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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  March 3, 2016 9:00am-11:01am EST

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the question to you is, is that normal practice to do that when people have permitted grazing rights? >> we operate within the rights that people are granted. so i'll have to look specifically into the circumstances that you bring out. but there's nothing that i have heard from the blm or other or the fish and wildlife service that suggested that agreed upon rights were not provided. and that's consistent with the way we operate. so there's something specific, we're very happy to respond directly on that. >> okay, we'll do that. mr. charnl chairman, i-year-old back. >> okay, thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, madam secretary. i spent two hours in the dental chair before i came here and i think i had a better two hours than you're having.
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last week, and i thank mr. duncan for the tone of his questions, because i do think that the secretary's really doing a good job and the interior department is something that's really important to protect our natural resources in our country. last week, the leaders were in talking to us from the great lakes basin region and as you know, and the number one region that's on everyone's minds is the asian carp. we have 20% of the world's fresh water. as you know, thousands of jobs are tied to it. $16 billion recreation industry. so protecting the delicate ecosystem that provides drinking water, and lord knows drinking water is on everybody's minds throughout the country. and as it stands, more than 3,500 species of plants and animals. the presence of a single carp in the lakes could disrupt the entire eco-system and cause significant damage.
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to the lakes as you know. the u.s. geological survey and noaa are involved. and your budget request was a very modest increase of 669,000. how will this funding help the department prevent asian carp from reaching the great lakes, which you know, has us all very neurotic, and nobody else asked you this, but is it enough? >> short answer is, on this invasive species of asian carp and others, it's not enough. compare to the situation. and i hear it from every state and from both political parties. we have $13.5 million specifically for asian carp. the usgs in its work, and the fish and wildlife service, on different methodologies in
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preventing the carp from getting to the great lakes, it's a serious issue. we don't want it to get away from us. this is really critical funding to maintain the work that we've done. if there was more money, we'd be able to put it to good use as well. >> thank you. i want to also applaud the fact that your budget proposes money in our national rev usage system. again, i think a lot of people are not appreciating the fact that these rev usages are a national treasure. it's a network of lands and water which have been established for conversation management and appropriate restoration of fish, wildlife, and plant resources, so we're protecting these habitats from generation to generation. i was shocked when i read your testimony last night and i saw that more than 400 staff positions have been eliminated since 2010, or have been lost.
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your proposal to increase funding by $25 million for the refuge system would go a long way toward making the investments we need to be making in the system. what consequences have you seen from the elimination of these jobs, to invest adequate resources in the refuge system and how will you use the increased resources you're proposing and i hope we're going to give you? >> well, i'll give you a specific example from one refuge i visited, which had a staff of 16, is down to about 6. they had a volunteer volunteer coordinator that burned out, because it's really a full-time position. and this is a refuge that's located close to an urban area. so the budget that we have, does prioritize urban refuges in particular, to begin to give some of these children that are so disconnected from nature in urban areas an opportunity to understand what's at risk, but it doesn't even go close to addressing the issue of where we were a few years ago in terms of providing access, resources,
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invasive species control, hunting/fishing access, which is so important to people on refuges. so i appreciate your support. we will put it to good use, largely around visitor experience and the urban refuge partnerships, but it's nowhere near where we were just half a decade ago. >> thank you, madam secretary. mr. chairman, i had a questiano question but i'm respecting your time limitations and would request asking a question for the record. >> okay, thank you. but you're just in pain, right? you're just in dental pain, that's the really reason you're doing it, right? >> i'm in dental -- that's right. tooth implant, i don't recommend it. it's more fun than this, though. >> probably more productive, too. >> thank you, mr. chairman. well, we appreciate you being here today. notwithstanding the intensity of questions today, they're very important, because we get the
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same intensity in my district where the glowing poll numbers on blm and parks isn't the same as the people that live next to them when they're subject to burning forests, wolf introduction, mountain lions and all this other stuff they have to live with next door to, getting after their pets, livestock and their families. so it's different when you live next to these areas as opposed to the cities where they get the polling information from. we've worked many hours with folks up and down the region who are impacted by this situation, as well as my colleague who is here today, offered a draft bill that i think would really go a long ways towards resolving these issues and providing a water supply certainty to those folks in the region. so now what we have is a pressing forward of the dam removal.
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so what i have here is a copy of an agreement in principle. you just signed this last month, in which the department of the interior agrees to work to great create a so-called nonfederal entity. it proposes dam removal, leaving the water supply issues of the basin unresolved and they're doing so without the approval of congress or consultation. so, is this non-federal entities you agreed to, subject to open government and freedom of information act requests? and since my time is short, i'll ask you for a compact answer, along the yes or no lines. >> the nonfederal entity has not yet been formed. >> subject to freedom of information -- >> it will be depending on how it's structured. i don't know the answer to your question right now. >> well, there's federal involvement here with your agency and others. >> it will be a nonfederal entity formed by the states of
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california and oregon. >> but you're signers on the agreement? >> the agreement in principle, which will include provisions to create this nonfederal entities for the states of california and oregon. >> okay, this seems like a front company to avoid public scrutiny. my own staff had to work pretty hard to get involved in the sacramento meeting. and we asked to be part of the one in portland and they didn't get back to us, but they will be there anyway. that sounds like a "no" to me, because there doesn't seem to be an opportunity for open government and freedom of information. okay, i have another document here. it's a confidential settlement communication discussion draft, which was circulated at that meeting i mentioned last week in sacramento. this documents specify that the nonfederal entities must be created yesterday, due yesterday, was there a signature made by your office yesterday on the creation of the entity? the target date was february 29th. >> no signature by our office.
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>> okay, very good. this was just a month after the first document, the aip. and did congress authorize the administration to create a nonfederal entity? >> the administration is not creating a nonfederal entity. congress hasn't authorized it. it's not a creation of the administration. it's a creation by the states of california and oregon. the whole premise here is, there has been a desire to have the federal government removed from the dam removal process. i understand that was an issue that was one of the reasons why the restoration agreement legislation was not -- enabouted. >> well, these are -- >> now we're taking the federal government out of the dam removal process. >> these are administration goals. now here's administration involvement, including this being a budget hearing, unless you're doing a pro bono, it's going to have impacts on your budget as well.
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so the very fact you're involved and signed an agreement indicates that we are spending federal dollars in this process. is this a pro bono process? >> there has been significant environmental analysis done on the question of dam removal, and the bureau -- >> no, but are you spending money from your agency towards this effort? >> toward the analysis associated with -- >> the answer would have to be yes, because you're spending your time and agency hours and staff people? >> that is correct, congressman. >> so they don't feel it's important that they need authorization from congress to participate in this project, even though we're supposed to budget for it? >> there is federal authorization for dam removal through the federal energy regulatory commission and the proceeding will go through the federal energy regulatory -- >> the process of creating a nonfederal entity, a shell corporation, basically? >> that is not part of the regulatory process. that's a creation by the states of california and oregon. >> i'm out of time, mr. chairman. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chair.
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and thank you, madam secretary for being here and for answering all our questions. i want to talk about coal. and i want to thank you for pushing the pause button on federal coal leasing while you take a long overdue review, long needed review of the program. you've said before that this sort of thing, this kind of pause has been done multiple times in the past and i believe by republican administrations. is that right? >> yes, that's correct, both under nixon and reagan. >> so, both under nixon and reagan, it's been done before. we've had a bipartisan precedent for this pause, and you've made it clear that this will not impact existing operations. even with a pause on new coal production, since coal companies now hold, i believe, approximately 20 years' worth of coal under lease. but i think it could be even more than 20 years based upon
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current amounts of production, that coal use, as you've, i think, indicated earlier today, is actually on the decline and according to information i have from the energy information administration, coal production in 2015 was 10% less than in 2014. and that our use of coal to produce electricity in the united states is now less than 30%. i think that's great for the climate. i think that -- i hope that number gets even smaller as we move forward and that we work with the department of interior to development more renewable sources for energy rather than coal. can you tell us in your words again, why is coal production down in the united states? >> largely coal production is down because of a change to natural gas in electricity production. we are the world's largest
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producer of natural gas. natural gas is both a cleaner burning fossil fuel than coal, as well as less expensive to construct new plants, and we have seen a significant transition. that, plus renewables and conservation is a large reason why coal has declined in its use. >> isn't it also true that other countries are now becoming less interested in purchasing coal and would rather also purchase more natural gas, is that not true also? >> yes, that's correct also. we've seen significant declines, for example, in china. >> that's interesting. i think it's really important for us to get on the record, to say that these changes in coal production are not due to administrative policies, but they're really due to the marketplace. and that the marketplace now is driving down coal production, not administrative processes or policies. actually, i think we have
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unfairly, i think, been subsidizing coal production, such as from the powder river basin, and letting coal be produced or mined at rock bottom prices. so i'm glad you're taking another look at how we lease coal, that we don't give it away too cheaply, madam secretary, but while you're doing this review, i'm just wondering, are you going to include some of the external costs that burning coal produces on our environment and on our public health? >> it's our intent to look broadly at the coal program, which will include the environmental impacts of the mining and burning of coal. and that will be scoped as we continue with this process in the coming months. >> well, i thank you. i think it's very important that we take this over-arching careful look at coal. i also want to commend you and your department for taking a
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number of positive steps, for example, the recent methane venting and flaring draft rule, is in my opinion, a win-win, both for the environment and the taxpayers. just last week, gina mccarthy said that the oil and gas industry is emitting far more methane than was previously assumed. so i think this rule will be timely and it's critically important. i also want to thank you for the proposed rules to strengthen oil and gas oversight in national parks and wildlife refuges. i know ranking member grijalva and i, with over 50 of our colleagues, asking her to finalize those rules as soon as possible. and the last question i have, is, there was a proposed renewable energy competitive leasing rule that was published almost a year and a half ago. when might we see that finalized, that rule? >> mike, do you have the answer
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to that? >> you got one second. >> on the removable energy -- >> we'll get back to you on that. i can't scramble through the book in time. >> thank you, and i yield. >> mr. graves? >> thank you very much. >> mr. graves? >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary jewell, thank you for being here, i want to thank you all of you being for here, and i also want to commend you for including in the budget request, i've seen some of the projects you've participated in around the united states and i think when you acquire land from willing sellers, you make sure you're using the right investment principles that truly provides value to the country and preserves opportunitieses for recreation, i think it's the right move and i want to commend you for funding the program. but i want to pivot on that a little bit. land water and conversation fund as you know is derived from offshore energy production. and so, while you were proposing to conserve lands in the west
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primarily and protect lands, in the west primarily, you are taking money from offshore energy production, which is primarily, in some years, up to 90% of offshore energy production, off the coast of louisiana. as you know, your budget request further i think slaps the gulf coast in the face by proposing to take those funds to fund fund the conservation fund. at the same time, give those alaska. and i talked to mr. young earlier and told him that i wasn't going to say anything offensive about alaska. i had to the coastal areas up to alaska. he assured it would be an nonessential part of my body. i'm having trouble reck silling this. let me take the synopsis here, you're taking funds from energy production off the coast of louisiana and other gulf states.
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you're funding land water and conservation fund to conserve lands and you're taking other funds due to the gulf states and you're proposing giving it to alaska. but why is alaska more important than the gulf states and why are the western states more important than the gulf states? >> so, let me be clear on this that our position is that the offshore gas and oil revenues collected from federal waters belong to all americans. >> if i can quote you, you just said the gases in response to a question previously, which you were talking about onshore, flared gases were a resource that all americans enjoy. as you know for production and revenue sharing, up to 90% of the revenues that quote belong to all americans, are sent back to those states through the reclamation fund, so this whole
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argument that it belongs to all americans, it doesn't hold water. >> well, me just say, we're talking about federal waters and states waters, obviously the state gets the revenues on lands that are within state boundaries. they have a 50% revenue share. offshore is owned by all americans. it's in federal waters. it's not in state waters -- >> wait a minute, you said that flare gas were all americans. but i thought that was americans -- >> public lands are owned by all americans. there's a 50% revenue share. >> okay. >> when it's within the boundaries of a state, there's a revenue share. when it's outside the boundaries of the states there's not a revenue share until -- >> is that because the offshore energy production doesn't act our coast?
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whe >> you're impacted both from environmental consequences and also economic opportunity, there are $17 billion i believe for gulf coast restoration -- >> madam, secretary, you raised the same thing last time. that's because of law, you can't -- you can't say that we lose money because bp is now paying their fines and penalties. so, madam secretary, i have to tell you, i'm offended. lot of people in the gulf coast are offended. right now, we have lost 25% of our oil and gas work force in the state of louisiana. 25%. to add insult to injury, you proposed a rule -- the rule that they have written they fundamentally don't understand the technology associated with offshore energy.
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i can tell you it's flawed. number two, you're on proposing $10 tax we just lifted an export ban. how are we going to compete? it simply doesn't make sense. >> the rule will be finalized soon. i think you'll find that significant changes have been made. >> thank you. mr. bleier. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to add my support to mr. cartwright's reclaim act. i would like to clarify dr. brenishek -- let's put out the judge set aside that delisting because as part of the fish and wild life delisting they made it contingent on the state on the
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plans. those plans didn't happen. so, we'll see how the court case goes and how it goes in the senate. >> i want to start with thanks, so much, for the every park initiative. i think it's great to take fourth graders out to great falls. it will be very exciting for them. we'll perhaps change their lives to think about the outdoors in a different way. thank you very much for putting in your budget all of the efforts to save the coal miners' pension fund. when the old thing went bankrupt, there's a lot of people that are just desperate. they spent their lives mining coal who suddenly had no pension or health benefits to look forward to. thank you very much for that. thank you for putting $2 billion
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in for coastal resilience project. again, the east coast, the atlantic, is so heavily affected by pit i'm sorry mr. young had left, in your written testimony you said, this coastal climate resilience program will address the unique impacts of climate change in alaska. rising seas, coastal erosions. so, one quick question, it looks looic the 2 billion may not be approved, is there any merit in looking for a smaller pilot project, $5 million to $10 million that will continue the national fish and wild life foundation's work on coastal resiliency. >> coastal resilience is a big issue. it's certainly on the west coast, alaska.
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it's certainly don't exclude the gulf. that's very much included. we have problem with coastal resilience across the united states and if we are not successful, in this particular program, we're going to have to find ways to support these communities are very much impacted in your own state, the impact on the jamestown is very significant both in terms of artifacts because we see increased impacts. >> and we have seen a rise in water level in the last ten years. affecting the naval base. i'd like to mention, in an effort to quantify the efforts, and once again, it's a bipartisan bill called the rec act. introduced last year in the
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senate by two senators and now we're putting it together with the representatives, can you tell us about how you'll look with the department of commerce and department of labor to make this kind of economic data is comprehensive and give us the tools we need to stimulate the outdoor recreation. >> i'm going to turn to chris, we're working very closely with the economic folks on this right now. >> it's our hope to work with the department of commerce, bla and to capture how the rekree reyags is out to our economy. it would work with those entities. . the hope is to create what they call a satellite account in terms of data on economics from outdoor rec. >> we have 35 seconds left.
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can you go one step further. you have done a lot on connect kifty, can you talk more about connectivity efforts? >> the key to habitat for species is looking at the landscape more holistically and that means connectivity. one issue we have had is fragmentation. you can't have pockets in land and support a species. so the pine forest in the southern states, the great lakes ecosystem, these are all very important. >> mr. newhouse. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, secretary jewell. the state we both call home in the last two years has suffered from record-setting wildfires in my district, certainly has been the case. since 2000, the department's
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budget for fighting wildfires wasless than their actual cost and i know about the ten-year averaging system that you use for suppression efforts. after these last two fire seasons, do you think a ten-year average is the most practical way in the adjustment to the cap. what will likely happen to other critical activities, like health, resiliency projects, as a follow-up, what do you believe the interior department and forest service could do to ensure adequate forest management and rehabilitation occurs. >> thank you very much for putting out the vicious cycle. we don't have funds to continue
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the work of forest health. and fighting fires. it's acute for both of us. i was on the reservation, i'm a red carded. i was able to go out on the fires themselves. these fires are burning hotter and longer because we're not doing fuel treatments. we don't have the money to do that. we would welcome a fix. we put in place, in our budget, the fix that was recommended by congress, on both parties. we hope that that passes. certainly, we could use more for fuel removal and next question, i want to thank you for addressing the elephant in the room in your opening comments about the recent protests that shined a spotlight on federal management of lands in the west, i'm talking about what happened in oregon. one of the issues that i hear is regarding back-burning, the
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process of back-burning. you're familiar with that. certainly in the case of the ammon family, they're being prosecuted using an anti-terrorism statute trying to protect their private party. that i find somewhat concerning. especially since the federal government uses the same practice and it's not unusual for those fires, the federal government starts to spread on private lands with no compensation to the land owners. wh can i ask your position? >> well, let me separate these a little bit. back-burning is an important practice for fuels management on public and private lands. when there's an inadvertent
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spread when happens, there's not a criminal prosecution. the situation with the ammons was different. there were activities that specifically was being covered up that came out in that criminal prosecution that hasn't hit the media. but there's no question that back-burning is important. i sushgt they work closely with the federal. >> one more question, real quick, given that there's an ample evidence to delist the great wolf. why they have failed to finalize this proposed rule and move forward with the delist zblg they have recommended delisting of the great wolf due to recovery. we have that action stayed by the courts. so, we can't move forward as a
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result of that. but we have recommended for delisting due to recovery. >> so, you support delisting? >> correct. >> we look forward to working with you in making that happen. >> secretary, i don't have what your schedule is. are you in a drop-dead schedule here? >> no, i'm willing to stay until quarter till. >>. >> thank you, mr. chairman. happy to be having at least an initial discussion on a budget process here. in this committee. secretary jewell, thank you for being here. as you know, the indian health service through its annual appropriation to tribble organizations to offset the cost
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of administering funded programs. in tribes and tribal organizations have raised concerns about the funding shortfalls and note that these shortfalls have resulted in decreased specifies for tribes. do you consider for contract support adequate to help tribes as they work to provide effective health services? secondly, how would tribes consulted and their program needs considered when coming up with the $278 million budget? >> let me just answer generically, that's not my budget. we have contract support for all
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of the self-determination contracts we have. we're foully supportive of 100% of contract support cost. that's what we anticipate the level to be in our budget. we did set the litigation which was around passed nonpayment of contract support cost. that resulted in close to a billion dollars for us not living up to our obligations in the past. this budget reflects our intent to pay full con trabt costs. >> so, my second question, how did that process look like? >> i'm sorry. >> were you consulting with tribes to ensure that their needs were met? >> the short answer is yes. there's tribal management committee, there's tribal consultation throughout. >> we work very closely with the tribes in looking at the program
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costs on this issue. we adopted what the congress provided in 2016 which is an indefinite account to make sure there's sufficient funds for contract funds. >> thank you. going back to the question that mr. graves asked, can you help me understand that process of funding or taking funds from international waters which would be considered, you know, for the entire country and areas where it's within a state and what does that look like. >> so, in 1964, congress passed a land water and conservation act. that said, allow up to $900,000 for offshore water activities in federal waters to support land
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conservation across the united states. so, that was authorized in roughly about 50% of what was authorized has been spent over the years. that is because those in the outer continental shelf waters. it's about 1.7 billion acres. onshore within the boundaries of the states, there's a 50% revenue sharing. so, when blm typically does oil and gas activities by private companies, those companies by a royalty to the federal government, half of that goes to states when it's on onshore. that's the same offshore. with this proposal, gulf of mexico energy security act which starts to ramp up in 2018 and directs money from revenue sharing from the gulf of mexico production to four states only. the president's budget recommends that repealed and that be used for coastal
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resiliency. >> the only way to change that formula is through the legislative process? >> that's correct. >> thank you, i yield back. >> one of president obama's signature pledge on the campaign trail was to run the most transparent administration in history. to create an unprecedented level of openness still stands tall on the white house website. do you believe in transparency in honor that pledge? >> i do. >> what's the average turnaround time? >> we do comply with the request done by career staff. >> my understanding is that you do try to respond within 30 days? >> i don't know. >> okay, that's -- i find it interesting yesterday that at 4:00 p.m. your agency sent me 143 pages responding to a foyer
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made three months ago about information ledded to destination. analyzed and designated as national monuments since 2009. you know your agency sent us a crap session. without your response. a third-grader could have provided this. shame. and you wonder why we have problems. your agency is involved in carrying out the national monument designations, right? >> that's a presidential power, we're asked to -- >> you're involved? >> we're involved, sometimes. >> your agency requested $23 million, a $9 million increase
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in this year's buchbt. since you haven't responded to our request from the eight members of congress, i'm going to give you one more chance today. how many more new national monuments does this administration plan to designate today. what are the names and geographical locations of potential monuments being considered. >> that's entirely up to the president of the united states. there are many people that come through the doors saying we would like you to look at monuments. assessments happen from across the country of interest. they go directly to the white house. >> let me stop you there. the president hasn't given you any details given you any leans. >> absolutely zippo? >> absolute zippo. >> i have flown over it, i haven't been on the ground.
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>> well, once again, the same type of thing. in december 2014 you stated in a poorly worded press release the oak flat area has significant religious value. if you have never visited there how can you make a claim? >> i sat in a nursing home with elders, all of whom were in tears over the potential -- >> i'm glad you said that. very little time. so, a current member of the tribe and a former tribal historian recently wrote a full-page op-ed stating the campground had never been a sacred sight. three times, we have sent a letter asking the agency to withdraw a nomination for oak flat. the first time, this nomination was published in 2015, there was
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no notification to my office nor mr. kirk patrick's. the initial nomination was redakted. just yesterday, the park service finally utilized the name oak flat and published a new list g ing notice in the federal registry allowing five days for comments. does this sound like a transparent process to you? so five days of public comment for people around there is adequate statement. >> i'll have to look into it. i don't know the specifics. >> this gets old and old. i mean, the initiative is one of those applications. we're supposed to be thinning the forest so we don't have this
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horrib horribly nonscientifically problem of burns. we need to come to a common denominator here and start pushing common sense. >> mr. chair, thank you very much, mr. chairman. i want to actually follow up on a bill that i have with madam secretary, we know that renewable energy and land has great opportunity since 2009, over 50 large-scale renewable energy projects approved on lands. but the process around getting those projects going is frequently stands in the way. i recently heard from -- when we compare this to oil and gas, get on our public lands without hardly any notice and without
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any process that takes without need for process or anything else. they just go and drill. how can we make it more of a level playing field? an overseer of over 20% of our nation's land. can you commit for pushing for more renewable energy development? and expanding the opportunities to move through the process around -- around use of federal lands for renewable energy. >> let me start by saying, we need for process any time we do process on federal lands. absolutely, it's our intent to help facility renewable energy development. the desert renewable energy conservation act. so, we would welcome the opportunity to do more of that and axccelerate the potential
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that we have on our public lands. >> are you saying that drilling establishing a drilling rig on public lands requires the full need for process. >> we need -- when we do the leasing project, i don't think each rig would need that. once we issue a permit that provides the broad need. >> there's no need for process around the signing of the wells. i represent a district that has great tourism economy and of course one of types of land you oversee are our national parks. of course, congratulations on the centennial, we're very excited about that. we had our centennial last year for that same park. it's an economic lifeline for our area. 3 million visitors generating hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity, thousands of jobs, of course, it's your
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responsibility to maintain those treasures. of course, the national park alone faces backlog of magnificent nance, do you believe that the national park service has the sufficient resources to manage its national assets across ecosystem. what can congress do to help maintain this vital investment in keeping economic prosperity in regions where our economy surrounds the parks? >> the budget that we have on the discretionary side begins to chip away at the may not fa nance backlog but we need a longer-term solution. we put on the table proposed centenni centennial budget that wou.
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>> i was going to ask you about the return on investment on public lands. in addition to that return, we make sure it's crucial that underserved communities and youth have opportunities to experience nature, benefit from our public lands. what can your department help to connect people with the great benefits of the outdoors and our public lands? >> thanks very much for the question. we got about $100 million spread across the department, anything from internships at the usgs, to every kid in the park program, every fourth-grader has access to america's public lands. we're gearing up our training for that. we're raising private money to get title i schools to go out to those places and there are many other programs that we're doing as well as with our own resources to ensure that next generation is introduced.
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>> my next question is, there has been concerned they were given differential treatment. what are you doing to ensure the transmission lines won't cause degrad dags lines. >> for the record. >> thank you, mr. chairman. coal, you mentioned that the driver behind the lack of coal demand was the market. but i'll submit to you also, is the punishment coal has been taking on regulation also has an impact. my question really is about the more tourism. you said in statements today, it would not affect jobs. have you done an economic analysis of the jobs in states like alabama, arkansas,
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colorado, kentucky, wyoming, north dakota, out utd and montana on the effect of jobs in coal leases? >> the pause that we're putting on coal leases had a number of exclusions to them. recognizing that existing coal mines have nearly more than 20 years of coal under lease. but exceptions also, if a mine is at risk of shutting down we can consider that an exception. if a power plant is at risk of shutting down, we also grandfathered a number of projects that were in the pipeline nearing completion and we provided ongoing ability for people to create their analysis so they can continue their efforts during the time we're doing. >> so, do i have your commitment
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if a mine company applies for one of these exceptions, your agency, an application is done before it has to shut down? >> yes, we certainly -- they have to come to us with sufficient time. as long as they come to us and work with us, we're very happy to work with them to support the excepti exceptions. >> turn to buffalo a big issue in montana, i went out to montana, and there's concern about placing the buffalo. and the argument is this, the cattlemen that lease blm land are required to have a certain number of animals per acre, they're required to have fences, they're required not to graze year-round and there are number of u.s. fish and game areas that have been identified for grazing not to occur. the fear is that when the
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buffalo came in, it seems like we scraped all those rules away. that the proposal is that buffalo don't have to have number of buffalo per acre, fences are going to be removed because buffalo are very difficult to keep in a fence, year-round grazing and you talked about the process, if we're going to make a change of that scope, would you agree that the same environmental impact statements would apply to cattle as they do to buffalo, in fact, if we're going to make the scale of change? >> well, i know there's a national bison plan i'm not specifically familiar with all how bison range. if we took federal action to impact that. >> the national bison plan is by a group that, you know, i have never had a problem on public or
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private land when you do it, as long as there are provisions in place with the cattle. buffalo can live in a relative area a relative area of harmony. but on public land, we're 0 bring ga -0 bri -- obligated to have a review. last question is parks. we all agree the importance of our parks. looking at your budget we know you're behind and i just got finished talking to the superintendent of yellowstone. i know the superintendent of glacier. i know how important it is. i grew up in the backyard. we both have toured the parks. but in are budget you don't prioritize the infrastructure. if the infrastructure is so important on road maintenance, why isn't it at the top of the
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list on your budget as far as national parks? >> infrastructure beginning to deal with the backlog is a very high priority in our budget. it's in there not only in the discretion budget but for the centennial initiative. >> there are other programs in there. infrastructure should be first before some of these other education programs, some of these ones that are less on the list. >> visitor experience is also very important. >> thank you. >> it's almost quarter to. i said that i have four, five witnesses left. if i could ask them -- i don't know about your time. i feel bad about this. if we could voluntarily limit to three minutes. can you stick around that long? >> yes.
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>> arizona receives the fourth largest pell payment in the country. counties that depend on pell funds to provide the quality of services that really, they are struggling without permits to get funding from congress in terms of the long term funding. the volatility that they faced has caused counties to withdraw money from their reserve accounts to pay for essential service and continued stability will eventually lead to layoffs of some of our essential employees in these county areas. can you talk about the importance for congress to work to secure guaranteed funding and how it impact services on public land? >> thanks for the question. we do not believe pelt should be subject to this budget process every year. we know it's essential for 911
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services, for many county service, education and so on and we're fully supportive of a long term solution to this and we would welcome the bodywork with us on that. >> wow, thank you. >> i'm sorry were you done? okay. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary jewell nank you for taking your time to be here. every year a little over 22 million is provide to american samoa by the office of insular affairs. the people of american samoa are very grateful for the assistance that the united states provides and we cherish our relationship as demonstrated by the rate of
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enlistment into our nation's armed force which is higher than any other state or territory. however, as you may know, this level of funding has not changed since its inception 20 years ago, despite inflation, a growing population, and federally mandated wage hikes. on page 19 of fy-'17 budget justifications it's noted american samoa doesn't have sufficient local revenues to fund the entire operating costs of its government. also within that very section it's note ad secondary object of the funding project for american is a month swra is to promote self-sufficiency requiring american samoa to absorb the cost of federally mandated wage hikes. by maintaining a consistent funding level since its
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inception, the government of american samoa has been forced to play catch up which has caused some real needs on the island. for instance, a hospital cannot serve our local veterans due to the fact they do not meet va standards forcing them to fly to hawaii which is like flying from los angeles to d.c. every time they need hospital care. an increase in this funding would go a long way in resolving those issues at the hospital. the asg operation funding provided currently represents approximately 13% of asg's general fund revenue and 11% of lbj's revenue. costs that are outside of control of our constrained local government and costs that prevent our people from resource that could be needed could be used to further other initiatives such as badly needed infrastructure projects and climate change initiatives. i look forward to continue
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network with the department to ensure that the people of the united states territories and particularly american samoa are not left behind and are allocated the same resources taints as their counterparts in states. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you. mr. harding. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, madam secretary. each year we hold budget hearings and we hear about the massive backlogs and currently it's about $19 million. yet at the same time each year congress receives a request to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on acquisition for nuland which gives me grave concern especially with the comment i heard just a few minutes ago that we acquire these lands to close access to our lands. your words when the question was asked. also it's hard for me town or square this circle when we deem these extra dollars, so to speak. i one that we have massive
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bureaucracy that can't manage the enormous land holdings currently in its possession and can ask that more money to buy more land gives me concern. either we manage the land we have or let someone else buy it who can take care of it. but let's say that the department of interior gets this $20 billion that it requested in the president's budget. that's 11% increase. can the american people expect a minimum 11% decrease in our backlog with that 11% better management across the board and especially given fact the budget request or funding another 1100 new full time employees? >> let me start with the first part of your comments. we actually have money in the budget to increase access through the land and water conservation fund. there's money in there that would be used for sportsman
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access, for conservation easements across private land. >> thank you. mr. thompson made the statement and scud why we acquired these lands and you said it helped close access. >> i don't believe i said that. >> it's on the record. >> i was going to answer your other question. i just want to be clear in terms of the $18 billion figure that includes permanent and mandatory funding. the fair comparison is 13.3 that's in discretionary funding. >> the answer should be yes, in my opinion. i want to go to another thing that was just stated here from the other side of the aisle you asked a question four to one return was on those public lands. is that the case? >> that's a national park service number. >> okay. he said public lands you said park service. okay. with that we should expect, we should be needing a budget, be able to handle it yourself --
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>> the return goes oftentimes to local communities. so it's not a return to the park service it's a return to the local communities largely. >> with your indulgence mr. chair i would like to ask about -- it indicates it's focus on the withdrawals no longer needed with this intend purpose at the time announced 10 acre mineral withdrawal. officials went on record as saying about the withdrawal areas don't appear to have highly perspective mining. on what information were such statements based as there are abundant usgs and state data indicating otherwise. >> i've been unfair trying to cut this off quickly. i'll give you a chance to answer it. >> the 10 million acres of proposed lands for mineral withdrawals are critical for
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habitat sage gr ourch se. the vast majority of them do not. we're working through this process two year segregation process with states with mining companies, with counties and other interested parties to identify areas where they believe they should not be a part of the withdrawal. there are active discussions going on in nevada, we'll continue network with states throughout this two year segregation process. >> mr. walden. >> thank you very much. i'll try to move through these quickly. first of all as you know, the wildlife refuge in my district we appreciate the work of the people that work there and i one what they've been through. they are important parts of our community. i want to get to the issue of the monument. you and i had a phone conversation about this. you met with the judge and the commissioner as well. and they have written you expressing their opposition to
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any monument. i just want to reconfirm there's no effort in your agency, there's no coordination with ceq or the white house that you're aware of to do a national monument? >> the concept of -- it's been kick around. it's what people have recommended to us. we have not held any community meetings or had any discussion. people haven't been asking about it. >> is there any coordination with the white house that you're aware of or with ceq? i would assume they would have to come to you -- >> not that i'm aware of. >> if that happens would you be twoilg let me know and the community know if the process begins. prior administrations caused you headaches and people i represent real concerns. >> i understand. >> second, now that the standoff the armed standoff is over at the refuge i do home the blm will move rapidly in complying
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with federal law with regarding the fencing issue. you talked to the judge about that as well. >> i did talk about that with the judge and i plan on following up. >> under the cooperative management protection act which i helped author that fence field goal it's an issue of doing an eis could cooperatively to be done on private, adjacent private land and landowners are open to that to facilitate this compliance with the law. the blm was wrong in this case in their initial analysis and i hope you can correct that. on another note you were out, there thank you for coming out regarding the sage grouse habitat. one of the environmental groups has now sued over that and this is the frustration we feel very strongly as i don't have to tell you when the collaboration does come together and then another group sues and it's really, retail frustrating to what we're trying to do out there. and so that's an issue as well.
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i want to commend the interior department for finally getting done the change in the wild and scenic river status on bowman dam. i commend you for finally getting that done. this is important movement forward. as for law enforcement funding and all, because this was a federal facility and because most of the people who were there were not from harding county let alone from the state of oregon i do hope the federal government will figure out a way to cover the local costs and i know you're looking at that. i don't know if you have anything to add to any of those statements. >> again, let me give you some flexibility because these are arbitrary time limits. >> thank you for your comments and particularly for your advocacy of the people of harding county and also for the education we had and my conversation about your work. i don't know about the
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reimbursement and how the process works with the fbi seen on so that certainly is something we're happy to have a dialogue on but i don't know what the rules are. >> i'm with you. i would be happy to have that conversation on this and other matters and i'll be meeting later this week on the climate basin. we're out of time to get inthat. looking forward to continue those discussion as well. thank you. >> with unanimous consent. >> thank you. there are three documents i asked to be given you secretary jewell. three documents given to your staff right behind you. can you give them to madam secretary. first document is an agreement. please if you could have that secretary jewell. the first document is right away an agreement. go to page five of that agreement. you can see that it's signed agreed toby the tribal council
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in 1989. on page 6 of that agreement there's an amendment. this amendment is to issue rights of way to some of the county roads and i want to read this into the record. this document will amend the right-of-way regarding the easements for improvement purpose of the following -- the else rancho bridge, county road 84. as presented in the resolution dated june 6, 1989 and addressed as resolution si 008. the purpose of this amendment is to specific the term of rights of way. it's agreed toby all parties rights of way for items one, two and three, item three is county road 84 in this amendment are granted in perpetuity. that's forever. perpetuity. signed by the county, signed and
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investigated the former governor, signed and dated by the secretary of tribal council and county attorney and approved by the bureau of indian affairs and signed and dated. madam secretary that was 1989. in december 6th of 2013, the bia wrote a letter to show cause to santa fe county alleging trespass on county road 84 and sandy way. you can see why i'm confused. here's a letter accepted 24 years later trespass letter is issued. and then on january 7th, 2014, santa fe county responded and if i could submit those three documents into the record. the reason i'm here before you for the last two years i've been trying to work with the bureau of indian affairs to bring some assistance, some help, some recognition. i've not been getting anything except for what appears to be a bit of a stonewall. there's a letter dated april
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16th, 2014 where they wrote back to my office quoting part of the letter from santa fe county which i highlighted stating that the county has always been interested in reaching a more permanent solution to the claims concerning these roads. we're aware of this matter. the bia asserted that's ambiguity. we need to get to the bottom what these easements agreements are. when i ask for a process and what they do for a trespass letter documents and agreements stamped by the bia to be looked at and considered and what's happened now is in 1924 there was something called a pueblo lands act that the congress adopted and in 1930 all the adjudicated lands were cleared up. patents were issued by the united states of america which is the clearest title can you have in the united states. but now there's a disputes with some of these roads. subsequent to that these
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agreements have been in place. i need your help. the lands owned by the nontribal residents in this case they are trying to sell their land or build homes on their land, three, fourth, fifth generation and title company says this letter from the bia dated december 2013 is stopping all of that. so i bring this all to your attention with a little bit of passion, madam secretary, because this community needs our help and i'm concerned what's going to happen there. thank you for the indulgence. i hope you'll reverse that 2013 letter in light of the amendment on that agreement. >> do you want 15 seconds to respond >> this is the first i've heard of it. and my door, my phones are always open as you have concerns. you don't feel you have to come to a budget hearing for that. >> we're way over time. you haven't had a chance to ask any questions. can you do it in a couple of
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minutes. >> i'll do my best. secretary jewell there are a number of social justice issues in california central area that will have zero water allocation, 30 home runs to 40% unemployment. water trucked in. mon mobile showers. truck lines. the there's one question in particular i want to have you address. three weeks ago this committee heard about the nonnative fish in the river and the delta and elsewhere where they are killing an eating up to 98% of the threatened endangered species we're spending so much money and water trying to save. the big conflict has been perpetuated by the act. a fish doubling goal. not only are we trying to double the goal the endangered species
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but double the goal is to double the nonnative fish that setting 98% of what we're trying to save and the main reason we're pushing all of this water out to the ocean bypassing the central valley and creating these big social justice issues. my question very simple i got a bill that eliminates this federal fish doubling goal for the striped bass and i would just ask you would you agree with addressing the endangered and threatened species rather than having a conflicting goal that causes a greater imbalance. >> i'll ask mike connor to answer. >> thank you for raising the issue. i know there's been proposals, many legislative proposals. this one is a constant theme about what to do with striped bass. i believe the provision have been essentially stayed because they are supposed to to be done in partnership with state of
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california and there's been no actions on them. having said that to double them. but there's provision for demonstration project to reduce the striped bass. your provision to undo that provision. we're happy to look at those legislative authorizations. >> we certainly have an amendment in both the house and senate bills that deal with this but this is a much bigger issue and the doubling goal needs be addressed. i would ask you to give me a written response once you get an opportunity to look at that legislation but i'll say in front of this committee we have had several people testify that has said it's one of the key reasons we've pushed 500,000 feed out to the ocean in the last two months. we look forward to working with you on that. >> you get the last question. >> miss jewell, again the
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portland hearing right now which required nondisclosure forms to be signs same as in sacramento so far highlights are they formed a river removal corporation, 501(c)3 and that they are going to call the dam removal disconnecting them rather than deeconomiesing them. those are highlights from portland. were you aware that nondisclosure forms are required to be signed to participate? >> yes, i was made aware of that after the original hearing. as i under it -- >> do you think it's appropriate for government employees and even my was to be subject to that when it should be, seems like a public process with millions of taxpayer $involved? >> there's a process being carried out. so it was the parties themselves who i believe were seeking nondisclosure. >> mr. chairman the federal government is a partner in this
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thing. they are seeking federal funding for the record sir i want to you know i'll be submitting a freedom of information request to your office secretary jewell for these documents related to the portland meeting today, the sacramento meeting last week and anything else that comes online. i would appreciate a rapid response on that and i would just ask that as we go forward that with the, again, the most transparent administration with these secret meetings, front company being formed and no end being discussed on how the water supply issues for the people in the basin this is a jam job on my district. sorry about that. but this is a tough business in a yield back. thank you, sir. >> i also have a request we come in on a department of law enforcement basis your staff said we could get an answer soon. i hope that can be done this week as well. i really do apologize for keeping you this long.
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you do realize the only other person that stayed the entire time is me so we got quit meeting like this. i do appreciate you, you coming here. there may be additional questions members have. we have ten business days to accommodate those. with that unless there's anything else -- with our deep consideration and thanks, i want to sincerely thank you for staying here and especially staying the extra half hour which was above and beyond the call that was supposed to be here. thank you very much for doing that. i apologize we kept you this long. with that the committee is adjourned.
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>> here on c-span 3 coming up live at 11:30 mitt romney will speak about his party's current field of presidential candidates at the university of utah. now parts of the former massachusetts governor's speech have already been released where he calls currents gop front-runner donald trump quota phoney, a fraud. you can see his speech again live at 11:30 eastern here on c-span 3 and we'll follow that with your comments, calls and more on c-span 3. donald trump has already offered up a pre-buttal. the candidate sent out write failed candidate mitt romney who ran one of the worst races in presidential history is working with the establishment to bury a big r win. also i contaminate only one who can beat hillary clinton. i'm not mitt romney who doesn't know how to win.
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hillary want no part of trump. again that speech from mitt romney at 11:30 eastern. today kicks off the conservative political action conference taking place just outside of washington, d.c.. four day conference features currents and former presidential candidates and other conservative leaders. our coverage gets under way this afternoon at 1:00 eastern with remarks from national rival association ceo. that will be here on c-span 3. this weekend the c-span city's tour hosted by our time warner cable partners takes to you anaheim, california to explore the city's history and literary culture. >> the idea came from my editor. i was offended and didn't want to do it at first because i didn't think anyone would care. in journalism you want to do stories people would care about. you don't care if people like you or hate you.
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who will want to read an advice column about mexicans. we needed to fill in a space in the paper that week so okay fine i'll go back. he said it's only going one time, a satirical comment. people went nuts for it. some people loved it. some people hated it. more importantly people were caring and even crazier at the very bottom of the column was supposed to be joke. you got a spicy question about mexicans ask me. people called me on my bluff. sending in questions immediately. >> and on american history tv. >> john and his partner go up to san francisco which is where a lot of the german immigrants are located, and actually able to, i fine i want very shock, but are able to convince 50 people of whom nobody was a farmer and only one person had any background in wine making to
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give up their businesses and come to anaheim. so their first action after they formed what's known as the los angeles vineyard society was to hire john hanson to be their superintendent and his job was to bring irrigation here, lay out the town site and plant actually hundreds of thousands of grape vines before families would even come down here. >> watch the c-span cities tour saturday at noon eastern on c-span 2 book tv and on american history tv on sunday at 2:00 on c-span 3. american university recently held their annual latino public affairs forum analyzing the impact of the latino electorate on 2016 election. it included this discussion on the influence of latino voters on swing states and role of
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puerto rican and mexican migrants. speakers include the former governor of new mexico, hispanic research director and also american university government professor. >> i'm pleased to say we're staying on time, and that's important both so that we have plenty of time for this session and an opportunity to have the kinds of discussion after our panel has intervened we had in the first two session. it's also because this is one of the most valued rooms on campus which means that if you reserve it until 5:30 you need be out because there's something else happening at 6:00. and so we always follow the schedule, but all the more reason that we're going to do so
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this afternoon. so, again, for those of you who may not have been here when we opened, my name is eric. i'm pleased to be co-sponsoring this together with the center for congressional and presidential studies. i should mention when i introduced my colleague who is the director i mentioned his new book. i didn't realize there were copies available outside. there may still be and i electronically recommend it really a very thoughtful book about an issue that really matters which is the polarization of american politics. and in that context, this panel is looking at, you know, an aspect of the coming election that in many instance may be linked to these phenomenon of
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polarization. we labeled this panel swing states and wild cards. and we'll begin with marco of the pew research center whose work on demographics of the latino population. he's been here on several occasions on events we held and happy to welcome him back. he's written quite a bit on hispanic behavior, attitudes regarding immigration and so on. after his intervention i'm very pleased to welcome the governor who was governor of puerto rico from 2009 to 2013. he's now with steptoe and johnson here in washington. before he was governor of puerto rico he was also the commonwealth's representative to the house of representatives and
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he's been involved in a variety of public service positions for quite some time. he has a j.d. in law from the university of virginia and in just found out it's his grandfather or great-grandfather had his j.d. in law from the washington college of law before it was affiliated with american university. so if we couldn't figure out when the affiliation happened there's a long -- there's a long link. finally, william who is professor in au's department of government. very active contributor to the programs of the center for latin america latino studies whose works on u.s.-cuba relations and on the politics of the cuba issue throughout the united states but including among cuban-americans in florida and elsewhere. bill has done quite a bit of work on cuban politics and
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society and as well as cuban-u.s. relations. you'll be familiar with the book that came out last year. bill and i just finished a book on normalization wean the u.s. and cuba which should come out in about six or eight weeks. so, with regard to the swing states and wild cards. everyone will be aware of the notion that there are a number of states in which presidential elections -- the outcome of presidential elections is likely to hinge, that's the purple states rather than blue or red states. so these are states like colorado, florida, nevada, new mexico, virginia with heavy latino populations. one of the questions i want to address in this session is how the latino vote may impact in particular swing states.
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and we could look at that both at the presidential level or perhaps at the senate level as well. another issue that we thought was particularly interesting for this cycle and that i think the governor can reflect on is the role of the substantial migration of puerto ricans to the mainland, particularly to florida over the past several years. and the possible impact that this may have on the outcome of the election in swing state florida but also perhaps beyond. that's one of the wild cards that we saw as peculiar though particular election cycle. another which bill can speak is to change in u.s. policy towards cuba. historically the notion was that the cuban-american vote in florida and to an extent also new jersey, was influenced by
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the republican party's commitment to a hard-line with regard to relations with havana. there's a lot of question whether that's still the case and that may be one of the reasons that the policy changed but the question of whether the politics, the electoral politics of the cuba question may have changed and the degree to which the quite dramatic policy change introduced by the obama administration just over a year ago might tilt things one way or another in florida. there are quite a number of wild cards, further wild cards we could talk about and maybe in discussion we could. my understanding is that there's been an acceleration in the number of immigrant whose are naturalizing in the interest of being able to participate in the 2016 elections. there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the fate of voter i.d. laws in a number of states where turn out is likely to be an
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important variable, shaping outcomes. so there's a variety of different wild cards. i could mention some others that are rather more far fetched, but could be significant. another wave of migrants from central america, youth migrants is very much possible. what would happen, someone mentioned -- what would happen if there was a significant terrorist attack that involved transborder u.s.-mexico. a lot of different wild cards and our panelists will get us started thinking about those and then we'll open it up for discussion. thank you. >> good afternoon, everybody. i hope i'm not too repetitive of what's gone before. i know a lot of folks have taken a stab at a lot of this.
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so, i want to talk a little bit about some of the work we've done at the pew research center. to give you a little bit of a background we're funded by the hispanic transproject as part of the pew research center. the most important thing we're a fact tank and not a think tank. we take no positions poinl or make recommendations for candidates. all that is important to keep in mind. somebody might ask me what the candidates should do. i would say i don't know and that's on purpose. so you're aware of that. in this last year we've been doing a lot of looking at how the hispanic electorate is looking. you heard a lot of conversation already today about 27 million or more latinos will be 18 years of age and usa citizen. where is this growth coming from? if you take a look where the growth is coming from you'll see young people turning 18 is really the biggest sourts of growth for the hispanic
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electorate. but another important source, of course, is naturalization. as eric hinted at before this is an important source and an accelerating source so that this estimate of 1.2 million, it's an estimate in projection, keep in mind it might be something different come the end of 2016 when we actually have data in to see what has happened. we are getting a sense from at that lot of the work we're doing looking at why people choose a naturalized, et cetera, there's an uptick in naturalizations. also important to note there are about 5.4, 5.5 million hispanic adults who are in the country legally and have not yet naturalized. many are mexican who have been green card holders for 20 years and it's important to note there's a real group, a real pool of people who potentially could become u.s. citizens and therefore potential voters for the hispanic vote this year.
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so about 1.2 million from there. additional 130,000 are people who migrated out of the island of puerto rico and to the united states. what's important here is that florida is the top destination for this current crop much out migration. about 30%, 31% have settled in central florida since 2012. keep that in mind. florida is the biggest magnet for these out migrants though many are going other places too like texas, like new york, like connecticut, like pennsylvania, but florida is getting the single largest part of this outmigration. now, of course some people pass away, so hispanic population is not all about young people, right? we project that by november 2016 there will be about 27.3 million hispanics eligible to vote. a little side note pop for asian-americans it's interesting. rather than youth being the driver it's actually
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naturalizations. hispanic electorate driven by u.s. born young people coming of age and that's true of whites and blacks as well but for asians it's the flip, more are naturalizing than actually turn 18 in any given year. that's an interesting difference for that particular population. we were talking about states. we take a look at what the pundits are saying where the close states and close races will be? we've gone through taking a look at the presidential race, senate races and governor race. the share of hispanic in each of those states and all states according to the cook political report as of a month ago were likely to be competitive races this election cycle. all very interesting. florida stlup. about 18.1%. nevada at 17.2. colorado 14.5. you got illinois at almost 11%, virginia at just under 5% along with pence, wisconsin, et cetera, et cetera. what's interesting to note here
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is that the distribution of the hispanic population of course, this is a population that's dispersing. its presence in many states is growing. even though these numbers look small, in ohio it might be 2.3% this coming election but four years ago it was only 1.5, 1.6%. we're seeing rapid growth and small numbers but rapid growth even in places like florida, nevada and colorado. nevada particularly has been growing fast. of course, the hispanic electorate is one we've seen a growing number of eligible voters and growing number of voters. one of the other striking things here is we talk about how the hispanic vote has become more important than ever. that's true. but also the rate at which number of voters is growing is actually slower and slowing compared to the number who are eligible to vote. that means in any given presidential cycle recently you've seen more hispanic
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nonvoters than voters. so when we talk about the hispanic vote i'm sure we're going see a record turn out this year partly because of demographics, more people, more people will turn out the vote. be interesting to see how much higher it goes as a result of mobilization, interest in this election, et cetera. that's the wild card. how many hispanics will turn out the vote. as people mentioned, a report we did on the share of hispanic eligible voters or millennials, you can see that here compared to blacks, asians and whites, hispanic share is approaching nearly half. now the millennial generation are people ages 13 to 35 this year. so keep that in mind. present wide swath of the population. but when you look at u.s. born hispanics median age of u.s. born hispanics is 19. that means half of the hispanic population born in the united states is still not into adulthood. it gives you a sense of today's
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youth concerns relative importance among hispanic voters. this is another wild card how many of them will vote, how many will turn out, register, et cetera. but also not just about this election cycle something that will continue for the next two to three decades as we don't have a number of first time voters, a number of young people who know where to register, beginning their adult life, moving around, establishing families. it's actually hard to get a young person to register to vote. the previous panel a lot of folks are talking about this, more of a youth issue than a latino issue. the youth issue is more of a challenge for hispanics than it is for other groups. what about nativity? i think this is one of the most i wanting charts in our most recent report. look at the share foreign born. relatively flat since about 2000. in other words naturalizations
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are really playing a big role in shaping the size of the hispanic electorate. they are holding their own in the face of the swamping of so many young latinos coming of age. we've seen number of hispanics naturalizing, rising and accelerating and keeping their own among the hispanic electorate. why do we care about this? turns out foreign born hispanics turn out the vote at higher rates than native born or u.s. born hispanics. i think that's an important point to note. this naturalization wild card could potentially be very important. you could also see many hispanics are send generation or third generation meaning they are u.s. born. second generation have immigrant parents but third generation are people who are u.s. born with u.s. born parents. so we're talking about immigration. immigration may be particularly important and relevant to immigrants themselves maybe children but i don't know if it's as important an toish that
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third generation as that first and second generation. some of the conversation in the last panel about why hasn't immigration been mobilized for u.s. born hispanics because many of them are third generation, english speak and something that may not resonate with them. vote your turnout rates for hispanics have been lower than whites and blacks. a lot of this is partly due to geography of hispanic vote, candidate outreach and relative size of the youth population. somebody asked the question about differences in terms of millennial turn out. you can see, for example, that even among hispanics younger hispanics vote at lower rates but generally speaking young people do have lower rates than everybody else and you can see this over there farn chart that hispanics have among the lowest voter turn out rates among millennials. keep in mind there's always a gap between young people and older folks for any one group.
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so where is the hispanic vote? well, the hispanic vote is concentrated in a number of states. cal and texas alone have about half of all hispanic voters. it's important to note although their share is declining. one of the i wanting things about their shared declining you know who is responsible for that declining share? it's not california. california back in 2000 had about 25, 26% of all hispanic eligible voters and about the same today. it's texas who has gone from about 24% to 19% of all hispanic eligible voters today. i think this reflects a growing undocumented population in texas and relatively young population that even though the hispanic population has grown there the eligible voter population is not growing as fast. florida is also very interesting because of all the migration of hispanics who are moving there both from the northeast but also from puerto rico. the new influx of cuban immigrants. there's a lot of interesting things going on there.
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you can see the hispanic population is largely concentrated along into border and key states with large urban areas. at the congressional district level here's a map that show us pretty much the same thing and if you're interested in this go our website and take a look at our interactive and find out how many hispanics live in your congressional district and how many are eligible to vote. finally when we talk about party registrations hispanics have long identified with a lean towards the democratic party. you've seen this already. you can see the surge come 2006 in 2008 in terms of affiliation with the democratic party. the republican party numbers have been slowly rising up through 2014. i don't know what they are yet. we just got back some polling numbers. hopefully we'll have something now show very soon. but despite that many hispanics don't have a very good view of the republican party. so when you take a look at which party do hispanic registered voters think cares about the community more you'll find for example 10% say the republican
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party has more concern than the democratic party for hispanics. 50% say the democratic party. but you can see how much that has changed since 2012. i'm going to stop there because that's a lot of stuff already and i apologize if it was repetitive. thank you. [ applause ] >> first of all, it's a pleasure to be here at au and i believe it's a discussion that comes at an excellent moment. it's a year of wild cards. so in that sense i could not think of a better title to this group. what i will do avoid being repetitive, i'll go -- avoid some of this chart in the beginning and then go on the last ones. however that one is interesting the fact that in 2012 the republican party candidate got
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the lowest hispanic vote percentage wise since watergate. most of you were not born then, back then. course with the exception of the two years where we had a three way race for the presidency. every month 50,000 hispanics turn 18. going to your point that's why that chart is growing dramatically on the hispanic side. and why it's going down and will continue to do so. percentage of the electorate we saw how four of those battleground states fare and how growth of hispanic electorate continues to be important. branding. to just double down on what you said, the opinions of hispanics regarding democrats and republicans and how they differ regarding how they differ -- regarding how both national
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parties you can see that the democratic party has a clear advantage in terms of the opinion of hispanics especially when it goes to respect values and concerns of hispanics and that is important. in terms of favorable and unfavorable opinions same thing we'll see here in terms of the opinions of most hispanics tend to favor the democratic party and you would think well game over. we don't need to discuss this any further. well not exactly. because we've seen how different candidates have done very well in different races and i have given just three, three hispanic republicans that have done well in their respective states, actually governor martinez and sandoval are extremely popular in their respective states and
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they were both re-elected in resounding victories. in terms of issues, gop is anti-immigrant and that's clear and recent public discourse doesn't help in that front and we've seen, for example, how some hispanic groups specifically puerto ricans in the i-4 corridor in central florida even though they voted in 2004 for george w. bush re-election they voted overwhelmingly for president obama in his re-election just a few years later. and that's a reflection on the discussion of certain issues including immigration even though that's not the number one issue among hispanics and especially puerto rican-americans. we see other issues.
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like school choice and merit pay for teachers it's support by hispanics across the board. so there are issues where traditionally republican proposals tend to resonate well amongst hispanics. and it's important also to understand that hispanics tend to be entrepreneurial and one in ten hispanics own a small business and that's also very important to note. in terms of these numbers are interesting as well. if we go from this chart, we come along and at the beginning, how many people consider themselves to be republican that number is pretty low. but then when we go down the list and we start discussing whether they consider themselves to be conservative the numbers start going up. those that support limiting spending, lower taxes and
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reduced regulation these go up as well. then whether government should promote opportunity instead of furnish look at those numbers whether they are likely to consider voting for a republican you see that there's potential for growth in the hispanic community, of course depending on who the nominees are and that's going very important. i want to be brief but just a few wild cards. certainly donald trump's candidacy and everything i thought i knew about politics has gone out the window with this candidacy. i don't know why you invited me but i appreciate the invitation. but that is tapping into a sentiment that's real, it's out there, and it's not unique to united states of america. you go to other western democracies and look at what's going on in europe. in spain they had elections back
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in december. they have not yet been able to put together a government. look at united kingdom. look at the national front in france. belgium. it's unbelievable. anti-immigrant sentiment that's creeping up. same thing with some of the former eastern european countries. in germany, angela merkel who looked to be invincible is in trouble because of what has transpired especially on new year's eve with the new wave of immigrants. so in that sense this is not unique to america. and there is a sentiment out there, it's not the topic of today's discussion but certainly you could argue that it may have something to do with the fact that after the '08-'09 fiscal meltdown, a large group of people were left behind and feel left behind and feel that their elected officials are not responding to their needs.
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that actually is a nice segue to the next one because it's not just donald trump. look at bernie sanders and what he's been able to accomplish. regardless whether we were discussing this earlier, we think tomorrow perhaps skek clinton can clinch the nomination to be frank if i asked anyone in this room if back in july anyone here thought that bernie sanders could be as competitive as he has been in this early primaries i bet you no one would have ventured to say that that would be the case. and, again, he is tapping into a sentiment that is real. and true. there's all this talk about a republican brokered convention. we don't know yet. in read an analysis today as to what could happen if donald trump continues to garner 30%, 40% of republican votes in every
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primary and if governor kasich carries ohio, senator cruz carries texas, even if senator rubio doesn't carry florida, donald trump would not have enough delegates come mid-july to win the nomination in the first-round of voting, and the republican party rules state that the delegates are bound to their candidate only in the first-round of voting. so after that first-round, it's up for grabs and anything can happen and if you don't think so, who could have vote chris christie would have endorsed donald trump this week. so again anything is possible in the realm of politics. you would not have thought that. okay. i will give you 20 bucks and you play the powerball for me this week anyhow. and then -- what will happen if
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hillary clinton is the nominee? and where will bernie sanders voters go? i will tell you something that will probably make you say okay now why did you invite this guy here at all. many of those voters may end up voting for trump. and i know this sounds strange, but i've seen a lot of data pointing in that direction and, again, it's a year of the wild cards and that's why we're here so, again, thank you for the invitation. i look forward the discussion. thank you. [ applause ] >> you mentioned we invited you despite not having predicted some of these things. if having predicted the rise of donald trump was a prerequisite for speaking at american university our students in american politics wouldn't have any instructor. none of us saw this coming.
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[ laughter ] >> well, thank you. so when president obama and president raul castro made their surprise announcement last december, 2014 that they had agreed normalize u.s.-cuban relations that drew immediate fire from republican presidential hopefuls. marco rubio said obama was the worst negotiator in his lifetime. senator cruz accused obama of bailing out castro. and ex-governor bush accused obama of betraining freedom. now as you might expect donald trump thought company have gotten a better deal. [ laughter ] but notice that he didn't attack the idea of engaging with cuba.
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now, the argument i want to make today is that the politics of the cuba issue are actually more complicated than most of these would indicate. so first, let's look at national polling on obama's opening to cuba. as you can see, the president's opening is overwhelmingly popular with the general public. above 70% favorable. and interestingly, it's even supported by republicans. it's getting more popular, as you can see, over time as we see how the process of normalization unfolds. and just recently, gallup did its normal thermometer poll. and for the very first time more people view cuba favorably than unfavorably. now, of course, the real battleground on the cuba issue is florida where it has high salience for cuban-americans and
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where they are a large enough proportion of the electorate, about 5%, to make the difference in this swing state. and as we know, elections in florida can be really close sometimes. for republicans in florida, the cuban-american community has historically been a very solid consistent base since the 1980s. and the conventional wisdom among democrats, beginning really with bill clinton, was that the right strategy was to try to outflank the republican candidate on the right on the issue of cuba so that cuban-americans then might cast a vote based more on social and economic issues, democrats could pick up at least a reasonable minority of that vote, and that could be the difference. and it's strategy that worked for bill clinton in 1996. it's a strategy that hillary clinton pursued in 2008.
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but barack obama took a different approach to the issue. he appealed to the growing moderate segment to the cuban-american community by promising to repeal limits on family travel and remittances and to actually engage with cuba. and it worked. this is as you can see a long-term trends of republican and democratic votes among cuban-americans in south florida. there's an exit poll analysis and a precinct analysis and they're different in terms of the outcome, but as you can see, the long term trend is clear. in every cycle since 2000, the cuban-american vote has become less reliably republican. so what's going on here and what does it mean for 2016? the realignment of the cuban-american electorate is the result of changing attitudes that are rooted in changing demographics. the floyd international university has been polling in the community since 1991 and tracking these attitudes.
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and their polls show us that more recent arrivals and cuban-americans born in the united states have more moderate views than exiles who arrived in the 1960s and the 1970s. and it makes perfect sense. the early arrivals were political refugees who lost everything when they fled cuba. the later arrivals have really been more economically motivated. they still have family on the island. they travel back and forth. they send remittances. so for these recent arrivals, a more normal state to state relationship between cuba and the united states is a good thing because it makes it easier to maintain these family ties. and so, we see an evolution in the florida international poll data on engagement with cuba. you can see a reasonably consistent trend upward. and over the years, a fairly dramatic shift from opposition
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to any kind of commerce with cuba to engagement to the point that in the most recent 2014 poll, 52% of cuban-americans in south florida favored lifting the embargo against cuba. so now if we look in more detail at that 2014 poll, one of the things we see is that -- so here's the breakdown on the embargo question. you can see that early arrivals and the generation -- you can see a generational difference in terms of age. you can see a difference in terms of when people arrived in the united states and then you can see that the older exiles are much more conservative than the younger. now not surprisingly, cuba is an issue very salient in this community. 64% of registered voters say it's important in deciding who they're going to vote for. probably this is the only
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constituency in the united states where this is such a salient issue. and note that 53% of the community say they're more likely to vote for a candidate that's engaged. so the moderates have over time gradually become a majority. so this is arrivals. and as you can see, over time from these last three censuses, that exiles arriving before 1980, that is to say, the more politically oriented exiles have fallen from 81% of the community to just 24% in 2010 and obviously my best estimate is only about 20% of the community today. now, it's taken a long time for this change to actually manifest itself in votes. and that's because, of course, of naturalization. we have been talking about this
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issue. as you can see, people who came early are almost all u.s. citizens and they're registered at higher rates an they turn out to vote at fairly high rights. whereas, people who are more recent arrivals, particularly those who came at the end of the cold war, most of them are still not yet naturalized citizens. one of the things this tells us is that over time this long-term trend in the cuban-american community becoming more moderate is going to continue as these later arrivals, as more and more of them become naturalized. so and here finally you can see that among cuban-american citizens in florida, the early arrivals are down from 65% in 1980 to just 30% in 2010. and the biggest block now are cuban-americans who are born in the united states. and so finally, all of these factors together have eroded the
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traditional alignment of the community with the republican party and you can see it here in the changing registration numbers. so, we can conclude from this that obama's strategy of appealing the moderates in the cuban-american community has been largely successful and that the cuba issue is not any longer the way it used to be, sort of a third rail of politics in florida. so how have cuban-americans reacted specifically to obama's opening to cuba? and this is a national poll of cuban-americans done on the anniversary of the announcement, that is to say, in december of 2014. and as you can see, the results favor very closely the florida international university polls. 56% of cuban-americans in favor of obama's opening. and more importantly, again, you can see that support has actually increased over time as we've seen what the normalization looks like in
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practice. now, if we disaggregate these results a little bit, you can see that here again by age, the younger generation clearly in favor of this, whereas it's the overall generation still doesn't like the idea of engaging with cuba. and by decade of arrival, same thing. those who came early are in disagreement with what obama has done. but interestingly, not by huge numbers. whereas those who came after 1980 are very much in favor of it. and perhaps most important, cuban-americans born in the united states are overwhelmingly in favor of what obama has done. and as i said earlier, this is now the largest segment of the community and the largest segment of the cuban-american electorate. and the communities against the
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embargo. the embargo, of course, requires an act of congress to be removed. so that's going to be an issue in 2017. and the cuban-american community now is fairly solidly in favor of moving ahead on removing it. so what about the hispanic community as a whole? how much difference does the cuban issue make among hispanic voters nationwide? well, the answer is really not a lot. generally speaking, hispanic voters are in favor of what the president has done, but it's not really all that important an issue for him. it's not salient. it doesn't make much of a difference. but this is interesting. the democrats are more likely, of course, to favor this. but the republican hispanic voters are evenly split on this. so even among hispanic
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republicans, there is a modest amount of -- to people who makes a difference to, they're evenly split to people who like what obama has done with this opening and people who don't. and then this is for me the most interesting. cuban-american voters are actually more favorable and more likely to vote for a candidate in favor of opening to cuba than noncuban hispanic voters. so and if we reverse the question, if you reverse the question and say, are you likely to vote against who opposes obama's opening to cuba, you get almost exactly the same numbers. so this is not a good result for marco rubio or ted cruz heading into the florida primary since they have staked out absolute opposition to obama's opening to cuba. and, of course, the president is

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