shared by a tiny percentage of americans, although a very high percentage of activists in the democratic party. who fund and provide manpower politically. and it is also a very real manifestation of a war on women given the enormous health consequences that unlimited abortion has had damaging the health and sometimes even the lives of women. i have with me 317 statements
from texas women who have been hurt by abortion. along with letters from texans opposing this bill, along with letters from pro-life doctors, nurses, lawmakers across the united states that, with the chairman's permission, i would like to have entered into the record. >> without objection. >> a number of the restrictions that this legislation would invalidate are restrictions, common sense restrictions that the vast majority of americans support. for example, restrictions on late-term abortions. the overwhelming majority of texans do not want to see late-term abortions performed except in circumstances when necessary to save the life of the mother. and yet the united states' laws and the law that would be reflected in this bill is, treatment by any -- is extreme by any measure. today the united states is one
of seven country countries in the world that perfects abortion after 20 weeks. we are in such distinguished company as china, north korea and vietnam. those known paragons of human rights. if you look at some other countries across the world, in france abortion is prohibited after 12 weeks. in italy abortion is prohibited after 12 and a half weeks. in spain abortion is prohibited after the first trimester. in portugal abortion is prohibited after 10 weeks. this is the norm across the world, and yet this legislation would say that the 23 states who have enacted limits on late-term abortion, their laws would be set aside. a question i would ask
dr. parker, is it your view that these nations -- france, italy, spain, portugal -- that they are somehow extreme or manifest a hostility to the rights of women? >> senator cruz, thank you for your question. i am not an international human relations expert. i can tell you that when abortion is legal and safe, that the known issue to women taking desperate measures when abortion is illegal is greatly minimized as demonstrated by what happened in this country after 1973. i do know that internationally in a country like ghana where i've traveled whereas they have made great strides towards reducing their maternal death rate by having better access to maternal care, despite the fact
that abortion is legal because it is so heavily stigmatized when women don't access that care that the major cause of mortality in ghana is related to unsafe abortion. if access to legal and safe services for a reality for women like an unplanned pregnancy or a wanted, lethally-flawed pregnancy reflects human rights values, then countries that restrict that, we would have to question their commitment to the humanity and safety of the women in their populations. >> well, thank you for your views, dr. parker. i would note that the suggestion that somehow france or italy or spain or portugal or much of the civilized world is somehow insensitive to the rights of women is rather extraordinary, and the idea that america would rush out to embrace china and north korea for the standard on human rights is chilling.
i would note that this law would also set aside state laws prohibiting taxpayer-funded abortion. 32 states have laws to do that. this law would also imperil state laws providing for parental notification if your child needs an abortion that at a minimum before that serious medical treatment, that a parent has a right to be notified. 38 states have that law, and yet this extreme bill in congress would imperil every one of those laws. and if i may finally, if i may have another 30 seconds, to just share some of the stories from women in texas. nona submitted this story, she said, i was told i just had a blob of tissue by planned parenthood after they did a pregnancy and referred me to a nearby abortion clinic. i was not given the option of having a sonogram or hearing my baby's heartbeat. had i been given the
opportunity, i can assure you that i would not have chosen abortion. i would have chosen life instead of death. how can anyone believe that abortion should be illegal after seeing a baby living in the womb of its mother on a sonogram and hearing the heartbeat of that baby? i felt i was pressured by planned parenthood, because they told me that the best thing i could do was have an abortion since i was so young. i was 15 years old and still in high school. that abortion ruined any chance of me giving birth. as a result, i've had five miscarriages, three of them have been tubal pregnancies requiring emergency surgery and were very near-death experiences. i have suffered from bouts of depression and attempted suicide. self-mutilation. my experience of emotional trauma after abortion is the same as millions of other women and their families. i are 317 statements -- i have 317 statements, each as powerful as that in terms of the human consequences of what this legislation would produce. thank you, mr. chairman.
>> thank you. [applause] northup, would this legislation prohibit the use of all ultrasounds when a patient requests them? is. >> over, no, not at all. this law, again, is just very focused on those underhanded type of restrictions that are treating abortion not like similarly-situated medical practices that don't advance health and safety and are harming access to services. >> in essence, it would be irrelevant to the instance that senator cruz has just described. >> yes, absolutely. and also it very expolice is sitly does not cover the question of insurance funding, it's not addressing that. it wouldn't invalidate those laws. it has nothing to do with minors. it specifically says it doesn't address issues about parental consent and notification laws. >> dr. chireau, have you ever performed an abortion? >> no, i have not. >> dr. parker, how many abortions have you performed? >> i don't have the answer right off the bat, but i can tell you
that over 20 years of patient care, i've seen thousands of women, and some of those women have needed abortion care. >> and in your experience over -- how many years? >> 20. >> 20 years, has the width of a hallway in those clinics where you have performed your medical service affected the quality of expertness of those medical services? >> no, senator. >> has the admitting privileges within that state affected the quality or effectiveness of your medical services? >> only to the extent that they've prevented me from providing care to women. >> they barred you entirely, but admitting privileges ar irrelevant to the quality and excellence of your medical services because anyone in need of a hospital will be admitted to that hospital. >> correct, senator. >> and the waiting period, is that relevant to the quality or
effectiveness of your medical service? >> the reality, senator, is that women are extremely thoughtful, and women that i meet when they present to me to be counseled about their options, they've been thinking about what they're going to do about their pregnancy from the minute that they found out they were pregnant. so i know women to be extremely thoughtful, and i've not seen any woman's ability to make this complex decision enhanced by being forced to wait longer than she's already thought about it. >> thank you. ms. northup, in response to senator graham's questions you essentially said the limits embodied and incorporated in this bill were the constitutional standards, is that correct? >> that's correct. for example, most states under the supreme court constitutional rulings can ban abortion later in pregnancy and do. and as long as they have an exception for women's health and life, those laws are on the books now, and they would still be on the books. >> in effect, this law basically
enforces the constitution. >> absolutely enforces every woman's constitutional right to make the important decisions for herself. >> and finally, in those countries -- and a reference was made to a number of them where abortion is made illegal, is it made safer? >> no. around the world many of the places where abortions happen, women were terminating pregnancies where it is illegal and it is unsafe, and whether you see this country before roe v. wade or look at latin america and sub-saharan africa today where women don't have access to safe and legal abortion, they are harmed. >> you made reference, speaking about the state of texas, to women in texas going across the border to mexico so that they could buy on a flea market drugs necessary, they thought, for abortions because they could not get that service in the united states? >> yes. as the clinics have been
shrinking in texas because of laws that -- again, i commend the american medical association's brief in the fifth circuit talking about the medically-unnecessary laws that have been passed in texas. that's the ama, a very mainstream medical opinion. because it's taking clinics from three dozen, cut by a third, and it will be down to less than ten if it's allowed to go into effect be, women have been going be over the boarder in mexico -- border in mexico, they've been buying medication on the black market, they've been trying to self-abort, and the situation is going to be worse. women are hurt when they can't get the medical care that in their decision to make a decision about their pregnancy, that they need. >> ms. taylor, in your experience in wisconsin have the restrictions on women's access to reproductive rights made abortion safer? >> no. no, mr. chairman, they have not. >> have they, have they created
confusion, in fact, discouraged women from seeking to exercise their rights? >> absolutely. and they've sent women out of state. >> thank you. we are voting, so i apologize, i'm going to have to close the hearing. my colleagues are on their way there. i want to enter into the record without objection various statements including planned parenthood in southern new england, a statement that's been submitted for the record. as is our custom, our record will remain open for one week in case my colleagues have additional questions, and i, again, really want to thank every one of our witnesses for participating in this very, very important hearing. thank you all for attending. [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> and this is a live picture from the south lawn of the white house this morning where president obama's expected to make a statement on the situation in ukraine. according to the ap this morning, international outrage is building over the handling of the victims and the wreckage from the downed malaysian airlines jet in eastern ukraine four days after the plane was shut down, international
investigators have still had only limited access to crash site. they're being hindered by pro-russia fighters who control that territory, and again, we'll hear more from the president in just a moment on the situation. live coverage here on c-span c-span2. while we wait, a look at the week ahead in congress. >> host: workweek for congress, a full agenda including some hearings that we're going to be covering on the tax code system, the senate finance committee holding hearing on that and a house and senate hearing on iraq. joining us live on the phone is ed o'keefe who covers all things congress for the washington post. good morning, ed. thanks very much for being with us. >> guest: great to be with you, steve. >> host: let me begin with the headline last week on the status of the immigration bill, and you point out john boehner raising doubts congress will be able to meet the president's funding request. has anything changed over the last four or five days? >> guest: in short, no. things have gotten more complicated in that, you know, there continues to be
disagreement on what exactly caused the influx of immigrants in the last few months, and i don't know if people saw sunday's washington post, but we detailed pretty clearly what it was that the administration was being told in the leadup to that spike and what they were doing. many believe it was insufficient, many believe it was totally done in way that was unprepared for this massive influx. but because of all all that, we still don't know what republicans in the house want to do. there is this group that's been led by kay granger, republican from texas, she's supposed to be putting together some, quote-unquote, policy recommendations for john boehner and his leadership team. but they have yet to produce that senate recommendations, and it's believed in part because just like with everything else in the house republican caucus, there's no real sense of agreement. to do one thing might upset one group of people and might upend the possibility of getting other unrelated work done.
so we'll see whether or not that materializes. if it does, the appropriators, the guys that set the price tag, they believe they can come up with numbers very quickly, start moving a bill through and get it over to the senate. but in the senate there's almost near-unanimous agreement with democrats at least that they don't want to necessarily make changes to current immigration policy as part of this agreement, they just want to give the president the money he says he needs in order to accomplish what needs to be done down on the border. so there's this continuing impasse and no sense of resolution in sight with just two weeks to go on the calendar before congress get out of town. >> host: ed o'keefe, if congress fails to provide even a partial funding, what happens to the nearly 60,000 illegal immigrants that are in detention facilities or military camps in oklahoma, texas, arizona, new mexico and elsewhere? >> guest: our understanding is they would stay in those facilities, but the various agencies that deal with them would just about run out of
money because they need the funding in order to pay for employees that are helping to man these places, they need to be able to feed and shelter and clothe these detained illegal immigrants. the department of health and human services needs the money it needs to sort of reunify these people if they have relatives in the country and get them processed. so that is why there's a belief that something will materialize that allows them to pay for this. it may not be the $3.7 billion the president requested, but it will be something, and it'll be done right before they leave. >> host: a lot of hearings this week. walk us through what's happening in the senate and in the house. >> guest: you will see, you know, i don't have my list of hearings in front of me, steve, but -- >> host: well, i have the hearing schedule. >> guest: actually, i know the big one that is coming this week for sure is in the veterans committee where they will be having a confirmation hearing for the new v.a. secretary. that will be closely watched to give an indication of how well the new leadership team might
carry out the various recommendations that have been made by congress and by others, you know, in the wake of the ongoing scandal there. that is another issue to watch, certainly, this week. but that will be a closely watched hearing. beyond that, you said you have a list in front of you? >> host: i do. let me just pull this up because i know we're going to be covering the senate finance committee looking at the u.s. tax code, that's happening tomorrow. as you said, the veterans affairs committee confirmation is taking place and both the house and senate taking up a hearing on u.s. policy in iraq. >> guest: yes. and iraq, of course, continues to be a big concern in addition to all the other conflicts that have been grabbing attention in recent weeks. if only because that situation continues to snowball. i know there were some concerns over the weekend with what's going on in jordan and iraq's relationship with them. so not like we need another global conflict to occupy time, but certainly that is another possibility. i know, you know, beyond hearings -- and there are, now
that i have my list in front of me, i see them here -- beyond hearings, the veterans one with the new vice president a. secretary -- v.a. ones, we're going to have to keep watching for reaction to what's going on in russia and ukraine and then, of course, what's going on in the middle east. you've been talking with guests about it all morning. you know, at some point i think we're going to see calls for the u.s. to do more to help ukraine intensify. if there isn't some sense in the next 48 hours or so that the putin regime is stepping up, is making it easier for investigators to get to that crash site and to begin really working through the details of the crash. you know, as i scan this hearing list, there is one other at least in the senate that speaks to a broader problem when you talk about the lack of progress. the appropriations committee's supposed to be marking up one of their ones regarding homeland security funding. they're also looking at flood
insurance issues. but, you know, appropriations is one of those things, steve, that was supposed to be the big success of the month, that there was going to be debate on bills, they were going to get some of them done before the august recess, and that just hasn't happened. we may get some sense this week of whether or not those are going to move at all, but we're looking at a continuing resolution done in the fiscal year. >> host: i just want to get your reaction to the story in "the washington post," leadership war stymies the senate mission. and there's one story that senators, quote, say they are increasingly feeling like pawns caught between the democratic leader harry reid and the republican leader mitch mcconnell whose deep personal and political antagonisms have almost immobilized the senate, in fact, the senate going for three months this spring without voting on a single legislative amendment. >> yeah. you know, i have a policy to always agree with what paul report, but i the can tell you my own independent reporting
verifies that. this isn't even a partisan issue, it has become a reid v. mcconnell issue. because these two men cannot seem to get anything agreed to on progress, on moving legislation, that that now has really caused the tie-up in the senate more than anything else. that reid is very sensitive to doing anything that helps mcconnell's re-election campaign and, of course, mcconnell doing everything he can to stand in the way of democrats making progress. but the fact that these two men cannot talk to each other, the fact that they at times tell colleagues why don't you go ask him to do something or a question because the two of them can't seem to talk to each other. the other 98 senators, frankly, are acting as if they are children within a broken marriage, not sure which parent be they should be siding with but frustrated with both of them. >> host: you posted this story late last week of the press secretary for congressman marino
marino -- >> good morning, everybody. i wanted to make a brief statement about the tragedy in ukraine. before i do, though, i want to note that secretary kerry has departed for the middle east. as i've said many times, israel has a right to defend itself against rocket and tunnel attacks from hamas, and as a result of its operations, israel has already done significant damage to hamas' terrorist infrastructure in gaza. i've also said, however, that we have serious concerns about the rising number of palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of israeli lives. and that is why it now has to be our focus and the focus of the international community to bring about a ceasefire that ends the fighting and that can stop the
deaths of innocent civilians both in gaza and in israel. so secretary kerry will meet with allies and partners. i've instructed him to push for an immediate cessation of hostilities based on a return to the november 2012 ceasefire agreement between israel and hamas in gaza. the work will not be easy. obviously, there are enormous passions involved in this and some very difficult strategic issues involved. nevertheless, i've asked john to do everything he can to help facilitate a cessation to hostilities. we don't want to see any more civilians getting killed. with respect to ukraine, it's now been four days since malaysian airlines flight 17 was shot down over territory controlled by russian-backed separate bists in ukraine -- separatists in ukraine.
over the last several days, our hearts have been absolutely broken as we've learned more about the extraordinary and beautiful lives that were lost. men, women and children and infants who were killed so suddenly and so senselessly. our thoughts and prayers continue to be with their families around the world who are going through just unimaginable grief. i've had the opportunity to speak to a number of leaders around the world whose citizens were lost on this flight, and all of them remain in a tate of shock -- in a state of shock but, frankly, also in a state of outrage. our immediate focus is on recovering those who were lost, investigating exactly what happened and putting forward the facts. we have to make sure that the truth is out and that
accountability exists. now, international investigators are on the ground, they have been organized. i've sent teams, other countries have sent teamings. they are prepared -- teams. they are prepared, they are organized to conduct what should be the kinds of protocols and scouring and collecting of evidence that should follow any international incident like this. and what they need right now is immediate and full access to the crash site. they need to be able to conduct a prompt and full and unimpeded as well as transparent investigation. and recovery personnel have to do the solemn and sacred work of recovering the remains of those who were lost. now, ukrainian president por chen coe has declared a demilitarized zone around the crash site. as i said before, you have international teams already in place prepared to conduct the
investigation and recover the remains of those who have been lost, but unfortunately, the russian-backed separatists who control the area continue to block the investigation. they've repeatedly prevented international investigators from gaining full access to the wreckage. as investigators approached, they've fired their weapons into the air. these separatists are removing evidence from the crash site, all of which begs the question what exactly are they trying to hide? moreover, these russian-backed separatists are removing bodies from the crash site. oftentimes without the care that we would normally expect from a tragedy like this. and this is an insult to those who have lost loved ones. this is kind of behavior that has no place in the community of nations. now, russia has extraordinary influence over these separatists. no one denies that. russia has urged them on, russia
has trained them. we know that russia has armed them with military equipment and weapons including anti-aircraft weapons. key separatist leaders are russian citizens. so given its direct influence over the separatists, russia and president putin in particular has direct responsibility to compel them to cooperate with the investigation. that is the least that they can do. president putin says that he supports a full and fair investigation, and i appreciate those words, but they have to be supported by actions. the burden now is on russia to insist that the separatists stop tampering with the evidence, grant investigators who are already on the ground immediate, full and unimpeded access to the crash site. the separatists and the russian sponsors are responsible for the safety of the investigators doing their work.
and along with our allies and partners, we will be working this issue at the united nations today. more broadly, as i've said throughout this crisis and the crisis in ukraine generally -- and i've said this directly to president putin as well as publicly -- my preference continuing to be finding a diplomatic resolution within ukraine. i believe that can still happen. that is my preference today, and it will continue to be my preference. but if russia continues to violate ukraine's sovereignty and to back these separatists and these separatists become more and more dangerous and now are risks not simply to the people inside of ukraine, but the broader international community, then russia will only further isolate itself from the international community, and the costs for russia's behavior will only continue to increase. now is the time for president putin and russia to pivot away from the strategy that they've been taking.
and get serious about trying to resolve hostilities within ukraine in a way that respects ukraine's sovereignty and respects the right of the ukrainian people to make their own decisions about their own lives. and time is of the essence. our friends and allies need to be able to recover those who were lost. that's the least we can do. that's the least that decency demands. families deserve to be able to lay their loved ones to rest with keg anity -- dignity. the world deserves to know exactly what happened, and the people of ukraine deserve to determine their own future. thanks. >> mr. president, have you considered other actions if russia doesn't help? >> kenneth feinberg is heading up the -- [inaudible]
>> and president obama making a statement on the situation in ukraine regarding the shootdown of the malaysian jetliner last week and the investigation and designation of the victims. starting with a statement of support for secretary of state john kerry as he heads to the middle east in an attempt to bring an ends to hostilities between israel and hamas. the president also mentioning the rollout of the investigation into the downing of flight mh-17. the president expressing dismay about access to the crash site and how investigators are being prevented from approaching the site because of armed separatists. president obama warned of further isolation to russia if it fails to assist in the investigation. if you missed any of what the president had to say, it's available online in our c-span video library. go to c-span.org. coming up shortly, politico will look at the political
climate heading into the fall's midterm elections and the potential implications for the 2016 presidential election. political consultants, pollsters and reporters will take part in that discussion. it is scheduled the start at noon eastern. we'll have it live for you on c-span2. [inaudible conversations] >> testimony now from kenneth feinberg talking to a senate commerce committee about the payment plan for gm cars involving faulty ignition switches. >> all right. in the hearing will come to order.
today we revisit the tragic management failures at general motors that killed people. first, i want to the acknowledge in my opening remarks, then from my viewpoint the ceo of general motors, mary barra, has stepped up with courage and conviction and has confronted head on the problem and the corporate culture that caused it. some see the record number of recalls at general motors as a problem. i see it as a good sign. second, i want to briefly say that i think i speak on behalf of all members of congress who have asked very difficult questions surrounding these tragic events that while we are asking tough questions, we have great respect for the workers of general motors.
i would like to take this moment to thank the workers at general motors. you are terrific, you build good cars, and you are also the victims of outrageously incompetent management. management was the problem here, not the workers. the volukas report i have spent some time with, i find it thorough and damning. there was indifference, incompetence and deceit among engineers in positions of important responsibility. and second, it is very clear that the culture of lawyering up and whack-a-mole to minnize liability -- minimize liability in individual lawsuits killed innocent customers of general
motors. i have many questions about the failures of the legal department today. i am also interested today in hearing from mr. feinberg who has been asked to put together a plan to compensate those who have suffered from these management failures. he is here independently of the witnesses from general motors, he is appearing independently of the witnesses of general motors, and he will exert independence in his role as he makes decisions about compensation to the many people who have suffered. and i certainly thank him forking here today in that regard. -- for being here today in that regard. but perhaps i'm even more interested today in understanding how in the aftermath of this report, how in
the world in the aftermath of this report did michael milliken keep his job? i do not understand how the general counsel for a litigation department that had this massive failure of responsibility, how he would be allowed to continue in that important leadership role in this company. and the questions i ask today will be surrounding what he knew and why he didn't know it and what kind of direction did he give a legal department that would allow them to do nothing in the face of the evidence they were confronting over years of litigation by people who were trying to get the attention of general motors about the fatal defect in the product they were
even for the most expensive drivers, there's nothing more terrifying than a loss of power while moving at high speeds. i can only imagine the sheer terror of the individual who was driving his vehicles the moment the ignition slipped out of run. what those drivers didn't know as the car swerved across lanes, hit walls, inclines, regains entries was that the one thing that could've saved their lives, the airbag, was not going to deploy because the power to the airbag itself was shut off. if, and this is a big if, after a few crashes general motors was able to understand the ignition switch problem many more lives could have been saved. but as the valukas report points out, group after group, committee after committee within gm failed to take action or acted too slowly for over a decade. two critical factors have been
identified as reasons for this. first, gm failed to understand how its cars were built. let me repeat that. gm failed to understand how its cars were built. incredibly the official findings pin the blame on the delay to recall this car on the fact that gm didn't understand how its own car was built. second, the same engineer who approved the original ignition switch change the part in 2006 and did not inform any person at gm and did not change the part number. people died and millions more were put at risk because gm didn't understand its own car. and one engineer cut corners and then change the to work on the part without telling anybody, or again changing the model number. 54 frontal impact crashes and more than a dozen fatalities later, we find ourselves here
this morning for a second hearing on this issue. it is truly a dark chapter in the history of general motors. what we need to do today to make sure that the valukas report is the full story. is the valukas report accurate? is that the defendants account of this matter, or are there missing pieces? and ceo of delphi is with us today and it's my hope he will help the subcommittee understand if there's additional information that provides us with more of a complete picture. i hope his testimony today will be forthcoming and not circle the wagons. we need to know what happened here, and delphi has responsibility to the families and the survivors to provide a complete picture. if delphi knows more than of valukas report identified or believes there are inaccuracies, now is the time to make those
known. the valukas report offers a strong timeline of the issues by concerns that it may not paint the entire picture. i'd like to explore whether delphi was fully cooperative. in the valukas report it states that delphi had numerous documents and other relevant material that they did not supply. chairman, appreciative we're holding this hearing. nevadans and all americans deserve to know that for over a decade of general motors and delphi failed to demonstrate the basic level of corporate confidence. they would be a discussion regarding whether changing the laws are necessary, and however if gm understood how their own cars worked and followed current legal obligations to report defects in nhtsa in a timely manner lives would've been saved and we would not be here today. thank you chairman. >> thank you, senator heller. our first witness today is, in fact, at our first panel consists entirely of kenneth feinberg and ms. barrow who are in charge of the fund that will
compensate many of the people who have suffered tragically as a result of gm failures. we look forward to your testimony and thank you very much for being here. mr. fienberg. >> i want to thank the chair for her figur big risk leadership is matter but i want to thank all the members of this committee, subcommittee. i particularly want to thank senator blumenthal and his staff. they provide some valuable constructive suggestions as to what this protocol should look like. and indirectly, i must thank senator blunt, indirectly because senator blunt was critically important and very instrumental in the design and administration of a nine 9/11 victim compensation fund, which proved to be a precedent for much of what is in this protocol. and i want to publicly thank senator blunt for his work many years ago in the drafting of the
9/11 victinine 9/11 victim compn fund. i'm accompanied by ms. camille biros who over the last 35 years has worked at by side in the drafting, design and administration of the 9/11 fund, the bp oil spill fund, one fund the boston marathon, the virginia tech memorial fund, et cetera. she is also here to answer any questions that the committee might have about the administration of this program. it's a bit premature to be talking about this program, because we do not begin receiving claims until august 1. a few weeks from now. we are right on track. this protocol will form the basis for the submission of claims. i think lawyers around the country -- i think lawyers around the country for their input as to what this fund might look like. i think various nonprofits -- i
thank nonprofits interested in automotive safety for the input and i also must say, in light of what the chair said, i thank of general motors come the top down. they've been very helpful and constructive in drafting this protocol. this compensation protocol, however, is entirely our collective responsibility. my responsibility. i don't think there's anybody who provided us input that is entirely satisfied with all aspects of the protocol. the perfect is the enemy of the good. and we will see, but i am optimistic, that as the chair pointed out in her introductory comments, we will compensate the innocent victims of this tragedy. that's the purpose of the protocol, and i am confident that it will succeed. now, we begin august 1. claims can be submitted for the
next five months, through august 31 -- december 31. we will stay in active work into 2015 processing claims that may come in late in the year. we are not going to disappear on december 31. so we will stick around. but there are some very interesting features of this protocol, of this compensation program that i can highlight in one minute. it is uncapped. we are authorized to pay as much money as is required through the processing of eligible claims. the bankruptcy of gm is no value to compensation. if there were accidents that occurred before the bankruptcy, they are as eligible as accidents that occurred after the bankruptcy. there are some people who
already settled their claims years ago with the general motors and sign a release that they won't sue. they can come into this program. and if under our compensation rules they are entitled to additional compensation, they will be paid. the contributory negligence of the driver, speeding, cell phone texting while driving, intoxication, irrelevant. we are not looking at the driver or the circumstances of the drivers negligence. we are looking at the automobile, and only at the automobile. to determine whether or not the defective ignition switch was the proximate cause of the accident. so you never know on these programs, we have our fingers crossed that we are very cautiously optimistic. we build on the success of past
similar programs. i believe that beginning august 1 we will be ready, as the chair and others have insisted, to begin receiving claims. we are finalizing the documentation which we will deliver to the committee, subcommittee. but we will be ready to receive claims. we will pay those claims within 90-180 days after the claims are deemed substantially complete, and we -- and finally, we have a very pervasive notice program to reach out to all eligible claimants, all those who think they might be eligible. we are determined to reach every driver or injured victim to make sure they know of this program. and we are confident that the program will work as intended. thank you. >> thank you so much, mr. fienberg. a couple of questions.
when they hired you to administer this compensation program, did general motors lay out any limitations on the program's scope? and if so, what were the limitations they laid out? >> the only limitation they really laid out was the limitation that only certain eligible vehicles are subject to this program. as the chair knows nbp there were limitations in my jurisdiction. in 9/11 as senator blunt -- then congressman blunt and others drafted that legislation, there were limitations. the only limitation in this program that gm insisted on were that only the eligible vehicles listed on page three of the compensation protocol are eligible for consideration. >> did you suggest any classes or coverage that should be included that general motors rejected? >> no. i'm not an automotive engineer.
i asked general motors, what are the vehicles, what is the definition of an eligible vehicle that could give rise to a valid claim? this was the response which was reflected, expressly in the protocol. >> so if the airbags didn't deploy but should have, if there's any evidence that the seat belt worked as designed, under your protocol, the victim is not eligible? >> that's right. the victim is not eligible if the power was on and the air bag did deploy. if the airbag deployed and the seat backs were working -- seatbelts working, then the likelihood that the ignition switch could have been in the off position causing the accident is not possible. so we concluded, and i concluded, that airbag deployment renders the claim in
eligible. airbag non-deployment or a clip in which the victim or his family or her family say, we don't know whether the airbag deployed or not, eligible. file a claim and we will work with the claimant in that rega regard. >> so let me make sure i understand. if the airbags did not deployed, you are eligible if you are in one of the cars on the list, regardless of the seat belt? >> exactly. >> so the total decision here is what car it is and what about the airbags deployed? >> and/or whether the seat belt deployed. it's the same issue. if the seat belt deployed, the power is on. it couldn't have been the ignition switch. >> i'm confused by which he seat belt deployed. are you talk about whether a seat belt is on? would you explain that, for the record, ms. ms. biros?
push the button. >> it's not a seat belt per se. it's epic tensioners which are electrically controlled our understanding is so if they were operational, then it's unlikely that the cause of the accident was the ignition switch. >> so what you're saying is if the pretentious are working if that's an indication there was not a shutdown of the electoral system or power that would've prevented the airbags from deployed? >> that's correct spent what if you have a situation where the airbags, there's a front end crash and airbag doesn't deployed and then seconds later there is a real crash and the airbag does deployed? >> file the claim. if there's a frontal crash and airbag didn't deployed we want to look into that claim. >> so you're open to looking at each situation and, in fact, that would be a situation where the airbag did deploy, but not until the second crash as i want to make sure that everyone is
clear that even if your airbag didn't deploy it could depend, even if your airbag did deploy, could depend on the facts of your case? >> that's an interesting hypothetical for law school but i'd like to take a look at that claim. >> i think there is one. >> we'd like to take a look at it. >> because this is the issue. this switch goes off and on easily. right? it slides too often easily. it slides back, because there's not appropriate work in it. and so things that bump it move it. so just as easily as writing off the road to both it and it could go off, a frontal crash could move it from off to on, correct? >> we look at the problem. i think theoretically you are correct. i have to answer to your hypothetical. first, it is highly unlikely that that circumstance that you just posit occurs. it, i guess it could. it's highly unlikely. what i want to avoid with this
program is being inundated by thousands of claims where the airbag deploys, making it extremely unlikely that the ignition switch causing delay in getting money out the door to the vast number of claimants which clearly can demonstrate airbag non-deployment through police reports, photographs et cetera. and the whole key to this program as you and others have pointed out is getting money out the door as fast as possible to eligible claimants. that's why the airbag deployment provision in the protocol is designed frankly to discourage thousands of people from filing a claim wind and the overwhelming number of cases, i become in the overwhelming number of cases, airbag non-deployment is a certain step in the direction of finding
eligibility. >> welcome i've questions about the amount of money that you have to spend and also about punitive damages but have a feeling my colleagues will handle those questions before we finish all the questions on this bill so i believe those questions to my colleagues and turn it over to senator heller. >> thank you, madam chairman. and again thanks for being here. i don't know that it's premature to have this discussion because i think this is the perfect time to have this discussion before this program moves forward. i want to go back to what the chairman was asking. there's no scenario where the key could have gone from run to accessory, have an accident address of the airbags deployed? >> that's right. there may be -- senator mccaskill raises a hypothetical situation but it's not the type of situation that is at all likely would justify drafting a compensation program that would invite anybody with an airbag deployed to file a claim. >> so it took 10 years to forget what the problem was and you
tell me that that scenario can't haven't. >> it's so rare. you don't want to discourage claims from being filed by overwhelming cases where airbag non-deployment is a major step in the direction of finding eligibility. >> usage are going to compensate all innocent victims. let me give you a scenario is scenario is a parliamentary. supposed abroad a cobalt -- suppose i'm trying a cobalt and icky goes from run to accessory and i walk away unscathed. i destroyed a car. no, i compensated? >> that's a litigation matter but you're not compensated under a protocol that's limited to death and physical injury. you may very well be compensated, and i think there are thousands of lawsuits pending on economic damage to the car can diminished value of the car. but that's not the scope of this death and physical injury
program spent why would you stop there? isn't a loss a loss? >> a loss is a loss from the very beginning in my conversations with both lawyers representing injured and deceased victims. it was always understood that this program, like 9/11 and like, like 9/11 and like one fund boston is limited to death and physical injury. i'm not saying those folks don't have a valid claim. they just don't come to this program. >> is there a way to appeal that decision? >> which decision is that? >> that a lawsuit isn't a lawsuit in this case? >> in the courts i'd assume. >> can be appealed to jim? >> i guess they can as well. >> i want to ask about the compensation. i don't know if you performance indicators on moving forward, on what you and your staff will be based on your pay. i think it's important there is transparency of your compensation. and i think, no inhibitor being
compensated by gm, i think transparency is important. will you or your staff be paid based on the number of claims made or the number of claims processed or anything of that nature? >> absolutely not. >> let me talk to you all a bit about bp because i know previous administration of the bp oil spill victim compensation fund did receive some criticism from some of the stakeholders that you're working for the oil companies interest instead of being independent. >> i'll say. [laughter] >> how do we know that you'll be independent in this case and be accountable to the victims? >> first of all as with bp, you will recall, senator, when the criticism came my way, i asked former attorney general michael mukasey of the bush administration to review my
whole compensation, the whole way we went about being paid, my independence. and he wrote an opinion letter which i made available, making it very clear that i was independent and doing the type of work that i was asked to do. the only real way that you blunt criticism that is sure to come about my compensation, the only way, is how fast you get money out the door to eligible claimants in a generous way so that they said, so that the agency that the conduct of this program and the professed independence is backed up by the way these claims are being processed. and i will say again, until these claims begin to come in and people see how they're being processed and how they're being found eligible, i will always confront the criticism and that's the way you have to address it. >> okay.
i'm fine. thank you, madam chairman. >> thank you much chairman mccaskill. thank you for holding this thing. thanthank you, both of you, for being here. the investigation into the general motors ignition switch effecdefect issue paints a pictf a company that for years showed indifference in the fact of mounting evidence of risk and of danger. and i believe there are still questions to be answered, and a key point for victims, mr. feinberg, and one of the reason for having a hearing today, our questions about how the fund will work and other claims will work. i also greatly appreciate the fact that ms. barra, the new gm ceo has stepped up and taken this on, head-on. not only with the recalls but also with setting up this fund and working with the victims. something very bad happened here and we all know that. and as you know, mr. feinberg, only the results and history will judge whether there is to justice for these victims. and i'm glad that chairman
holders getting so quickly after the last month we can continue to be informed and ask questions. in my case i've got a victim, a very young woman named not tosha wigle. -- not tosha wigle. she was only 19 years old. she died when her car went barreling at 71 miles per hour into a grove of trees. she was a hockey goalie. she had a lovely little note she wrote to her death right before she died about how she always knew he had her back and he was there. on all he wants now is they want now is to make sure that gm has their back. so my first question really is about the young victims. many of these cars involved younger drivers if they were like the saturn tasha i am a saturn driver that isolate 15 euros saturn's i can relate to this. and the chevy cobalt and that was the kind of car that she was
killed in. a chevy cobalt. could you ensure, mr. feinberg, that there will be fair compensation for the younger victims when it's often harder to access with the earnings potential will be? >> absolutely. like 9/11 with many young people die on the plains at the world trade center and at the pentagon. here even younger people, we will make sure that compensation is generous and is adequate and it is appropriate. and the protocol lays out in some detail how we will go about estimating compensation for younger non-wage earners who are in school or have not yet begun a professional or an employment career. we also lay out rules that allow in younger victim or anybody who has died in the crash or who were terribly physically injured, to come in and see us, and we will develop a tailored
compensation program, what i call track be, that reflects the unique circumstances of those younger people and will be glad to do that under the rules of the protocol. >> and you interest at a lower participation rate for younger people just because of the fact you haven't seen this in the past? >> no. >> concerns been raised by some secrets about the documentation required that it may be too burdensome. some say may be very difficult to prove that years ago and ignition switch that caused a crash. how'd you response because first of all is a lot less burdensome and a lot quicker than if they go to court and have to prove their claim, i'll targeted. secondly, there is a provision in this protocol that makes absolutely clear that if anybody files a deficient claim, they can't find the documentation, we will work -- this was the point senator blumenthal asked about -- we will work with that claim it to try and cure of that deficiency. there are various ways, a menu
of options, as to documentation, contemporary police reports, the car, the black box in the car, insurance reports, warranty and maintenance reports. we will work with the claimant. photographs. perhaps one of the best examples of collaboration, citing senator mccaskill's example of a photograph showing a front end collision and no airbag deployment. now, that case unless he is well a long way to eligibility. so we will work with the claimant to make sure that even though some of these claims are very old, the accidents occurred over a decade ago, we will try and reconstruct that documentation. >> one less question. under the terms of the 2009 bankruptcy, gm is technically free from liability for injuries and deaths that occurred prebankruptcy. can you assure the point is that they will have equal opportunity to compensation regardless of whether and when gm went through
bankruptcy? >> yes, that is absent a shirt and gm is acquiesced in that recommendation. >> thank you very much. >> senator ayotte. >> senator blunt? >> thank the chairman to the gym and i, she mentioned in her first comments come with a number number of gm employees in our state. we are grateful for those employers and the work that they do and concerned about anything that reflects on their products, their future opportunities, the ability to make the good living that they make with the hard work that they do. so looking at this is important to us. it's important to the country. mr. feinberg, i appreciate your comments. certainly will be set up the model after 9/11 the ideas, the ones you continue to pursue, which is victims are not subject to which judge they are assigned to, that you don't have cases handled one way somewhere and one way another where.
they saw it legal option if they want to take it but if you want the insurance that these cases are going to be handled in a way that has the structure, they have that from you. in that structure, as i understand it, when it comes time to a settlement, you have the ultimate authority on what that settlement would be, am i right? >> that is correct. the program is as you just pointed out entirely voluntary. nobody has to come into this program. and if they do come into the program, we will determine their eligibility, if they're eligible, the amount of compensation and only as with 9/11 as you know, only after they know what it is they will receive, how generous it is, only then do they agree to waive going to court in order to receive this money. and there is no appeal from my determination, and gm cannot, cannot reject our final determination. they have agreed in advance to
abide by any final decision that is made. >> and am i right in believing that gm event has no input on what your final determination on an individual case would be? >> they can, just like the claimant, they can provide whatever information they want in advance of my determination to complete the record, but once i have the record i've heard from the climate, i've heard from gm if anything they want to add, once we make that determination they have no say, no right to appeal, they have no right to second-guess. they are bound by that determination that we make. >> at what point do you think you'll begin to deal with some of these individual cases? >> august 1 the claim started coming. and under the protocol once a claim is didn't substantially completed, once we have the documentation, then within 90 days we will begin to process the claims, authorized payments,
and invite the claimant to accept that compensation. >> and you said earlier you are grateful to gm in helping draft the protocol but in addition to determining eligible vehicles, was there anything that they added to the protocol or help with? >> yes. i asked gm and plaintiff lawyers and nonprofit foundations, the entire protocol, what you think of the dollar levels come what you think about the process, the procedures. ..
>> i wish you well and, certainly, everybody involved well as you move forward with trying to deal with these claims in the best possible way. in terms of the company, better late than never, but for those people who were dramatically impacted and who have lost that they'll never recover from, as senator klobuchar was talking about, that note from a daughter to her father is a sad last and only thing to have of those last moments of that young girl's life. and so we're going to be very interested as you work your way through this, and i think the company made a good choice and look forward to watching as this progresses. >> thank you, sir. >> senator blumenthal. >> thank you, madam chairman. i want to thank you for having this hearing, which i think is very important. thank mr. feinberg for your work, very challenging work in
this area. i have only five minutes here, but you've spent many more than five minutes, in fact, more than five hours talking to me and my staff, and i appreciate your openness and hope that we can continue to work on many of these very profoundly important details. but the devil here is in the details and in the discretion that you will have. i want to ask you about one area of what i hope is within your discretion. on june 30th of this year when you announced the details of your compensation protocol, gm announced the recall of more than eight million cars that had ignition defects, defective ignition switches. the company acknowledged those defective ignition switches, beyond the models involved in your compensation fund so far,
caused at least three deaths and numerous injuries. added to the list of the chevrolet cobalt and saturn ions, we also have models of chevrolet, olds mobile, gm has now recalled more than 14 million cars in 2014. many of the reasons for these recalls are defects in the same parking lot, the ignition -- part, the ignition switch, that killed people and injured many in the matter that you are providing your compensation fund. i happen to believe that the compensation fund has to be expanded. i believe strongly that your fund must be extended to include those victims of deaths, injuries and damage in those other recalls.
would you agree with me? >> i can't agree or disagree. i have no jurisdiction, senator, and i can be very clear on this. just as with these other compensation programs where policymakers tell me in drafting your protocol, this is what -- >> and we'll leave this discussion here as politico is about to look at the political climate heading into this fall's midterm elections and the potential implications for the 2016 presidential election. this is just getting under way. >> very excited to host you today for our second campaign pro event, and we want to thank those who are watching on the live stream as well. politico launched campaign pro this spring to meet the demand for realtime news and information on the most competitive races around the country, and we're excited to today's event to get a lay of the land leading into the upcoming midterm elections as well as a look at the implications looking ahead. we've lined up two very exciting panels for you that explore this landscape and include an in-depth look at election polling results, our new
political poll out today. political campaign ads and the innovative ways campaigns are reaching their audiences. for more information on the panelists, you should have a bio sheet on your seat. before we begin, i'd like to take a minute to thank our sponsor, clear channel outdoor, for their support of this event. and here to say a few words on behalf of clear channel outdoor is david miller, vice president of national sales. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. wow, this is a big group, and thanks for coming here today. thank you to politico. i am a bit of a jaded new yorker, so i've been to a lot of events, but this is a great turnout, amazing view, just an amazing space and amazing panel, so thank you very much for coming. since one of the things that we're going to be talking about momentarily is about political advertising, it's only natural that we would be a sponsor since outdoor has played a big role in campaign advertising over the
years based on the big impact that we offer, the press that we can earn, and more importantly, the results. and we were talking about this before with some people out there. there was recently a vote back in february. the uaw vote in chattanooga where 13, only 13 billboards played a huge role in the defeat of that vote and that campaign, and it's one of the reasons that out of home is growing and growing with political advertising. we've seen a growth of 13.3% over the last two election cycles, and one of the other things that we're seeing is campaigns are responding to the digital capabilities that we have. one of the most important things i would leave with this group that out of home can do for you is the realtime campaign messaging flexibility that we have now days with outdoor. we have an amazing team here in washington, d.c. which i'm going
to have them raise their hands. whitney tipton, who is, runs our political advertising from a national perspective. we have steve ginsburg here today is our washington and baltimore president, and dave baa tagly ya who is our campaign specialist here in washington d.c. they know the marketplace, they know what will work for advertisers, and we're here to help. one of my colleagues said to make sure before we ended this that i quote tip o'neill, which politics is local, and with clear channel outdoor, we have you covered with that, so thank you very much for coming. thanks. [applause] >> david, thank you. and we very much appreciate your sponsorship and support of this event. finally, for those of you in the room and those of you watching on our live stream, don't forget to join the conversation on twitter by using the hashtag campaignpro. now, without further delay i'd like to welcome politico's chief white house correspondent mike allen for a panel about which
i'm very excited. he'll be up here with three ad makers to talk about political ads. mike? [applause] >> good job, thank you very much. good afternoon and welcome. thank you all for coming, and congratulations to steve and mike and the whole team at campaign pro that has started this exciting new service from zero, a testimonial to the work that they're doing. when we call people and say, you know, you're getting all of campaign pro, do you maybe just want to see the governors' races or just see the senate races, are you getting too much, and they're saying, no, i want it all. so it's a sign of the great coverage. really appreciate it. welcome to all of you in live stream land. we appreciate your being here as we go along. if you'll send us a question at hashtag campaignpro, i'll get it here on my twitter machine, and if the it's a good question,
i'll ask it. what a treat we have with the people on this stage this morning. i went into jim's office, and i said i think we might have the best politico event ever because we have visual aids, and the people who created them. so some of the hottest commercials of this cycle so far we're going to see, and we're lucky enough to have on stage the people who made them. start with mark putnam who's worked on four presidential campaigns and right now has three of the hottest senate races, mark getting itch in -- bell itch in alaska -- begich in ag, mary landrieu and allison grimes. ashley o'connor, founding partner at burning glass consulting, congratulations. she just won the thad cochran primary. i'm here everyone in this room accurately predicted the outcome of that runoff. [laughter] and she now is doing his general, and she also is doing
asa hutchinson, republican for governor in arkansas. arkansas, such a republican -- such a political hot spot right now. and todd harris who couldn't think of a name for his new firm, so he called it something else strategies. is there ever going to be another name, or is that it? >> no, that's it. [laughter] we had to pay five grand to buy somethingelse.com. [laughter] >> you're stuck with it. mark does mike owe and is five for five -- marco rubio and is five for five in statewide republican primaries this year. first of all, ashley o'connor, while we were standing back there, you told us the best thing about the romney campaign. she worked at romney hq, what was the best thing about the romney campaign? >> the food. the north end of boston, we had a great location and, of course, our candidate, mitt romney. [laughter] >> so in just two seconds we're going to take a look at an ad
called squeal. this is for jodi ernst, the republican senate candidate in iowa. todd harris, who wrote this ad, had the idea for it. it's called squeal, but what is it really called? [laughter] >> well, we call it squeal. most people outside the campaign will call it the castration ad. [laughter] >> so let's take a look. >> i'm joni ernst. i grew up castrating hogs on an iowa farm, so when i get to washington, i'll know how to cut pork. >> mother, soldier, conservative. >> my parents taught us to live within our means. it's time to force washington to do the same. to cut wasteful spending, repeal obamacare and balance the budget. i'm joni ernst, and i approved this message because washington's full of big spenders. let's make 'em squeal. [laughter] >> todd, you wrote that, what was the germ of that idea?
>> well, that's what came about, this was about a year ago i was in iowa meeting with joni and one other consultant, and we were actually working on a stump speech for her, and so i had said so tell me about how you grew up. and she said, well, it was, you know, it was very normal, you know? for in iowa, i grew upping food and --canning food, walking beans finish i'm from california, have no idea what that means -- we'd feed the hogs, castrate the hogs, and she just kept going. wait, what? [laughter] she said, yeah, we'd castrate the hogs. and so i just made a little note of that, and then we came back to it, i think, probably the next day. and we came up with the line
about cutting pork, but it was originally an idea to use a sort of a one-liner in a speech. we had a debate coming up, and so we thought, all right, let's use this in the debate and see, see if it works, and it did. and so i just filed it away until it was time to make some tv. >> okay. republican senate candidate, mark butt -- putnam, why is that effective? >> because it captures the spirit, the personality of the candidate. and when you ask me what republican ads, you know, really stuck out to me, that was the ad that i mentioned to you because it, i think, first off, i think it's the reason why she's the nominee. i think that's such a memorable metaphor, such a -- she comes off really well in the ad, she's likable. >> there were a bunch of unknown candidates, right? how many? >> there were six candidates
including -- >> so that's why this was -- >> including one is a self-funder, and that was not us. we had no money. >> and, ashley o'connor, what does the effectiveness of this ad tell us right now about what's moving political consumers or what's working this cycle? >> well, i think mark touched on a good point. i mean, you really have to capture something real. i think that there are so many political ads out there that voters can really sniff out if you're not being authentic. and be i think that's one of the things that's incredibly important right now, is just good, old-fashioned authenticity. >> where ashley and i were -- actually, all three of us were joking before we came out here because we've all had climates who see a spot that we've made maybe for one client, so i've had other clients say, like, how come i don't have a spot like squeal with 600,000 views on youtube? [laughter] >> you should send a review and -- >> i said, fine.
if you grew up castrating hogs and doesn't tell me, like -- [laughter] you know, then we'll make a spot like that. but the authenticity piece so critical, and i do think it comes through in that spot as real. >> all right. the second ad that we're going to look at is called father/son. this was a commercial for a democratic candidate for congress who lost his primary so is no longer in congress, candidate carl shortino in massachusetts, he is -- go ahead. >> and he's proud of it. >> dad's in the tea party. >> damn right. [laughter] it was bad enough to take on the big banks and corporations in the legislature. >> they weren't paying their fair share in taxes. >> and he wrote the buffer zone law. >> to protect women entering abortion clinics from harassment. >> it's gone all the way to the
supreme court. i was kind of proud of that. >> but here's the one that drives him crazy. >> he wants to go to congress and take on the nra and the tea party. >> and i want to take on the gun rights. equal pay for women and equal rights or, well, everybody. >> he's been like this for 35 years. >> that's why i approved this message. and i still love you, dad. >> me too, son. >> okay. this candidate who's a gay man living with aids, the set-up was that he's coming out as a liberal democrat. todd harris, you saw this ad, and you sent an e-mail to the nrcc, and it said what? [laughter] >> when this spot came out, i e-mailed several people at the nrcc, and i said who -- does anyone know who the media consultant on this campaign is? and someone wrote back and said, yeah, it's mark putnam, and i
wrote back, i said i hope i never go up against this guy. [laughter] i love that ad. >> so here you are a consultant -- [laughter] >> mark, this has raised a huge amount of money. tell us how it came about and the effect of it. >> what todd was saying about really getting to know your candidate. e spent time with carl, learned that his father was in the tea party, he was a dues-paying member wherever you pay due toss the tea party, and was something that carl would occasionally talk about on the stump but not all that often. we in the campaign all just thought this was a great piece of his message, the idea -- and you missed the beginning of the ad, but he says i'll never forget that day when i had to tell my dad, and the father says, wait for this. that is their relationship. he's a massachusetts liberal. so message wise, you know, which is really the most important thing, you have to capture the candidate's personality, but it
has to be driven by a strategy. and message wise we needed to prove that carl was the most progressive candidate in the race in a democratic primary in massachusetts. and so we did not shy away from massachusetts liberal. we just wanted to figure out a way i to really make that interesting to people and have them watch the ad. now, the challenge we faced was we had very, very little money. carl budget able to, you know -- wasn't able to reach his fundraising goals for a variety of reasons. there were a lot of other candidates in the race who had larger shares of the district, so i went into this thinking i was going to write -- >> by the way, the ed markey district. i should have said that. >> waited to make two ads originally for cable. but the idea came into my head of this conversation back and forth, i realized i couldn't do it justice in 30 seconds, so i made an executive decision we're going to do a 60-second ad and put all of our chips behind that ad. and we went on cable initially, very, very small buy. we got a lot of call on msnbc, and the money started coming in,
a lot of money we should have already been raising, and we raised about $200,000 in a week, so -- >> i was struck, i remember the very first time i watched it and then just i watched it again yesterday, and i was struck again by the same thing that struck me the first time, they're both so likable in it. there is so much message in it, and at the very end it's clear that they love each other which, you know, so it takes all of this, there's all the political messaging side, but it ends in a really heart warming way, and they pulled it off, you know? a lot of dads wouldn't, couldn't pull that off. >> ashley o'connor, these two ads address something that you told me is one of the biggest concerns of consultants right now, and that is the overcrowded airwaves. you have super pacs, ies, all advertising aggressively already. what do campaigns do about that?
>> well, i think that these are two great examples. you know, creative is incredibly important. you need something that's going to cut through, and both of these examples are crowded primaries. and so you find something that really cuts through. i also think that there are a couple other strategies of using surrogates to cut through or testimonials. we've seen a lot of testimonials in advertising this cycle so far. >> what's a good example of an effective surrogate ad cycle? >> well, the chamber did one down in mississippi using brett favre, and i think monica -- [inaudible] testimonial opened her campaign was fantastic. and i think that that's probably one of the biggest challenges right now, is cutting through crowded airwaves. >> how much of a difference did the brett favre make in the runoff for senator cochran? >> made a very big difference, yeah. >> is that why you won? >> i think we won because of his
record. i mean, there was a lot of time pointing out just how conservative thad is as a senator. >> all right. mark putnam, you got an article in the "new york times." this is a very harsh article, it's what we call tough but fair. the headline was political adman finds the personal in democratic hopefuls. it talked about your effective use this cycle of real people. and unless i'm misreading it, the subtext is that you're a little bit turning on its head the assumption of us and a lot of you and only negative ads work. candidates hate them, they talk them down, but in the end they work, you're doing something different. >> well, again, i think it gets back to capturing what's unique about your candidate. and with all the super pacs and the ie advertising out there, the airwaves are filled with plenty of negative information about your opponent. and that's not to say a candidate still doesn't have a responsibility at times to point
out what they disagree with in their opponent's record, but we have this unique thing in the race which is we can capture our candidate and why there are positive reasons to to vote for them. and those ads actually in this flurry of negative advertising do stick out. so one of the campaigns that that article talked about was mark begich in alaska. he has a unique story to tell. starts with his father and his history and legacy of public service and also his own sort of doggedness at getting things done for alaska. those were stories that we could tell using senator begich and having him really tell his own story. no ad maker behind the scenes making things up, it's really him. and those types of ads do stick out, you know? yes, the negative advertising and comparative advertising by other groups does have an influence on the race, you can't argue that it doesn't. but i think it elevates the importance of the positive advertising because that's really the only chance that voters get to hear from their incumbent or a challenger. >> mark putnam, one of the high wire acts you pulled off was
president obama's election eve 30 be -- 30 minute commercial. seven networks, watched by 35 million people. and when i was reading this new york times article, as is often the case, the most interesting sentence is in the second to the last paragraph. i'm going to read it to you, and you're going to tell me what it means. it says democrats who have worked with him say he can be reluctant to give up on his concepts even if they don't test well. >> ad testing is not perfect. [laughter] i mean, there have been examples where, you know, ads that, you know, do okay in testing end up catching fire. testing -- i respect testing. a lot of uses for it. but what people will tell you is that if i think i have a good idea, i'm going to push for it. in the end, it's always a team decision as to what a campaign's going to do or not do. ing with a consultant, you can't just rule the day. but i am dogged. if i have an idea i think will
work, i'm going to give it a shot. >> so what's an example of something that tested wadly but worked well -- badly but worked well? >> there was some advertising a number of years back that we had done for john kerry in the presidential campaign. we worked on the dnc side of things, and there was some advertising that got a decent response, but then when we actually put it on the air, we saw numbers move. >> pull back the camera to talk about a concept or technique, is there something that you found always works better on the air than in the lab? where your gut maybe is better than the data? >> that's the -- that's a good question. i think sometimes campaigns are a little bit reluctant to have their candidate talk straight to camera, you know in i actually think once you figure out -- i think the main thing is figuring out how a candidate is most successful to television. sometimes it's speaking to
camera, sometimes it's narrating. there have been times when there are some concepts that candidates are a little bit -- a good example is governor richardson when he was running for president. there were a lot of people that questioned the series of ads where he was interviewing for the job for president. and they were funny, and he was self-depracating, and he lived at this unique intersection of really being greatly underestimated as a candidate, amazing resumé, and a great sense of humor. and so there were some in the campaign that weren't so sure that he should be shown that way. but we put those ads on the air, and they tested okay. but we put them on the air, and in iowa and new hampshire we jumped up about 12, 14 points in two weeks' time. so we were on to something with that. now, in that race we had john edwards, hillary clinton, barack obama at the top, we had to break into the top three. history shows that was going to be very difficult to do. but we put him into the consideration set with a technique that people weren't
100% sure about in the campaign, but when we did it, it really worked. >> if i could just add to that, i know when we do ad testing, the stuff that always seems to underperform in the test is the softer stuff. it's some, maybe it's the candidate either straight to camera or interview style, and they're telling a compelling little story about growing up or their mom or their dad or whatever. and you show that in a focus group, and the people say, well, where's the substance? i like to hear about policy. i always research everything, you know? and so then the whole group goes on this tangent about how, you know, there need -- there needs to be more facts and more meat in the spot because that's what focus groups do. but then you put the spot on television, you put it in the context of a crowded environment with a lot of clutter, and that's what cuts through.
>> now, ashley, you were about to jump in. >> yeah, i would just say we had a similar experience in '04 with the wind surfing ad of john kerry. we caught some news tootage of he was -- footage of he was out wind surfing, and we set it to blue danube and through testing it was like, oh, yeah. it didn't poorly, but it didn't test off the charts. but i think it's that point that when you're in a crowded field, to put something up like that, it really caught people's eye and, you know, they kind of got the message. >> that ad really was a game changer, and why was it so much more effective than you might have thought in the lab? than the data might have suggested? >> i think sometimes taking risks, to mark's point, you really have to trust your gut. and in focus be groups that people will be very critical of what they're watching -- >> so what was the reluctance about the wind surfing ad which can in retrospect seems like
such a home run? >> no, i just think in focus groups you'd hear people sort of say, well, i don't know, i mean, it just didn't test off the charts. >> interesting. >> but it goes with the point of following your gut. we sort of thought this captures something here, and it's message driven which is, you know, the greatest point of all. >> ashley, something you did in '04 that got a lot of attention was the keynote video for the 2004 convention. it was called "the pitch." tell us why even networks picked up that up. tell us why. >> "the pitch" was, it's the film that introduced the president in 2004 at the convention, and it was actually something that came together late in the game. we had put together a different convention film, and we thought, okay, that's great, you know? but what else? and we went, hmm. we sort of sat down and started thinking what can we really, what can we really tell about the president that people don't
already know? and there's these amazing photographs from the white house, so we really just dove into that and took moments, you know? these sort of telling, pivotal points about his presidency and kind of what happened at 9/11 and interlacing real people through it. and i just think it was very, very personal and told, showed a side of the president that people had forgotten about. >> so my thanks to christine and the -- [inaudible] for making these clips possible. we have another set of clips that we're going to queue up right now. ♪ >> we want to go in a different direction. we want to have an america that celebrates success, gets jobs for people who are hurting and that stops the war on coal now. >> it is a brand of coal, and that's who we need in washington, d.c.. >> mitch mcconnell does have the experience. >> senator mcconnell is our voice for coal.
>> barack obama will be gone in three years, but coal will still be in the ground. we are going to have a future when we get past this administration. [applause] >> i'm mitch mcconnell, and i approved this message. >> and this is don disney from clover leaf, kentucky, and he has a question for senator mcconnell. >> senator, i'm a retired coal miner. i wanted to know how you could have voted to raise my head care costs $6,000 -- medicare costs $6,000. how are my wife and i supposed to afford that? >> i don't think he's going to answer that. i approved this message because i work to strengthen medicare, not bankrupt seniors like don. >> mark putnam, i think that that ad was just called the question. i believe it's going to be one in a series. tell us, we'll give you the idea for what you're trying to do there. >> well, first off, she's celebrating regular kentucky people and giving them a voice and a platform that they would