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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  April 20, 2015 2:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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ns can cobble together the coalition where he appears interested in signing up. >> it looks unlikely in the senate this week and the house has their big security and that we have to wait until next week for the calendar. >> sarah, national journal staff correspondent or he thinks. we appreciate it. thank you. in the senate we could see see work on the anti-human trafficking bill and the house coming in for a brief pro forma session dabbling in tomorrow at 2:00 eastern and working this week on the consumer financial protection bureau into cybersecurity. also today at 3:00 the house and senate conference committee meeting at 3:00 on c-span. the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer.
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the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, we praise your greatness, might, and majesty. you own all that is in heaven and earth. both riches and honor come from you. your compassion never fails. today, use our lawmakers as instruments of your purposes. lord give them wisdom and courage for the living of these challenging days. may they find encouragement in the knowledge that the full harvest of their labors is yet to come. unite them in the common
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endeavor of making america a beacon of freedom for our world. may their thoughts, words, and actions honor you. we pray in your sovereign name. amen. the presiding officer: 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. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c, april 20 2015. to the senate:
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under the provisions of rule 1 paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable tom cotton, a senator from the state of arkansas to perform the duties of the chair signed: orrin g.hatch, president pro tempore. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. reid: 164 days -- 164 very long long days, especially for the woman by the name of loretta lynch, her nomination is languishing here. for six months senate republicans looked for any and every reason to push back confirmation of this good woman to be attorney general. does anyone know why? can a single republican senator tell us why? the answer is no. her qualifications are impeccable. she has some bipartisan support. but again for unknown reasons republican support seems to be disappearing. is there a single republican senator who can come here on the
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floor of the senate and give an explanation that does not smack of political foolishness? republicans don't know why loretta lynch has not yet been confirmed. listen to what congressman peter king said. by the way peter king is a republican from new york. "all you've heard from our party from a very long time is how much contempt they have for holder. now they're presented with loretta lynch, who is by far the best attorney general who could ever have been expected from president obama to appoint and they still hold the thing up. and for what? because they think it scores them a few political points. with whom? " mr. president that's the irony of it all. republicans held ms. lynch's nomination for nothing more than political purposes. here is something i will read to the people within the sound of my voice, which is a direct quote from "the new york daily news" editorial -- quote --
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"republicans in the senate, the meanest and most narrow-minded among them, occasionally act as if they want the democrats to have the white house into the next century. they need to stop using abortion language and antitrafficking bill for cover. they need to stop using support for immigration on obama as a cover. they need to stop insulting the way they have for months as they delayed a the vote on confirming her as our next attorney general for the simple reason that they can. the issue here was never loretta lynch's policies. always about president obama. they've used her to get at him because to that end they're obsessed with getting at him. no wonder jeb bush stood up for lynch in new hampshire. bush didn't just show grace in doing that. he also showed more common sense than his brother showed in eight years as president of the united states. jeb bush has to know that
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senator mitch mcconnell hijacking this process does him absolutely no good, the way it does not -- i'm sorry -- the way it does him no good to have mcconnell as an important voice and face of the republican party. as long as mcconnell has too many voters completely wide open --" i'm sorry mr. president. as long as mcconnell is, too many voters completely wide open about the presidential campaign will continue to think the party is owned and operated by scrubs who think they can push around loretta lynch for sport." pushing around loretta lynch for sport, that's certainly how it seems, mr. president. how else do you explain republicans changing the subject every time her name comes up? every time ms. lynch's confirmation is discussed they change the subject. every time when asked republicans deflect. next time it is after keystone,
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after the attempts to shut down homeland security and after traffic. president obama put it best -- and i quote -- "nobody can describe it better than political gamesmanship in the senate. there are times when the republicans in the senate goes too far. this is an example of it. this is embarrassing." it is embarrassing. it is embarrassing for the senate and for our nation. even republicans -- i should say some republicans are embarrassed. they know there is no rationale for delaying a vote for america's chief law enforcement officer. there is no reason we can't confirm loretta lynch today right now. there is nothing preventing the majority leader from coming to the senate floor immediately and moving the senate into executive session for consideration of ms. lynch's nomination. why then is the majority leader determined to make her wait until after the trafficking legislation? why? we're now spending the first two
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weeks of the current work period finishing two matters: human trafficking and her nomination. these two matters could have been completed months ago. everyone is aware of what's transpired with the human trafficking bill, but it's sufficient to say the republicans tried to pull a fast one on the american people. republicans attempted to broaden a decades-old precedent that traditionally prevents federal funds from paying for abortion except in the case of rape, insist and the life of the mother at risk commonly known as the hyde language. republicans want to change it to apply to nontaxpayer dollars. it was a failed ploy and it is no surprise that the republicans are scrambling to save their necks after trying to dupe american women. my republican colleagues appear to be close to seeing why on human trafficking and there
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seems to be a path forward but there is no guarantee we can do it. as of right now we don't have an agreement to place the finishing touch on our work on the bill but we're working on that goal. the progress made is due almost entirely to the good-faith efforts of senator murray, senator pat leahy and senator amy klobuchar. when will the majority leader realizes he continues to obstruct a qualified nominee for no reason? as soon as you turn to vote on ms. lynch's nomination immediately, every day that passes without a newly confirmed attorney general proves once and again republicans can't lead and they certainly can't govern. mr. president, i think senator mcconnell is not going to be here now so we should go forward with the senate business of the day. the presiding officer: under the previous order the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order the senate will resume consideration of s. 178, which the clerk will
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report. the clerk: calendar number 26, s. 178, a bill to provide justice for the victims of trafficking. mr. reid: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: i would ask suspension of the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. stabenow: thank you very much madam president. madam president, as we all know, a vote of confirmation for loretta lynch to be our next attorney general has now been delayed 164 days. we're -- for five months, we have seen this qualified woman waiting for a confirmation vote,
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and we have had at least 51 members, a majority, indicating that they will support her confirmation. now, i remember coming to the floor to listen to colleagues during the bush administration over and over and over again indicating that elections have consequences that presidents have a right to have their nominees voted on, and that that is our responsibility to make sure that if something comes out of committee that we vote on a final confirmation. now, when you look at the fact that we have seen loretta lynch now wait on the floor for a vote combined length of time that equals more than the last seven attorney generals, i really do believe, as the president has said enough is enough.
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and i remember a time when we had a controversial nominee john ashcroft, and many of us did not support that nomination. i did not support that nomination. but we brought it to the floor for vote, and he waited 42 days. at the time people said that was a long time. he was not blocked. we did not filibuster. we did not require a supermajority. in fact, there were 42 of us that voted no so we could have stopped it on a procedural vote, but we allowed it to come to the floor for a vote, that nomination of john ashcroft. so we fast forward now and we've seen this, of course, over and over again as we look at the president's nominees in the last six and a half years but now we see this qualified woman eminently qualified woman who has been held up as of today 164
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days. waiting and waiting. we either have the opportunity to have a vote up or down of confirmation. if people want to vote no, they have that right but she deserves the vote. now, today we're going to be voting on the confirmation of a district court judge in texas. i think it's good that the southern district of texas will have a federal court judge but the entire country needs a permanent attorney general. and, in fact, the attorney general's office is the one that actually brings the cases to federal courts and tries them on behalf of all of the american people. so it is really ridiculous that we stand at this point where we are having to ask after more
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than five months that there be a vote for loretta lynch. now, after she was reported out we saw a nominee a distinguished nominee for secretary of defense come out of committee, immediately come to the floor be confirmed. but loretta lynch has waited and waited and waited. we continue to be voting on district judges, and loretta lynch is waiting and waiting and waiting. now we hear all kinds of excuses, all kinds of reasons. we are hearing that loretta lynch's nomination for attorney general cannot be voted on until we complete another very important bill. human trafficking bill that we all want to get done. it's fortunately had a curve ball added because of the politics around choice and abortion that has been interjected into this, and we're
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having to work our way through that. and i'm confident if people of goodwill want to do that -- i've been involved in a lot of discussions as my colleagues have i'm confident we can address those if people want to get this done on behalf of girls and women in our country. but that has nothing to do with the nomination of loretta lynch for attorney general other than one thing, which is that as u.s. attorney of the eastern district of new york, she presided over a very effective antitrafficking program. investigating and prosecuting scores of offenders. so in that sense again we need loretta lynch her talent, her expertise, her experience to be able to tackle what is a horrible situation. there are -- that way too many
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girls and women find themselves in. we too long i think thought this was happening someplace else. and yet we saw in lansing michigan where i live -- the capital of michigan -- where there was a case and a trafficking situation that the f.b.i. and local officials addressed. so what we're finding right now is that as we proceed with confirming other people for other positions monday nights we're voting on other positions we're voting on district judges, we voted on other people for other positions not held up by human trafficking not held up by trying to get that bill resolved. but for some reason the attorney general position has somehow been held up. so i don't buy it, madam president. it makes no sense that we would pick one person, one person --
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not others but one person and decide that this person and this nomination this confirmation vote will be held hostage to another issue. it's time to stop it. 146 -- 164 days is long enough. 164 days is long enough. it is time to give loretta lynch the respect and the vote that she has been waiting for and she deserves. i would yield back the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: thank you madam president. i ask unanimous consent to dispense of the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: i ask unanimous consent to speak up to 15
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minutes as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: madam president this body and the united states senate continues to rush through one of the most consequential changes to the u.s. economic policy of this decade. little media attention little scrutiny by committees, little discussion from leadership of this senate; last week we were called into a rushed legislative session hearing on fast track and on a trade package with little notice and no bill to see. less than 13 hours notice for a committee meeting the standard here is one week, it is i believe senate rules. one of the most secretive documents that we've seen in front of us. staff and senators and their staffs, congressmen and women and their staffs have limited access to this document, trans-pacific partnership. yet, and no access to legislation upon which we had a
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hearing on thursday. it was only after the hearing that they finally decided to introduce the bill. yet, this affects more than 50% of the world's g.d.p. 50% of the world's g.d.p. could be affected by this package. millions of american jobs are on the line, yet congress is rushing this bill through. madam president, we can't fast track fast-track legislation. we know what so-called free trade has done to this country. it may not have affected too many people that dress like this in this town, people who wear expensive suits. but for those in the heart line, in places like des moines and iowa city and columbus and cleveland, we know bad trade deals have devastated towns. i grew up in mansfield ohio. when i was a kid, we had thousands of jobs at westinghouse and ohio brass at mansfield tire, at fisher body, at ohio brass gorman, and so many other companies.
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almost all those companies have shut down not just because of globalization and bad trade deals but that contributed to it. every one of those other companies that hasn't shut down has laid off in most cases thousands of their workers. in friday i was in dayton where i spoke with jimmy allen. he worked at appleton paper for 45 years. he was a union officer for 43 of those years. he was one of 400 workers laid off due to unfair trade in 2012, when china cheated on currency undermining the u.s. paper industry. i hear all the time from workers like jimmy. george rossi of warren, ohio, the other end of the state wrote to me sharing a story wrote my wife lost her job of 15 years at jevment in ohio -- of g.e. in ohio because of foreign trade. the plan that once employed 600 is closed. my brother-in-law lost his job at ohio lamp which is now closed. my plant w.c.i. steel is
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closed. one time the plant employed 1,800 people. george writes i could go on and on. there have been friends and family so many of them that worked in numerous plants that are now closed in large part because of bad foreign trade deals. jamie vaughn wrote to me saying jaim my's father and grand father worked in ford until it closed down. jamie's father was able to transfer to indianapolis where jamie and jamie's brother worked. until that ford plant shut down he wrote they built a plant exactly like in brazil. my brother and i transferred to california. that plant shut down. i got a letter from gary in northwest, ohio about how factory closures have ripple effects across communities. he wrote in 1995 i was employed at general motors power train foundry working 12 hours a day 67 days a -- 7 days a week.
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then along came the american free trade agreement. 5,000 employees working at that time. after nafta there was a constant loss of jobs so today there are about 1,000 employees left. we're looking at a weekly loss of 4.8 million dollars in wages to the local economy around $1.2 million in weekly taxes lost to the 4 -- due to the 4,000 jobs exported because of nafta. then the next couple of years the founder will be losing all its iron castings, another 350 jobs will be eliminated. plant one is scheduled to be torn down. nafta wasn't good for our community and foundry because our iron casting business went to mexico. that was jamie vaughn from northeast ohio. i'm sorry that was gary cordray from northwest ohio. seen in the northwest southwest, see it in the northwest and now joseph hicks wrote i'm a member of 1 # 104 in lorraine, i work at u.s. steel.
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as of the 22nd of march 600 of my brothers and sisters have been placed on indefinite layoff due to lack of work due to the illegal dumping of cheaply made steel. foreign countries cut corners in safety pay workers next to nothing, don't care about quality. with these ingredients they're able to sell products for a lot less than we at united states steel can. there used to be a time when "made in america" meant something. i long to see that be the attitude again. joseph goes on, i'm suffering because of the trickle-down effect. i'm laid off. i lost my job. my career, my way of life to support my growing and deserving family. i have a wife megan who can't work because she has to care for our two-year-old disabled daughter. i ask i beg our public officials do what needs to be done to get american workers back to work." that's joseph from u.s. steel in lorraine. we owe these workers more than rushed hearings.
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we owe them more than a rubber stamp deal. keep in mind, we didn't see this deal until thursday night. we've still not had one hearing on this bill to discuss the bill. the chairman of the committee wants to do the markup the day after tomorrow, and this bill will govern potentially 60% of the world's g.d.p. so when they want to fast track legislation, they want to fast track this fast-track legislation so they can pass more trade agreements that outsource jobs. trade done right can create jobs but our current trade deals amount to corporate handouts and worker sellouts. they amount to corporate handouts and worker sellouts. wage lost to workers because of expanded trade are larger than national gains from t.t.p. they write there is no such thing as an all-gain no-pain treaty. we know that's true because workers like joseph, jamie george and jimmy feel that pain.
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i urge mile colleagues in the next couple of days to ask the tough questions, demand answers from the u.s. trade representative who told us little and given us even less access to these trade agreements to say no to a trade deal that will end up fast tracking more jobs overseas. madam president, i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. vitter: thank you madam president. madam president, i rise today to solemnly observe the five-year anniversary of the deepwater horizon oil spill also known as the b.p. disaster. it was a major and deeply tragic incident that resulted in the loss of 11 lives in the gulf of mexico and beyond that really devastated the gulf region. madam president, i want to start where we should always start by remembering in a silent
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prayerful way the 11 men who lost their lives in the incident. they were donald duckclark 49 of new sp ll -- newellton, l.a. roy kemp 27 of jonesville, louisiana. keith blare emanuel 56 of gonsz louisiana. jason anderson 35 of mittfield texas. adam weiss 24 of york town texas. aaron dale burkeen of philadelphia mississippi. carl klepingger jr. of natchez
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mississippi and shane rushto, 22 of liberty mississippi. we lift up those men and their families in our prayers and will continue to keep those men whose lives were lost and continue to keep their families in our fervent thoughts and prayers. madam president, while five years have passed, the effects of the deepwater horizon tragedy are still felt today in communities all along the gulf coast. the terrible and unnecessary loss of life, the harming of our precious coastal ecosystems and persisting economic burdens serve as a continuing reminder of the failures that led to the spill as well as the lessons learned in the five years since.
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poor industry and government oversight and the failure by many involved to enforce safety regulations were largely responsible for multiple mistakes leading up to the tragedy. as a result we've learned many lessons on how to prevent future accidents like this. the first is that the lives of the men and women who worked in this field are absolutely paramount and need to be kept so. and the federal and state safety standards overseeing them should reflect that as the highest priority. changes are needed in the federal agencies that oversee and regulate the offshore energy industry must communicate clearly with state and local governments and the impacted industries. they must also do a better job of enforcing strong, necessary safety and environmental standards.
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it's also important that we prevent the administration or any future administration from having knee-jerk reactions to incidents like this. each gulf coast community remembers the devastating effects of the offshore drilling moratorium that followed the disaster something that was completely unnecessary including in the opinion of so many experts. once the obama administration imposed this unnecessary drilling moratorium, that decision this had crippling results for louisiana's and gulf coast states' economies. when accidents like the spill happened there needs to be a calculated and logical and immediate response in order to replace ineffective regulations which rules that focus on preserving lives and protecting the environment. it's imperative that we prevent shortsighted federal mandates
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and thoughtless regulations that hinder regional recovery and destroy local economies instead. we've also learned that there needs to be a clear and specific judicial and penalty process in place in order to ensure that claims can be efficiently filed and finalized in order to let those who were affected by such disasters return to some sense of normalcy, day-to-day normalcy economic normalcy as quickly as possible. this should include ensuring that responsible parties such as b.p. are dimely in paying -- timely in paying 35 their statutorily mandated fines and penalties. there is absolutely no excuse that five years later gulf residents in many cases are still waiting for the responsible parties to fulfill their legal obligations including under the restore act. so madam president as we remember the deepwater horizon
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tragedy today let us renew our commitment to work on all of these matters to finish the work that is left to do. as our gulf coastlines and economies continue to recover. thank you madam president. and, madam president i now understand that there are five bills at the desk due for a second reading. the presiding officer: the senator is correct. the clerk will read the titles of the bills for the second time. the clerk: h.r. 636, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 19 6 to permanentlystand increased expensing limitses and shoes. s. 644 an act to amend the internal revenue code of 19 6 to expand the charitable deduction for contributions to
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food inventory. senior 1295 to aamend the internal revenue code of 19 6 with respect to organizations whether organizations are exempt from taxation and so forth. h.r. 1314, an act to shinned the internal revenue code of 19 6 to provide for administrative repeal of tax-exempt status of attorney certain organizations. s. 986 to provide medicare beneficiary access to i-tracking accessories for speech generating devices and so forth. mr. vitter: in order to place the bills on the calendar under the provisions of rule 14, i would object to further proceedings en bloc. the presiding officer: objection having been heard the bills will be placed on the calendar. mr. vitter: thank you madam president. finally, madam president i have one unanimous consent request for a committee to meet during today's session of the senate. it has the approval of the
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majority and minority leaders and i ask unanimous consent that this request be agreed to and that this request be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. vitter: thank you madam president. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. a senator: five years ago today -- the presiding officer: senator the senate is in a quorum call. mr. cassidy: may i ask that the quorum call be vitiated,
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please. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cassidy: five years ago five americans were lost when the deep water here horizon exploded on the gulf coast. i'd like to name these. before i start -- mr. president, this is hard.
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these were just people we grew up with. so i apologize for being emotional, but these are our neighbors. so to remember them, jason around 35, midfield, texas. jason had two kids, his wife was shelly. thanksgiving was his favorite holiday. aaron dale bubba berquine of philadelphia mississippi. he passed on his wedding anniversary and four days before his birthday. bubba was married with two kids. donald clark, 49 of newellton louisiana. his wife was sheila, he had four kids. he was a fisherman. to honor him on the anniversary of his death the family says a prayer and releases balloons over a lake in his favorite color which was sky blue. steven ray curtis, 40, of georgetown louisiana steven
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was married and father to two teenagers. gordon jones of baton rouge. he was 48, his wife was michelle. their son max was born three weeks after gordon passed. an oak tree is planted on l.s.u.'s campus on the path where he ran. roy it would kemp, 27, jonesville louisiana. married to courtney, father of one. carl cleinger, jr. a veteran of the first gulf war. keith blare manuel of gonzalez, louisiana. keith had three daughters a big fan of l.s.u. and had football and basketball season tickets. dewey revette of stateline mississippi, his wife was sherry they had been married 26 years. shane roschot 22, the youngest who died, his wife was
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nationallally, his son blaine. adam wench eiss of yorktown, texas he drove ten hours to louisiana every three weeks to work on the laying. he was a high school football star and spent his time hunting and fishing. we pray their families find peace and the -- in the memory of their sons, husbands and fathers. the oil spill was the worst in our nation's history. while the consequences are still seen it is our task to live forward and in so doing honor the memory of these men and provide a better future for their families. madam president, i ask that you will a he lou a moment of silence to honor their memory. the presiding officer: without objection. [the senate is observing a moment of silence]
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mr. cassidy: thank you madam president. i yield back and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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irk mr. nelson: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: i ask consent that
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the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. nelson: madam president it is 5:00 in the afternoon and exactly five years ago at 5:00 the crew of the deepwater horizon mobile oil drilling unit began what is called a negative-pressure test on the macondo prospect oil formation. a cascade of menacing events followed the first failed test. at around 9:40 that evening drilling mud began gushing out onto the rig the well had kicked. the crew activated the rig's
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blowout preventer one mile below the surface of the gulf of mexico down at the bottom of the gulf. but tragically, the blowout preventer failed. at 9:49 p.m., there was an explosion on the rig floor. the deepwater horizon quickly became an inferno. 11 men died. 11 families were changed forever. as morning came the next day an oil sheen two miles long and a half mile wide showed up on the surface of the waters of the gulf. the blaze on the rig continued.
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those images are seared into our collective mind's-eyes. and so the owner of the well, b.p. and the owner and operator of the rig transocean, tried and failed again to close the blowout preventer that evening. and then days later on earth day april the 22nd, at 10:22 a.m. the rig on the surface of the gulf sank. now, if you can remember that sheen that was two miles long, a half mile wide, we were first told that the sheen came from the drums of are diesel that
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were onboard the rig. but then later on, a revision was made that 1,000 barrels of oil a day were leaking from the well a mile below the surface of the gulf. but then that was changed to 5,000 barrels of oil per day. and then 25,000 barrels of oil a day. but none of those estimates were true. scientists looking at the sheen from aerial observations started to grow very skeptical about what the b.p. engineers were telling them. the environmental committee chairman, senator boxer and i
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started to try to turn up the public pressure to get b.p. to turn over the live footage one mile below the surface of the gulf where the oil was escaping. we wanted to see how much oil that the cameras were showing was escaping from the well. the spill was not out of mind it was out of sight. and as it turned out unbelievably 62,000 barrels of oil a day were gushing into the gulf into what is one of our most productive ecosystems on the planet. but we would have never gotten
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that had scientists not be able to make their estimates by virtue of the live streaming video that senator boxer and i put up on our web sites so that people unelm -- unemcumbered around the globe could make their estimates. and this is a prime example of why we must independently verify what oil companies tell us about a spill. well so as we got into summer, the prime of the summer beach season especially on our beaches in florida that was devastated and nearly 37% of
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gulf waters were closed to fishing. b.p. and its contractors had no control of the runaway well. and on july the 15th, in the middle of the summer, 87 days after the explosion finally b.p. stopped the oil flowing. well today's the anniversary. our hearts collectively go out to the families that lost the 11 men. and if we don't learn from this experience, shame on us and it will come back to haunt us. and in many ways it already has. if you start at the bottom of the food chain, there are
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impacts on the gulf environment. bull minnows or killy fish -- these are little fish about that size mr. president and they root around in the sediment in the bays of louisiana. and in those oiled louisiana marshes, these little killy fish are showing grotesque deformed gill tissue. and when the killy fish embryos were exposed to the oil cede menltds, they showed heart defects and many had failed to hatch. and two l.s.u. professors told me shortly after they had done the research about a year after the spill that they found that the killy fish in their
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reproductive cycle were mutated and they compared them to the killifish in the bays that did not have the oil come in, and there was a distinct difference between the two. but in the food chain as you go up the food chain the top predators faced threats from the oil. scientists have found unusual lung damage hormone abnormalities, low blood cell counts up the food chain in dolphins who were exposed to the oil. and we're not going to know the full extent of the impact for years even decades. as a matter of fact somebody had said after the b.p. spill had been contained a few months
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after that, that there was no more oil in the gulf. mr. president, there's a lot of oil in the gulf. we just can't see it. it's down there a mile below the surface. and what are the effects on the health the future health of the gulf? we don't know but we're going to have to research it. but even with all that we learned back then in 2010 oil infrastructure in the gulf operated -- this is just unbelievable -- operated by the taylor energy company it continues to leak crude oil since one of the hurricanes years ago. in 2004, a hurricane caused an underwater mudslide that damaged a cluster of oil wells off of
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louisiana. need i remind the senate that june the 1st is the beginning of hurricane season? and so if the we are visited by another hurricane and if it did in 2004 -- that's 11 years ago -- having a cluster of taylor wells that got buried up in an undersea mudslide from the hurricane but the wells are still leaking and that's 11 years later. and what is going to happen to other oil structures in the gulf if the big one comes? according to the associated press investigation the actual flow rate of those taylor wells may be 20 times higher than
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originally reported. we've seen this episode before. i don't think we want to repeat this. and so friday, i talked -- i asked the secretary of homeland security and the secretary of the interior to provide any and all images of the taylor spill. the congress in our oversight responsibility has that right to that information and we've got to know how much oil is escaping and then we've got to get it figured out how to stop it from underneath that undersea mudslide that covered up that cluster of wells. so in the coming weeks on the senate commerce committee we're going to examine what we have learned in five years since the
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deepwater horizon exploded. in 2012 our bipartisan restore act, we got overwhelming votes in both the house and the senate the restore act is a formula in which to send the money that ultimately judge barbier in federal district court in new orleans will decide as a result of the number of barrels spilled and the culpability of the company. and as a result of that, money will flow and will flow back to the local governments will flow back to help the economies of the gulf and will flow back in order to try to protect our environment. there's more to be done. i intend to introduce legislation to make sure that we prevent that we prepare for and
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that the we effectively respond to the next oil spill. and as we reflect on the tragic events of april the 20th had 2010 -- april the 20th, 2010, i hope the senate will be mindful of this tragedy in the gulf that rivetted the attention of the nation that seemed out of control for three months and of which we will have the very infernal consequences for years to come. mr. president, i yield the floor and i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: will the senator withhold his request? under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session to the consider the following nomination, which the clerk will report.
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the clerk: nomination, the judiciary george c. hanks jr. of texas to be united states district judge for the southern district of texas. the presiding officer: under the previous order, there are 16 minutes of debate remaining on the nomination. mr. grassley: mr. president do i have 15 minutes? the presiding officer: the senator is correct. mr. grassley: okay. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: mr. president the first statement unanimous consent that it be placed in the record other than the debate on this nomination. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: the ability of congress to be a check on the actions of the executive branch is being endangered. one of the tools that we in congress have created to help the government identify and correct its mistakes is being obstructed. that tool is the vital work of inspectors general. inspectors general work in
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nearly 80 federal agencies. they perform audits, conduct investigations and issue public reports of their findings and recommendations. they combat waste fraud and abuse. their work is being frustrated, and that's why i'm here. to keep an eye on what is happening inside a government agency the inspector general must be able to access the agency's records and this is exactly what the law calls for. the inspector generals act of 1978 directs that all inspector generals have a right to access all records documents and other materials. all is not the same as some. if the inspector general deems a document necessary to do his job, then the agency should turn it over immediately.
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immediately. but the clear command of that law is being ignored far too often. agencies partially comply or refuse to turn over materials after a lengthy review and screening process by lawyers for the agency. that's a step not included in the i.g. law. the examples range from the environmental protection agency to the f.b.i., and can you believe it, even to the peace corps. the excuses vary, but the pattern is very clear. for example the department of justice office of inspector general is reviewing the department's use of the material witness statute. that statute authorizes detaining certain witnesses for testimony before the grand jury. the inspector general was looking into allegations that the civil rights and the civil
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liberties of certain material witnesses may have been abused. this is just the kind of issue that congress relies on inspectors general to investigate, and if the problems are found the inspector general helps our government identify the problem and helps department leadership fix these problems. naturally, the inspector general needed to review the grand jury testimony to decide if the value of that testimony was reasonable given the burden imposed on the witnesses. three u.s. attorneys' offices and the department's national security division provided the inspector general with the grand jury information concerning material witnesses. but the f.b.i. refused to cooperate. the f.b.i. claimed that the grand jury testimony could not be shared with the inspector
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general. this f.b.i. decision to withhold information was a brand-new practice beginning sometime in 2010. the law was not changed in 2010 so the f.b.i. could do it. the f.b.i. claimed it had the right to refuse to provide the inspector general information in over a dozen other categories as well. now, remember, the law says that the inspector general shall have access to all -- not some -- records documents and other materials that they deem necessary to conduct their investigations. and yet the f.b.i. says its attorneys will review material first and then decide what it would and would not release to the inspector general. now, it even gets worse. the f.b.i. claimed it needed the approval of the attorney general or the deputy attorney general to provide the information to
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the inspector general. this is exactly upside down. under the law an inspector general must be independent. agencies cannot be trusted to investigate themselves. if an inspector general had to ask for permission from senior leadership he would not be truly independent. the inspector generals act of 1978 does allow the attorney general, not f.b.i., to prohibit the inspector general from carrying out or completing an investigation but only in certain limited circumstances. when that extraordinary step is taken, it must be done in writing to the inspector general. and the inspector general must forward that written notice to the congress. the f.b.i. would have us believe that instead of written notice being required to block an i.g.
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investigation, it needs written permission to comply with an investigation. this is simply not how the law is decide to work. so after this controversy took place, congress even took action. we essentially bolded and underlined the provision the inspector general act that ensures access to documents. now, we didn't literally do that but this year's justice department appropriation declares that no funds shall be used to deny the inspector general timely access to all records. the new law also directed the inspector general to report to congress within five days whenever there was a failure to comply with this requirement. since february of this year, we have already received four of those reports that the f.b.i. is still refusing to comply
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regardless of the actions that congress took on the appropriation bill last year. one notice said that the f.b.i. was withholding evidence in two whistle-blower cases. i have written to the f.b.i. twice about these notices and just received a reply from the f.b.i. on wednesday. unfortunately, the f.b.i. ignores most of the questions that i asked and simply reasserts an original position. now, that tells me the f.b.i. thinks that they are above the law. it has an obligation to comply not only with the inspector generals act but also about with instructions congress placed on its appropriations. that means f.b.i. employees cannot legally be spending this their time withholding and review documents before providing those same documents to the inspector general. we must stay vigilant, we must insist that all government
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agencies even including the powerful f.b.i., work with the inspectors general not against them. i applaud my colleagues on the appropriations committee for standing up for inspectors general, and i also urge them to follow through and help make sure that the funding restrictions they put in place are obeyed. as i noticed earl -- noted earlier, the problem is not confined to the f.b.i. or to the department of justice. similar attempts to limit the work of an inspector general have occurred at the e.p.a. and the peace corps. just last year, 47 inspectors general signed a letter to the congress warning of these problems all across government. we all lose when inspectors general are delayed or prevented in doing their work. in every agency where i.g.'s work they help agency management become aware of problems and opportunities to improve government service. so we must support the work of inspectors generals and remind
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government agencies that blocking their investigations is not acceptable. now, to the point of the nomination before us. that we'll be voting on in just a few minutes. tonight the senate will vote on the nomination of george hanks to be a district judge for the southern district of texas. if confirmed judge hanks will be the president's 309th judicial nominee confirmed since this president took office. by comparison, at the same point if in his presidency, president bush had only 273 judicial nominees confirmed. despite some of the complaints we're hearing from my colleagues on the other side, we're moving judicial nominees at about the same pace as we did at this point in president bush's presidency. one difference, of course, is how the senate handled the judicial nominees that were reported out of the committee
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during the lame-duck session. historically the senate doesn't confirm judges at the end of a congress if those judges are reported out of committee during a lame duck. the reason for this, of course, is so that the newly elected members have an opportunity for their voices to be heard. for instance, that's what happened in 2006 when the senate returned 13 judicial nominees to the president. those nominees were then renominated in 2007 and eventually confirmed in the new congress. but the senate democrats didn't follow transition last year -- tradition last year, instead of following standard practice, senate democrats confirmed 11 judicial nominees who were reported out of committee during the lame-duck session. had they followed standard practice we would have voted on those nominees at the beginning of this year just as the committee did with the
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nominees that were resubmitted in 2007. at the end of the day when we include the 11 district court nominees that were confirmed at the end of last year, we're at about the same pace that the democrat-led senate was in 2007 under the -- during the bush administration. this is further confirmed when you compare the committee's work this year to 2007. in 2007, at this point in the congress the committee had held three nominee hearings for a total of ten judges. as of right now the judiciary committee has already held four nomination hearings for a total of ten nominees. these nominees include six judges and four executive nominees including both the attorney general and the deputy attorney general nominees. the bottom line is, the senate judiciary committee is treating
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the president's nominees extremely fairly. he has had dozens more nominees confirmed than president bush did at this point in his presidency and i expect another one will be confirmed tonight and i congratulate judge hanks on his pending nomination and urge my colleagues to vote accordingly. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: i ask that the calling of the quorum be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. the question is on the hanks nomination. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll.
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not this vote is 91 yeas, zero nay. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid on the table. the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action, and the senate will resume legislative session.
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mr. barrasso: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you, mr. president. i ask unanimous consent that the senate be in a period of morning business with senators prime ministeredprime-- permitted tospeak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. reed: mr. president i rise today along with my colleague, senator whitehouse, to congratulate the province college men's ice hockey team on winning the 2015 ncaa division i national championship. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senator is recognized. mr. reed: thank you, mr. president. let me once again indicate that i stand with great pleasure and pride along with senator whitehouse to congratulate the province college men's hockey team on winning the 2015 ncaa division i national championship. i am pleased to work with my colleague, senator whitehouse, in passing a legislation last
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week to honor this great accomplishment. this is the first national championship in the history of p.c.'s men's hockey program and i am a sure this season will be long lettered by players -- remembered by players coaches and fans. including a career high 49 saves by goaltender john willie and one goal from anthony florentino. i would like to congratulate all the pry yarr players whose hard work and dedication made this successful season possible. the 2015 p.c.'s men's hockey team consisted of rhode island's own knoll arsiarti, mark adams alex cromwell, nick he will list, john gilli sext, john gilmore mark jankowski konan
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mcfay, steven mcfarland josh monk, tom parisi, truman reed nick zarsino and jake walman. i apoll jayce apologize for my rhode island accent. i would also like to extend my best wishes to drew, who was battling a rare form of bone cancer. he contributed in many ways to the success of the teement. i want to recognize the coach and staff whose commitment and preemtion was essential to winning this national chafn onship. especially head coach nate liman. the other coaches and staff of the 2015 p.c. men's hockey team were associate head coach miller coordinator of men's
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hockey operations kyl murphy and goaltending coach jim mcniff. iagain, i join many in the state of rhode island and around the hockey world in congratulating the providence college men's hockey team on their incredible national champ yopship appeared wish them continued success in the future, and i'm proud to be able to yield the the floor to my colleague senator whitehouse. mr. whitehouse: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: mr. president i am very pleased and also very proud to follow my senior colleague and to join senator reed in congratulating our providence college men's ice hockey team in wing its first ever national championship. the friars edged out boston university 4-3 a week ago sat
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saturday night in p.c.'s first trip to the frozen four in 30 years. the bupc event was a southern new england showdown that brought more than 18,000 hockey fans to boston's t.d. garden. playing so close to home, p.c. had plenty of support from the stands. they also had a little bit of good luck. but it was more than luck that put providence college over the top. those kids played their hearts out. and forward bran deny tanif f's goal was no fluke. the pry yarrs earned that victory and rhode islanders couldn't be more proud of them. head coach nate liman said that when it gets to be that late in the season, and when there's that kind of championship pressure you win he said, with guys that are gritty. well senator reed and i are excited to join providence
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college president father bryan shandly and the entire p.c. community in celebrating this historic win. congratulations to coach liman and his staff to goalie john gillius, hoves named frozen four most outstanding player and towel all the p.c. players who fought so hard all season to this wonderful result. as junior forward knoll acharri put it, "we might be a small state, but we're hard workers." well-done friars. you are indeed hard workers and your hard work paid off. i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the majority leader of the senate. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of h. con. res. 34 which is at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: house current resolution 34 authorizing the
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use of emancipation local in the capitol visitors center for a ceremony to visit the congressional gold medal to the american fighter aces. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the occurrence resolution be agreed to and the motion to reconsider considered made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate of the united states proceed to the consideration of s. res. 141 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 141 supporting the goals and ideals of take our daughters and sons to work day. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now mr. president, i ask unanimous consent when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 10:00 a.m.
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tuesday, april 21, following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings approved to date, and the time for the two leaders reserved for their use later in the day. following leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business for up to one hour with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each with the time equally divided, and that the majority control the first half and the democrats control the final half. following morning business, the senate resume consideration of s. 178 finally that the senate recess from 12:30 to 2:15 to allow for the weekly conference luncheons. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: if there is no further business to come before the senate i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate will stand adjourned
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>> what we are challenging his reclassification of internet access from being an information service to a telecommunications service regulated as a common carrier pursuant to 19th century railroad regulation. common carriage is a vestige of a english common law. it was originally applied applied to railroads in the trucking companies and then the airlines but it's been repealed for all of those industries going on over 30 years ago because proved costs on consumers yet delayed deployment deployment, slowed innovation and really chilled investment. >> with that the great that net neutrality but the texans are important and that's an important thing to start with, but we do disagree with the lawsuit. we have been very supportive of the rules that the fcc enacted and have now become a force of
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law. we think that after a decade of working towards a way to have net neutrality rules that can hold up in court that this is the strongest set of net neutrality protections that we have seen in the three different attempts at the agency to ensure that the internet remains open.
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>> next a look at the release of the government accountability's office annual report on federal programs and why there is redundancy and other branches of government. it's from today's "washington journal." >> host: on monday our final hour at the "washington journal" return to how your taxpayer dollars are being spent part of our weekly your money conversation today we are taking a look at the gao's fifth report on redundant federal programs. nikki flowers is here and she is co-author of this report and this is the fifth one nikki clowers. show our viewers some examples about we are talking about here. he found 112 mental health programs across aid agencies, 42 medical transport services at six federal departments, a eight federal agencies are involved in consumer product safety and two separate agencies expect the same federal laboratories yearly. that's just some of the
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highlights of these redundant programs. how do you go about finding these redundant programs and overall, what's this fifth report main do you think for the federal government? >> guest: first thanks for having me today. i appreciate it. we find these opportunities to reduce duplication or achieve other savings through our routine audit work. as you know the mission of gao is to improve the performance and accountability of the government so that leads us to follow the federal dollar wherever they may go. so we are often in federal departments looking for opportunities to improve efficiency and effectiveness and reduce the opportunity, reduce fragmentation or duplication. it's one of the ways we can up improve the effectiveness and efficiency and issue illustrate with your examples the areas covered in our five years of reporting really touch on the spectrum of government programs from defense to help to transportation.
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>> host: why do you do this report? >> guest: we require by law to annually examine issues of duplication across the government. in addition to examining looking for opportunities to reduce duplication we also include opportunities to achieve cost savings or revenue enhancement in this report as well. we need to give attention to these issues by packaging them together to how to get traction on addressing these issues. >> host: let's talk about this fifth report that came out last week. what is the take-away for you and how much money are we talking about this being spent on redundant programs? >> guest: in this year's report reads found 24 areas that need re-examination. that's 12 areas where we have found evidence of fragmentation of duplication and 12 areas where we found opportunities for enhanced revenue or cost savings. addressing these issues could achieve tens of millions of dollars in savings for the
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government. >> host: the gao has been doing this report for five years and started tracking redundant programs back in 2011. they have made 440 recommendations for consolidation to congress and to the white house. only 37% of those programs have been addressed. at a savings of $20 billion so of those 440 recommendations how many have congress and the white house have said you are right we would get rid of this program? >> guest: as you mentioned 37% are fully addressed in another 40% are in some stage of implementation. as you also mention that has resulted in significant savings to date $20 billion to date with another $80 billion expected through 2023. we are pleased to see steady progress. >> host: how much more remains to be done? >> guest: we have opportunities for consolidation for government where we have identified opportunities to enhance collaboration among the agencies where we believe
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additional collaboration could produce inefficiencies. one example i will give you is in the consumer product safety area where we identified over 20 agencies in that arena and as a result we found that there is unclear roles and in some cases agencies may be stepping on each other's toes but also creating regulatory gaps. we make a recommendation to congress to create a formal coordination mechanism to help ensure that these roles are clearly delineated. >> host: we are talking about redundant programs. nicole clowers from the government icon billy office. republicans (202)748-8801, democrats (202)748-8000 and anna pencemack (202)748-8002 and the fourth one this morning for federal employees really want to hear from you on this topic as well. (202)748-8003. call in and tell us what you are seeing on the ground as a work
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in the federal government. nicole clowers isn't some redundancy a good thing? if you have different agencies that are responsible for different aspects of a federal program? >> guest: absolutely and in fact we know that in the report and that's one of the reasons we distinguish between fragmentation overlap and duplication. i like to think of them as being on a continuance on the one hand you have fragmentation which we defined as having multiple agencies in the same area of national interest. as you suggest in some cases that's appropriate. you want multiple agencies coming together bringing their resources to bear on a particular pressing need. but what we highlight in our highlight in a report as we have multiple agencies together that are not properly coordinating for example or there are some inefficiencies or bad effect that we find the fragmentation. moving over little bit we find overlap having multiple agents
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providing similar services to similar populations and again that can create inefficiencies. those fragmentation overlap can be a harbinger for duplication which is on the far end of the continuum where you have multiple agencies providing the same services are the same benefits to the same populations. as you can see as you move along there's the potential for greater bad effect. >> host: what prompted the gao to have to do this first report in 2011? was a member of congress and also how did we get to this point of so many redundant federal programs? >> guest: it was acquired by congress and public law that we began examining on an annual basis opportunities to reduce duplication and in terms of how we got to this place really the root cause for any duplication or overlap or fragmentation that we find can vary by program. in some cases we can imagine that programs evolve over time. you might have a little mission
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creep -- mission creep that starts to overlap with other programs. in other cases programs are created because existing programs aren't effectively working so another program is created to help achieve the intended public service. also one of the things we highlight in our purported key issue is a lack of visibility. there is not good information on existing programs across the federal government. there is not a centralized list that either congressman, congresswoman policymakers can go to to see if program a program exists in a particular area before they created one. >> host: we are talking about 45 billion spent in redundant header programs in 2014. the government accountability office out with their latest report on this. linda in milford connecticut, democrat, hi window. good morning. >> caller: good morning. my question is regarding overlap between government states and
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private industry. you also looked to see if federal dollars are being used to overlap at the state level but more importantly with private contractors. it seems as though many times when we are dealing with state or federal issues, somewhere in the middle there's a contractor. i was wondering if that's something you look at to see if there's wasteful spending there is while? >> host: nicole clowers go ahead. guess that thank you for the question. that's a great question. in past reports we have focused on the federal level looking at evidence for duplication and overlap or fragmentation at the federal level. this year we included looking at export promotion at the federal and state level so we did that vertical look that you were mentioning looking at whether we found in the overlap fragmentation or duplication among federal and state efforts and they export or motion arena.
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we did find fragmentation and pork potential overlap. a number of federal agencies are involved in that area and they will be working in the states and sometimes that's not properly coordinated. that can create inefficient use of resources. so that's one example of where we included and addressed it as state issues. the issue of private contractors is interesting. it came up in one of the issues we raised this year in the area of homeland security where we are looking at a vulnerability assessment of critical infrastructure. we found that there are five components within the department of homeland security that conduct vulnerability assessments. a private-sector infrastructure or other critical infrastructure across the country. it in inefficient private sector companies are responsible for conducting vulnerability assessments. what we heard when we were out in the field, there's a lot of fatigue especially federal
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fatigue of people coming out conducting the same types of assessments that we make recommendations to enhance the coordination that area. >> host: davis next in bettendorf iwan federal employee and independent caller. go ahead, dave. >> caller: hi. i wanted to know what you have on the various authentication used within the federal government. the department of homeland security is a different system different cards to authenticate and it seems like every time he wants to use one of their systems which sometimes they do have to use each other's information systems you have to have different methods. what have you all done with regards to that and i will take my answer off-line. thank you. >> guest: , thank you. we in this year's report we did not examine those types of
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issues. in the past we have looked at different agencies, security clearance processes and have found opportunities for greater efficiency and coordination. >> host: steve, lewis center ohio, republican. >> caller: first of all let me thank you for your service. i would also like to state that i'm a fiscal conservative. i am socially liberal and independent across all three but couldn't sequestration -- is the white house communicating with the gao because they should've been part of sequestration. it would have saved $45 billion the prior year monies that could have been used so we wouldn't have to cut the these other key areas to what is the relationship with regard to what you do at the white house so sequestration wouldn't be punitive that way it was across-the-board without any kind of discretion as to which area the cuts were made? >> guest: no i appreciate that question that's one of the ways we frame this report given the
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nation's fiscal condition. it's important we are always looking for opportunities for efficiencies and effectiveness and one of the ways you can achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness is to root out issues of duplication and overlap in fragmentation. throughout her work we have continuous communication with office of management and budget sharing what we are learning in the field. they are very eager to know how agencies are making progress on past recommendations. they encourage agencies to take these actions as we make them. we also work with congressional committee sharing our results and providing technical assistance is appropriate so they can take action. so this is very much a very important body of work that could be used to help achieve significant cost savings. >> host: the gao what has come up with 440 recommendations over
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the past five years. they have been doing this report on redundant programs. it's our conversation this morning part of our your money weekly conversation on mondays and the last hour of the "washington journal." phone lines republicans 202-74-8801 democrats 2027488000 and independents -- and afford fine for federal employees. tell us what you think about redundant programs in the government two in the government (202)748-8003. nicole clowers is the co-author of this redundant programs report from the gao. jim annan cautioned new york and independent caller. i met jim. >> caller: yes, hi. >> host: good morning jim you are in the air. >> caller: good morning. i was just wondering if you are guest takes account any of the studies that senator coburn had
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done over the years. it seems like he had been doing a similar type of analysis on government spending during a period of time. i think he classified a lot of his work as -- and i was wondering if you take into account any of the studies that have previously been done? thank you. >> guest: thanks jim that's a very good question and we do take into account studies not only produced through the senator's office as well as studies produced about the government whether it be from legislative bodies such as the congressional budget office or other agencies. dr. coburn as you may know was the author of the amendment that required this gao study that was enacted into law in 2011 and we have worked frequently with this office especially when he was a member of leadership on the
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senate homeland security and government affairs committee which is a committee that takes great interest in this body of work. >> host: the headline in the "usa today" last week when the report was released the usa has 402 ways to gauge the doctor. can you explain? >> guest: that refers to when we were examining the overlap and non-emergency medical transportation. we found overlap in 42 programs offered by six different agencies to provide transportation to those who may not be able to provide transportation for themselves due to disability aids or other factors. what we found is there is not sufficient coordination to prevent overlap in the services and in particular once you get to the state level 2 major players, medicare medicaid and va do not dissipate in coordinating efforts. so we make recommendations in the area to enhance coordination to ensure these resources are
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efficiently provided. everyone is leveraging their resources and not overlapping. >> host: andrew new jersey independent caller. good morning. >> caller: good morning greta. you know i think the american people will tell the people at the trail of democracy even though it came out in 1992 and 94 is relevant today in washington d.c. is known as the grand bizarre where everything is up or grabs and paid for by the taxpayers of this country. thank you so much and keep on rolling. >> host: we will go to ted in los angeles, a federal employee. hi said. >> caller: good morning. the point i would like to make as a former federal employee, i worked with the social security administration and i think the biggest waste that they have is
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a social security card itself. they manufactured this paper card that requires a great deal of cost just to produce it and it doesn't last long and by updating the social security card with say a picture card it would reduce fraud. it would solve the problem of voter registration but the social security administration for some reason will not change that card from paper to modern-day plastic. that's the point i wanted to make. >> host: nicole clowers annie thoughts on how federal government has done things over the years incorporating new technology to reduce redundant programs and save money? >> guest: for this year's report we didn't address this issue but gao has looked at different services that the government has provided and looking for ways to move us to
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the 21st century. using technology and moving away from paper-based products. one area that we did look at in the social security administration this year and this year's report was the children's disability review. we found that we could save over $3 period if the social security administration in particular deducted the reviews -- conducted the reviews on children's disability claims on a regular basis. we found a number of reviews that are supposed to happen on the periodic aces do not happen and either there's a significant delay or they don't have it at all. as a result there may be improper payments in this area. so we make recommendations to address this then again at significant savings of $3 billion. >> host: that's one entitlement program. you have medicare as well and congress house-senate negotiators on the budget are getting together in public for
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the first time to talk about budget blueprints for 2016. a lot of conversation about what should be done about and medicare not just now put into the future. when gao looks at medical art -- medicare can you give us examples where there's redundancy there? >> guest: in terms of a body of work we have done outside of redundancy in this arena often falls on the cost-saving side where we find opportunities for significant savings in medicare whether it be program integrity or proper payment issues. better coding could create more efficiencies. for this year's report we do touch on medicare and a couple of ways. in particular we are looking at the department of defense health care plans. we find opportunities for savings but regarding medicare we looked at cancer hospitals. there are 11 cancer hospitals
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across the country that are paid a little differently under medicare then other hospitals. they are given paid based on actual cost rather than the negotiated fee. as a result we find significant savings to be had if we move these 11 cancer hospitals to be in line with the other hospitals to provide more services. we are talking about significant dollars. it's about finding dollars annually that could be saved if all hospitals were treated equally under medicare for cancer services. >> host: bill on twitter wants to know how many veterans jobs assistance programs do we have now, eight or 10? it raises the question about congress something happens in the news. there is controversy in congress quickly passes legislation to address an issue and venue of the federal program after federal program doing the same thing. >> guest: that's a great
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question and that is something that could happen. there's a great interest to address particular problems that come up and everyone is doing for the right purposes but that lack of visibility that i talked about earlier not knowing which programs already exist or which programs are effectively working. that is needed to inform decisions. in terms of veterans deployment we didn't look at it this year but we have had it in our past body of work where we have found multiple programs designed to help veterans that it made recommendations began for better coordination so we are ensuring we are maximizing every dollar. >> host: ireland republicans steve in idaho. good morning to you. >> caller: good morning. my question for nicole is this. we live in the inner mountain area in idaho in particular. i would like to know why we can't get more money into our infrastructure and put some money into serious country
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infrastructure. that's all and thank you and have a good morning. >> guest: thank you for the question. your question reminds me of one issue that we examined in this year's report where we found opportunities for significant revenue enhancements. that was the strategic petroleum reserve where currently it's valued at $45 billion. we made recommendations that the government should re-examine the size of that reserve. right now we exceed international standards for the amount of reserve that we have and we believe that the government should examine whether we need to maintain those levels of reserves that again received international standards given our domestic reduction right now as well. so we know that if the size of the reserve is too large we could sell off some of those
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reserves creating significant revenue that could be used for other national priorities as congress and the administration determined. >> host: kenny bill azeri, mike independent line. >> caller: good morning to you both and thank you for the program. you guys are truly the heartbeat of america's far as i'm concerned. someday i hope you guys do a round robin with a host of the show. it's kind of a branch off to what you're talking about. there is a fellow with him 11th grade education that got into middle-management. i found out you have to spend it if you got it at the end of the month. i wonder if you guys have ever talked about that and it's a big waste. i saw it happen to a company that went from a mom-and-pop tour corp. and it made no sense
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to me. somebody explained it's like your check book at home and i said no in your checkbook at home if you save money they are going to take it away from you and penalize you for it. >> host: let's talk about that concept with the federal government. >> guest: you are correct. there can be a lack of incentives for achieving greater efficiency in the agencies if they identified potential savings are recommendations and cuts to programs. they don't necessarily receive additional funding next year. that was one of the areas that i know, one of the issues we have talked about and testifying on this body of work is looking at the incentive structures or agencies to encourage action particularly for example in the strategic sourcing area where we find the government could do a better job of leveraging its buying power and achieve significant savings through that
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leveraging of buying power. again we have to look at the behaviors in the incentive structures that would encourage agencies to move towards strategic sourcing rather than what they're currently doing. >> host: larry a republican, good morning to you. welcome to the conversation. >> caller: good morning and thank you for your service. it's really exciting to actually see a bill that is actually being acted upon and you are having a positive effect on the american public. my question is, is that report available to the public, who do we order it through and do you have any idea the cost? >> guest: thank you for your comments and yes, you can obtain a free copy from gao if you go to you can find not only this year's report but our previous four reports on line. you can view it both on line if you set up an inaccurate --
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interactive way and you can put up copies. it's very long so i would encourage looking at it on line before you hit the print button. in addition to the reports there are couple of other tools on a web site that you might find interesting. first two years ago we created what we refer to as the action tracker relist all her previous recommendations from this body of work. fewer and just in a particular topic you can go to find the link for duplications and you will see another link for the action tracker. you can go into the action tracker search by agency or topic pull up those relevant recommendations find what we have previously reported in the recommendations we have made and importantly what progress has been made. so this is publicly available. we updated twice a year so that's information for the public and the congress and other policymakers. in addition this year we added a
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new tool to our web site and this is really for policymakers and analysts across the government to help them identify instances of fragmentation overlap and duplication. we refer to it as a management and evaluation guide. it contains two parts. one is designed specifically for policymakers. the other is designed for analysts and it's really a series of questions that would lead analysts are policymakers through the process of identifying duplication overlap or fragmentation starting from the very beginning defining the problem thinking about what type of data is needed what type of valuation could be used in possible ideas for crafting recommendations. this is a net interactive tool. we have added it to our web site and we think it will be useful for both analysts and policymakers across the country. >> host: over the past five years is gao -- gao has done this report where do you find
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the most redundancy? >> guest: it would probably not surprise you that we have made the most recommendations to the largest agencies. we made the most recommendations to agencies such as the department of defense, health and human services treasury but with that said this issue of duplication and fragmentation is something we find across the government. we have made recommendations to all cabinet departments to the department of work as well as 15 other agencies so it's not something that's isolated. >> host: elizabeth david on twitter wants to know his military redundancy okay but food for poor programs not? >> guest: no there is redundancy in any fashion regardless of programs that create inefficiency and something we need to examine as a nation. and have data brought to bear to make informed decisions about
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how we can better identify them identify and address it. >> host: steve and sharon massachusetts, democrat. >> caller: good morning. i have a question for nicole. the bill that senator coburn got past to do the study by the gao has been completed now in its entirety is my understanding. is that correct? >> guest: no, the requirement for us to conduct this study is an annual requirement and it doesn't sunset. so we have conducted for reviews and issued five reports now as of this past april. as soon as we fission -- finish that report they will start a report for next year. this is something we will continue to do to highlight these issues both for congress and the executive branch agencies. >> host: does gao know how
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much it costs an agency to do this report? >> guest: it's significant. it requires significant resources across the agency. all of our different teams are divided by teams based on subject matter expertise and all of our institutional knowledge and expertise. the good news for us is over the years we have been able to incorporate this into our routine audits. we are conducting audits every year so now when we are out of the out of the feel this is one of the questions we build in is this area of opportunity to reduce any duplication overlap or fragmentation that we see so we have become much more efficient in carrying out this. >> host: all year long you are collecting data for this annual report. >> guest: what we do for annual report is based on gao reports that we have issued throughout the year but we rolled them up the ones that have evidence of duplication
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overlap or fragmentation and pulled us together where we highlight them again for policymakers. >> host: this person must know and twitter for consolidate services how can we be certain that we would be spending less and doing things more efficiently? just go services in terms of all government services? that's an important questions and one of the issues we have raised in this body of work is that we need better performance information in terms of what's working and what's not working. we can identify for example over 40 employment and training programs so we don't know which are working and which ones should be kept and which ones not and which ones should be consolidated or eliminated. we need reform and information to help make informed decisions as if you were suggesting. >> host: beverly is a democrat in ohio. good morning to you. >> caller: good morning. nicole i would like to talk to you about medicaid.
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in our state of ohio we have a john kasich and he has cut everything out that he can cut. i can name 12 or 15 things that he has cut but the last one a week or so ago charging 20 to $25 for every medicaid person. i could go on and talk more about how the doctors are operating on people that donate in operation. that happened to me three times where i was diagnosed with different things. i had a second opinion and i didn't have that. i and the patterson patient and a cancer patient and these doctors have here are getting by
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with doing operations when it's the wrong thing. >> host: nicole clowers. >> guest: beverly we didn't examine those types of issues that you talk about but i would encourage you to go to our web site and you'll find numerous reports on the medicaid program that you may find an interest in and there's also contact information for each of those reports. >> host: this is a question from one of our viewers on twitter. if one food program serves only seniors, one only families with children and the supplements provided are different are they redundant? >> there are not necessarily redundant if they are serving different populations and have different missions. one might consider those types of programs fragmented and we would examine it to see if that's creating any inefficiencies and opportunities for them to better leverage their resources.
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>> host: dover new hampshire margaret independent caller. >> caller: hi. i actually don't know whether you have looked at this problem but quite a few years ago i was interested in getting a federal job. at the post office there was a computer of sorts and i applied for a number of jobs in a number of departments. i was shocked when i got these big heavy packets applications all completely different and i just gave up. i thought, this is ridiculous. i spent five years in human resources so i knew better. what i'm wondering now is there a scandal -- standard form for people to apply for federal jobs? you could always have a supplement for a specialty that each person with me but by and large i think it would a really good for those of us who would
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like a federal job. >> guest: thank you margaret for the question. we didn't examine that issue in this part of the report but again i would encourage you to go to we examine federal hiring issues and other human capital issues across the government and issue a number of reports. i would encourage you to go to our web site and see if we have examined the issues you are raising. >> host: cleveland ohio, republican. >> caller: oh yes. i wanted to ask about the cdbg program, how many cities get cdbg funds and how much because i don't number of cities get it. originally in the 70s when it started it was for elimination of islam and polite and now it is just turns into a building
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come program that is supposed to help people but it's used for many different things including putting up cities and things of that sort at a time when the city has had great problems with the budget. >> host: okay barbara. nicole clowers. >> guest: we didn't look at that particular program but we have examined programs in the past for the department of justice, grant programs or fema grants and citizens have found opportunities for better coordination and to ensure there is no overlap in the grand that the federal government is providing. >> host: jason hyattsville maryland hi jason. >> caller: good morning. it seems to me it would be logical with the departments and just looking at where all the money is dod has a rather unique mission that health and human services has a recent retiree from their there is so much
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money that goes through their and there already is a shared service provider within that organization within hhs. none of the operational divisions are required for told to use that shared service provider. i think that would have a lot of taxpayer savings. thank you. >> guest: we have looked at shared service opportunities in past reports and have found in particular areas where there are greater efficiencies if you want to use shared services on a more frequent basis. >> host: we are talking with nikki clowers the co-author of an annual report by the government accountability office on redundant federal programs. we have about five minutes left. part of our week or your money conversation how your taxpayer dollars being spent and according to this report 45 billion spent on redundant
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federal programs in 2014. there is the report on your screen. you can find it on gao's web site viviana janer says look at all the work congress could be doing to save money instead of trying to repeal obamacare. george in madison wisconsin, democratic caller. hi george. >> caller: yeah i was wondering disability was supposed to run out in 2016 and i was wondering if it was funded under the region -- recent budget? >> guest: i'm not sure of the answer. we have looked at disability programs in the past in this body of work whether it be programs for employment were also opportunities for cost savings where beneficiaries might receive unemployment and disability insurance and in those cases the government would be replacing lost wages not once but twice. we have included those issues in
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the past and made recommendations to both agencies as well as the congress to address issues. >> host: how do agencies react to this report and the recommendations that you make for them? >> guest: generally we get agreement with the recommendations that we have made. as you may know before we issue a product we share the draft report with the responsible agencies to obtain what we refer to as agents of providence who they have an opportunity to react to what we are saying and make suggestions or also the opportunity to disagree with us if they disagree we reprint their disagreement and what we think about their disagreement. in general we find agreement with what we are seeing in this body of work which is collected in the fact that we have mage -- made such steady progress in the last four years and we have 37%
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recommendations addressed as well as 40% that are in some stage of implementation. >> host: who does the addressing? is that the federal agency itself or federal agency is out for the congressman says now we are going to write into law in this appropriations bill or this operations bill for the pentagon let's say that they are going to reduce this program or do something with this redundancy to save money. 's. >> guest: i can be both and frequently does both patients and congress taking action. a couple of years ago we made a recommendation in the area of combat uniforms. we found the different services were pursuing different acquisition strategies in different families of camouflage for their services. we found that created efficiencies but also potentially put our servicemen and women at greater risk on the battlefield. we made recommendations that
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they should better coordinate these efforts and not only did the department of defense took action by congress took action as well. as a result the army decided not to pursue a new family of camouflage saving $4.2 billion. >> host: one of our viewers and twitter wants to know explain how you differentiate between redundancy overlap and fragmentation. >> guest: certainly. on fragmentation we defined it as multiple agencies being involved in the same area. .. one of the examples we gave was nonemergency medical transportation. we had 42 programs across six agencies providing similar services to similar populations. and then on the far end of the continuum, we have duplication.
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that is where we have multiple agencies providing the same services to the same beneficiaries. the one example we did not talk about yet was duplication in the department of defense's health care system. there is a component within >> refer to as the family health plan and provides the same benefits as the tri-care family plans. the family health care plan was created in 1982 and tri-care introduced in the '90s and provides benefits to military beneficiaries across the country. we found there is a decline in the benefits being provided and eliminateing the family health plan can save millions of dollars. >> that is one example of many in the latest report on
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redundant federal programs. is the website. you can find a federal program and the action tracker they have and the actions they have taken to address redundancy. >> tomorrow on washington general, linda dempsey discusses fast track authority and president obama's powers on negotiating the transatlantic partnership. and then looking at the role of the day and pushing for discrimination protection. and plus your phone calls, facebook compments and tweets. washington journal live at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> c-span 2 provided live
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coverage of the senate floor proceedings. and every weekend, booktv, now for 15 years, the only television network devoted to non-fiction books and author. created by the cable industry and brought to you by your local provider. like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. >> this year bobby jindel spoke out in the state that holds the first national primary. thus is 30 minutes. -- this -- [applause] >> thank you so much. thank you very much. i want to thank the republican party for hosting us and commend
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them for partnering with a wonderful organization and supporting women who have been victims of the most horrible crimes. i want to thank you for allowing me to speak. i want to tell you what i want to talk about today. i want to talk about the need for fairness in our tax code cyst'system system. the need to pay more taxes to the government. i want to talk about the great success president obama has done in the middle east the historic agreement with iran and i want to talk about my grand parents who immigrated -- i am sorry, i have the wrong notes. this is hilary clinton's speech. this isn't my speech. [applause] >> delete all that, forget all that, nevermind all of that. what i really want to talk about is what worries me the most.
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i had to think long and hard about it. what worries me most about the president obama's legacy. you think of everything he has done with the country. $18 trillion in debt obamacare, failed foreign policy and refusing to stand with israel. so much of this can be undone by a conservative in the whitehouse. the thing that concerns me the most is what the president is doing to redefine america and the american dream. you listen to his speeches, watch his policies this president seems intent on dividing by class, race, geography, race, gender and income. this president is trying teach us america is about redistribution and a larger more intrusive government. that is not the american dream my parents taught me. the american dream i learned about was an america where our best days are always ahead of us not behind us. an american where the
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circumstances of your birth don't determine your outcomes as an adult. an america where if you are willing to work hard there is no limit on what you can accomplish. where you don't have to be born to the right parents, right zip code or wealthy family to do great things. my parents may have lived the american dream. i want to briefly share their experience with you. my dad is one of nine. grew up in a house with electricity and running water. was the only one in the family to get past the fifth grade. i know because we heard these stories every single day growing up. that is right. it wasn't snow but it was uphill to school and back. you had that kind of father too? try to get an allowance from a father like that. good luck. here is the amazing thing about my parent's story. over 40 years ago, my dad and
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his pregnant wife came half way across the world to baton rouge, louisiana. they had never been on a plane. the first time they get on the plane they are flying to america. there was no internet or google. they could not go online and search and see what kind of place a baton rouge was. they had never met anybody who had been the and could come back and tell them what it was like. yet they came. they were coming to an idea as much as the geography. they were coming for freedom and opportunity. they were coming for the american dream. when they landed by mom went to school at lsu. my dad needed money. he opened up the yellow pages calling company after company looking for a job. i don't know how many weeks, days and hours this took. i don't know how many people slammed the phone down or laughed at him. but he finally convinced a guy
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from a railroad company to give him a chance. the man says you can start monday morning. dad hasn't met the guy, but tells this brand new boss that is great. says i don't have a car or drivers license so you will have to pick me up on the way to work monday morning. who does that? and the guy was so taken my his excitement to work that is what he did. six months later i was born. i was what you would polightly call a pre-existing condition. i was born in a woman's hospital where two of our three children were born years later. this is what i love about what happens next. my dad goes to the doctor after i was born, says look my insurance isn't covering this birth, and he shook hands with
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the doctor. he said i am going to send you a check every month until i pay this bill in full. no contract paperwork, government program, just two guys shaking hands in the hospital because that is how you did things back then. i don't know how it would work today. it is more complicated. i had great insurance and we had to fill out pages of paperwork when our kids were born. i asked my dad how do pay for a baby on lay away? if you skip the payment, can they take the baby back? he tells me you were such a bad little baby he would have skipped a payment and sent you back. he said no no you are paid for. the third child was supposed to be born there but that was the child that was born at home and that is a whole another story.
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i will tell you we didn't do on purpose and every man you need to go home and thank your wives, mom and sister there is a reason the good lord let's women, not men, have babies. i don't care how tough you are. the dumbest thing i heard ever was at church and a guy said the exact same thing happened to me. i said what do you mean? and he said i had a kidney stone and i said unless it was a nine-pound kidney stone i would not tell my wife. mark twain says the older we get the smarter our parents become. i don't know about you but i am discovering that and i am discovering the older i am getting the more i turn into my father. and i hate it. i find myself saying things he told me and i swore i would never say to my child. like crazy things like if all of
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your friends jumped off a bridge would you? no idea what it means but i say it to my kids. he said you don't live in a democracy under my roof. this is a dictatorship. i say it to my kids. there are two things he said i want to focus on today. he used to tell my brother and me this. he would say son i am not giving you a famous last night or inheritance. i will make sure you get a great education because if you do and work hard there is no limit on what you can accomplish in this great county. the second thing he would say, tell me and my brother every night, you need to get on your knees and thank god that you are blessed to be born in the greatest country in the history of the world. the united states of america. [applause]
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>> i didn't appreciate this as a child. everybody i knew was born in america. now i am understanding that i am raising my own children. in louisiana, we have fought hard to preserve dream for our children and grandchildren. the first issue, and jennifer talked about this we fought for school choice. in america we like to say we have educational opportunity in our country. it sounds great. every child should have the chance to get a great education. but it is also not true. a child's zip code too often determines if the child is getting a good education. if you are wealthy and live in a great neighborhood your child can go to a great public school or you can save and send them to a public school. but if you live in a poor is zip
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code your child is trapped. this is bad for the economy and other indicators. we live in an aspirational society and want children to do better than their parents. we have a moral imperative; the definition of the american dream is our children should be able to work hard and do better. we are a self-govern republic and need to teach the next generation to think for themselves and train the next generation of leaders. it is why the country funded public education in the first place. you have leaders like your governor, and president obama that are standing in the way of school choice. it is not complicated but it boils down to this: instead of forcing the children to follow the dollars, we should let the dollar follow the child. [applause]
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>> in new orleans, 90% of our children are in charter schools and doubled the percentage in reading and math in five years. in louisiana, we have state wide choice where parents can send their children to private schools, independent schools, and i have heard moms tell me this is the first time their children brought home homework or wearing uniform or thinking about going to school beyond high school. the first time they feel like their children are safe in school. i am not here to say every child should go to a private school. you can start in a public school and take courses from private and we have a rebate like we have here. i am here to say every child learns differently. public school charter schools, home schooling, online schools, we trust parents.
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the unions think differently. the head of a union in new orleans, the teacher union said this parents don't have a include when it comes to making choices for their children. that is what this debate is all about. i met with moms the next day who said we make choices for our children every day and we know the needs of your children better than the bureaucrats in louisiana or washington, d.c. whether this is about drinking a big gulp in new york it is all the same thing. it is the same elitest mind set they know better than us that leads your governor and others to force common core into the local classrooms all across the country. i am hear to tell you you we have to get rid of common core. [applause]
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>> now a lot of politicians say they are against common core. i am in federal court suing president obama and duncan saying they have violated the constitution and federal law to try to force common core in the classroom. [applause] >> i am all for high standards. my problem with common core is two-fold. we have never allowed the federal government to make curriculum decisions. today it is matt and ela what is tomorrow? will they dictate how we teach american history? can you imagine? it could be about victimhood. we have the first president in the whitehouse who doesn't believe in american exceptionalism. i said president obama is the worst president since jimmy carter.
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but i was wrong. and i admitted i was wrong. after the election i went to a speech in washington, d.c. and apologized to the president for being disrespectful. that was disrespectful to jimmy carter. jimmy carter was just incomptent but he believes in american exceptional ism. any parent and i have three school-age children, any parent trying to help their child do common core mact knows what i am about to say. my little boy is eight. he was in the second grade last year does well in math gets all of the answers right and he had a test from his teacher in second grade brought it home and half the test was getting the answers right. 18 plus 4 is 22. addiction and subtraction.
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you added up the numbers in the column and carried the digits. the other half you had to show why your answer was right using common core method. 18 is 20 minus 2. and it is 20 minus 2 plus 4 and you need circles on one side and boxes on the other. it is six different steps. my little boy has the attention span of a nat. he is a normal 7-year-old boy give him a break. when the teacher asked him to do this this is what he wrote to every single question. he got all of the answers right and it said show why your answers are right. and he wrote just because it is for every question. teacher sent him home with a note and my wife talked to him
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and i gave up after 30 seconds, i said slate go outside and play. the first issue is education reform i want to talk about. because it is part of preserving the american dream. in louisiana, we have made a serious commitment to shrinking the size of the government. we measure by how the people are doing in the private sector. i am not here to say i slowed down the growth of the government. in louisiana we cut our budget 26%, $9 billion smaller than the day i took office. [applause] >> we have 30,000 fewer state employees, the smallest number in decades, the people benefiting the people of louisiana. our economy has grown twice as fast as the national average,
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job creation three times as fast, more people living and working in louisiana, earning the highest income ranking after seven years in a row of inmigration. let me tell you this when you take on the spending you will not make everybody happy. the government crowd, the left they criticize me for cutting too much and by the way i made a pledge i would not raise taxes and we have not raised taxes. we enacted the largest income tax in the state history. one thing i love about new hampshire republicans is you are so hard headed about no income and sales tax and that is a great thing about new hampshire. the senior democrats say that jindel is as stubborn as a mule when it comes to raising taxes
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and i said that is great. i am going to put that in every campaign i run. there is a reality to play. we were fighting for pro-choice and they tried to recall the speaker and so many people were protesting i told the kids when you see the protesters in front of the state capital that is a parade for daddy. they why they've daddy's picture on there. we won in the primary, something never been done before by a non incumbent incumbent. we got over 2/3rds of the vote and my popilarity dropped 15-20 points because of cutting government spending and taking on the teacher union. but we need that kind of leadership in washington, d.c. we don't just need a republican in the whitehouse. we need a conservative saying we are not just slowing down the
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government spending we are cutting government spending. [applause] >> here is a crazy idea. why don't we just spend as much as we are taking in and start paying down the debt instead of continuing to borrow from china. if we don't have a major change in washington, d.c. we will be the first generation mortgaging our children's future. the second thing my father said was get on my knees and give thanks to god because we were blessed to be born in the greatest country of the history of the world. i propose two observations. one is this: when my parents came to america, they were coming to be americans.
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we used to be proud to say that. [applause] >> we used to be proud to call america the great melting pot. my parents loved india and were proud of their heritages but they were coming to raise americans. i am tired of the hyphenated americans. no more african-americans or indian-americans. just americans. [applause] >> and the final thing i will say to you is this: the reason it is so important that we beat hilary clinton in 2016 it is not simply to get a republican there, it is because i want my children and your children and my grandchildren and your grandchildren to say the same prayer god taught us and give thanks to god because this is the greatest country in the history of the world. not because of the governments, monuments or beautiful buildings in washington, d.c., but our
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founding fathers understand the purpose of a limited government is to preserve our god given rights. so we must win we will win it is critical we beat hilary clinton come 2016. god bless you and thank you very, very much for allowing me to come talk to you all today. [applause] >> i promised i would shout out to the folks from rhode island. welcome to the neighbors from there. i guess i will just call on folks here yes, ma'am? >> i was wondering you talk about education.
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>> i feel education should be a state-by-state issue. so as president how would you go about that so each state has that option of having school choice and vouchers. >> the question was education should be a state-by-state issue, if as president, what could a president do in terms of promoting school choice in states, because it should be a state-by-state issue. i wrote a detailed paper on education. i know a lot of people thinking about running talk about consulting. we formed a non-profit think tank to put out detailed papers on foreign policy energy and
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education. we are the only ones putting out a detailed plan on repealing and relacing obama. on education, let's start with the repealing of the no child left behind which i think was a mistake. i think we need to return the federal department of education back to the original purpose and shrink it in size and power. and focus on true civil rights enforcement. not the non-sense where the doj sued us. but true enforcement. input base body programs should be eliminated they are wasting billons. title funding should be made affordable for students and divisible by school and course so you can start in a public school, take private courses and in those ways the federal government can get out of inthe
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way and allow local schools and teachers to make the best decisions. you can facilitate the bench mark of test and so if folks take test in different states they can compare without taking the same test. there are limits roles the department of education can take to encourage compitation and choice. what arnie duncan did, if you want your tax dollars back you have to adopt common core and do what we tell you is right. that is a power grab. when we get rid of common core there will be another version of this. this isn't the first time the federal government tried to take over local classrooms and it will not be the last. even if you have a republican president, we should not want them to be able to abuse the powers of the federal department of education. yes, ma'am, in the back.
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>> one last question. >> oh i am sorry. >> one concern is americans national sovereignty. there are a couple bills in front of congress that could come up in the next term. the transpacific partnership and the translatlantic trade and partnership. i would like to hear what you have to say about that. >> i think trade can be a good thing for the county but congress needs to use oversight authority with this administration. i say that because i don't have confidence in this administration's negotiating. look at the deal with iran. they are willing to take a bad deal over no deal. if you are not willing to walk away from a bad deal we are on the verge of maybe allowing iran to be a nuclear power.
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we could start a nuclear arms race in the middle east with other sunni powers and the saudi arabians and turks could want nuclear capabilities as well. when it comes to the trade deal with the proper oversight from congress, it could be positives for the economy, especially looking at the pivot to asia. when this president said he was pivoting to asia it sounded great but he didn't do it. we have a threat are russia and crane but the longer term threat is the rise of china and how we handle that. we have countries like south korea and japan wanting us to take a greater role. we have india and vietnam, people who have not been with america, wanting at a take a greater role in that region. so a good trade bill could be
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good for the security and the economy if is a good deal. this maybe an area that could be something happening from washington, d.c. that is bipartisan and productive for the coapt-country. the administration needs to get it right. i think both trade deals could be good for the security and economy if done properly. i think it is especially important we show up in asia. i think it is important we don't see that entire influence to china. this president made the practice to try to lead from behind. that is not leading at all. he has shown through six years that wishing problems away does not make us safer or more secure. america must lead and the best way to avoid war is to prepare. i believe a stronger america is good for america and good for the world and we need a president that believes the same thing. god bless you and thank you for allowing me to come speak to
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you. enjoy the rest of your conference. thank you. >> c-span created by america's cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. >> host: and this week on the "the communicators" undate on the fcc communication reporter. mr. hadem, what is an update? where do we stand? >> guest: the federal communication system voted on new net neutrality rules in february that would take the bold step of reclassifying the internet and treating it like a title two service, more of a


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