tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 4, 2015 8:00am-10:01am EST
restore respect for hard work in the tax code. they are being reviewed by our members to with the taxi form for the middle class, we can put more money into the pockets of working families and again at night the engine of middle-class consumers demand that drives growth and opportunity for everyone. ..
it is us simple truth. when the middle class succeeds, america succeeds. our recognition of that truth benefits action orchestrating recovery and the focus on purchasing power of working families the economy needs today. we must see better paychecks, infrastructure it innovation and manufacture more products in the united states. only by laying a firm foundation for growth which the president talked about in his state of the union address, based on ambitious goals for our future can we secure and maintain a vibrant middle class. only by focusing on working families can we reignite the american dream and step into a new era of american prosperity.
thank you for the opportunity. [applause] >> i want to say we apologize for the state of that microphone but it was a set up to show you are no -- allowed no obstacles to your voice this morning. to ask you about the impact on the middle class, one of the most important news stories in the country right now. i referred to pete carroll's decision to call a pass at the end of the superbowl. it is clear whether this is for the morale of the middle class in my native new england, talk about that issue if you like. where i would like to start -- >> the state responsibility as a
good leader. >> you can be reassured the decision you ever made will be as second-guess as that one. i want to start with the president's budget. you can make that case it is his most aggressive effort to influence public debate, since he took office he made this in his effort at a moment when republicans controlled both houses. i wonder if you could talk a bit, then you have proposals out there -- how are you going to balance a desire to put forward what democrats would do if they could, if they controlled both houses again and how you will influence the outcome of what will inevitably if we have a budget at all, inevitably some compromise between democrats and this particular republican
congress? >> we talked about what we would do, we talk about what we have done and have to go forward. i believe the president's budget has areas of common ground. we have always been able to focus legislation a little bit different. the regency is there, public/private partnership and it is an issue that has been non-partisan. some issues we talked about, relating to children and the rest. those are priorities we put out with president bush, he wanted to use the tax code and was accepting of proposals we had.
for tax credits and the rest. in addition to president bush, have supported, the issues that relate to the fundamental point they put forth. with sequestration, do away with it. that is something that has appealed to republicans. in the past -- >> they thought that would be interesting. >> do away with sequestration where we have caps the need to get away with growth to do that and support we all support a strong national defense but also remove the domestic side as
well. the overarching nature of it is to do away with sequestration, could be common ground whether it is building the infrastructure of america, investing in education, these kinds of issues shouldn't have any partisan aspect to them. the president has staked out a strong budget statement by national values of what we care about there is a distinction between this budget and the republican budget in terms of social security medicare and those things but on the other hand there is plenty of common ground. as i said in my opening day, the pride we take in our issues and commitment and humility of finding common ground. >> you stressed the pride you and democrats take at what you
accomplished particularly in the first two years notably the affordable care act and recovery act also known as the stimulus, the auto rescue. these programs have never sort of captured broad popular support, at least in the polls. democrats have argued that without the recovery act the recovery might not have happened door would be infinitely slower. the affordable care act covered a lot of americans. if you have not grabbed the public, the majority support you might have hoped for. >> i have to say it is interesting to see republican colleagues speak out against the recovery package showing up at every ribbon cutting and groundbreaking. statistics are staggering in terms of those in mass transit and all the things that came
from that. there was a reluctance people wanted to make sure the public knew that reducing the deficit was a high priority for us, jobs would come with the bills for what the investments were. should have message it differently or the affordable care act. >> on this point about the deficit, one of the striking things about what the deficit did and what republicans are doing is they seem less captive to the deficit. that debate so quickly, the things that needed to be done to get the economy moving were kind of pushed off the agenda. relative to the desire to get the country moving and deal with long term and long term. >> in order to reduce the deficit which is important to all of us is growth.
you talk about raising revenue and all of that but you must have growth and you can't have false economy. by cutting education they reduce the deficit, is dead wrong because to reduce the deficit the education of the american people, childhood, k-12, a lifetime learning, work force so you have to -- make a case to the american people about why certain investments are about the future and reduce the deficit. from the day the president took office the deficit has gone down $1.4 trillion to $485 billion. we want to take it down but the public is understanding of that growth bigger paychecks for the
consumer, working-class families to inject that into the economy and create jobs that bring revenue to the treasury so there has been 70% of the deficit has been reduced since the president took office. it is no less a priority to reduce it further but there is recognition more clearly that growth job creation is an important part of it not just by cutting investments as we go forward. >> i want to remind everybody there are cards in the room and i should start getting them soon so please submit your questions. i want to invite people to tweet if they wish. had tag pelosi@brookings. if i could play a psychological game and asked what was the first thing that came to your mind when congressman paul ryan talked about in the economics.
more generally, how do you react to that sort of argument? an interesting juxtaposition where on the one hand he talks about rising in the quality and then talks about democratic economics as envy economics? >> we don't have time to go into the republican budget but it is not a statement of values most people would identify with when it comes to how we invest in the future. let me just say, when i saw it i thought stale, yesterday. that isn't what this is about. nobody begrudges people's success. people recognize people take risks and succeed, that is a good thing but the concern is we don't want that to happen as exploitation of the worker. god bless everyone for their
success. but not at the exploitation -- not to paint everybody with the same brush but what we saw on wall street's leading up to 2008 what we saw on wall street was just not right. not everyone is painted with the same brush but we saw a situation where people on main street are seeing the value of their homes, the education of their children stability of their jobs, their savings were all diminished because of what happened on wall street. when we passed t.a.r.p. use it you did that for wall street, not main street, we did it for the economy. the toughest vote i ever asked members to take and they pay a price for it because not something clearly explained to the american people what the connection was between that, bailing out the banks and
lifting up our economy but interesting because on that score this is a big deal, not something we should go back to but again we go back -- and by the way, adam smith wrote a book, what was it called? those theory -- of moral sentiment. i wish he had written one book the theory of moral principles. he talks about responsibility of people to each other in the other book. when i say that, we believe in the free-market, that is what our capitalist system is about but it is not that no one -- what happens? a meltdown where the chairman of the fed and expert on the great depression ben bernanke, an expert on the great depression tells us there will be no
economy by monday. stunning. stunning. when paul ryan says that i want to talk to the chairman a few decades ago he talked about stakeholder capitalism capitalism with decisions made by management that took into consideration shareholders of course, workers, customers and the community at large and at that time we had wages, the ceo was making 30 times what workers were making, 30 times. productivity was live workers' wages would rise. when we move to shareholder capitalism where none of the
other considerations, the customer, the workers were part of the decision. shareholder capitalism went to 300 times ceo pay versus worker pay. right angle going in the wrong direction. and it is not about economic and the. we don't want a rising tide to lift all yacht, we wanted to lift all boats. god bless you for what you have that -- let's all share in the prosperity of the country because the productivity of the american worker contributes to that. -- everybody wants to succeed and don't begrudge the people's success unless it is crushing them under the heel. >> one of the headlines of the event is nancy pelosi urges
congressman ryan to read all of adam smith. >> beautiful book. >> i have some great questions here which i am about to get to. i want to ask one more question. i will ask in two have. the first is when you look at a lot of polling two things that come out on public attitudes. on the one hand there is a lot of skepticism about the way the economy is working. belief that it doesn't work by itself. there is a lot of support for democratic ideas on the economy. on the other side is a lot of skepticism about government itself and government itself can't really fix that. i need you to the second question because democrats this goes back to your days
campaigning in baltimore, working class people of all colors black, white and latino, democrats have had a particular problem with white working-class people. it seems some of it may relate to the first half of my questions on want to ask you how do democrats, especially with the white house minority in congress, restore some faith that government can succeed in doing some of these things and how do they win back more white working-class voters? >> i would add another ingredient to your question. what happened in 2008 scarred people. its guard people and in terms of the confidence they need consumer confidence to invest. i am not interested in democrats or republicans, just a policy that works for america's working families. and i think because of that scarring his then people are
feeling more optimistic about what is happening in the economy but they are -- the scars, they hesitate to think it is going to last or something else couldn't happen. that is not necessarily only government. that is the private sector as well when they see people trying to repeal the of volcker act or dodd-frank. it is part of the debate as well. in terms of the role of government that has been a debate in our country since we were founded. it always has been. what is the role of government? how much do we need at the federal level? does it work? that is a lively legitimate debate in our country and i would say it is different about the republicans that is not about the degree of government.
many -- not talking about the republican congress, are not supportive of governance. it is not where you are on the spectrum but off the charts. they don't support governance. they don't believe in governance. they don't believe in science and they don't believe in barack obama. they have a trifecta going about being opposed to everything that is proposed. with their endless money and the rest of that that has affected the thinking of people but also we have up message to what we are doing and it is banking on the breakdown, not putting the perspective, the rollout of the health care act does not a good thing. people say it doesn't work. but the system works. like refrigerator keeping your
food cold, the light is going on, but the food is cold. that is an issue we have to address. you know as well as i that many people you are describing and social issues that took a path away from the democrats. guns, god and gays but a lot of that is diminishing and so i maintain whenever it is about the social issues if you have a strong economic agenda that gives hope to people that they can get good paying jobs, good paying jobs and give them that confidence that is the winning argument and that is where we make the differentiation. i mean this in the bottom of my heart. if republicans would come around to places where we could come together, you elections wouldn't be so important but as long as
they intend to engage in trickle-down, they make adam smith look like up piker, must be generational thing. so far beyond what our responsibility is to protect our middle class. some of it was cultural issues that took people away from us. even though everything is improving they still have that stock from 2008 and are not ready to fully embrace what is happening. they see government having played a role in what happened in 2008 either by omission or something they didn't like but had to do. but that was a bitter pill but
the worst to ask people to vote for in terms of the public not having a clear understanding. president bush after the republicans abandoned him, overwhelmingly democratic vote. we worked closely with president bush. the voting rights act the president signed, issues that related earlier to tax credits comment energy bill, one of the biggest energy bills in the history of the country was passed i want it renewable. so we did a number of things and i only wish the republican leadership in congress would give the same respect to president obama and try to find common ground on issues. >> if i mispronounce anyone's
name i apologize. thanks for some good question. rachel from inside health policy asks what do you believe is the democrats's best defense against piecemeal attacks on the affordable care act, what would the democratic strategy be in the face of the supreme court lawsuit? >> in terms of the second part of the questions some of you may know i know our friends asked me so many times when it was a case before the court. regionally i said we were going to win. i was wrong but i did say we would have the chief. i do believe i have confidence with the court. the case is they are saying we
can't get subsidies to go in estate market place. if they are in the federal marketplace, in states where they don't have a plan in the state that was not covered by the bill. i don't see how that is a constitutional issue. i think the same reason they approved the verdict was what it was, the decision was what it was before. this bill has won this. you can't say we are going to eliminate discrimination against people on the basis of preexisting medical conditions but not say we are going to have a mandate. it all goes together. you have to bring down the cost, one of the main reasons to have the bill even if we had no other reason was to bring down the cost and so when the republicans say i am against discrimination
based on preexisting condition and don't want lifetime caps or annual caps, you can't say that unless you have the oneness, the integrity, the interval relationship of the different parts to the bill. so it is almost silly of them to say that without having a mandate which is essentials to the bill. that is just the case we have to make. in less money came in, firing brimstone, carpet bombing, forge a earth shot and awe death panels, you name it things that had nothing to do with the bill and that really poisoned the well and we didn't have an antidote out early enough. i don't have time right now but i made -- because it is in fact
as president lincoln said, in his book in his own handwriting public sentiment is everything. public sentiment is everything. the public understands this or that, the public is why is. they have to know. god bless the public. our country is so strong because of the wisdom of the american people, the productivity the energy the optimism of the american people. you can't allow the other side with endless money anti-government ideologues, insurance companies didn't want the bill to pass to define what the legislation was about. it is so exciting. we talked about lincoln, let's talk about our founders. healthier life, liberty liberty to pursue your happiness.
life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and that is what this bill enables people to have. a healthier life, to pursue their happiness without being shot blocked because the child is bipolar or they can be free. the start of it self-employed, start a business, be engage in the arts, change jobs have mobility to pursue your happiness. is a great bill and it brings down costs. it brings down costs and you can't take pieces of it. in the bill we pass can be subjected to scrutiny, make this or that better in the implementation. but not something that totally takes the heart out and undermine it. this is as important as medicare, medicaid affordable
care, access for all americans is a great thing no doubt of it. >> we have five minute left and i have one question i want to close with. what i want to do is combine to people's questions and ask you my last question which is a personal question. personal for me. this is from cnn very wisely on top of the news said the first question is will you weigh on the vaccination debate, should they be required to get the second is working families from the department of homeland security could be affected by congressional inaction because -- are you concerned the funding battle will go down to the wire? and i want to ask and i apologize for the other questions we couldn't get to. what messages did you take from
the 2014 election? vaccination, homeland security and 2014? >> on the vaccination issue, i am sympathetic to the concerns. i have met many, tried to facilitate conversations with families who have concerns however affected children, autism or otherwise is a public health issue and the fact is children should be vaccinated. when i was a little girl people had polio and then we had at vaccine, miraculous power to prevent the disease. and i think again i support the public health decisions that called for children to be vaccinated. we should do everything we can to find out what the cause of the diseases that affect our children are, and that is why in
the 90s, two republicans tom harkin and i to double the funding for the national institutes of health and what that meant through invention and discovery and the cdc in terms of prevention and public health is important to our country. i am sympathetic to any concerns but addressing it another way, public health requires that we have the vaccination. my friend -- in december to pass a bill, to buy a -- to pass this
bill, let's just say what it didn't do. it didn't fund homeland security, it kicked the can. we are going to do it. it is a legitimate place to be radical over the edge that is december. january the whole world is gathering around the issue of homeland security. and just are doing it. so dangerous to our security that we would be frivolous with
this. you have to understand it part of the messaging problem is we don't want to be fear mongers and if you tell us the way it is in the after room. it is so bad to present homeland security from hiring people and the rest. you would think they would say okay the better point, we are going to the next. and get their anti immigrants and anti immigration and when i leave here i go to a press conference to call out the statements they are making. it is and who they are. we are a nation of immigrants.
and the immigration bill reduces the deficit. and then 700 billion over a 20 year period. it passed a bipartisan bill, the senate sees this differently than house republicans so it is hard to see what is going to happen over one thing or another that relates immigration. they are not passing a homeland security bill. no wonder the american people bounced about the effectiveness of government but identified as more in terms of public/private
solutions. this on homeland security, support and defend the constitution and the american people. and the constitution. the negative attitude toward immigrants is driving their attitude toward the homeland security bill. just plain wrong. if you want to make any distinction, and former secretaries of homeland security writing and saying don't do this? don't paint all the republicans with the same brush but this is driving the agenda in faust's among house democrats. house republicans. is there a third question?
the elections as far as housing, they came back because we had five tough races. and the show me take away the action. we added one more. that is because we had the field to ourselves. where you brought in the big enormous endless money, and those other places to win the senate and state houses, equivalent to the senate, they
lost -- it would not be 30. small consolation. public sentiment is everything. you have to give people a reason to register and a reason to vote. they didn't see that reason. at the risk of not being not fear monger. this is the 50s. >> wrote that in my last question. it is a personal question. the image of nancy pelosi, the san francisco liberal parity and people who know you and the
aspects, and how family has been part of the life. you spoke about the loss of votes because of the social issues. i not only heard you quote pope francis which is very popular among liberals these days but pope benedict, not as popular among liberals. wanted you to square the person you think you are with this public image that some have because those aspects of your life would come as a surprise to people who have a certain view of view and i would put that on the table before we finish. >> i am so happy my college roommate in washington d.c. -- we have been friends for many years -- here is the thing.
pope benedict, god is love, he talks saying -- st. agusta. st. agusta said any government that does not exist to promote justice is just a bunch of steve . benedict is a beautiful writer. his speeches were so popular. so then benedict goes on to say sometimes it is hard to define justice but when you try to do so you must avoid the blinding blaze of special interests and
money. when i say that on the floor my republican colleagues are not happy about that. that is what we have to do. we have to get money in terms of special interests weighing in on government and legislation, money controlling elections and a way that destroys any confidence the public has that their vote counts for anything and that -- a family with five children when my baby was brought home, when i took her home from a hospital, the oldest child was turning a 6. when colleagues on the floor start talking about what they know about family-planning i have strong credentials. we are having this debate on family planning, domestic or international nancy pelosi
thinks she knows more about having babies than the pope. this was 20 years ago. it is a strange debate we have because the fact is family is very important and the catholic church is important to me and i love frances and i am glad he is named for st. francis, the patron saint of san francisco. is the anthem of our city. that is what those values are part of who i am but it involves where we were. devoutly catholic fiercely patriotic americans proud of
our american heritage and staunchly democratic. we saw that connection. the reason for the different image is people spend $100 million in the campaign to describe the public and since i was not a known quantity some of that took. if you are effective you are a target so understand that so i accept that, she said immodestly. and back to the 50th anniversary of the voting rights act, mind you the court has been done some of it, the republican congress have not chosen to accept a bipartisan bill to protect that but also mind you that when president bush was president we passed the voting rights act. we were in the minority, we
worked in a bipartisan way to pass the voting rights act but it was important, we have here. the voting rights act, and 390 to 33.5. and the voting rights act. and the 50th anniversary and was found or originally and it is really important but with it again, a third of the people voted in the last election. 1-third of the electorate's and getting out those other people.
and that is a whole other session. one more time. >> i interrupted you. >> it goes to the past but can't ignore this. some one coming up and we are going to go to the 50th anniversary and all of that. never mind what martin luther king said. he had a dream his children would not be judged by the color of their skin but the content of their character. that haunts me all the time when we talk about budgets. when we talked about children in disadvantaged various, they're
working two jobs. it is not a living wage. don't have time to have dinner with their children to mend for their children, listen to them read back to their parents. their neighbors are in the same boat so the community is not fair. when we talk about judging the content of their character we have to judge our country by the content of our character if we are not recognizing these children are worthy of everything but are the heirs of the american future. the opportunity, you see that disparity in terms of technology. and education gathering. the character of our country, how we invest in children and
the most important issues status same thing. children, our children, our children. the economic security of their families, the environment to reach the aspirations. if you have a budget that does not enable that bigger paychecks, ending the education gap. all those initiatives that help a child to grow with confidence and judgment, with example of their parents, hard-working people try very hard. the 50th anniversary, martin luther king, and examine their own conscience for what we are doing for the character of our
country to meet the needs of kids so they can be judged by the content of their character. it is a pretty exciting opportunity. the inspiration we have in philadelphia, and i don't think there's any partisan aspect to investing, the greatest resource and our best hope of the future. thank you for the opportunity to be with you today. [applause] [laughter] >> will people stay in their seats please, it will just take a second. thank you so much.
[inaudible conversations] >> defense secretary ashton carter will testify at the senate armed services committee for confirmation hearing. mr. parter previously served as deputy defense secretary and is confirmed will replace chuck day. we have live coverage at 9:30 eastern on c-span3. >> the political landscape has changed with the 114th congress. not only are there 43 new republicans and 15 new democrats and 12 new republicans and one new democrat and the senate, there are 108 women in congress including the first african-american republican in the house and first woman veteran in the senate. contract of members of congress
using congressional chronicle on c-span.org. the congressional chronicle page has useful information including voting results and statistics about each session of congress. new congress, best access on c-span, c-span2, c-span radio and c-span.org. >> this sunday on q&a david brooks, columnist for the new york times on writing an article for the times and the words -- awards gives out at the end of the year. >> the sydney awards are given for the best magazine essays of the year and they can be in journals for the new yorker, the atlantic or obscure literary magazines and the idea is they always come out around christmas week between christmas and new year's and that is a good week to step out and not even read newspaper articles but to step back and have time to read something deeper and longer and
to celebrate those things. magazine's change history. the new republican to its recent destruction was the most influential american political magazine of the 20th century really did change history and created a voice for modern liberalism. conservatism barely existed until the "national review" gave it a voice. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span q&a. wisconsin governor of potential republican presidential candidate scott walker spoke at the american action for of about jobs, he took the first set to running for president by forming a committee called our american revival to raise money for a potential run. this is 45 minutes. >> welcome, everyone. i am douglas holtz-eakin president of the international
forum and i am delighted everyone is here for the first of this lecture series. the american action forum turns 5 in and january and it seemed appropriate to recognize his contributions in a lasting way so we named this lecture series after a founding member of the board. it will convene every two months and is dedicated to the investigation to public policy and in that way it shares the spirit of the american action forum which is dedicated to the notion ideas are important, fact on the ground are important but turns into effect of public policy, it is not enough so action is important and will squeeze today to open the lecture series and have the man for whom is named, we are delighted to have read here please. >> i am going to start by
spending 30 minutes explaining what the american action forum is. to introduce that, i would like to complement the american action forum and say a word on them. we need to bring together policy ideas from the right to the moderate formulated in a way that is understandable to the american people. imus say it has exceeded any expectations i had. it is a phenomenal success thanks to you, thanks to your team. as i like to say you fought way above your weight and a powerful influence on policy formulation in this country. i am not going to talk much about scott walker's accomplishments as governor or his biographical background because you have that in your
hands or your knowledge. let me tell you about why scott walker is a perfect leader and i am pleased to have a him here to open this series of talks today. six years ago i was at a forum and scott walker was county executive. he was there as the competitor for the nomination for governor of wisconsin, county executive in milwaukee county. i asked to get some information about scott walker and somebody gave me some background and i learned as county executive he was elected twice or three times. in milwaukee county. in milwaukee county being a county executive is a big deal, the old environment of it. when i looked at the record of
what he had done, he improved education and he was elected by at 20 point margin in a very blue county and we looked at the results from the 2008 election. barack obama carried that election by 20 points, scott walker went by 20 points and there's some kind of magic. i hope he gets the nomination and goes on to the next stage but if he does it will be a different ball game when he does this in the whole state. not only did he get elected but he did exactly what he said he was going to do. i am a businessman. i admired people who look you in the eye and say this is what i am going to do and they do it to the letter. and they have the ability not only to talk about it but to get it done and do it again. that is what he did for this company. he paid a big price for that, he
had to run again in 2012 where he won again. what impresses me most about this young governor is he says what he is going to do, follows through and get it done. he has the courage to withstand the pressures that come against him. as west pointer and former green beret i want to use this analogy. i want someone in political office to be somebody on want in a foxhole in the firefight. i can't think of anybody i would rather be in that foxhole with in a firefight or under stress than governor scott walker. [applause] >> thanks fred. that is a high compliment coming from somebody from west point with your leadership, military experience, business experience
and leadership. for some time i think about human and 10, 12, 14, appreciate your help and assistance not only for me but suzanne martinas, rick schneider, nikki the list goes on and on. leaders across this country at the state level who arguably many of those leaders would be in place myself included without your leadership and we appreciate it. thank you but when i was involved with the national governors' association, you would appear with us and share inspiration with us. we appreciate your leadership and the opportunity to share in this first of the series in which i am sure there will the many great speakers to come. i came in late last night and i love even though i have been here before, i love to come and particularly at night. things have shaped up enough that you can come from the
north. is beautiful and coming over the national cathedral and seeing the kennedy center and looking down the mall and seeing the lincoln and washington and jefferson memorials. there is something wonderful about coming in fresh into the nation's capital. over the years it is never been out looking at those monuments and thinking of the great leaders. as much as i love coming here i love going home even more. not just because i love wisconsin but because in many ways i think in respect to many people fighting to change that for a lot of folks in the nation's capital in washington as i like to call it 68 square miles surrounded by reality. there's a big difference between washington and the rest of the country. part of what i want to talk about is the conflicts not just between washington and wisconsin
but the rest of america. i have seen for years that even more so now than the last few years under this administration of place where in washington it is a top-down government knows best approach it hasn't worked in the past and i don't think will work in the future. when i see in the states and the country outside washington, ready for something new, something fresh something dynamic that says instead of top-down government knows best approach we seem too long in washington we want something built up with big bold ideas from not only states but local communities across the country. in a way it is part of why we talked about our american revival, our next step in making the case that we to transform america need to transfer power from our nation's capital in washington back to the states, the cities in this country where the people, hard-working people in this country can hold their
government accountable at the state and local level more than they can in washington. people want it more effective, efficient and they will get that when the power transfers from washington to the states and ultimately the people. as fred eluded to, we took on over the last four years the big government special-interest many of whom are based in the nation's capital. four years ago at this point you saw many leaders of the afl-cio asked me and other organizations to try to intimidate us to do what they wanted to have done in washington, not what the people of wisconsin elected us to do and we won. the reason they were so upset this last fall, and i was the number one target in america in terms of the same organizations because they were upset the we took the power away from special interests in washington and elsewhere around the country and
put that power firmly in the hands of the hard-working taxpayers. that is why in wisconsin, a state that hasn't gone republican for president in 30 years, i was in high school in 1984, we won not once but three times in the last four years in a state where we not only face tremendous challenges and many run against us in the recall election but based on the same challenges this last fall in the real election for governor. we were able to win not only elections but more importantly policy. there are a number of examples and i assume we will take questions in a little bit we will talking greater detail about some of these but we have seen a tremendous turnaround when it comes to the economy and financial situation in terms of stability, innovation, health care and other areas but i want to tell you two quick stories about areas that reflect the
difference between washington and wisconsin and the state. one involved a young woman named megan. more than four years ago at the beginning of 2010 five years ago now, megan simpson was a brand new teacher in the public school system. she was one of the great teachers we want in any school district across the country, certainly in our state but she was in milwaukee which is like many urban school districts across america had continuously challenge. ..
the last hired is the first part. the last it is the first. sunday consensus, the outstanding teacher of the year for wisconsin was one of the first to be laid off because she is one of the last to be hired. our reform became about the got the nation's attention with the protest they became of the early stages of that debate our reforms changed that broken system. today in wisconsin it's not just about balancing budgets. our reforms that let our schools to hire and fire based on merit, a base and performance, put the best and the brightest in the classroom. and have an impact on the. we've seen great success. for the last four years graduation rates have been up scores are not second best read
-- third grade reading scores are up. the people we elect at the local level on of the people in charge. to me that's a prime example where you take the power away from the big government a special interest, those driven by many here in washington and you put in the hands of hard-working taxpayers in the case of schools the people they elect at the local level, you can actually hold your schools accountable to be more effective, more efficient, more responsive to the needs and expectations of the hard-working taxpayer. the other story is about a woman named elizabeth. about this time about three or four years ago we were looking at making a change in wisconsin. most states across the country even today most states in this country do not require recipients for things like food stamps to be signed up for employer build the skills. so i decided looking at this and talking with people across the state we wanted to make that a priority. we believed there were jobs
available in even more over the last few years and if we're going to provide assistance particularly for adults without children we want to make sure even though we will help you when times are tough, our expectation is that that assistance is a safety net you bounce out of not a hammock that used in the we put in place requirements, we proposed requirements that we now enacted on that would require food stamp recipients into our state, particularly for adults without children, to be enrolled in part of our employability training. we started with a pilot and expanded across the rest of the state. when i wanted to make this proposal, i have an address i gave in front of the joint session of the legislature where we were talking about our budget and ideas much like the president did last week. you ask people to set up in the balcony and talk about introducing people that relate to the ideas that you have and so i have heard from the folks who work in health and human services for us in the state about this woman named
elizabeth. elizabeth to her credit you for we propose making this a requirement for public assistance elizabeth on her own had been in tough times. she knew she didn't want to be that way forever. so she voluntarily participated in one of our employability programs are early on before we made it a requirement. her story is such a great story because should not only completed that, she did so well that they plugged it into the local technical college where she got trained as a certified nursing assistant. i find in my address to talk about this and other policy initiatives before the legislature i thought who better than to put elizabeth up right down the way from where my wife sat and introduced her as part of my speech. but i couldn't do it. i couldn't do it. see, elizabeth was working that day as a certified nursing assistant as you like your job so much was going back to school as a registered nurse. the reason i bring that story up, sometimes people certainly in my capital i would imagine here and elsewhere, look at
reforms like those that we proposed and say if people like the governor are kind of ignored to get government assistance. i said no, i'm not. i'm trying to make it easier to get a job. elizabeth story is one were trying to spark all across this country, not just in our state to say we need to our state and local governments to put an end to the solutions that help people meet their full potential. growing up as a kid, i grew up in a small town were my dad was a pastor, my mom worked part-time as a sector and help raise my brother and i. i learned early the value of hard work. i was a dishwasher at the countryside restaurant. i worked for a while in high school flipping hamburgers to save for college. i learned early on the value of hard work. one of the things that is missing today is not like what i experienced is that early on in my life i think for a lot of us we realized that if you work hard and play by the rules in america, opportunities should be
open to all of us. the outcome should still be up to each of us individuals. and increasingly i think of people in this country today who feel those roles don't apply anymore, just having hard work and determination isn't enough because the odds are stacked against them. much of that is because the things we see being driven here in washington, the power here in washington is taking away some of those incentives and we would be better suited in cases like elizabeth if we put the power and that structure in many cases those resources, transferred the power back to the states, back to local governments with the people in those states can hold their government accountable. there are plenty of other examples in the discussions we can talk about that in greater detail but i'm reminded about one of my favorite sayings from president reagan. there are many great statements that are quoted but one of mine out of think really addresses this particular issue is in president reagan's initial inaugural address he said to the nation midway through, we should all remember that the federal
government cannot create the states. the states created the federal government. now more than ever that's important because i look i think the president we currently have in the white house almost has a completely opposite view. when i heard the state of the union address it sounded like a person who wants to grow the economy in washington. i think the rest of us in america want to grow the economy in cities and towns all across this great nation. think about the disconnect. six of the 10 richest counties in america according to median income are right here in washington, d.c. market. six of the top 10. to me that suggest there's a disconnect between those who want to grow government in washington and the rest of us who want to grow with real people in cities and towns and villages all across this great country. so that's where our american revival that we talked about italy about transferring that power from washington back to the people, getting it to the states and ultimately up to the
individuals where they can hold their government accountable in a way that i think sets the standard for the future. i will just end with this last summer here and then i think we'll will move the podium and bring some chairs up. years ago i had a chance in september 2011, not long after i was first in office and some big changes we proposed and made in wisconsin. i the chance to go to a conference in philadelphia. that might not sound like a big deal, but to me it was because as a kid i loved history. i loved reading about our founders put in fact i was a little geeky. i thought of our founders like superheroes. because our family didn't have a lot of money as a kid i never made it to washington, philadelphia, or anywhere else. the first time i came to our nation's capital was because the american legion had a program called boys state and a semi-from boys state to boys nation as one of the two
representatives from my state. about the on thing i have in common in bill clinton. that was a huge difference but it had a tremendous impact on me. i never made it to philadelphia. in the fall 2011 we had a chance, i was going to produce a with other governors in at the conference and because i loved history, still today so much i got early went over to the park rangers to see the liberty bell and to go into independence hall. mind you, for someone who thought of the founders of this country is bigger than life going to independence hall is like going to the league of nations. it's like super hero. this is where they were at. i got early right as the sun was coming in, went into independence hall, looked around in awe. in a room that is also not much bigger than one we're in right now look at the chairs, look at the desks, look at the room and it dawned on me. these were ordinary people,
ordinary people who did something quite extraordinary. they can just risk their political careers. they can just risk their business ventures. is -- these were ordinary people who risked their lives for the freedoms we hold dear today. moments like they really put in place for me what america is so exceptional. why this is arguably the greatest country in the history of the world. it is because of people like those who sat in that room ordinary people who did those extraordinary things and realize that in moments of crisis crisis in our nation's history not just them but throughout times up until now what has made this country so exceptional has been those times of crisis economic or fiscal, military or spiritual, what has made america great has been the fact that all throughout that time there have been men and women of courage who are willing to stand up and thank more about the future of their children and their grandchildren down their
political futures. to me this is one of those times in our history where we can stand up and say the way to move this country is not just to go back in time. those are pretty good ideas back then. i think they are even planned and a roadmap for going forward and if we go back to those founding principles that say that power is best this is not in the federal government but in the states, and more importantly in the hands of the people. that's a roadmap for us going forward, whether it's in health care or education or transportation or so many areas. the best way we move this country by transferring power from washington out to the hard-working people of this country. that's what it's about to be here today to talk about that. so with that i think we will move forward and make adjustments and take some questions. [applause]
>> [inaudible conversations] >> coin toss who gets the first question. you are a lot smarter than me so you as the first question. >> i want to pick up on what you said about economics. i looked it up. when you were elected in wisconsin was ranked as the 41st best state to do business in. it's now ranks 17th. how? >> a combination of things. i think there's really two categories in government being state, local and federal but most decisions are at the state of local level which is why i want to transfer power there. a couple of things. two parallel saddles. one, more often than not one of those things government can do
is get out of the way. lower the tax burden by $2 billion. we are lower than you were four years earlier. might budget comes out next week for the next two years. they will be lowered than when i started those things have impact that putting money back in hands of the people as consumers as well as small businesses. it's also raining and out of control regulations. we try we are limited to enforcing commonsense, not bureaucratic red tape. we rein in frivolous out of control lawsuits. in many areas it's a getting government out of the way, stopping the barriers, making it easier particularly for young people and folks who want to start a business started from the ground up to find one stop to do it quickly and effectively. realizing people create jobs not the government. i do think there's an appropriate role for government to be a partner. so we've done more to work with career technical education, even though i'm going to rein in spending. i spend more and our technical colleges and some of our
apprenticeships and worker trained programs. what i heard from employers was there was a tremendous need not just to fill spots that were open but if we could show that we could fill those spots consistently, they would actually add more work. so we've seen great progress and i'm glad to say just this past week unemployment numbers are down again 5.2% last month. we look back five years ago the unemployment rate in my state was 9.2% to as you know the federal government updates from the previous month. in november we had 18000 private sector jobs created, the best month for job creation and the private sector in 25 years and it's the best year-over-year numbers we've had through november 13 through november 14 since the late 1990s. so it's working. there's more to be done. if the government at the federal level would free up more
resources not new dollars but the resources we have i think that a wisconsin but many other states we could build off of it spent a lot of those jobs you took from my home state of illinois. southeastern wisconsin, kenosha county, which is just kind of halfway between chicago and milwaukee has had about i believe in the last couple of years there was a star in one of our business journals that should about a to have you. almost 4000 new jobs. many were organic others were coming north. bruce will put a little stop to that because i'm hopeful this will do a good job as the new governor of illinois but that was clued one of those areas where you could see the push for businesses that said not just because of the tax plan business climate but because of stability. >> michael s. is this. you took a different approach hybrid approach as i understand to obamacare in your state and could you kind of explained why he did that and how it is working? >> a good example of my overall
-- you give people power of the state of the global, we are the laboratories of democracy. i think it was something people fall for many years throughout our history and we are showing it more so at the state level now. i didn't accept the false choices that often washington tries to give you which is not taking expansion of medicaid which we didn't, or taking it and putting your taxpayers at risk. what we did in wisconsin my predecessor had expanded the eligibility for medicaid, health care for those in need to twice the rate of poverty. we said it's not just medicaid isn't just for people in poverty, but people at twice the level of poverty in the state particularly for those adults without children. as unfortunate as is often done with policies like this he didn't put enough money into. people living in poverty were in a waiting list to get assistance and access to health care. because of the supreme court's decision, the part i like him the other part i wasn't fond of put the part of the ruling on
the affordable care act that said states can control their destiny when it comes to medicaid we were actually in a great position because what it allowed us to do was say we restored medicaid to what was intended to be that is provide access to help people live in poverty, and for all those living about that and we transition into the marketplace. that means there's a waiting list in our state. and the kaiser family foundation which doesn't have a particular political angle one way or another, said where the only state in america that did not take the medicaid expansion that has no insurance caps. we tried to find common sense conservative reforms that could work and that's a good example. do that more, put more power in states and more states and local governments will be able to do that. >> how was that negotiating with cms as republican governor? you are one of the few who actually did go in and offer an alternative. >> i'm not a lawyer and all do respect to lawyers in the room
i don't typically care for was much but in this case our attorneys that nice job of telling the attorneys in washington that because of the supreme court decision we could do it. they were hungry to do. they didn't want to do. they were trying to force states into medicaid expansion which just on principle i fast fellow governors of this why is putting more people on medicaid a good thing? i want to lift people out of the. not because want to push them out into the streets but because want to empower people to control their own lives and destinies, particularly from dignity that comes from work. in the case of the federal government actually hhs, we first announced this, i think within minutes if i remember right literally came out and said you can't do this. i think it was a story in a publication on the hill, we push back and had our attorneys point out that yes, we could do that. within about 15 minutes to half an hour they changed the story because they realized legally we
couldn't. it wasn't because of a whole lot of assistance to provide flexibility. >> coming back to something you mentioned a couple times which is the importance of education, training initiatives in wisconsin and the food stands to educational training, workplace training. where else would you like to do that if you could to make the safety net more work from the? >> we would like to go the whole spectrum. we start out with trained ability. with -- for adults without kids, those without children, we start out with a pilot, expanding statewide to see need to be enrolled in employability. the other thing i introduced that will be in my budget next tuesday is adding to that not just for food stamps, medicaid and other errors where we will need federal government for approval, is a drug testing. to me as i travel my state on here increase tell the story around the country, i hear employers from small business
owners all over who saved we have jobs. my state alone yesterday there were more than 70,000 jobs listed just on our voluntary state website that were open in the state of wisconsin to the many examples like that across the country but overwhelmingly employers are not only telling us we need more skilled workers, but increasing i hear from employers who say it's great you put money into technical colleges, apprenticeships worker training programs but we just need workers and we need two things. we need people who know how to work on not talking about a skilled trained to talk about people who know how to show up everyday for work five days a week the kaiser things i mentioned as a kid i loved working the countryside restaurant picking up dishes and flipping burgers at mcdonald's. those are things many of us learned that way. unfortunately that everybody in today's society has is those basic in employability skills. the other part is and construction and transportation and manufacturing in many ways
health care employers say give me some who can pass a drug test. get them to show up to work pass a drug test. i can find a way to put almost anybody to work out there who is willing to work. we want those reforms but this is a classic example where the federal government hhs and other agencies, tend to push back at the state and local governments and say you can't do that. we need open that up for innovation across america. >> i'm going to take a risk alienating my partner, doug and go into different kind of area. you have the same security concerns and same securities in your statement almost all of us do. i wonder if you might want to comment on how you feel about the threats posed by isis and other enemies abroad and have impacts your state and any thought you have on? >> that's a great question. the interesting thing with that
is the governor, not want to i and other governors or commanders in chief of our national guards at the state level which is a distinct honor and privilege i love going to welcome homes. i go to all deployment but as a part of that -- on a fairly frequent basis he along with those of the fbi give me and i presume other governors security threat assessments. so we go and get classified information, important confidential information about threats not only in the state but with the region across the country. without violating the terms of any of those specifically i just got to tell you that for my children and others like them i see on an ongoing basis legitimate concerns about the threat to national security state by state and across this country. it's one of the reasons why i have said repeatedly one of the most important things we need out of our leaders in washington particularly our commander-in-chief here is leadership. affirmative style leadership that shows our allies are
willing to stand with him and shows even more important our adversaries that we take the threat is strictly. to me it's not a matter of if there's another attempted threat on american soil. it's a matter of win. for the sake of my children and other like them i want to make sure we take that threat to them and not wait for us. if i was in a position to manage that i would do everything in my power to make sure families across this country would sleep safe at night knowing they had someone who's looking out for the interest in their security. >> a statement of priorities. i would ask you i'm a former cbo director so this got to be a budget question somewhere. you balance the budget, came in with a big deficit. you deposit it twice now into your rainy sunday for wisconsin to we are do you see the federal priorities? >> a couple different areas. maybe go for just the about what we do. we try to not take the false choice of the routine in government, even sometimes at
the state and local level there's a false choice between either you've got to raise taxes or dramatically cut service. are you talking about being a businessman. we are a business, young or old businessmen, businesswoman where in this is can you find someone successful who says times are tough, i'm either going to double the price of my product or go to cut the quality and have? nobody does that, right? in the world outside of government nobody says that. they had have you got a way to balance cost and quality so they find a way to be more efficient, deliver a high quality product at a reasonable cost out there. yet in government that's the false choice we're given. we said we're not going to take that false choice. part of the reason why we enacted what's called act 10 big reforms were repealed by collective bargaining, powered that on my state government but all the local governments was i knew if we were freed of the big government union contracts not
only could we get more in pension and health care contributions, we could do things like get out of health insurance which school bishops all across the state it and save tens of millions of dollars. we could stop overtime abuse but we could have our innovation at the local level. which is precisely my argument at the federal level. we took a $3.6 billion budget deficit turned it into a surplus, balance the budget and will do it again this time around and the next budget i introduced tuesday will finish off with a balanced budget that's financially sound as well. along the way as you mentioned our rainy day fund is 165 times bigger than when we took office. our pension and retirement system is the only one fully funded in the country and we made the tough decisions and our state is that much better off because of it. in washington it's a matter of setting priority. part of it is fire and police are here in the federal government, it's about safety and street of all the american citizens.
we can be responsible into debt. that doesn't mean a blank check but you can be responsible into debt to make responsible reasonable expectations of how to streamline the way that we provide that security to our department of defense and other mechanisms out there. that's got -- and then for good part of it goes back to the theme what a major. to tackle these challenges, take money that otherwise be spent here are dictated from here send back to the states and local governments are it's much more accountable to the everyday taxpayer to a couple exams to think about medicaid. medicaid is an issue we talked about many times before. my friend paul ryan talked about block grant it if we get that money back and other health care to the states, what we do wisconsin is to the new york or california or texas or even illinois. why not empower innovators at the local and state level to do the things that are in the best interest of the taxpayers and best interest of the people that they are there to serve instead
of this one size fits all mentality. we have something to talk about for years. we are talking maintenance of effort. why is it that a state or local leader can't make and innovation without federal regulation kick in the says you can't do that unless you take kick certain people off of your program? we were lucky because the supreme court for your question, i look at that and sal to keep that money back to the state and local level. i look at transportation and say instead of sending a dollar to washington where they skim off cost and send it back why not keep that at the local level so you can fix that pothole out in front in the way that is most cost effective and efficient? why not say when it comes to education instead of sending that money here, why not keep the dollar back in your local community so your local school board can put them under right in the classroom? there are so many examples out there that would help us not only balance the budget in the end, they would avoid that false choice between balancing the budget and giving up services.
more effectively come more efficiently and ultimately it's more accountable at the local and state levels. >> how much time to we have left? i have two questions at a want to make sure i get -- >> one minute each. >> here's my question. it's kind of off the policy area, but i think it's important to me and i think it might be important to others. four years ago you have to poison public high school in milwaukee. you're living in a house in milwaukee. in the state capital where you are, you were being invaded by the colleagues of teachers and others are responsible for your kids in school, thousands of others. as -- it was on national news. six weeks before the you are -- nobody in the country do anything about you. all of a sudden there it is. you're in there, in your office, people are coming in in droves
to protest to your kids are in public school. how did you cope with that? how was that? how did you maintain your resolve the? >> there's no doubt family and faith played a big part of the. certainly my faith that impact in terms of feeling call the run for governor. and for the right reasons. you mentioned my boys to part of the reason why we got in the race early on knowing a bit difficult, never dreamed it would be that difficult after the election but knowing just the election itself would be difficult -- >> we will leave this program at this point. you can see it in its entirety, c-span.org. check the c-span video library. live now to the u.s. senate where senators will be a period of morning business until they recess for bipartisan conference luncheon at 12:30 p.m. eastern. it will be hosted by senator susan collins. the following the launch of their could be a possible
procedure vote on the house passed homeland security spending bill. yesterday the senate bill to limit debate on the measure. which also blocked funding for president obama's executive order on immigration. this is live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. spirit of god, descend on our hearts, for apart from you, life is tale full of sound and fury signifying nothing. may our senators walk in your ways, keeping your precepts with
such integrity that they will honor you. lord, incline their hearts to your wisdom, providing them with the understanding they need to accomplish your purpose in our world. let your mercy protect them from the dangers of this life, as they learn to find delight in your commandments. keep them ever mindful of the brevity of their days and the greatness of their work. we pray in your holy name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i move to proceed to h.r. 240. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to calendar number 5 h.r. 240 an act making appropriations for the department of homeland security for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2015, and for other purposes.
mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: majority leader. mr. mcconnell: it's good to see the new senate come together and pass another bipartisan bill just yesterday. it was a win for our nation's heroes and it was yet another win for the american people. but that was the, that was only one of the votes we took. because just hours after joining republicans to do something good for our veterans, democrats voted to block funding for the department of homeland security. it was enough to give anyone whiplash. and now americans are wondering what could possibly lead democrats to filibuster homeland security funding. the legislation democrats are filibustering would fund the department of homeland security. it would also protect american democracy from overreach described by president obama as unwise and unfair. that's it. you would think a bill like this would pass overwhelmingly.
you'd think at least the democrats would allow the senate an opportunity to improve the bill if it needs to be improved. but democrats voted to filibuster the bill outright. they prevented the legislation from even being debated. today's democratic party seems willing to go to any extreme to protect the kind of executive overreach president obama once described as not how our democracy functions. they would go so far as to block homeland security funding and to get the president the opportunity to continue to do what he's do. the whole situation is a bit perplexing given what some of our colleagues said just a few weeks ago given what they said about overreach president obama referred to as ignoring the law. one democratic senator said the president shouldn't make such significant policy changes on his own. another senator claimed he was concerned about the constitutional separation of
powers. the constitution, he said, doesn't say if the congress fails to act and the president can do x y and z. it just doesn't. and a third democratic senator had this to say of the president's plan for overreach: "it makes me uncomfortable." yet all of these senators voted to shut down debate and block funding for the homeland security department. every last democrat voted to filibuster rather than work across the aisle to address the very issue they claimed to be concerned about. perhaps today's democratic party is so devoted to the right of politicians to engage in action that would as the president once seemed to imply violate the law that it cannot tolerate dissent. but this is no reason to shut down the department of homeland security. this is no reason to prevent the senate from even debating whether or not to fund the department. so the democrats' homeland security filibuster needs to end now, and democrat senators can
say they're serious about keeping our nation safe and addressing what president obama acknowledged as -- quote -- "unwise and unfair overreach" need to prove it. the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. durbin: mr. president yesterday we were informed of another barbaric act by isis. literally burning a jordanian pilot to death in a cage. this follows on news reports of beheadings of japanese citizens, americans and so many others. it's an indication of the threat not just to the middle east but to the world of terrorism in its extreme as isis demonstrates
on a regular basis. it was ironic, mr. president that the same day we learned this i visited the department of homeland security and met with the secretary jeh johnson and talked about the political strategy of the republicans when it comes to funding the department of homeland security, the same department that is responsible for keeping america safe from the threat of terrorism. you see mr. president you know well that when we were here in december passing an omnibus appropriations bill, the house republicans insisted that one agency be singled out and not properly funded. one agency of our government: the department of homeland security. they funded every other agency of government to september 30 of this year in a regular appropriation process but
refused -- the republicans refused to fund the department of homeland security. why? they wanted to reserve the right to fight with the president over the issue of immigration. they wanted to reserve the right to object to any executive action taken by the president related to immigration. and their forum for this objection? the appropriation for the department of homeland security. yesterday secretary johnson came to our democratic caucus lunch to explain what it was like to manage a department of our government under a continuing resolution. that's the technical name in our budget act for temporary funding. he said it was like driving a car with a goes tank that only held five gallons of gasoline, not sure where the next service station is going to turn up. he said that's how i'm called on now to run the department of
homeland security, the department that we entrust more than any other to keep us safe from terrorism. why? why would the republicans choose this department, this department to single out and not properly fund? why at a time when we are facing threats of ghastly terrorism in this world that we have not seen, why would the republicans insist on making the appropriation for the department of homeland security the forum for their debate with president obama? now the senator from kentucky, our majority leader, comes to the floor and says, well, yesterday the democrats refused to vote to fund the department of homeland security. i'll make a point for the record here that when the majority leader turns to page 12,
publication sitting on his desk of the calendar of business of the united states senate, when he turns to page 12, he should look at line 7 on page 12 of the calendar of business of the united states senate, and there he will find s. 272 introduced by senator jeanne shaheen of new hampshire, senator mikulski of maryland. and let me read what senate 272 is -- quote -- "a bill making appropriations for the department of homeland security for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2015, and other purposes. read a second time, placed on the calendar january 28." this bill will fund the department of homeland security. this bill is a clean appropriations bill. if you look at the bill which senator mcconnell and others have brought to the floor for funding the department of
homeland security, i invite the senator from kentucky and those who are interested in the debate turn to page 55. start reading on page 5 the general provisions that were sent to us by the house of representatives. page after page of riders and restrictions on the appropriation for the department of homeland security. you see the house of representatives said we'll only fund the department of homeland security if we can have our way when it comes to these restrictions on how they spend money. well what is it that is so important to the house republicans and senate republicans that they're willing to risk funding of the department of homeland security? what is it that is holding them up from putting the resources in the hands of secretary johnson and this department that they need to keep america safe? it must be something that is momentous, historic. the reason they're taking a
stand and leaving america vulnerable well, the republicans clearly must have something that they think is even more threatening to the united states than terrorism. what could it be? well it turns out we know. because of riders attached by the house of representatives the republicans in congress are more fearful of a group known as the dreamers than they obviously are of the threat of terrorism from these extreme groups. who are these dreamers? well i know this issue better than some. 14 years ago it came to my attention that there was a serious miscarriage of justice taking place in the united states. it turns out children brought to our country by their parents who were undocumented literally had no country. they grew up in america. they went to school in america.
they lived in america. they considered themselves americans. they pledged allegiance to our flag in their classroom. they sang our national anthem and they dreamed of their future only to learn when they were still children that that opportunity was not there for them. you see, they were undocumented. their parents brought them to america, never filed any papers, and they were undocumented. it didn't seem right to me at the time that a young person, a toddler, an infant brought to this country would be paying this heavy price with their lives because of any wrongdoing by their parents. so we introduced the bill, the dream act. at the time cosponsored by senator hatch of utah. and we said in that bill if you were brought to america as a child and your parents brought
you here and didn't file papers or left you in an undocumented state, but you lived in america did nothing wrong in america graduated from high school in america, we'd give you a chance. we'd give you a chance to step forward if you were willing to either serve in our military or go to college and put you on a path to legalization. that was the dream act. it was introduced 14 years ago and it's never become the law of the land. and in that period of time of course thousands of young people have found themselves in this predicament. it was two and a half years ago when i joined 20 other senators and wrote to president obama and said can you consider an executive order that would protect these dreamers from deportation so that they could live in america and the president two and a half years ago did. it was known as daca.
this program said to these young people, this is your chance. come forward register, go through a criminal background check, prove you graduated from high school, and the president said we won't deport you. two and a half years ago. we estimate 2.5 million people would be eligible for this, 600,000 have stepped forward and have been given this protection from deportation. mr. president, this is the program that has led the republicans in the house and senate to threaten funding for the department of homeland security. the very thought that these young people could stay in america, live in america without fear of deportation work in america, go to school in america is so reprehensible to the republicans in the house and senate, they are prepared to jeopardize the funding for the
department of homeland security, which protects americans. i've come to the floor on more than 50 occasions to tell the story of these dreamers, which i will do again this morning. i ask my republican colleagues in the house and the senate to listen to the story of a dreamer here and tell me, do you believe the person i'm about to describe should be deported from america? his name is pablo desilva, he was brought here from brazil. pablo grew up in new jersey. here's what he said about his childhood. the same as every other kid growing up in the u.s., i attended middle school, pledged allegiance to the american flag
and sang the national anthem. as i grew older i came to understand that one thing about me differed from my classmates: i was undocumented. however, my parents always taught me to see barriers as a measure of perseverance and an opportunity to thrive." pablo's dream was to become a doctor. during high school and college he volunteered at nursing homes every week. he was a member of a group called "dr. rednose." that's where he and others would dress up as clowns visiting hospitals to cheer up the patients. pablo was accepted at rutger's university one of our nation's best. but, because pablo was undocumented he didn't qualify for any financial assistance. he would have had to pay out-of-
out-of-state tuition. so he couldn't afford rutgers. pablo enrolled in a community college. because he had taken community -- pardon me, college courses when he was in high school, pablo was able to complete a two-year associates degree in only were unyear. he was able to transfer to keane university in new jersey. he graduated at the top of his class with a major in his biology, summa cum laude -- summa cum laude. he received an award for the highest grade point average in the biology department. he was on the dean's list every semester and a member of phi kappa phi. this is a member that the republicans of the house and senate want to deport and refuse to fund the department of
homeland security until this dreamer is deported. after graduating from college pablo was unable to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. he couldn't go to medical school as an undocumented person, so he worked in a have variety of manual labor jobs. then in 20 is 12 2012, president obama established -- loyola was prepared to accept students who received daca. like many states across the country, illinois has a shortage of physicians in inner city and rural areas. loyola university's daca program is an opportunity to address this problem. under this program loyola's daca medical students can receive loans to help cover the cost of medical education. every year these students must work for a year in a medically
underserved area in my state of illinois. it is quite a trade-off: a year of medical school for a year of your professional life as a doctor helping people who have no access to doctors. as a result, an amazing thing happened. some of the best and brightest students in america have come to loyola to get a medical education and they have signed up to stay in illinois to serve the parts of our state where the people i represent are desperate for a doctor doctor. last fall, pablo began medical school at loyola where he's pursuing his dream of become ago cardiothoracic tour john. here is what he said about the program. "daca has allowed me to fulfill my long-lasting aspiration to pursue a career in medicine. it has truly changed my future.
for that i am truly grateful. i am eager to contribute my share to the country i call my own." you read this letter and you stop and think how can the republicans in the house of representatives and the senate have made this manner that enemy? how can they look at this young man, who has struggled throughout his life to obtain an education, who has overcome the odds who has volunteered time and again in his community who is willing to work in underserved medical areas how can they look at this man and say he is the enemy? the republicans in the house and senate fear pablo desilva more than they fear the extremist terrorist groups. they fear this dreamer and they're willing to give short-term funding to a federal agency to make their point. if the house republicans and some in the senate have their way, pablo desilva won't be
able to finish medical school, won't become a doctor, anded if they have their way and deport him, wries what which is what the house bill calls on us to do, my state will be out of a doctor to serve in a medically underserved area. we are a nation of i am grants. my mother was an immigrant to this country. i believe immigrants have brought so much in this country not just in hard work -- and they take the toughest jobs -- but also this risk taking that's involved in immigration they're willing to put it all on the line. in my case, my grandparents came here with my mom as a little girl to a country where they barely spoke the language and knew a handful of people and they made a life, and they raised a family. and i was lucky to be part of iters and i'm honored to stand
-- and i was lucky to be part of it and i'm honor honored to stand on the floor of the senate today. that's the story of pablo dedisva. why do the republicans think that stopping his opportunity to go to medical school and serve america is in the best interests of our nation? it certainly isn't. yesterday the assistant senate majority leader said that daca "kicked the people who played by the rules to the back of the line and the people who did not to the front of the line." here is the reality: the president's immigration action simply puts a temporary hold on the deportation of low-priority cases like immigrant students like pablo. it doesn't put the dreamers or any other undocumented imgrants in the same line as legal immigrants and it doesn't put any legal immigrants at the back
of the line. only congress can do that. and speeband speaking of congress, it is important to note that in 2014 this congress passed comprehensive immigration reform with a strong vote 68-32. republicans and democrats voted for it. for the remainder of that congress the year 2013 and 2014 more than a year and a half the republicans in the house of representatives refused to allow a vote on the senate's immigration reform bill, refused to call their own bill, refused to take any action, and it was at that moment when the president stepped forward and said, i have to do something with this broken immigration system. instead of slowing down the appropriations to the department of homeland security, i would like to re-miewnd remind the majority leader and the speaker of the obvious: they're in control. they have a majority.
they can call immigration issues before the senate and the house at a moment's notice, and we are prepared -- prepared to debate those immigration issues. but we're not prepared to do that engage in that important debate at the expense of funding the department of homeland security. now we're going to waste a week of the senate's time, a week when we could pass the shaheen-mikulski bill and fund this department, a week when we could initiate the debate on immigration, a week when the republicans could come forward with their own immigration ideas, if they have any other than deporting pablo d. they want to make this political point with the president but they do it at the expense of the safety and security of america and they do it at the expense of dreamers like pablo. every time we've tried to pass
comprehensive immigration reform the republicans have said "no." mr. president, every student of american history can tell you that anti-immigration parties eventually wirnl and die. we are a nation of immigrants. there are some on the republican side who understand that, and they can't really explain why the grand ol' party the republican party is turning its back on imgrants in a nation of immigrants. that's their policy. they are so determined to pursue it they're willing to jeopardize the appropriation for one of the most important agencies of our government, the department of homeland security. the president he's used his legal authority to bring some fairness to our broken immigration system. if the republicans think they can do it better, they have every right as the majority party in the house and the senate to offer legislation.
but with the homeland security department facing a shutdown in just three weeks we don't have time for these symbolic votes on the house bill on the floor. turn to page 15, i say to the majority leader, of the calendar of business in the senate and you will find the answer to your question. you will find the way to fund the department of homeland security in a responsible way. what the majority leader should do is to swallow his pride call mr. boehner and said, your idea is not going to fly in the senate. it is time for us to fund this agency. it is time to understand that as resolute as the terrorists are in harming innocent people and threatening america america should be as resolute in fighting them back. the first line of defense is the department of homeland security. it's time to fund it. we can do it in a matter of minutes this morning.
-- if the majority leader would simply call to the floor this clean appropriation bill. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order the leadership time is reserved. also under the previous order the senate will be in a period of morning business until 12:30 p.m. equally divided with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each. mr. durbin: mr. president? since i see no other members on the floor at this time, i'd ask unanimousask--ask consent to speak in morning business. sneerthe presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: two weeks ago an amazing discovery was made in a pile of dirt. a new antibiotic was found. the first that's been discovered in more than 25 year, it holds the poe teption to kill off a wide variety of disease-causing bacteria. it offers a cure to growing antibiotic resistant diseases.
president obama noted had his state of the union address that antibiotic resist resistance is one of the most pressing challenges in the u.s. alone it costs us at least $20 billion a year and claims 23,000 lives. a plastic storage crate filled with backyard dirt might seem like an unlikely source for a breakthrough but that's exactly where these scientists who were workingworkworking under a grant from the n.i.h. discovered this medical breakthrough. scientific breakthroughs are nothing new for the united states of america. in the last century we split the atom defeated polio conquered space, create the internet, and mapped the human genome. after of these historic achievements had something in common with the discovery of technoback sin. they were backed by the united states government research funds. i have some people come up to me in illinois and say name one thing this government has ever
done -- wcialg aside from wipping a few wars -- that were critical to the future of mankind? we've done amazing things when this comes to research. for generations the united states was the un-chawld world leader in support of scientific research but in recent years our lead has eroded. in 1965 the united states spent 25% of our non-defense discretionary budget on the one hand research and development -- 1965 25%. today, 10%. meanwhile, other countries are stepping up. china has increased r&d funding by 20% a year every year from 1999 to 2009. if we stay on course, china will be investing more in research and development as a share of what -- their overall economy than the united states as soon as five years. erogued u.s. funding is particul