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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 15, 2014 10:00pm-12:01am EDT

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>> >> that is what keeps us rich and strong. along with the opportunity to make a great. freedom and opportunity they are not republican or democrat. they are american values. but if we don't stand up to you defend these ideals, then who will? with a few years it was the
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teapartier this squeaky little voice that said i will stand up. i will stand up for the aclu's. to stand in the way of the ever expanding government that regulates us too much or defense too much to extinguish one liberty of the american people after another. that teapartier will never be content to let the principles of american greatness slip away. and we must contend for them. thank you. god bless you. god bless the united states. [applause] >> we have time for a couple questions.
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so to put this in policy terms the way people talk about to maintain the house may be gave the senate but this comes up all the time with republicans and democrats do we go small ball to get a few things done or do they go after big ideas? with the pipeline are some other issue? what is your advice to leadership how to manage that? how would the teapartier reactor? >> a great question. it was fundamentally this if the republicans have the house and the senate what is it that they should do from a policy standpoint? go small or go big?
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i have only had one lever on and/or off. go or don't go at all. when i came to congress by decided to take the dicey and roll them. i have been imam at home. we have foster kids through our home around the kitchen table listening to the radio or watching tv looking at washington d.c. my opinion was what is wrong with these people? don't they know how we live for what it is like to raise the family? we federal struggling small-business. we just want to create jobs and want of a better life like our parents and grandparents. it is about finally getting your act together to listen to the american people to recognize the world is stagnant brie have to do
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what we can so the united states maintains its position as an economic powerhouse of the world because when we hear the economic powerhouse of the world we can also be the military powerhouse of the world. the world as a safer place than better off when america is strong on both of those levels. economically and militarily. what is phenomenal about this great american experiment is all built on the brief for the individual. only us. only america. only the greatest amount of liberty for the individual you don't do that with small ideas.
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beginning with the tax code. change it now. immediately. either go with the flat tax or a national consumption tax figure out which one i will be the debate. just to do with it. this is now working. america's foreign policy isn't working. literally thousands of innocent people across the world are getting killed including women and children who were buried alive if by the islamic state. there are consequences. that's why i say we don't have time to play around. now is the time to rethink greatness. not just by drips or drabs the bold moves you have to compromise to get there. not your values are principles but you get
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there. >> i just want to say what a hero you are to the coalition. and mainstream america. i just step back from southern california which is run by the democratic party. and the undocumented immigrants by it is one to know with those of you in congress realized that if you do pass according to walter more, a candidate for mayor in los angeles said southern california does look like a third world country. day realize that if you pass immigration reform that is what it will head towards unfortunately and what you have to say about that. >> thank you for your
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question. no human being ever is considered a dump for all human beings have worth and value. when it comes to the issue of immigration and one of the most cynical moves was made of the president of the united states. by himself would unilaterally grant amnesty to potentially millions of people illegally here in united states presumably some could be terrorist to illegally to have come across the southern borders. that is one of our greatest fears he could be granting millions of work permits the he will wait until after the election just like with not publishing how much obama premiums will go up until after the election. i will say this about immigration. i spent days on the southern border i thought i knew lot
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and tell the wind to the border i drove from the mouth of the rio grande all the way to laredo. border patrol does not stop anyone from coming into the united states. it is not their fault but the politician faults in the four not national can come in. battle don't get too staid necessarily but they can come. of america is the most generation -- a generous nation in the world we allowed in legally over 1 million people from across the world every year. legally to the future to every other country of the world and how much they allowed in and at every other country all countries together does not equal with united states allows in one year in immigration and we are not the most populated nation in the world.
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we are an amazingly generous country and immigration is good for the united states and nation of immigrants that does not include the the illegal immigrants that come into the united states every year. that is estimated between one and 2 million per year that is an enormous amount of people we also hit the pause button so we have time to assimilate but we may be at that point now. calvin coolidge did that in the '20s we had a period of time where we dealt with the assimilation today we have open borders combined with the welfare state. but we did not have that prior to 1965.
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you cannot talk about immigration without the welfare state those are two issues. >> what i want to ask talk about introducing legislation for those who have western passports with cut ties to the islamic state in what is the latest from that? submit that is a great question i just returned from the middle east than it is very concerning. with our fbi in department of homeless and security a scenario i find concerning with the average american person. i come from minnesota estate with the tragic nexus to
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terrorism newly convicted terrorists to 9/11 50 have left to join the affiliate's of the al qaeda they put suicide vest want to themselves we have had four cases of foreign terrorism financing also over 20 minutes soldan's to join on behalf of the islamic state. we recently have three young women 19 year-old girls from st. paul go join the islamic state. when i saw that up-tempo rise i sat on the house intelligence committee dealing with asking for a classified meeting with the fbi this summer are there
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any that have left in the islamic state? they said yes to that time it was classified by there to we're watching. if they don't blow themselves up or are not killed would they be allowed to return to america if they choose? they said yes because they are americans with an american passport. these are terrorists who have taken up arms against the united states they would be allowed free passage to return to the united states of america? there is not a citizen i have spoken to that that that is a good idea i just had that confirmed again within the last two weeks by fbi and homeland's security that is how they read the law. the united states code section 349 a.
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i believe the government would not be required to allow them to come back into the united states but to make it absolutely clear my legislation would add another subsection of the individual is of the american citizen with the u.s. passport is affiliated with or member of a foreign terrorist organization u.s. designated, the government has a right to pull their passport to begin the process of denaturalization into strips them of their american citizenship. it would have full due process rights but also not the right to turn to the united states presumably they have battlefield experience relationships with other terrorist and a plan for terrorist act in the united states we know that up-tempo of the islamic states misstated unequivocal be buying their leader in
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january we will be in direct contact with you soon meaning the united states. we are watching you we are with you and recently again in the last month there so making another comment to the united states that they intend to have activity here in the united states no one thought they could get into baghdad but today mortars are going off and the question is will baghdad fall? i think when a mad man speaks you listen. we need to take the threat of the islamic state extremely seriously to recognize preconceived violent activity that is why on every level we need to secure our borders. i am sorry to say i don't believe our government has
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fully securing a reporters today. they are not real legal immigration but certainly not through legal immigration when a citizen becomes a terrorist they do not have a right to to upset the safety and security of the american people. they deserved to have the right to be safe at home and in their community. that is what my of legislation is doing in members of commerce -- congress are coming out it should be fast tracked as a companion by senator ted cruz should be fast tracked we need to stop terrorist from coming in to the united states.
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>>. >> hands that the delay seems to have so much control because of the national development they propose having all the nations restricted to in the district's in which the candidates is running to you comment? >> that is an interesting concept i have never heard of that. for the benefit of the camera the question is all the power for food gets to be elected seems to come from washington d.c. because so much money comes from lobbyist. the suggestion was if the money spent on a race would come from individuals who live in the district? is that your understanding? because anybody could open up the post office box or a bank account.
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i have never heard that idea before but i do know in minnesota what worked pretty well for us it is counter intuitive it is ridiculous the amount of money we spend on these elections it is bizarre and absurd. about $1 billion was spent on either side. recently i was told we may be looking at 2016 at $2 billion to be spent on either side to elect a president of united states. why would that be? who ever becomes president holds the key to the world's largest atm machine. the people you are giving them money to elect the president want access to that atm machine and i also
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mentioned solyndra. that is what it was the individual organization to let barack obama lo and behold they get a loan of hundreds of millions of dollars and it all goes up in smoke. too bad it is the taxpayers' money. would happen is over and over. what we do in minnesota we have limits on what you can spend on an election. when iran for the state senate for the first time the limit was $50,000 to be as a young mom and the kitchen and table homemaker i thought how would i ever raise that kind of money? today i have raised more money than any of their member of congress because i was always nancy pelosi top
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target to defeat she was my target so i raise the money and people were very generous raising over 30 million in the two-year election cycle. that is crazy money any candidate has to raise that kind of money. but it is influence rather than real people. so like caps on damage could be spent. the there was the booklet that was sent to every person's house there was a list of each of the candidates with certain issues then they have the side-by-side comparison and people go and vote there are
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things that we can do good is it working the leading to bigger and better this is a wellspring of thought and ideas we need more ideas rather than whose 22nd sound bite on tv? there is a better way to do. no question thanks for having me here today. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> nobody wants to retire. >> thank-you. what is your name? hello. are you from santa barbara? >> ventura county.
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>> they are greater. >> maybe a little overexcited. [laughter] and the idea that california is of little nation. [laughter] palm spec congresswomen you said we need to have caps on campaign spending would you support legislation from the supreme court decision? >> i talk about the way we deal with campaigns. that was done pries citizens united a cap damage could be spent and all the limits of how much could be raised at a time. but what it did was made it so real people was giving money into elections and kept them fairly small i think that is a good thing
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the question is not just citizens united but the overall legislation formication fine gold and before that there is just too much money because that is the direction of want to move. >> should there be restrictions on groups? >> i am not getting into that. >> think use. >> i want to ask a follow-up question is it just the general legislation on foreign fighters? >> right now everyone is campaigning so we will not return until after the election unless something else comes up with so in that case when we come back
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depending on what happens there may be a plan to move that we can get it done if we want to get it done pretty fast if we want to. things for coming today. >> hello. >> good for you. where you from an iowa? >> i a from minnesota. >> did you go to the user? i went to winona state. >> what is your name? dakota?
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thinks. your welcome. good to see you. do you remember? >> i do. yes. >> and taking temperatures at the airports is there anything else that you feel? >> when it comes to ebola i think we're feeling the american people because it is not as serious as it needed to be taken just a few sunday mornings they said it will never come into the united states. butted did almost immediately. but the common sense american people knew that with highly contagious virus to spread the way that a key and with all of the movement it could easily come in.
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so you need to quarantine were the problem began primarily in western africa but not solely also outbreaks in the condo as well. and migration coming out of all of those areas so it was very difficult that is why we have to make sure we have a lot of money with a vaccination or care to know that the doctors who originally got ebola been came back to america generously giving up his blood to is this woman in dallas but also we cannot take this lightly. it is shocking to me the
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president did not want to stop flights coming in from those nations. that would not do it alone. we have to do the screening care but also we just cannot rely on what is happening in liberia they have been stretched to that of max we have to protect our own people but we have to do a certain amount of screening as well but looking at the up problem we need to quarantine the problem. we cannot allow people to come into the united states to have had contact. now people have a far more serious view of this problem and will take more action than before.
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thank-you thanks for coming it was so nice for you to be here today. it was a surprise. how did you know, ? you are the insiders. are you here full-time? 1/2 to come over and see a person absolutely. i will. absolutely i will. we will see you soon. bye-bye. [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations] are you ready? hello i am the policy director and welcome to everyone this is supposed to be a round table discussion about the ethics process we seem to have a very wide range of groups discussing what these reforms look like the first off up -- a list
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of the groups participating in this effort push for reforms of the congressional ethics process also citizens for responsibility from washington common cause and democracy 21 judicial watch watch, the league of women voters, the project on governmental oversight oversight, public citizen the summit foundation taxpayers for common sense. a pretty diverse group romney/ryan left and middle but what we want to do today is a steady public citizen has released to have a discussion with the staff better here to talk about congressional ethics and what changes should be discussed.
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we will go through as a panel had everyone introduce themselves very quickly. >> i am from american university we cannot lobby but as an individual i am very supportive of this and has been. >> i am with citizen's responsibility and ethics in washington. >> for government affairs lobbyist one of the very few lobbyists who calls himself a lobbyist is connected director of legislative affairs at common cause. >> glenn with american enterprise institute but also here as an individual. >> i will turn over to craig who look said a report to talk about that to open it up after he has the chance to. >> the one to provide some background about what
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created the office of congressional ethics. this came in the wake of the jack abramoff scandal in 2006 when all organizations year worked on drafting in promoting the honest leadership in government act to set up a series of congressional ethics rules as well as for the lobbyist one of the key problems that we doted was enforcement and historically has always been the responsibility of members of congress themselves to oversee members of congress both in the house and the senate side run by members of congress and the senate still does operate largely
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in secrecy. that i am doing of a great job confidentially and even though the public doesn't know what they're doing that is the basis of their effectiveness that is ridiculous following in the wake of the jack abramoff scandal with the ethics committee literally did almost nothing we recognized that enforcement is the major problem so then restarted to promote an institution for the office of congressional ethics is staffed and run by outsiders that cannot be members of congress or registered lobbyist even though they don't have enforcement in the -- authority they conduct an investigation to the house ethics committee
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to dismiss but the strength lies in the fact that once they make a referral the reports become public record 45 days after referral or at the conclusion of the house ethics investigation but at some point it is public record but none of that is on the senate side so let me explain quickly the findings of the report the case for independent ethics agencies the shares later and a history of failed senate accountability. what we found is throw out the history of the ethics committee prior to zero see very little disciplinary action was taken from 1987
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through 2005 then during the whole jack abramoff scandal 2005 through 2008 there was another five disciplinary actions taken that was it. now we have the congressional ethics period and a the oce we saw a fourfold increase in disciplinary actions. 20. so it offers to its parent's the with that process has accelerated the house ethics process but has not done so over zealously of one 2.0 oce has taken a 136 cases of those has only referred about one-third for further investigation.
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most of those you still see a health the workload in because it becomes public record the committee is starting to do its job so compare that to the senate where we push for a similar outside office and i remember senator ted stevens sitting on a committee saying there is no problem the ethics problem is working beautifully and then of course, shortly thereafter he came under a sharp ethics scandal he said he did not do anything we have charts that are very handy to take a look at what the senate ethics committee has done compared to oce first of all, receiving fewer complaints than ever. 99 complaints were filed to the ethics committee last
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year there only 26 and rehearsing a steady drop because almost every single complaint gets dismissed 513 complaints and allies from 2007 through the end of 2013 all but four have been dismissed. all but four. much of the reason why that is happening is the senate ethics committee operates in secret even though they published a number of cases they look at warren the dismissals that is almost the identical number every year that is it there is no record who was investigated for what and without that
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type of it is a failure pryor's though this record wins the senate has a similar type of outside investigative agencies to make their ethics process to begin working and to ensure whatever the senate may do is effective. the main thing that oce is missing is subpoena authority it can only ask people to testify that we would like it to have real authority to conduct its investigations. that is a summary of the reports. >> as an informal group written letters to the house and senate leadership to recommend changes of the
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ethics process as noted in the house the first priority is to make it a permanent office in every way to have that smoke come out to determine if the office of congressional ethics will continue to find a way for the house to go through the process to make it a more permanent situation. we also encourage that house leadership on a bipartisan basis to give a subpoena power and to increase the transparency on the house ethics side to more information that they provide to a member of this is. on the senate side to create a similar office of ethics based on successful oce we
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talk about timetables for reports not only transparency but the problem that has cropped up dealing with groups that are not well-known or don't have a track record in the senate staff has no clue what this is about and it is hard to find information. i will turn first to ignore and if you can talk about why these issues matter. why should anyone care about ethics in congress and why is it so hard to get a bipartisan agreement? to make a really believe the office of congressional ethics has been a terrific success. part of the reason is giving a little credit to speaker
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boehner and a leader policy they chose the initial members handpicked good people across the spectrum with very good leadership from two former members one from colorado and one from florida including a real mix in virtually every decision they made to go forward or pushout has been unanimously sided is moved out of the hothouse but do something with credibility. in to say it does not have the merit but it has much more credibility for those members themselves and by their colleagues but that gets to the root of the problem but it is a did you
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do or damned if you don't it is easy to become politicized the with a prolonged period of the criminalization of the ethics. but it is just as easy to imagine where the old boy network cutting across party lines that we will not push anything against your members is no lack of credibility that her congress as a whole in serious ways. that is why many have pushed for the process to respect the constitutional responsibility which resulted in the office of congressional ethics there have been multiple attempts that were brushed aside but nowhere near the attention and that it deserves. you don't take that full authority away but we don't
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have the independent accountability process in to talk about that abramoff sarah there was another element in did its job against tom delay. the speaker fired three members of the ethics committee who came out with what was a mild punishment of letters of admonishment but three were dismissed from the committee that shows you how the process could be caught up but we want to move it out then one final point when you don't have any enforcement
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anything goes there is no reason under those circumstances for what is wrong or what isn't in terms of the responsibilities they have and end up with more violations. without some significant enforcement unit a constant process to know what the lines are and to be with campaign donors into strengthen congress not undermine it spec talk about why you think this is important or why anybody should care?
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>> first i want to put my comments into context i have been teaching a course of ethics over tenures. is a laugh from my colleagues but it is very important and we track good work and each week by an ethics problems in the primary problem will have effective enforcement of the 95 backdoor 2000 or 2007. there is so little transparency or a little more certainly on the senate side so it is like oxygen
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you have to have it. especially for you and the media. in day ethics training and education the is very important what does it do? of very strong human norm i call it the iron law of reciprocity. when you were in a place i help you if you help me although highly partisan it is very difficult to push against that. it is for the good of the democracy.
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but as said before the transparency is critical. when the oce releases the report at the end of the investigation to make the house ethics committee responsible because they know any transgressions would not disappear into the black hole of the house ethics committee. >> but it has made the process on the house side to be more transparent. the data itself have gotten more transparent you could not get those very easily in the past those that are the
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most difficult to obtain even the basic guidance or the pink sheets some are on line but not all of them. that is a guidance and also the legal defense fund. on the senate side there is much less transparency even the rules was senators are in are not allowed to do is difficult to ascertain. several years ago my organization there was a us senate members manual to guide the behavior's of the members of the senate. it seems absurd and then
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several years later they could contain this but to bring more accountability to the system. >> talk about why average americans care about this with the grass-roots organization. and then talking to people outside of washington. >> the public knows the congressional ethics process is broken. it is like a pitcher calling his own balls and strikes and the organizations are here to help to help have the independent ethics process with the approval ratings in the single digits
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and talking with every day americans that they're not a stronger ethics process in place and that is to have a welcome transparency not a complete solution but we're working to strengthen that to provide a boost to the congress approval rating. >> are there any questions? >>
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[inaudible] >> first of all, i need to say it is very important to talk about the leadership and oce excellent job they have done it is difficult to find examples of bi-partisan leaders that are able to make most of the recommendations in a unanimous way with republicans and democrats. leadership matters in this town and they should be singled out. we have it to the leadership asking them make a public statement as soon as possible that oce will be renewed we did see a press report from nancy policies office that they were supportive but they have heard nothing else from the house leadership. we would welcome a statement
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by the house leaders from both sides to make clear that they expect oce to resume in real also hoping there's an opportunity to ring gauge in this conversation how to strengthen oce we hear reports the lack of subpoena power is harming their ability to do their job. obviously they're fearful to open the discussions particularly those the subject of the investigation but we also sink creating this ability is a critically important aspect.
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>> a lot of members still like this since don't like it from the beginning is the policy deserves an enormous amount of credit she took plenty of heat they'd like to lose control of any aspect of their lives. because of lack of subpoena power and the investigation through oce gets a lawyer they say we will stonewall and i give you anything we hope in the office was created they would get in direct subpoena power so there is something care but even more it is tough to get it going but there will be
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the enormous outcry even the 78% and down to a the blood relatives and that is the historical context and senator obama who pushed the idea of the senate ethics that one-third supported with their votes. . .
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i am now comfortable that oce is not in danger. the last session we had a crisis for a while because the board members and oce were supposed to be term-limit it out and new people appointed. and then the board reauthorize to. well, neither the speaker or nancy pelosi thought of that. and we were getting right next to the next session. this whole board would have gone defunct. but both the speaker and nancy pelosi said down together commanded the term limits and renewed the office of congressional ethics. so with this house leaders i am not worried about oce
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being in danger. however, if we see a change in the leaders, i suspect this will become an issue. >> one quick point, the tea party groups in ohio were instrumental in pressuring the speaker of the house. so there is a broad ideological support for this institution. we hope that will continue as well. >> i would like to know that among the groups that have been involved in the discussion, what we have tried to do is create a dialogue not based on right or left or republican or democrat but ethics standards that apply across the board. any of us who have been in washington know that ethical problems are not reserved to one party or the other. it is inherent to the nature of politics, and so we have tried hard to ensure that the works that we do is non-partisan. we think that is an
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important message, particularly not one party or another. this is about the integrity of the institution. >> one other note. for the members of the office of congressional ethics it is really a thankless task. they don't get paid anything . they're vilify our regular basis for the first couple of years by the ethics committee itself. but otherwise, if it is a tribute that they have kept this up and decided to stay on. a couple of them are getting fairly old now pitbull former member from illinois from minnesota. so as some point there will be changes. we'll also want to be sure that when those changes occur the leaders stepped up to the plate once again and pick people of the same quality and integrity. >> what you just said, i
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just notice a couple of the group's support. >> i think one of the -- there is only one difference because one of the group's cut originally left off. it will make sure you get that. the national taxpayers union, the only thing that they raised concern with over talking about the senate was travel. and i think that was because there are groups here, myself included. i think public citizens to have been in favor of eliminating privately financed travel for senators and members of congress. that was not a position that national taxpayers was particularly comfortable taking. they decided they would rather not go there. >> but the disability independent agency. >> right.
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>> just procedurally speaking,. [inaudible question] >> so there probably would have to take some action in house rules. and i would note that there are different ways you can do subpoena power. you can give subpoena power to third parties as opposed to the members themselves. you know, you can give them full subpoena power to any witness involved. but that really would have to come from the leaders and would have to be contained in the changes in the house rules. but also while all of the house rules are recreated every two years i would note that we do not have a lot of concern that the standing committees, like agriculture or ways and means are going to disappear anytime soon. that is a concern that remains to some degree with
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the office of congressional ethics. part of the effort is to try to figure out if there are ways to make sure the office of congressional ethics is really embedded in the expectation of the standing committees. >> by the way, little anecdotal story about subpoena power. i think all of the reform groups supported having oce back in 2008 when it was being debated. subpoena authority. however, congress was not willing to go that far. so they're stripped it of subpoena authority. that cause some what of it division. i know meredith and myself for two hours saying, okay, we will not oppose creating oce, but this is not probably going to work. norman insisted we wrong. fortunately he was correct. but oce has done its job, as
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the numbers show. and the reason it has been able to is because of the transparency element july even without subpoena authority. >> the subject of authority, to questions. are there any separation of powers implications about this independent agency having direct oversight responsibility? and also, is this something where you would envision individual witnesses have in the right to not self-incrimination based on the ethics rules in addition to criminal-justice and typically a person can refuse to answer. when they be able? >> i'm actually not certain. so i don't think -- and i am
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speaking to an oblique, but i don't think there would be a separation of powers concern involving the house investigating his own members. the constitution specifically provides for the house to govern its own. i don't see why you would have a separation of power within if you were looking to third party, you know, somebody finding travel or something like that who is not in the government. so that is the first one. i'm sorry, the second one again? >> the subpoena power, how we would be envisioned, the type of thing or person would have a right to not self-incrimination on the basis of something they might say? and ethics violations. >> i have not thought that through. i don't know if other people have. generally speaking the right to self-incrimination has to do with the fifth amendment to lead it would be a criminal violation, so i don't necessarily see where
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that would fly in the context of a subpoena having to do with violations of house ethics rules. obviously some of the house ethics rules are based in statute come across statute. there may be some grounds there from making a fifth amendment tech defense, but i would not see it being applicable in the context of mere violations of house rules. >> i can address. create this panel. we had a working group. we were part of it. public citizen, a common cause. and we went through each of these issues. enormous across the board resistance to direct subpoena power which, you know, at one level you can understand the members were frightened of any outside group having authority.
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and there were questions about having an outside group. think they could probably be resolved, but what we've really aimed for was an indirect power run through the ethics committee which we thought would probably work enough. what we wanted was at least to have a backup where either members or staff would feel reason to communicate with and offer information in testimony to the panel instead of what is now happening in far too many cases. lawyers just instinctively say, we're not going to give them anything. in most cases it works against their client. on the second question, this is the same kind of question that emerges whenever any congressional committee has a witness in front of it. mainly, if there is a potential criminal violations then, of course,
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you can say they are invoking the fifth amendment now, presumably the committee can offer you some immunity. it is not clear that the office could offer immunity, but almost every instance of an ethics violation or potential ethics violation or allegations does not involve criminal activity. it involves a violation of the ethics rules. and so there is no protection there. of course, for the most part if a member or staffer tried to do that it would work against them and probably look pretty foolish. >> is there any indications? have there been cases where people just don't cooperate? >> the report that we have from the oce is that this is a growing problem.
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that they have found when they go to conduct their investigations, as norm mentioned, folks of all airing out. and so, you know, they want to be able to do a full and thorough investigation. and people will talk to you, give your records, basically you can't do that. it's a problem. [inaudible question] >> their is a lot of voluntary participation, but in many of the cases, especially where they get more extreme, you find that a number of parties involved in the cases are not participating. you know, it puts oce in an awkward position because they have got to issue a report with some sort of recommendation to the ethics committee. if no one is going to talk to them and explain what happened, that just leaves questions wide open. so sometimes oce will send a
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referral to the ethics committee saying, we can't answer these questions. we recommend you pursue it and use your authority. >> and negative input. [inaudible question] >> i think what i understand is it is a growing problem. when it first created the notion of not cooperating, it was going to leave a bad mark by your name. increasingly they're finding that people was saying, i am just not going to cooperate perry there left with his inability to come to what they consider a good resolution and then the floating south to the ethics committee. if they had a subpoena power they could give definitive answers and therefore be able to make more definitive conclusions. >> by the delay, the same
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lawyers that urged the parties not to participate in an investigation before oce, if oce then sends a report to the ethics committee saying we can answer these questions, those same lawyers will say, you are using our lack of participation as a negative mark and therefore carrying on the investigation. so that is part of the awkward situation. if oce had subpoena authority it could do more factual based research. >> of the top of my head back and think of one example. an investigation of congressman bill owens deify "-- if i recall correctly it talked about how lobbyists were involved in organizing the trips including elton model refused to cooperate and did not provide documents which made their
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job all the more difficult every that point is, to make oce investigation as thorough as possible at the front and so they can reach the best possible conclusion without having to kick it over to the house ethics committee in the first instance. [inaudible question] [inaudible question] >> i can only speculate. my conclusion would be that they have been surprised. to some degree that oce has been as effective as it has been, that it is seen to go ahead and pursue these investigations an affair handed manner and has
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reached a bipartisan agreement. there were fairly low expectations when it first came into being. >> except from norm. >> except for norm. >> i do think one of the great things that has happened is we used to have a situation when there really were criminalization of policy and party differences where you have some outside group bring an ethics complaint, and then it would be used against the member. he is under investigation. and that really burned a lot of people who had done nothing wrong. what oce has been able to do in many cases is now because it has some credibility and independent authority, to clear people killed in a relatively expeditious manner so that they do not have that cloud hanging over their head. but for plenty of others there would much rather
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delay, stonewall, and then basically use it against the panel. now, one of the reasons they want to do that is that we did manage to get -- and it was just as important and gets to the point that many of you have made, transparency. the oce report that the ethics committee does not take action on will be published. and for some of the members they justice and have those published reports not include information, they might find embarrassing. so it is a dynamic that works in some ways to improve the process, but without at least some cudgel, even an indirect one, to be able to get information out there it really does cloud up the process to some degree. >> i would just note, one of those who testified before
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the task force on this. the original idea and concept was to create an office that would be in charge of doing investigations, and then you would have the house ethics committee that would do the ag tour process. well, when it got put together it did not quite work out that way. you have some duplication or you have an investigation by oce and another investigation of the house ethics committee. and so not only do you have duplication but the whole point here is to be able to provide two things. one, members of the public confidence that allegations are being looked at and resolved fairly. and for the members, the ability to say, look. somebody looked. i get a clean bill of health. you have to have a oce that is strong enough to say we have, in fact, look at all the facts and did not make a recommendation to move forward because we felt that the facts or not there. you're a little bit caught
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in between at the moment. the clean bill of health sometimes may not come about because they don't have the subpoena power. >> you entered and the report below budgeted only one-and-a-half million. this potential. do you have any specific recommendations? >> we certainly don't want to see a bigger one. i think the larger the number of the more difficult it is to corral the cat, if you will, and have an effective conversation. i think one of the issues that the recently dealt with , when dealing with some violations of lobbyist disclosure. and that took a lot of resources that there really, you know, had reported that if they had more resources they actually could have looked at more of these
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issues in dealing with lobbyists disclose the violations, but they don't have the resources. we're not looking for a huge increase, but it is important we have an office that is able to pursue the facts and not simply make the decisions that we can't go there because we don't have staff resources to investigate. >> out of like to add, you know, whatever inappropriate budget would be, it is necessary. i want to repeat that the ethics process in the senate is broken. it is not working. it is not doing its job. if we need to create another semi independent agency with its own budget to make it work on the senate side, that is really what is necessary. >> any other questions?
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>> why now and how you gauge your prospects of success? >> well -- >> anybody. >> this is a joke. we are waiting for a scandal and this is all ready to go to retirement, that is what you're talking about. usually after scandal there is reform. >> we get two votes in the senate. as jim said, in both instances the independent office was rejected roundly and soundly and in a bipartisan way. the senate closes ranks when it comes to something like this. it is not on anything else please we have to be realistic. this is not likely to happen unless and until there is a scandal of significant proportions. then becomes clear to a larger audience that the senate has no ethics process and they're forced to move. what we want to do as much as anything else is keep some pressure on. now we have a model and know
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what works and what does not and what can be improved so that it is ready that they can just plug it in and we will have a better process. ideally, it will be what we originally envisioned which really is an independent office that can act almost like a prosecutorial authority in a grand jury to decide whether there is enough there. then taken to the ethics committee which acts like a judge and jury, the first judge and jury before it gets to the whole body and present the evidence. now they don't do that either did we would love to see refined so that it could work better, but the most important thing is to find the opportunity and traction to make it happen because without it you really don't have any credibility here. whatever emerges, you pretty much know that in the senate is just going to die. >> i would answer this way. we all know the low polling numbers in terms of approval
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of congress. we all middleton that washington is becoming increasingly irrelevant. nothing useful. i think that the senate ethics process is broken, knowing that the house ethics process needs some improvement, one of the ways you began to reconnect with members of the public is, you have a congress that is viewed as having good ethical standards, high ethical standards, and a process that works. when you have a process where allegations arise in the senate and go into the black call never to be heard from again, this is not a way to increase congressional approval. it is not the total answer, but it is part of an answer of how you reconnect a representative body with the american people. >> trying to get senate candidates and senators talking about ethics issues
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during the campaign season can be healthy so that the public can see solutions that senators are proposing, at least just getting this to be a salient issue that senators are talking about. hopefully somebody who actually talks about it will do something about it in the near future. >> we know that right now of the committees that write the rules are, in fact, meeting. and that is actually happening now. so if we wait until january the rules will have already been written. between now and january louis was the respective bodies are actually considered and ready to go on day one. thank you for if you have any further questions, we are happy to stay afterwards and talk to you.
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> coming up thursday, the national press club hosts a discussion of voter i.d. laws and the impact of recent court rulings on the of killing midterm election. live coverage at 10:00 a.m. eastern. one -- thursday at noon house oversight subcommittee examines the u.s. response to the ebola outbreak of the members will hear testimony from cdc director and national institute of allergy and infectious diseases director. live coverage on c-span.
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>> c-span 2015 student camera competition is underway. this nationwide competition for middle and high school students will lose 150 prizes totaling $100,000 will be created documentary on the topic. videos need to include c-span programming, show varying points of view, and must be submitted by january january 20th tuesday and cannot work for more information. grab the camera and get started today. >> now the alaska public radio network gives an update on the alaska senate race. republican challenger dan sullivan. >> good morning to you. >> good morning. >> the status of this race with three weeks to go. what we know and what his
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chances of holding onto his seat? >> well, he had momentum early. it seems like an early september he lost the lead pastor read the republican his holding a small but significant lead. 12 pounds, three points, six points depending upon the public to look at. >> the key battlegrounds in alaska heading into the last three weeks of the campaign? where will this race be decided? >> well, the outside money and the campaign seemed to be focused quite a bit on anchorage the hometown of former governor sarah palin's is a conservative area that i think a lot of energy is focused on.
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and labor has a very big push in the anchorage area for get out the vote. >> to been trying to bring our viewers the local issues plane in the campaign along with the national issues as well. >> problem line is a proposed mine in western alaska. very large. it has native groups in that area and also who fishermen around the state be very concerned. and in general both parties, both candidates are trying to say that federal overreach is a bad thing, a huge thing that we keep hearing is how, you know, i will stand against federal overreach. but he took the unusual move or bold move, i guess, in
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supporting the epa in ruling against the mind. it has been called a pre-emptive veto because it has not actually apply for permits at. but he said, i support that because it would be bad for the fisheries, bad for western alaska, and that might endear him to some native groups and some commercial fishermen. does -- it undermines his ability to say that i, you know, stand tough on the feds because he is kind of backing epa in this case. >> remind voters to dan sullivan is. >> he has been called the guy with the golden resin may. he has an ivy league education. he worked in the bush white house. he worked in the state department under connolly's rice. he is a marine reservist.
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he was an active duty marine and now he is a marine reservist. he was alaskas attorney general for a brief time and also the natural resources commissioner, which is, as you can imagine, a big job in alaska. one of the things that the campaign is pushing is he came to alaska as an adult. something that has been a thread throughout this campaign. >> key figures in alaska playing into this race with alaskas other senator tamales and rakowski, a republican., the other contend. here is a recent mark begich at mentioning that senator. >> we have over 3000 telecommunications jobs in alaska and mark begich has fought to protect them. a ceo of one of alaska's largest companies. i worked with mark when he
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transformed the economy. he did the same thing as senator. , one of thee works only states with both senators on the appropriations committee. we cannot afford to lose that. i voted for lease and now i am voting for mark. is joining usin on the phone. alaska public radio network air it how did she feel about being mentioned in a mark i get at? -- mark begich ad? picture run was a with that showing the both smiling at each other. the senator issued a cease and desist letter to try to get the campaign not to use her image. she said they were implying he has her support when she -- he does not. backing danng --
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sullivan. about her support for dan sullivan, here is that advertisement. >> >> idea partner in the senate. not with the obamacare agenda i am asking you to vote for dan sullivan. >> host: joining us on the phone we have six debates coming up nine days later this month in alaska. what issues are the key issues? to say. we have seen debates between them, many debates between them. i do not know. i can imagine fisheries will be a hot topic. -- toughercopper against epa the federal government.
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hard to say. we have not got much to go on. there have been two debates between them so far. host: polling numbers also, not a whole lot to go on but a few polls in alaska. why is it so hard to pull alaska? there are far-flung communities, people a little bit off the grid. one conservative candidate joked that his constituents did not like to answer the phone for fear the nsa was listening in. he was obviously joking, but there is a little bit of, you know, not being so henley to telephone pollsters. it is hard to say area -- say.
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good morning. first want to start with your reaction to the news out this morning that a second health morning that a second health >> good morning. let's start with your reaction that a second health care worker at texas health presbyterian in dallas to provided care has now tested positive for ebola? >> it is extremely worries some equipment will be
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there. so you may have the cdc guidelines stating we urge you to use such and thus, but it is totally up to each of the hospitals as to what they choose. we need an optimal, uniform standard of personal protective equipment for nurses and health care workers. and it needs to be standardized as to how you put it on, how you take it off. is there a buddy system which it
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looks like there should be? where i watch you put on yours, you watch me, we tape each other up and make certain as we check each other that all of these things are taped, there is no skin exposed, and we watch each other take it off so that we can be assured that we're doing it correctly, no skin was exposed and if there is there's a protocol with bleach, et cetera, for how to treat those affected skin areas. host: as we're getting the news this morning out of dallas, has >> >> host: as we get this news out of dallas have you been in contact with then it -- and yet of the nurses to figure out how this happened? >> guest: actually they came to us. there is a survey out there that you mentioned that is what we expected to find
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from all 46 states and they said their hospitals were not prepared at least 36 percent said they did not have the equipment that they needed and no idea that would be there when they did. and when they're co-worker came down with ebola and with protocol came to less fearful for their jobs that people are afraid for their jobs although they had been told that listen to wes and keep us anonymous we can tell you exactly what is going on before.
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>> host: what did you find out? >> guest: pretty horrifying things. remember the cdc had a breach of protocol. and of course, we asked for it and that's what they used for equipment that was not by any standard that equip. to the point where you hear to certain protocols they would say which one? today? yesterday? this afternoon? just horrible things we heard about one patient himself not isolated for several hours this is a patient had a raging ebola
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infection with bodily secretions. >> host: talk about standards for nurses who was in charge to implement the standards? the cdc or another official how to implement these standards? >> as i mentioned it is up to them. they can recommend it is for-profit and unfortunately summer not coming out to see it. it would bankrupt us. looking at what is best for the patient and the co-worker. money is secondary first to take care of the issue.
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but a case in point day case study of our national values. for those that would care for them the first concern because of the system we have here unfortunate the the bottom line does need to come first. >> host: talking to the president of the national nurses united to is here to answer your questions and comments we will split up power lines regionally to this segment of the washington internal. -- "washington journal". we even have a special line for the nurses. as we mentioned there is the survey in the field talking about ebola prepared is
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talking to nurses around the country with 2200 nurses that have responded so far 85 percent saying the hospital has not provided adequate training 40% says the hospital has sufficient supplies like eye protection for fluid resistant gallons. for more informational that survey go to the national united website but in terms of the preparation issue tom friedman spoke yesterday but the cdc is doing to better prepare hospitals and here is what he had to say. >> one thing for one to make sure with whatever is done with care every hospital in the country needs to be ready to diagnose ebola. that means every doctor every nurse every staff person who cares for someone with fever or other signs of
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infection needs to ask where had you been in the past month for the past 21 days sierra leone ore guinea that is going to reduce the risk someone comes into the hospital to not be diagnosed >> the fact is usually infections and health care settings is from someone who has not been diagnosed for those who have symptoms and have traveled the second thing we will be doing is establishing the cdc ebola response team. for any hospital anywhere in the country that has a confirmed case of ebola we will put a team on the ground for some of the roads leading experts how to take care of them protect health care workers of ebola
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infection is with the equipment and management of units to six -- with public education and environmental control. >> host: the co-president of national nursing is united your response? >> it sounds like more of a plan. i know some people have been terribly critical of the cdc i would caution this is not the cdc problem but it is of the system of this country the medical industrial complex if you will. so advocating for the patience as a first line of defense.
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what we see with the cdc workers that has men's suits ouous material suits so if your plan is the hospital needs to be prepared for you yourself are prepared i think that recognizes patients can enter the system anywhere in the country are in the department but to concentrate on the emergency rooms and a the icu. but if a pregnant woman comes in to show symptoms now you have the mother and the baby. now what? the idea they can into the
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system anywhere is a good idea. >> host: we're here to take your calls and questions we will get to as many as we can. the first kristina calls from oakland. good morning. >> caller: i am a retired nurse i worked in surgery for over 30 years. thank goodness for the nurse is union that nurses can go to be protected i think what is really happening i remember with hiv the first patient we got in surgery. management would make fun and how they were over protecting these were the people who made fun of people but would not come near that patient all too often i have seen through my career what is the cost
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benefit? this has gone on multiple times contamination was always the big deal. they would tell you know, i didn't. be quiet bet nursing unions is what is needed because now somebody will protect us because hospital administration we don't put people who work on the line we don't ask them their opinion and if we think it costs too much they are not listen to. >> guest: she is 100 percent correct. i have senators 40 years for what we put up with things have changed over the years and have gotten worse and
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worse with the bottom line but i would like to give a shout out to nurses services they do not have the protection from their union contract yet. but not in that city or that hospital. for them to come forward is critical and once again that is looking health for the patients. >> routine health care tax is becoming risky with ebola is one of the lead stories. from spartanburg south carolina. good morning. go-ahead. >> caller: what is better? unionized automobile plants or non unionized and where people choose to buy their cars? you made the comment hospitals only care about making more money but isn't
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it said job for nurses to make as much money as they can get isn't that hypocritical? >> guest: it is up to was as a nursing union to advocate for our members. because we have global groups that we keep in contact that when nurses have the proper working conditions and paid a decent salary and benefits come you keep the nurses that started out dedicated to the profession and will stay there. what you want is a potential patient is a nurse who knows she is doing, a dedicated public and plans on staying in that facility or the profession. we make no apologies for that. other professions should do the same thing that we need
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to concentrate on what we have. every year there is a gallup poll and all but one year was september 11 we have been at the top of the poll. but which do you trust in this country? you can imagine at the bottom and his lawyers and hospital administrators but every year is a registered nurse. that is because people know we are their 24/7 watching out for them. we are the ones averting people now to not believe what you have been told how everything is hunky dory. >> host: to keep them on ebola when hospitals deal with potential or confirmed ebola cases do they ask for
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volunteers of nurses to deal with those or couldn't nurse the force to deal with that patient of a confirmed case? >> minder standing right now is the hospital's nurturing it different ways it will be a to the nurse and i do fear for those who don't have the protection in the contract because they do have the risk of being fired depending on where you work. we say it is similar to what you learn to women's first found out about aids. we did cpr years ago not only compressions but mouth to mouth but we were taught you need to have a care to protect yourself you must wait for a mask. that is very hard for a
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nurse and other health care workers to do to sit there until they have the proper equipment. once they do is say there is a risk not to pass along to others. >> host: we do have a special line specifically for nurses we have a call from maryland. >> caller: good morning. i hear people say this is the cdc problem. this is a global problem it is amazing with the pandemic so we have a lot of concerns talk about those on the of front-line and at&t's
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generally the first responders this is of big problem everybody relax. just like the hiv virus whole fleet we are not too late. >> guest: i share the gentleman's concern hopefully we're not too late we knew about this months ago we started months ago ironclad he said is not just the cdc problem because it isn't. i mentioned that earlier but they have their cut to exert coble effort this should be of hands on deck while we're
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gearing up to be mindful this was not taking care of when it should have been with the global effort to contain. >> host: that is the second caller to day to bring up the comparison to the hiv epidemic. you have been a nurse for several decades what is the comparison between the two? >> when we first heard about it at first with aids everybody was obviously frightened but once it became clear then that alleviated a lot of fears
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and then again we were testing and have to be a little skeptical the right now with what we know not something like ebola or hiv but simply to say we know we don't know what it is but we need the equipment period often we go to the court where it should be and it is not there that is what we have to fight certainly a worry for us and the nurses should be able to help that patient in need help but you need to do your job employer to keep me say if you cannot hold the upper end of the bargain.
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>> host: illinois. good morning. >> caller: i was just wondering if there is a chance of biohazard centers regionally? i don't know if you are familiar on this nationally but if they're only a few men transfer patients to these centers it might make sense to focus the resources appropriately to make sure we have the adequate equipment to protect the health care workers. >> host: your thoughts on that plan? >> guest: we know they are considering such a thing as part of the plan. i will not wait and what is the best plan regional or not but we need to keep
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repeating patients can enter the system anywhere. where the transfer them to regional centers or not. workers have to be prepared to be protected and isolated. looking at an optimal protection we like what we see at its emery and nebraska and people what they recommend for those haz mat suits with that type of thing. >> what is the recommendation for a the honors for a the ebola patients that they did not
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feel prepared? >> you have to care for yourself make sure you have the proper gear before you go but at this point the looks like a respirator. >> host: good morning you are on with our guest. >> caller: i own a cleaning company you have the cleaning crew and the laundry crew and also transferring of objects with
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is just so much then you have kids playing rights on the edge where they cleave the unit. i'm sorry there's so much i want to say. why can't we just call up congress ebola has no race no political affiliation. we need to come together as a country. >> guest: there's so many good points and i agree with her when i say nurses also talk about other health care
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workers and she is correct. we'll get a accusations one of the things they talk about the blood going through the pneumatic tube system without being properly sealed which it was not. the entire system is contaminated or has that risk if there was a breach. for the people who have to clean up the floor it is not of a partisan issue that this is the plan you will use. >> but until we have that it
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is business as usual. >> host: how to handle those hospitals that do not live up to those standards? >> we don't have a system in place where they have the wherewithal to do that. with this piecemeal system that we have got we do the best we can do right now. >> host: now we go to st. paul minnesota. >> caller: thanks for taking my call. a i am a nursing assistant and i think with aids it was also unprotected. i don't understand.
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peonally i think it should be at the port of entry or even before they get to the hospital. . .nd we don't have a lot of proper equipment. sometimes the nurses are not informed about the extent of the illnesses or the disease. and some in the room are unprotected because you're not prepared of what you're going in the room to deal with. sometimes there's only gloves. and if you try to say well, i want to put on something extra, a gown or a mask or something like that, people get offended. they're so hurt about the look of how it would look to the families or the other people in the facility until they won't even let you protect yourself even if you wanted to because it's not something


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