tv Vice Pres. Pence Others at Conservative Political Action Conference CSPAN March 1, 2019 7:30am-8:03am EST
are going to request that be done outside the doors of this room if you want to try to nab the minister on camera. we are going to take a very brief break to deal with this choreography. we will get things back underway in just a minute so stay with us. [inaudible conversations] >> we are live this morning as the american conservative union hosts the annual political action conference known as cpac. vice president mike pence along with governor scott walker and iowa senator "leaving home: short pieces" teen -- joni ernst. live coverage on c-span2. [inaudible conversations]
outside washington dc, the start of the annual conference hosted by the american conservative union. among the speakers is wisconsin governor scott walker. we will hear from joni ernst. and we start with glenn beck, of blaze tv. senator ted cruz will speak, devon nunez of california, kellyanne conway is on the list with jerry falwell junior, donald trump junior, should clarify, commerce secretary wilbur ross. mike pence is scheduled to speak at 10:00 this morning. live coverage on c-span2. [inaudible conversations]
conference, cpac, this morning. they were scheduled to start at 7:30, obviously running a little behind. we have live coverage when the getaway. senator rob portman came to the senate floor to talk about the circumstances surrounding the death of college student otto warmbier who died in custody in north korea. >> in the context of the ongoing negotiations with north korea there has been a lot of discussion in the media about otto warmbier. otto warmbier was a young man from my hometown of cincinnati, ohio. this is an emotional issue for me because the process of bringing him home i got to know his family very well. he was the young man with a lot of promise, 22 years old, college student at the university of virginia, he was pulled out of the line at the airport, here he was,
kindhearted college kid found himself a prisoner in north korea. he was there for 18 months. his determined and sentence were appalling, unacceptable by any standards. at some point soon after being sentenced to 15 years of hard labor, from what we know, he suffered a severe brain injury. what happened? we may never know the details. we do know one thing. he was severely mistreated. who did the north korean tell about the fact he had this brain-damaged? no one. unbelievably, for the next 15 months of his life, they kept
this a secret. they denied him access to the best medical care he deserved, which of course we would have provided. i was in communication with the north korean government through their offices at the united nations in new york. they didn't even tell us about the terrible mistreatment he had suffered in the condition he was in. they refuse repeated requests for access that would normally be provided to someone who has been detained regardless of their health situation. this included denying requests from me, from others here in this body and other bodies, congress and the obama administration. the trump administration, the red cross, the government of sweden which typically acts for us in north korea. as a counselor service. i say that because while i support engagement with north korea, in fact like spirits with otto warmbier makes me even more
convinced we need to have communication because we had no good lines of communication, i support the ongoing talks with north korea, specifically about denuclearization. i want to make clear we can never forget about otto warmbier. his treatment at the hands of his captors was unforgivable and it tells us a lot about the nature of the regime. we can't be naïve about what they did to otto warmbier, the brutal nature of the regime that would do this to an american citizen and of course not just about otto warmbier or other visitors but how the people of north korea are treated, many of whom have had their human rights violated. no one should have to go through what otto warmbier's family has gone to through. they have been incredibly strong through this whole ordeal. i have watched them channel
their grief from something constructive. throughout this ordeal, i have stood with fred and cindy, the entire family and will continue to. i also want to say today, as we discussed broader issues with north korea, let's keep otto warmbier at the front of our minds. let's be sure that he is high in our agenda and in our consciousness as we deal with north korea and understanding because of our experience with otto warmbier the brutal nature of this regime. >> those remarks from senator portman yesterday on the senate floor, otto warmbier was brought back from to the us with severe injuries after being held in north korea. he died in the us.
[inaudible conversations] >> delay moment or two away from the start of the cpac conference. the u.s. senate not in session today but yesterday senator lamar alexander had these remarks about donald trump's emergency declaration strategy for a southern border wall. >> donald trump has been in vietnam meeting with the north korean leader. i applaud the president for his efforts to improve the us relationship with north korea. there is a not a more difficult relationship anywhere in the world than that relationship but i'm glad he chose not to seek a
deal for the sake of the deal. as he returns from his summit with a north korean leader and turns his attention back home i want to make a respectful suggestion, and that is this, donald trump asked his lawyers to take a second look at an existing funding authority the president has to consider construction of the 234 miles of border wall that do not require a formal declaration of national emergency. i support what the president wants to do on border security but i do not support the way he has been advised to do it. it is unnecessary and unwise to turn aboard a crisis into a constitutional crisis about separation of powers when the
president already has congressional funding authority to build a 234 mile border wall he requested in his january 6th letter to the senate. i ask consent to include a record following my remarks of the president's january 6th letter to the senate appropriations committee. >> without objection. >> there has never been an instance where the president of the united states has asked funding. the president used the national emergency act to justify spending the money anyway. if donald trump could build a wall when congress has refused to provide the funding then the next president can declare a national emergency and tear the wall down or declare climate change and emergency and stop oil exports and offshore drilling. there is no limit to the imagination of what the next
left-wing president could do to harm our country with this precedent. after an american revolution against a king our founders chose not to create a chief executive who could tax the people and spend their money anyway he chose. the constitution gave that responsibility exclusively to congress elected by the people and every one of us united states senators has taken an oath to support that constitution. separation of powers is a crucial constitutional imperative that goes to the heart of our freedom. i don't know how the late justice antonin scalia would have decided a case on this matter but i do know what he said about separation of power and this is what justice scalia said. every ten -- tinhorn dictator the justice said, every tinhorn dictator in the world today has
a bill of rights. that is not what makes us free. what has made us free is our constitution. the word constitution means structure. that is why the framers debated not the bill of rights but the structure of the federal government. the genius of the american constitutional system is the dispersal of power. once powers centralized in one person or one part of our government, the bill of rights is just words on paper. that is justice scalia. the president can avoid this dangerous precedent completely, he can use the congressional funding authority he already has to build a 234 miles of wall he asked congress to approve in the january 6th letter that i submitted for the record. here is how this would work. january 6th of this year, last
month, in his letter to the senate appropriations committee, the president requested $5.7 billion to build 234 miles of new physical barrier on the southern border. on february 14th, a couple weeks ago, congress passed the homeland security appropriations bill which provided $1.375 billion to build 55 miles the president had asked for. on february 15th, the day he signed the homeland security appropriations bill, donald trump announced that he would use two additional sources of funds that had already been approved by congress, which could be used to fund the border wall. the first was $601 million from the treasury forfeiture fund. the second was up to $2.5 billion from the department
of defense accounts to support counter drug activities and to block drug smuggling core doors across international boundaries. the president is authorized to do this because of a provision in law that allows him to transfer up to $4 billion among the accounts of the department of defense. that is $4 billion in that the part of defense budget of about $600 billion. these three sources of funding that i just mentioned at up to $4.5 billion, or $1.2 billion less than the $5.7 billion the president requested in his january 6th letter. where does he get the rest of the money? he can get it by transferring $3.7 billion instead of $2.5 billion from the department of defense accounts to support counter drug activities. then the president would be able
to build a 234 mile wall he requested on january 6th and he would not need to declare a national emergency. to be specific this means the president would use 1.375 $1.375 billion from the homeland security appropriations bill, plus $601 million from the treasury forfeiture fund, plus $3.7 billion from the department of defense accounts to support counter drug activities which would add up to equal his fool $5.7 billion request to build 234 miles of border wall. if my analysis is incorrect, mister president, i hope the president's lawyers will tell me. using the funds already approved by congress avoids the constitutional crisis of separation of powers.
using funds already approved by congress, avoids established -- establishing a dangerous precedent which could be misused by subsequent presidents. using funds already approved by congress avoids taking money from military construction projects specifically approved by congress for such activities as military barracks and hospitals. using funds already approved by congress avoids months or years of litigation which would make it unlikely that the full 234 miles are ever built. mister president, may be a couple weeks before the senate votes on a resolution regarding the national emergency declaration. so we don't know yet exactly what we will be voting on. there is time for the president's lawyers to take
another look and determine whether we can both build 234 miles of border wall the president has requested. and avoid this dangerous precedent. then the senate could support the president's border request and be faithful to our own to support the constitution the create separation of powers as a crucial check on executive power that goes to the heart of our freedom. ..
thank you. >> how about one for him? [applause] >> thank you. did that video make you feel good? we know what we are up against. we know. they are being very clear these days and yesterday was a busy day for all of us. checking for the hotel. a lot of you flying in, et cetera, and i helped to turn on tv late last night to get a glimpse of our democracy in action with the hearing
yesterday with a certain guy who calls himself a lawyer. i never really heard of a lawyer secretly taping their own clients, but it's interesting. the terminology that gets used and to both of you, i think you need to understand something. when you're in that hearing and you're taking those stands, you are speaking for all of us. [applause] >> and took congressman jordan -- >> if you missed it, have to come back next year, still had some academic training today and tomorrow. so please bear with my friend alfredo ortiz. we're in a similar business. we're going to have a para