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tv   Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  July 17, 2013 1:00am-6:01am EDT

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did as well. i understand all the nuances to this. the thing that is distressing is more than anything the pre-existing condition area. i know that further delays are only going to cause added misery. there are people who are really, really, like miss slaughter just said, really happy that now they can be covered. particularly people with little children who have conditions that they would not be insured on. and somehow or another, i just see it as our responsibility, whether it's 10 million, whether it's 30 million or 40 million. whatever figure you use. i just see us, if everybody is pulling together, us having a better way to come to the
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implementation of this law. and if not this law, what law? is what i continue to ask. i do not accept as gold, my chairman of this committee's reflection regarding what the republicans were ready to do. i'm here now, 21 years, and i haven't seen a republican plan yet that comes to the table and says that we will be able to cover all of these people in a meaningful way. sometimes wonder whether any of y'all have ever been to an emergency room or whether you've seen many of the physicians -- i find it interesting, doc, you're a physician. dr. burgess is a physician. i learned something by virtue of having to go to an emergency room the week before last here at the washington hospital center, and then later to go to the george washington university emergency room. and a physician there told me something that i did not know.
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and that is that all of the residents, residencies of physicians, is under the aegis of medicare. he pointed out to me there's no blue cross, blue shield or aetna residence program in hospitals. yet i find physicians here in this institution that did their residencies under that aegis would want to get rid of medicare. i could go on and on. i'll leave it at that. i am going to adamantly oppose this, and i do believe that mr. young is approaching it from the standpoint that i find reasonable, and that the very same time, quarrel with the fact that we're going to have to get on with implementing this law, otherwise we're going to start all over again and have to implement something, otherwise i promise you everybody in this
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room that health care insurance is going to go up, and it isn't because insurance companies are bad people or hospitals or physicians are bad people. or that attorneys and malpractice are bad people. it is the nature of business that it goes up. i haven't had it go down any time in my life. anybody in here that had their insurance go down, raise your hand. thank you, mr. chairman. >> gentleman yields back. i thank the gentleman. i'd also like to be supportive of the comments that the gentleman made in regard to us getting to know our colleagues. in particular, i believe if i could extend to the gentleman from florida that the gentleman, mr. young, who i have gotten to know and i know the gentleman from the state of washington has gotten to know him, we're occasionally together in the mornings maybe three or four days a week. it has offered that opportunity, and i would commend it to you, and i really respect your desire to do that, and i hope that he
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equally would accept that challenge, not just your side of the coin. and my knowledge of mr. wrung is he'll be very eager to do that. i've gotten to know some other members including the gentleman, mr. polis, a little bit better because of some opportunities we've had together. and i think it helped our relationship, al, also. so i admire you very much and hope the gentleman as a new member of this body, second termer, that he'll get a chance to do that. i thank the gentleman very much. gentleman, you're recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate it. to my friend, mr. hastings' point about hastings/obama care. it's my understanding they did consider that, but our colleague, doc hastings, really objected vehemently. so i thought it might put his seat in jeopardy. so they backed off at the last minute. i have a question about the underlying legislation because
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it really gets in this concept, then a couple of others. to refresh our memories, do either of you happen to know, one, roughly what, let's say, young person in good health, early 20s, early 30s, whatever you want to say, no problems. what health care would cough that individual that we're now mandating, have to get it? and two, what the fine is if they choose not to do that. >> i'd be happy to answer that. and there have been different estimates, but to be a bit imprecise here, perhaps my good colleague from washington will want to be more precise in this regard, but several thousand dollars is what they can anticipate their cost being. the fine, $95 under this law upon implementation first year which would be january 1st if, in fact, we don't pass the bill i'm here to represent today. >> so, and if you disafr agreag that, mr. mcdermot --
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>> if you're talking about the provisions of the law. >> yeah. >> the fine for an individual for the first year is 95% -- $95. $285 per family. up to 1% of their income. second year, $325 for an individual. $975 for a family. and in the third year, it would be $695 and $2,085 for a family. so it's graduated in. it's sort of saying, okay, if you want to sit out a year and watch this, that's fine. just pay your fine and you can go on down the road with no health insurance. that's fine. but you're going to pay something. everybody has a responsibility to pay, but we're going to raise the ante every year until you get the picture. >> well, you've laid out rational decision-making earlier in your comments about, you
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know, why wouldn't people just, you know, not do the insurance and make -- i fail to see how this fine is going to encourage people to do this anyway. if the rational thing, financially, is to say, hey, i can show up at any time and get the insurance. why not just pay the fine? >> well, if you didn't make an individual mandate and require that people be in, you could never cost this out. >> i'm just suggesting is the fine -- and asking, i guess, not suggesting anything -- but if people are going to behave, quote, rationally economically, which is what you suggested, it's still cheaper to pay the fine. much, much, much cheaper to pay the fine. so why won't they do that, and why won't they do that indefinitely? even with the gradual increase at the family and individual level, it's still cheaper to pay the fine than it is to go buy the insurance. so we either have this fine too low, or -- >> one of the things, you're old
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enough -- >> i'm very old. >> -- to know that there is a point where the wheels start falling off the wagon. now, for young people, they think the wheels will never fall off. a lot of people in this room who can't imagine that they would ever have big health care bills. but somebody easily in this room could have leukemia. now, they paid the $95, then they go to the hospital and it costs them at the hutch cancer center in seattle, to get a bone marrow transplant costs $125,000. they paid 95 bucks. who pays that $125,000? well, they wind up with a bill from the hutch cancer center to pay for that. now, if they thought that $95 was a good bet, it will turn out they weren't very smart, and there are lots of young people
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who are in motorcycle accidents and all kinds of accidents, skiing accidents. when my kid got out of clollege he said he didn't want to have insurance. i said, jimmy, you go up to group helt and you're going to buy a policy. he said, i don't have the money. i said, i'll help you because one of the days when you're skiing and come off the corners and drop 100 feet into the snow, you're going to break a leg and get a spiral fracture and cost $50,000 and you think i'm going to pay for it. that doesn't make any sense. we're going to get you an insurance policy right off the top. not everybody has a father who says that to their kid. so kids will make this bet. 95 bucks. hey, nothing. give them the money. forget about it. some of them are going to get clobbered. >> i think you're right. some will get clobbered.
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east of them will win the bet. that's the problem, i think, with the system in terms of its operation. i think most people -- by the way, i think this is going to happy where companies are concerned, too. it's still cheaper to pay the fine per worker than it is to provide full health care. i'm not arguing for higher fines, but i think we're going it be confronted with the dilemma. i think companies are pretty quickly -- i know companies now that won't go above 50 because of that provision. i think other companies will try to figure out ways where maybe they can keep their existing workforce on but pay the fines for new people and overtime almost work themselves out of the insurance business. i think there's a lot of unforeseen consequences. and i think individuals that make, quote, rational economic decisions, in many cases are going to decide not to participate in this program. just pay the fine. it's just cheaper because you can always at the end of the day come in. so, but that doesn't really, you know, that's not a point that undermines the authority here. i want to ask you both another question. i am very curious. my good friend from north carolina sort of raised this issue.
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do you think the president has the constitutional authority to waive parts of the law that he chooses to waive? we, i assume, have different opinions. i'd like to hear your rationale. >> absolutely. i don't know if you were in the room -- >> i was pot nnot. i arrived late. >> it gives him general leave to give waivers when there are parts of the law that he thinks needs a waiver for a certain period of time. and that's what he used. he's not the only president who's used that. bush used it. clinton used it. >> did you agree with it when bush used it? >> what? >> did you agree with it when bush used it? >> i didn't know. i wasn't trying to tear up the law that mr. bush was using it for. he was using a tax law. there are lots of times when we write a law, we think we've thought of everything, but the
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reason that section is in the law is because we're smart enough to know we haven't thought of everything, and the president's going to be stuck on the hook when we're not around here and he's got to make it work. so we gave him the flexibility in that situation to do that, and that's what the president did here. >> let me ask that same question to mr. young. do you think the president has the constitutional authority to, you know -- >> let me first start with a bit of humility here. right? i do have a law degree. i have practiced law. fortunately, i was able to find an exit strategy from the practice of law. i ran for office. >> you may want to rethink that strategy. >> yeah, that's right. i'll tell you. but i'll say this. there are competing views out in the public domain respect to this question. it's one that deserves very careful consideration and public debate. this was not debated publicly. we had a blog post posted by the
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administration making this, frankly, this incredible change. now, my own instincts, my own thoughts with respect to the constitutionality of this, is that the president has gone too far. that this is a, the affordable care act, bhaum caobama care, i comprehensive package. you can't have an individual mandate without the employer mandate, without the, you know, all this stuff is supposed to work together because how are we going to know if someone is, in fact, eligible for an individual mandate subsidy if you don't have an employer mandate in place, for example? and there's no clause, to my knowledge, in this very large bill, comprehensive bill, dealing with 12% of our nation's economy and growing at a rapid rate. there's no clause that allows you to separate out particular pieces. so i think that in the interest of comity, in the interest of transparency, and in the interest of better law making, this would have been better
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handled here in a public forum, which is why i think it's important we as a congress, we as a body sanction the delay of the employer mandate. >> you actually made me anticipate, actually, my next question, which, again, i put to both of you. because i have to tell you, if i accepted that this was constitutional and wise, i would still have a very hard time with how it was done. i mean, to put this on a blog, to do it when the president's ou out of the country on a holiday weekend when congress is, you know, it's clearly meant to deceive or diffuse, you know, political tension. it's disrespectful to people who have an opposite opinion. it's not worthy of an administration that considers itself transparent and open. it doesn't mean you have to agree with him, but to do it this way and not think you were going to get a negative reaction and further erode confidence from your opponents, you know, i
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just think that's a shabby way to behave. it's not worthy of the administration, the president to now something of this magnitude with no, hey, we're considering this, we'd like to know what people think about this, you know, let's be in town, have a -- just to drop it, you know, on a time that was clearly meant to get the least possible news coverage and attention? put the opponents at the most possible disadvantage? and frankly, be less than forthright with the american people. look, if you really strongly believe we have to do this to make this work better, fair point. argue it. don't drop it out on a blog. don't try and do it behind the backs of the american people. my guess is it made what was already an unpopular law, law that never has been popular, you know, more unpopular. and it probably fed the cynicism and skepticism amongst the american people.
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i mean, react to that if uyou want. can anybody give me any other logical explanation as to why this law would have been changed, or this announced this way at this time in this manner other than to be less than forthright and honest? >> i -- i don't want to try and psychoanalyze the administration or the president, in particular, so i won't do that. with respect to motives, i'll leave that for others to judge. i do think that as an institution, as a body, in a bipartisan way, we ought to be concerned about our role as the legislative body of this country. i think there has to be some deference, some comity, some cooperation between the branchs on something so important, and, you know, that's setting aside the very important legal reservations i have, and my own
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read of this, take it for what it's worth, is legal bounds were also passed here that should not have been. so nonetheless, i think the underlying poll icy of delaying the employer mandate based on all the negative feedback the administration has received with respect to the mandate and the law, more generally, i think it was the appropriate thing to do. that's why i think we should two two ahead and pass that bill. in the interest of fairness, afford the same sort of tax relief to individual hardworking americans that the president has proposed we give to big business. it's my hope on both sides of the aisle, we can come together on this issue that will be very popular among the american people. >> please? we went on quite a while, so you certainly deserve a chance to respond. >> well, i would say the authorization says accept where such authority is expressly given by this title to any other
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person of officer, employer of the treasury department. the secretary shall prescribe all rules and regulations. that's the authorization. that's where he gets the ability to write rules and regulations as he sees fit. i -- there was a recent 4th circuit court last week in which the justice said that the employer mandate is no monster. he really, he said it's not important to the fundamental functioning of this bill. that's why they took it out in the massachusetts case, as i said earlier. they repealed it just the other day and the governor, governor patrick of massachusetts, signed it into law because it was going to be done in the federal one. he said, we don't need it up here, we're doing just fine, we didn't have anybody run away from their responsibility, their employees. so i -- i might share a little of your concern about the way the announcement was made.
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but the president certainly had the authority to do it and i think he executed it within the law. >> my friend always knows his facts and makes a good argument. i appreciate, by the way, you have some concern. i suspect privately, and, look, i understand, i've been in difficult positions on the other side. i don't think anybody in this room would have advised the president of the united states to make this kind of announcement in this way. i mean, any competent practicing politician on either side would say, don't do it that way. be honest. hold a press conference. say we have to do this to make the law work. invite people -- there may be appearance of unfairness here, here's why i don't think it is unfair. don't drop it on july 3rd, on a holiday weekend with congress not in session, you not in town and make it look like you're doing -- you look like you're trying to pull a fast one. when you are trying to pull a fast one, it's sure better not to look like it. that mystifies me. i have to tell you, just -- that
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is political malpractice. two quick questions. i've gone on very long. the chairman has been very generous. i know you guys will have probably different answers to this. first, do you think this is popular with the american people? i'm not saying this is necessarily how we should judge everything we do. all the polling, the law and this decision suggests to me it's not, and that may be the explanation for why it was announced in the way it was. second, this gets to a point that mr. young made and that i agreed with. sometimes you have to just be fair or at least look like you're being fair. i think it looks incredibly unfair to let business off and individuals on. i just think it's actually going to erode, and i'm not for this law, done want to suggest that my opinion would change. i think it's going to erode the effort to erode faith in. my friend mentioned the
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prescription drug medicare part "d" program, and, you know, strangely enough, that's always been pretty popular. it certainly had some challenges, but it's -- actually at the beginning it's always polled well. i can tell you as an old pollster. that's why bush ran on it in 2000. his threat to us was if he didn't pass it, he was going to pass your version of it. it was popular. it stayed popular. when you got into power, you certainly haven't tried to repeal it or change it. it cost 41% less than the cbo estimated it would. we'll see if obama chaare does well. when i finish my point, i'll yield to my friend. we'll see if this program costs 41% less than cbo says it does down the road. >> i don't know about your constituents, but, you know, when i look at what has been accomplished already because of obama care, children no longer face discrimination due to pre-existing conditions. students and young dull adults gaining coverage through their parents' plan.
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medicare is stronger. americans no longer face lifetime limits on care. families are receiving rebates from insurance companies. soon being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition. i think all those things are pretty popular, at least amongst my constituents. i assume amongst yours as well. i mean, let's appreciate what has been accomplished already. >> reclaiming my time, you know, if i serve you a meal of spinach, peas, turn yips, onion dessert, and ice cream. the ice cream part would be pretty popular. if you look at the meal as a whole, it's not. this thing has never been popular. as a pollster, may be right, we'll see. we're on this road. it isn't popular. it's never been popular. you know, it wovruldn't be a republican majority sitting up here if this thing was all that popular. we weren't all that popular in 2009. you made us somehow popular by 2010. and my good friend, the chairman, who played an incredible role in all that. and my good friend, mr. young,
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who chose to run in part because of this bill. so my last question -- >> can you give me one minute? >> an opportunity to respond. i'm sorry. >> i missed it. i know it was good because you're laughing, man. i mean, i just think it's not -- it's not fair. i mean, and if we need -- i can't imagine that the individual mandate is going to somehow be easier, applying to millions of people to implement then the business mandate. and i think individuals are always harder to track and more difficult to deal with, and there's much more complexity. so if we need to delay part of it, and you know, it seems to me we ought to accept it. i think people are going to be awfully upset that somebody got off and the average american got stuck. you're free to respond. >> i hear that this is not a popular plan, and that it's --
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and the polls show this and that only 52% and all this kind of stuff. but i watched from 2010 onward a continual barrage against obama care. we've had 38 attempts to repeal it. we've had all of that. we've had hundreds of millions of dollars spent in the campaign about obama care. and the republican candidate was against it and his vice president was against it. and the people voted barack obama back in by a bigger majority than he got the first time. so you got to ask wrouyourself, unpopular is this program? >> i would yield to my friend always and his expertise and even when we disagree, respected. something i know something about is presidential numbers. this is the first president in american history that got re-elected with fewer votes, lower percentage and less
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electoral votes. so the idea that, i think people vote on a variety of reasons. >> i agree with that. >> not everybody voted on this. he didn't pick up ground politically because of this. he simply didn't because he wasn't re-elected with a larger majority. he was re-elected with a smaller majority. >> he didn't lose. >> i think that's a very good point, and in politics that may be the trump point. but he didn't re-elect the house, either. bring a house with him. so we'll see. this can play out with us for a long -- there's a difference between murder and suicide. so we can talk that in another on text, another time. but my friend, mr. young. >> briefly here, if i might with respect to the popularity of the law and the perception of the law. i believe that people would have a firmer sense of what the law is about had there been a public airing of all the issues. had this bill been compiled in a
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transparent way through the public hearing process and so on. and done in a more bipartisan way. that's my personal belief. but we do have numbers. not based on narrow aspects of the law. we've actually done polling, or others have, with respect to the law more generally. we know that 48% of businesses believe that obama care will be bad for business. we know that a third of american families believe that obama care will make their family worse off. we know that the individual mandate is only favored by 12% of the american people. we know these things. and so, you know, i think it was the feedback that the administration was receiving from the well-organized business community as these numbers started coming in about the number of people who are going to lose their insurance, and the average monthly cost increases. so the business community spoke up, and the administration responded to that. we offer a bill here today to
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sanction in what i regard as a more appropriate and legal way, sanction that action. and we also offer a companion piece of legislation that will afford the same sort of tax relief to individual american families that the president, that this administration, has proposed offering to big business. >> well, i thank both the -- i thank the chairman for being exceptionally gracious on the time, and i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. i appreciate the gentleman. gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. >> thank you. >> gentleman is recognized. >> i respect both mr. young and mr. mcdermott. i thank you for being here. we're sitting around asking questions like this is all for real. this is show business right now. this bill is going nowhere. we all know that. this is, as the gentleman from washington state, pointed out, kind of a pr attempt. and, you know, quite frankly, it's getting a little bit tiring. it's getting a little bit old.
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it's boring. because we're kind of doing the same old, same old again and again and again. this is the 38th time. and, you know, we've got issues thatsequestration. i don't know about your districts. i have members working, national guardsmen and women, talking about cutbacks and furloughs. head start facilities being shut down. food banks being shut down. community development block grants being cut back. they're all expecting us to try to figure this out or at least talk about it, at least to acknowledge this is a real issue. instead we're up here, for the 38th time, trying to in essence repeal the affordable care act. look, my republican friends, you lost in congress when this vote came up. you lost in the courts. you know, you've tried to repeal this already 38 times. you know, maybe the time has come to try to work in a bipartisan and a truly
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bipartisan way to make sure that, you know, everybody in this country has good quality health care. that's the goal. and, and with all due respect to the gentleman from texas, mr. session, when mr. hastings asked you about what you were going to replace it with, i mean, you guyses are in charge right now. we could be talking right now a about your replacement bill if you had one, but we're not. we're talking about yet another attempt to undermine the affordable care act. and i, you know, i would -- we're going to go through all this, and now i'm going to incur all these reactions about how important all this is. i get it. the reality is what we're doing here is going nowhere. and i think, given the enormity of some of the problems that we're faced with in this country, that we're here debating this right now and not talking about how to fix sequestration, i think it's really, it's unconscionable given what the stakes are.
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and so i thank both gentlemen for being here. i appreciate your views, but quite frankly, we ought to be taking up legislation that we know has a chance of going somewhere and that might fix some problems in this country. i thank the gentleman. i yield back my time. >> thank you, gentleman. gentleman yields back. >> thank you. if the gentleman would yield just for a second for the chairman. gentlewoman is seeking my attention. if the gentlewoman -- >> i want to ask unanimous consent -- >> gentlewoman is recognized without objection. >> wait, wait. may i observe a right to object? >> the gentleman's objection will be held. gentleman is recognized. >> and i will leave this up to when you would like to do it if you want to do it. i don't want to interrupt my colleagues of them asking their questions. if you want me to go now i will. >> i would like the objection to be heard at this time, and the chairman will make a ruling in there. >> all right. i have -- i have seen these coming through here, and i have
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yet to see one which i can remember in which it did not ultimately say that a veto would be recommended or a veto would be held. in essence, to every one of these issues we've had, the answer was simply no. in fact, the last one we had, it was amazing because it said we just received the bill, we haven't looked at it, we haven't read it, but it's still no, we still want to veto it. it doesn't matter what we're talking about, reforming obama care, the answer has been no. or if we're talking about a farm bill, the answer was no. part of the farm bill, it was no. critical minerals, it was no. student loans, it was no. everything has been no. i just have this frustration with dealing with the party of no. in fact, if you go even further than that, we are then told that even if we pass this, it's going to go over to the senate where they will simply say no. it is very frustrating. always having to deal with no. with that, mr. chairman -- with that, mr. chairman, i will --
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>> thank you very much. >> wait, wait, wait. >> okay. okay. >> i'm going to withdraw my objection. >> i had such a good answer ready. >> without objection. >> when i get a pie, when i get a pie, you get your answer. >> without objection, the statement of the administrative policy will be entered into the record. i thank the gentlewoman and the gentleman. gentleman now from georgia is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i tell my colleagues on the house floor they ought to be a part of this rules committee because we get a private briefing on every bill before it comes to the floor and i want to take advantage of the big brains while i have them here. mr. mcgovern, i'm reading the statement of administration policy, and it says hr-2667 is unnecessary. it goes on to say that this legislation would undermine key elements of the health care law. it said it would -- efforts to repeal a law that's helping millions of americans stay on
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their parents' plan until age 26. to the best of your knowledge, do either of these bills before us have any impact on the ability of people to stay on their parents' plans until 26? >> my understanding is that the bill that the -- the second bill is simply a repeal of the individual mandate. i do not -- i do not know anything that has to do with the 26-year-old. >> it goes on to say millions of americans are going to get free preventative care to catch illnesses early on. are you aware of any provision in either of those two bills that would undermine the preventive care that he's -- >> without the individual mandate, the insurance industry is going to pull out. so what has been guaranteed, what they did in the state of washington was we guaranteed access. we said, guaranteed issue. no mere who you are, when you
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come in, you can get it. so what the insurance companies did at that point was they said, we don't offer insurance in the state of washington. and they ended their policies. that's why you're going to lose these other things because th r they're out there, and if people continue to use them, people will, the insurance companies will just cut them off because they built into their cost estimates all the costs and all the benefits of having everybody into the system. so you can't tear it apart one piece at a time and think you can take one out. it's like having a table leg. you can pull the table leg out. if the table tips over and hits the floor -- >> apparently the president thinks you can take a piece out one piece at a time without regard to what happens to the rest of the pieces. and i'm concerned because you have zeroed in on individual mandate, how important that is, how that's kind of the foundation on which the entire house is constructed. my understanding, in the
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president's edict, was that the law requires states to do these audits to see who has insurance and who doesn't, and the president is waiving the responsibility at states to go in and find out if folks are complying with that individual mandate or not. that the foundation that is the individual mandate, what has been waived in this reporting requirement by the administration, is the requirement that anyone go in and audit, whether or not that mandate is being complied with or not. am i misunderstanding? >> the individual mandate applies to individuals, and that you will do at income tax time. there will be a form that will say, do you have insurance? if you fill it out -- >> i'll just say, yes, because my businesses are not reporting whether or not i have insurance or not. no one is auditing whether or not i have insurance or not. i guess the subsidies are going to continue to go out the door. i could even have insurance
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aand no one could tell whether or not i qualify for a subsidy. i'm persuaded that the entire house is built on the individual mandate. i wrote down with great interest when you said everybody has responsibility to pay. i know you feel that in your heart and when you take up tax reformulater on this year, i'm going to revisit that with you and see if you still believe that's true. this is an incredibly, incredibly challenging bill because of all the new things it puts into play, and i'm -- well, even hr-2267 is unnecessary, the statement of administration. policy says, i'm reading hr-2267. you cited a part of the u.s. code that gives the president responsibility and authority, authority and responsibility, to deal with rules and regulations as he sees fit to implement the law of the land. but when mr. griffin wrote this
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bill, he actually had to strike section 514-d of the act. he had to go into statutory language and change statutory requirements from 13 to 14. absolutely the president has the authority to write whatever rules and regulations needed to implement the statutes passed by congress, but do you -- i won't ask you if you think it's okay. i'll ask you, do you think that's wise to take something that is clearly statutory and waive it administrate ifly? mr. hastings makes a great point that if we knew each other better, we would do better around here. i think that's true. i also think it's true if we quit ignoring each other over things we ought to deal with each other on, we would do better around here. here we are trying to do exactly what it is the president wants to do. he did it in the middle of the night before a holiday weekend in a blog post. we want it to do it on the floor of the house and we can't even
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get agreement to do that. why do you think that is? i do believe this is a fair representati representation, tim griffin's bill, hr-2667, of exactly what the president said he wanted to do. why do you think we're having a tough time passing on the floor of the house a bill that gives authority to the president to do exactly what he said he wanted to do? >> well, i think at the bottom of this has been a determined effort for more than two years, 2 1/2 years, to undermine and destroy obama care. >> unquestionably. unquestionably. and it was going on yesterday and it's going to go on tomorrow. >> you and i agree. so we agree. the president has a problem with the business community and says, hey, guys, i'll give you one year to do the reporting. >> but why don't we do that? why don't you and i -- if you agree with the president that this ought to be done ksh --
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>> we gave him the power to do that. >> no, sir. we gave him the authority to write rules and regulations. this requires a statutory change, and i will tell you, one of my great frustrations of the bush administration was the number of times the republican congress just went along with the republican president because they wanted to support him and wanted him to have a success and our responsibilities to do oversight over the article 2 branch. i will just ask you, here we are trying to do, again, exactly what the president has asked. while there be some sub tri fuj around this body, this bill does exactly what the president wants to. and yet we can't find agreement to do this on the floor of the house. i hold out hope, as my friend from oklahoma does, and as my friend from indiana does that this will be a bipartisan bill. but even if the president could, and i would argue that he can't, but even if he could, why wouldn't we take this
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opportunity to find one of those rare moments to work together on behalf of the american people? and do what both the committee leadership in this congress wants to do, and what the president and the white house wants to do. >> already done it. >> why not do it? why not change the statute instead of ignoring it? >> because he gave them the one-year break. they got to come back and report. >> they -- it -- it does not give me great hope about doing the big things that we disafr a on when we can't do the little things that we agree 100% on. and i -- i do, i think we can do better. i yield back, mr. chair. >> i'll be brief because, you know, this, we've had this argument. 38 times. this might be 39 and 40 here today. i don't know how many times we're having this. so it's all deja vu all over again. we had it when we passed health
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care. we had a debate. we had it when the republicans of congress about repealing it. we've had it another year, another year, another year. this is another one. it's all been said. i afree with my colleagues here. i hope we can move on to get bills to president obama's desk he can sign. if we can take up imfwrags grace reform, pass it, and other measures. i'm confident we'll get a policy that will be different than the one we're getting for the 40th time here today, and i yield back. >> appreciate the gentleman's comments. by the way, i was persuaded to suggest that i'm -- [ inaudible ] on behalf of himself and constituents he represents. the gentleman is recognized. >> i thank mr. chairman. an awful lot has been said, but i still have a hard time, obviously, with what the president did. and i guess that's why dilemma.
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mr. mcdermott i think explained it well from his perspective. i do think we're giving the president a pass. when it's cleared by law, it's said this must be put in place. the day after december 31st of 2013. the law is clear. and the president waived it. i think, personally, i disagree with us giving him the opportunity to codify it and correct it. i happen to disagree with that. at the same time, if we were going to do that, i think we would all agree on, like my good friend from georgia had talked about, why don't we take control of the things that we're supposed to have responsibility for? you know, there's separation of powers. and so when we just allow our authority to be usurped by the executive branch, that dim inishes both you and i. it really diminishes what we're
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supposed to do, whether we're on opposite sides of an issue. i agree with my good friend from georgia with regards whether it's democratic or republican p. i don't think we should give of them a pass. when it talks about our responsibility as the legislative branch. this is my first time being a legislator. i mean, this is my second term, but so this is all new, and i take a lot of pride in regards to it. at least trying to do the will of the people that elected me. and so when we just allow it because the president has an edict, when it clearly the law is clear in regards to when that employer mandate was supposed to kick in. is that not correct? it was clear. it was clear. >> the issue here is not whether the president had the right to make this decision or not. the issue is whether or not we're going to have a pr blitz
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about the president and obama care. now, we're having this hearing today, but if we're going to have a hearing tomorrow in the ways & means committee on exactly this bill, with people onlying up to testify from treasury to talk about it. why have we put the cart before the horse? because we have to get it out there for wednesday's press releases. now, i understand what's going on, and i think everybody else does. but the fact is that if you're serious about this, and you want to be a serious legislator, you schedule hearings and you get the people up here to talk about it. >> we're kind of reacting to what the president did. is that not -- >> before you give the president a chance to send his people up here to explain it. >> we're reacting to what he already said. he should have done that prior to it. come to congress and say, listen, this is what i'm
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thinking about doing. >> i think he probably was surprised you took so mum umbrage, something that everybody has used before him. >> here's my thing. in my past profession, just because everybody has done it once -- >> it's been done many times. >> once, or 100, it doesn't make it correct, it doesn't make it right. that's my only problem with the the whole thing. i -- i agree with mr. young, and you're right, if it's 37, 38, 39, i don't care and i've said this before. if we do it 100 times, and sooner or later we'll get it right. thank you very much. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida, mr. webster, is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this hearing. i've enjoyed it. always enjoy mr. mcdermott. we have some great discussions on issues, and he's a very knowledgeable person. same with mr. young.
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so, appreciate you doing this. i'd just like to address one little thing before we go vote. that is, i have a small business. 52-year-old third-generation. my three sons are doing it now. and our fiscal year ends the end of april. we have to have our taxes done 2 1/2 months later, which was yesterday, they were due. usually that's the time we kind of look and see and compare years past. in health insurance, we -- we exceeded by over 50% the largest increase we've ever had in health care insurance. so it went up 36%, amount of money we spen on health care. that's with high deductibles and all kinds of other change we've tried to implement. we don't have any obligation. we toedon't have 50 employees, except for our moral obligation to insure those peopling and we
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do it. we're going to continue to do it. the more we're being told, even though there's this talk, even the name, affordable health care, i don't believe it's true. i'm being told by united health, they're our insurer, they're a major player, that ours are going to go up, another, the same as they did before, 36%. now, all i know is that little business. i don't know what other business they're doing. i don't know what big business, medium business. i know what our small business is doing. i know what's happening. and these increases are huge and they are very difficult to sustain. we're going to do everything we can from a moral obligation to cover those people that work for us. but i'm telling you, this whole idea of it being affordable or less money or whatever, these changes that we're putting into place cost money. and you can say, well, i won't have to be paying the $1,000 i paid to pay somebody else's hospital bill. we can say that. but it's a whole lot less money to pay that than it was to pay
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what we're going to pay in this coming year. >> appreciate the swreman's comments. we are now some 17 minutes after the vote was called and i'd like to advise the committee we're going to go into recess. i'd like to ask both the gentlemen that are before us today to -- they have not been excused. i'd like to ask them to come back after the third vote, at the end of the third vote. the committee will go ahead and reconvene. we'll be in recess until the call of the chair.
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>> you are critical to the success. thank you for doing that. i know you both probably have things you want to do. we will try to get through this as quickly as he can. thank you to both of you very much. the chairman for the recognition. i will not be long. i find myself oddly in agreement with the doctor. i think you were quoted as saying you were blindsided and did not understand how the information came out the way it did. i felt the same way. i wouldwo letters that like for the record. one is for the chamber of commerce. they are supportive of the concept of the legislative fix for the employer mandate. they say it is having a negative effect on employment. we will encourage to encourage small businesses if they do have
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the proper amount of time to implement the mandate and the guidance from the administration. is from theetter international brotherhood of teamsters and the international president of commercial workers and a union that deals with airports and gaming. they sent a letter to leader reid and pelosi and it has been put in the public domain. strong supporters of the notion that all americans should have access to quality and affordable health care. haveign in campaign, we put boots on the ground and raise the money to secure this vision and now the vision has come out to hot us.
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since affordable care act has we need reasonable interpretations for the health plan. one of the big concerns is that instruction that they describe as the back room for the american middle class. the law creates an incentive for employers to keep employers -- you please work below 30 hours per week and many of them are -- keep openly employees below 30 hours per week and many of them are doing so openly. i also agree. i think the word he used was disrespectful and arrogance would be another word. this is posted on a blog on july 2. it is not the proper way to go about doing this. there needs to be legislation and restructure or made part of
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the affordable care act. that is what this committee is for. we are doing it. i'm happy to hear that we are. i do have to say a word that we are accused times of not cooperating with the -- the very last week of april of this year, i asked both of them about what contingency plans favor working on in case case things did not go as planned. absolutely not. we will be ready on day one. everyone is covered. i reminded him that he was under oath. if you -- if you're working on contingency plans, talk to us. ellis what you're doing. no. no contingencies. we will be ready on day one. apparently there have been contingency plans that have been discussed throughout the
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administration. we welcome the opportunity to get that before this committee. i probably will not get that the invokingecause of executive privilege. i think it is necessary to have that for people to see. this is an enormously complicated piece of legislation with a lot of moving parts. be worried that pieces can thrown off to the side of the road. into the side of the road in the bar ditches. we have these -- the employer mandate rule delay that came on the 2nd and then that subsequent friday, it was oh, by the way, since we're not going to put the rules up, we'll count on you to tell us the truth. so becomes essentially the work in progress for the affordable care act. we had a big hearing in our committee on the preexisting condition, the suspension of allowing people into the federal preexisting condition program.
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great, everybody will be covered next january. unless it ge delayed. but by january, everybody will be covered. but what people are ignoring is, from february of this year, no one has been accepted into the federal preexisting program. that's a big deal. and we've heard from people in our committee who have been affected by that. and i for one do not uerstand why there was not a greater outcry from both sides of the dias when that was just sort of arbitrarily suspended in february this year. and, in fact, there was mentee of money to take care of that problem had we been willingto tap the prevention front. mr. chairman, thank you for holding the hearing. dr. mcdermott, always a pleasure to interact with you. thank you, mr. young. thank you for bringing this legislation. i think it's an important part. and we'll see what happens tomorrow. i yield back. >> thanks, gentlemen. the gentleman has yielded back his time. and i want to it as i look around the room, i see no requests for further time. i want to thank both of these --
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of you for not only your professional testimony that you've offered today, but also in several instances, your ability to affectively garner feedback from the committee and in several instances your ability to affectively provide thoughtful ideas back. and your commitment to this conference, tohis body, and this committee here during this conference period of time is appreciated. i want to thank both of you very much, and you're both now excused for the rest of the evening from the rules committee. and thank you very much. we're now going to close the hearing portion. seeing no additional members who are seeking to be recognized, we're now closing the hearing portn of hr-2667 and hr-2668.
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and the chairman would be in receipt of a motion. gentleman from utah is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i move the committee grant hr-22 -- i'm sorry. 2668, the fairness for american families act, closed rule, rule provides one hour of debate equally divided by the chair and minority member of the committee of ways and means. all points of order against consideration of the bill, the rule provides the bill should be considered as read. the rule provides one motion to recommit. section two provides for consideration of hr-2667. the authority for mandate delay act, under a closed rule. the rule provides one-hour debate equally divided control by the chair and ranking minority of the committee. waves all points of order against consideration of the bill. the rule provides the bill should be considered as read. the rule waives all points of order against provisions. one motion to recommittee. section 3 of the rule directs the clerk to in the engrossment
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of hr-2668, the text of hr-2667 as passed by the house as a new matter at the end of hr-2668 and macon forming modifications. finally the rule provides upon addition of the text of hr-2667, passed by hr-2668, hr-2667 should be laid on the table. >> i thank the gentleman for miss motion. i would now refer to the gentleman to explain the rule. the gentleman from texas, dr. burgess. >> thank you, mr. chairman. hr-2667, hr-2668, the rule provides for consideration of both bills, each bill will have one hour of general debate, controlled by the committee of means. each bill will have a motion to recommittee available to the minority. and lastly upon passage the clerk will merge the text of both bills into a single measure and nd to the senate. this bill will -- this will provide the house with a straight forward upr down vote on delaying both the individual mandate d the employer mandate under the affordable care act.
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>> thank the gentleman for his explanation of the bill. the committee is now prepared for discussion or amendment. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i have an amendment to the rule. i move 2667 and 2668, all members have an opportunity to offer amendmts to the bill on the floor. and i just want to speak very briefly on behalf of this. mr. chairman, these bills were introduced on thursday, last thursday. they have not -- there's no hearings have been held on the bill. no mark-up has been held on these bills. i've heard over and over how important this issue is, and yet we're having two bills that have bypassed all the committees and are coming right before us in is fashion. the gentleman, mr. burgess, talked about the white house being disrespectful. i want you to know, i think it's disrespectful to members of both parties who sit on committees with jurisdiction to be bypassed. and it's especially disrespectful to members of the minority to be -- provided no opportunity to amend these
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bills, should they come to the floor. so i would -- for all my colleagues who talk about openness and transparency and motherhood and apple pie, let me tell you, here's your opportunity to do what's right and let us have an open rule. on both these bills. i thank the chairman. >> i thank the gentleman. the gentleman makes point, as he presents his amendment in support of the -- the motion that is on the floor. it represents literally one-page lls. it's a conceptnd an understanding that members of the committee, i think, can understand, does not require a lot of tught process. but with that said, i want to le the gentleman know that his points about having a hearing, hearing from the administration, allowing members of the committee with respect to them and respect on both sides,
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republican and democrat, did not fall upon deaf ears. i do agree with the gentleman. i think that hearings are important, and we're arguing, as the gentleman is on a regular basis, about the american public understanding what we're trying to do. >> would the gentleman yield. >> so i have great respect not only for the gentleman, but also hear him loudly. the gentleman is recognized. >> a just two quick points. one, the bill may be one page or could be one line. it doesn't diminish its importance. some of the -- you know, some very significa changes are made with very short bills. number one. number two, i would -- as was pointed out before, i think if i'm -- not mistaken, tomorrow in the ways and means committee, the administration is sending up witnesses to testify on this very issue. so we're -- we're reporting bills out of this committee under a closed rule to go to the floor tomorrow. and tomorrow the committee jurisdiction -- we're going to vote on these bills, but tomorrow the committee jurisdiction is going to have a
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hearg with the administration. it just seem a little bit messed up to me. but i appreciate the fact that the orders may be coming from on high. and i just wanted to make that point. i thank the gentleman. >> well, i appreciate the gentleman. i -- with respect to whether they come from high or low, they're here. i'm not sure, and with respect to the gentleman, i'm not sure that i knew that the administration and the gentleman from michigan had set a date. we had previously done this, announced this last week, trying to do what we want we would do. in fact, we're doing that here today. and it is my hope that the administration will be given a fair hearing tomorrow at the ways and means committee, and that the information therein, thats received and learned, will be to the benefit of not just the members of congress but the general public. is there further discussion concerning the gentleman's amendment? seeing none. the vote is now on the gentleman
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from massachusetts' amendment. those in favor signify by saying aye. those opposed, no. nos have it. further amendment. seeing none, the vote is now on the motion from the gentleman from utah. those in favor of the gentleman's motion signify by saying aye. and those opposed, no. the ayes have it. >> roll call? >> the gentlewoman asks for a roll call vote. the clerk will be prepared. >> ms. fox. mr. bishop. >> aye. >> mr. bishop, aye. mr. cole, aye. mr. woodall, aye. mr. nugent. mr. webster, aye. ms. rosslateman. mr. burgess, aye. ms. slaughr, no. mr. mcgovern, no. mr. hastings, no. mr. polis, no.
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mr. chairman. >> aye. >> mr. chairman, aye. >> clerk will report. >> six yays, four neighays. the motion is agreed to. you finally won one. dr. burgess will be representing the republican party with the majority. >> and i will -- >> and the gentlewoman, ms. slaughter, will be representing thminority. >> mr. chairman -- >> the gentlewoman is recognized. >> when we were down doing the vote, i ard we will not be doing the education bill, they don't have the votes for that. in that case, what will we be doing at rules tomorrow? i appreciate the gentlewoman bringing this issue up. if she would allow me a moment, i did not, in fact, hear that. i did have numerous discussions about the bill, but i did not hear that. if the gentlewoman will give me just one second. thank you very much. that's news to us.
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so i have not heard that the bill would not be on the floor tomorrow, that we would not be here. i would anticipate we will move forward as we have previously stated. i would anticipate we would be here, i believe, at 3:00 tomorrow afternoon. >> on that subject. >> that is my understanding. and -- >> and you will notify us if you are going to pull tat off. >> in fact, i -- >> my concern was if you were going to substitute something, we would kind of like to know ahead of time what that might be. >> i am going to -- i have never done this, but scout's honor, i have never heard this until i just walked in. >> okay. all right. >> and, of course, would tell the gentlewoman. and this the week of the boy scout jamboree, so i've got to be on my best behavior. >> all right. >> if i even begin to hear wind of it, i will call you and say, hmmm, i'm hearing something. i have not until i have come up here. so i thank the gentleman -- >> if you haven't heard at, let me tell you, the other word on the floor is you would take
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up defensive problems. >> i do not believe we plan to do that, necessarily, this week. once again, scout's honor, i have not heard that. i'm an eagle scout, and this week, at least, i will be very trustworthy. >> i am sure they wouldn't do anything like that without telling you about it. >> and i assure you, a soon as i hear the slightest wind of that, and i do appreciate and respect the genewoman for asking me. i hope i answered straight-up. and thank you very much. we are now adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] > recognized. the speaker: we are working to simplify the tax code, expand energy production and hold the administration accountable for abuses at agencies like the i.r.s. that's why the senate democrats have done nothing while the house has passed a bipartisan plan to make college more affordable. that's why we will vote tomorrow to make sure the families and individuals get the same break from obamacare that the president wants for big
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businesses. over the weekend, the democrat leader in the senate said the president's health care law has, quote, been wonderful for our country. are you kidding me? if obamacare is so wonderful, why are health care prices exploding? why are millions of americans getting kicked out of their plans? why are so many workers losing jobs or getting hours cut? the law isn't wonderful, it's a train wreck. you know it, i know it and the american people know it. even the president knows it. that's why he proposed delaying his mandate on employers. but it's unfair to protect big businesses without giving the same relief to american families and small businesses. the bills by congressman griffin and young will address this problem by delaying the employer mandate and the individual mandate. i hope democrats and republicans alike will vote
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>> a couple of live events to tell you about tomorrow from our companion network. federal reserve chairman ben bernanke goes to capitol hill to deliver the central bank are semi--- central-bank's semi annual report. you can his testimony before -- financial services committee at 1 p.m. and the future of the voting rights act. in light of the recent supreme court decision that invalidated part of the law come a allowing several states to change their election law without advance federal approval. we do not know enough about our first ladies. scratch the surface and you will find they often support their -- surpassed their husbands in terms of drama and fortitude. examining the public and private lives of these women and their influence on the presidency.
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watch the encore presentation weeknights in august at 9 p.m. eastern starting august 5 on c- span. senate republicans and democrats reached an agreement on dealing with executive branch nominations but avoids for now the change in the rules for senate filibusters. both parties spoke with reporters after the senate for. this is half an hour. >> good afternoon. i think we have reached an understanding about how to go forward. just to give you a little history on my recommendations on this issue. i recommended in january that the president send up two new nominees for the nlrb since obviously the nominees who were currently on the nlrb were on
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hostage usually appointed according to a majority decision. district of of the columbia. i renewed the conversation with the vice president and suggested that the way out of the dilemma that seem to be heading our way was to send up to new nominees. i am pleased that the administration is going to send up to nominees. senator alexander has been in discussions about how to process those nominations and the health committee and we anticipate that the regular ,rder will be followed hearings, markups, and the like and there will be an effort to get them up for votes before the august recess. we're moving forward to reach an agreement on the way to process the additional nominations the majority is interested in. none
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of our rights will be waived. they will still have to be achieved. in a sense that is the regular way that we handle business in the senate. we are pleased that the majority -- the majority decided not to exercise the nuclear option. we think that is in the best interests of the institution. i would say about our meeting last night, it struck me that it was unique in the sense that virtually everybody was there on a bipartisan basis. it went on for three and a half hours. most of her buddy was able to say what they thought. i thought it was good for the institution for us to be talking to each other rather than at each other. athink it led to constructive outcome and an
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opportunity to get back to normal. we had prior to this threatened to blow up a pretty good year from the senate point of view in the sense that we had followed the regular order on three major bills, numbers had been able to have multiple amendments and ands like the farm bill immigration, very controversial measure, ended up passing the senate. that is the way we are used to doing business around here and hopefully we can continue to operate that way in the balance of this year. >> i am glad that six months after senator mcconnell asked the white house to withdraw these controversial nominees who were unconstitutionally appointed, that they have decided -- the white house decided to take the nuclear trigger out, and withdraw these nominees. i am glad we are where we are. more importantly, i think it
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gives us an opportunity to now. acta the people's business, and to deal with the things that my constituents in texas, and i think people around the country, are most concerned about. slow economic growth, high unemployment. how do we get america back to work? how do we deal with the evolving train wreck that is obamacare? that is in the words of a democrat, the chairman of the senate finance committee. what is the next step? if you were for or opposed to a obamacare, recognizing that it failing before our eyes, what are we going to be able to do to make sure the american people have high-quality access to affordable healthcare? that is the business we ought to be about. >> i, like my colleagues, and pleased the democrats have decided to pull back from a move that would have been very destructive to the workings of the senate. and, like my colleagues, i hope now that we can focus on the people's business, and things that people across this country
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really care about. i think the democrats like to have these discussions about process, because it distracts people from what is important to people across this country. it distracts people from their record and their policies, which are horrible for jobs and the economy. most americans care about jobs and the economy more than they care about just about anything else. the democrat policies with regard to those issues have given us this chronic high unemployment, sluggish growth, and lower take home pay for most ordinary, middle-class americans. just this week, on sunday, senator reid went on one of the morning talk shows and said that obamacare has been wonderful for america. wonderful for who? lots of families are seeing their premiums go up why as much as $2500. a lot of people across this country are having more difficulty getting access to health care.
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you have lots of people across this country who are worried about their jobs. 40% of the employers have said they are not going to hire people. another 20% said they will cut employees. just yesterday, it you had the major union leaders in country come out with a letter saying it would shatter their employee benefits and create nightmare scenarios for the work -- was the word they used for the impact of obamacare upon the people they employ. this really is a train wreck. i can see why the democrats would rather talk about something else. the fact of the matter is, these policies are harmful to many americans. we are pleased the president has decided to delay, at least for a year, the employer mandate. we believe that rather than create a partial delay for some, we need a permanent delay for all americans, so that americans besides small businesses impacted by the employer mandate have some relief as well. >> i am pleased the democrats decided to not break the rules
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to change the rules. you saw senator reid on morning talk shows on sunday, talking about this issue. you also heard him make a statement, where he said that obamacare has been wonderful for america. he may not have yet had a chance to read the letter, because it actually came from jimmy hoffa, the teamsters union, as well as two other large unions, and it was specifically to nancy pelosi and senator reid. the letter they sent to them says, you promised us. you promised us that if we like what we have, we can keep it. we now know that does not look like it is the case.
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they also mentioned the fact that this is undermining the fundamentals of a 40 hour workweek in the united states. we have seen that in small businesses around the country. we have seen it in communities, school districts which are cutting back in 40 hours to less than 30 hours a week, because of the mandates and unintended consequences of the obama healthcare law. this healthcare law is unraveling, and we need to repeal it and replace it so people can get the care they need from a doctor they choose, at lower cost. >> hopefully, now we can focus back on student loans and other things that need to get done, and need to get done this month. i served in the house. i like the house. i liked the house a lot better in the majority than i did in the minority. there is a constitutional purpose to the senate, and one
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of those purposes is to represent the rights of the minority in our society, the rights of another point of view in our society. every state, big and small, got the same number of votes. jefferson and adams, when they were not agreeing on much else, in the shadow of constitution writing, said you should never let the senate become a body that does not honor the rights of the minority, because that is an important part of the process designed in the constitution. hopefully, we can maintain the process that the rights of every senator matter. the part of the process that is protected by the senate continues to be, so we do not rush from one side of the spec and to the other. the house does that by design. but part of that design was, the senate would not let that happen
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without an appreciation for the rights of all of the discussion. and hopefully the senate, this week, preserved that for a while longer. >> are you confident you have sidestepped a landmine? the gang of 14 had an extraordinary circumstances rule. senator reid has his finger on the button. this seems really temporary. >> i think it is a step in the right direction that the majority has chosen not to exercise the nuclear option. we feel good about that. i think they feel good about it. i think that crisis has been averted. we still will be dealing with controversial nominees, in the way that controversial nominees inevitably produce a great debate. and all the options available to the minority remain intact. but i think if you look at the nominations of this administration, many of them have been noncontroversial.
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the new secretary of transportation. the secretary of state. the ones that generated controversy, generated controversy. i think our reaction to these nominees will depend upon the quality of the nominees and how controversial they are. >> senator mcdonnell, what timeline? >> i think i already indicated what we anticipate having on the floor of the senate, sometime before the recess. two new nominees. we anticipate being able to vote on those before the august recess. >> what conversation did you have with senator mccain when he was negotiating the deal? did senator mccain basically go around you to cut the deal? and what did you say? >> a lot of senators over the weekend, senator mccain among them, were involved in
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discussions. we talked to each other. they were talking to others. i think there was a pool of senators on our side. senator mccain, senator hogan, and others. who were interested in not giving up on the prospects of working this out. i also think that last night's discussion was critical. as i said earlier, and let me repeat it, we had a situation where a huge number of senators on both sides addressed this issue. senators actually had to listen to each other. i think the arguments that were made by my members obviously swayed at least some on the other side that maybe there was a solution to this short of pulling the nuclear trigger. so a lot of my members were involved in this over the
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weekend. last night, they were all helpful. senator mccain was certainly helpful, as was senator corker, senator portman, and others. >> do you think there is less of a chance of ending up act in a situation like this? or did it help you get out of this particular jam? >> you are asking me to answer a hypothetical. i do not know. i do think, in spite of your best efforts to rain on an outcome -- i congratulate you for your best efforts to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. i think i am safe in saying a high level of collegiality on a bipartisan basis is achieved as a result of last night. you can pick at it if you want to. it was an important moment for
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the senate, coming on the heels of the fact that we did three fairly significant bills this year on a bipartisan basis that were open for amendment. that is pretty extraordinary, in the last couple of years. so put this down as progress in the right direction, and the best possible atmosphere to go into the balance of the year, when we have much tougher issues to deal with down the road. thanks a lot.
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>> one of the people i have learned to listen to, and listen to closely, is barbara mikulski. we came to the senate together. we served in the house together. here is the advice she gave all of us a few minutes ago. direct quote. colleagues, no quoting -- no gloating. maximum dignity. that is where i am coming from. the final caucus here was very good. we have basically done
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everything but doubting the -- dotting the i's and crossing the t's to have seven qualified nominees receive a vote for a full-functioning and ellerbee. it would have gone out of business at the end of this month. it will not go out of business. this is not just about these nominees. this must be a new normal. qualified executive nominees must not be blocked by procedural super majority votes. i have been here a long time. i know there will be times when they feel they must do cloture. i accept that. but we will be able to work our way through that. the first says it all. richard cordray. what a good man. he called me this afternoon, having waited, and waited, and waited.
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here is a man who is so well- qualified. university of michigan. honors student. studied a couple years in england. university of chicago school of law. this very, very brilliant man was able to go work for judge bork. we had a long conversation about what a good experience it was for him. justice kennedy, he clerked for. what has he done already? what has that agency done already? already, they have collected for the american consumer $500 million. half $1 billion. because of credit card companies cheating consumers. that is what that agency does. tens of thousands of people now, every day, have the opportunity
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to call a hotline and get information, tell this entity how they think they have been cheated. military families are getting their homes back, having been foreclosed upon illegally. 6 million dollars, recently returned to consumers from car dealers cheating people when they bought cars. this is a watchdog on wall street for the american consumer. that is the vote we just had. so we know that presidents, democrat or republican, deserve an up or down vote. and that is the area we are working toward. but to be very, very clear, we think, i believe, because of what has gone on the past few days, including the joint meeting we had last night -- there is a feeling around here. feelings do not last forever, and i understand that will stop but they are not sacrificing
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their right to filibuster, and we sure are not sacrificing our right to change the rules if necessary. which i am confident it will not be. i am very encouraged by the discussions we have had over the last few days. both sides understand each other better. we are making great strides to restore the comity and cooperation that used to define this great institution. it was really a good day for ed markey to come to the senate, and to come to this caucus. the senate should be a place where we engage in spirited debate and get things done for the american people. so i am hopeful the content of this agreement will prove a major step toward achieving that goal. there are lots of people who deserve credit for the progress we have made, focusing on how
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the senate does not work very well. i have asked to of my junior colleagues to give their opinion on what has happened the last few years. first of all, tom udall, and after he completes his remarks, jeff merkley. >> thank you very much. great to be here with you, and have you as a partner, working side-by-side. first of all, let me tell you about last night, because i think that set the stage for what we saw happen here. senator reid, or as we call him, leader reid, played a true leader role in that meeting last night. it was structured in such a way it was just senator to senator. senator reid was tough and resolute, and he stood up and said, remember. about every half-hour, he said,
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remember, we are going to vote tomorrow. what flowed out of that meeting is the result we have today. and i am proud of that result, and i think it really moves us forward. these agencies can now do their jobs. they play very important roles for the american people. and i think it is a good day when we have very well-qualified people take over in agencies, and be able to do their job. my father, who senator reid had the opportunity to get to know they had a great visit before he died. he used to always tell me that one of the most important things that he felt, as secretary of the interior, in order to get his job done, was to have his team in place. it happened in two weeks. he always said, he the team in place.
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he had his team in two weeks. we have, today, given the president 18, so he can move move forward with his agenda. i think that is tremendously important. the other issue that i just wanted to talk about a second is what senator reid mentioned right at the and. this is not meant in any way as a threat. but we are hoping that what this is laying the groundwork for is a positive harbinger for positive things to come. we are looking at moving in that direction. but the leader has not given up his right to work and change precedents if the situation comes around again. we are going to work with each other to make this a more positive place, as the u.s. senate. i thank you for allowing me to
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be here, and standing with you today. >> it is a real pleasure to be standing here with these partners. tom udall, when he came into this body -- we came in together. he immediately began noting how important it was that we have a regular process to restore the functions of the u.s. senate. certainly, for -- now it is several years. we have been working toward a senate is not at the dysfunctional point that it is right now, restoring the functionality of the senate. we have had many occasions to be in leader reid's office, brainstorming about how to make that possible. i must say that in january 2011
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and january 2013, our leadership made clear a commitment to bipartisan dialogue, a commitment to trying to restore the social contract that made this place work in the past. what has occurred in the last few days is a reflection of how difficult that has been to achieve. but now we have a very significant moment. really, a milestone on the path to restoring the functionality of the senate. we have an agreement that says these important executive positions will get an up or down vote. that is extremely important. and it is important because it makes a real difference in people's lives. the national labor relations board is the referee for the employer and employees for fairness in labor negotiations. that is extremely important. the consumer financial protection bureau really is not fully in place until we have a confirmed director. we need a cop on the beat, fighting predatory practices that take advantage of working families.
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if you believe in family values, you have to believe that predatory practices that strip whelp from families rather than creating wealth are simply wrong, and must be countered. we will soon have an agency fully equipped to be that cop on the beat. it is said that jefferson and washington were in conversation, and washington described the senate as a cooling saucer. as different from the house. it is deliberate. it was perhaps described best as the most deliberative body. the we have not had a cooling saucer. we have had a deep freeze. this is putting us back onto a functional path to take the big challenges that america expects us to address. thank you. >> we will take a few questions. >> leader reid, yesterday you said, i am changing the rules as necessary to restore the senate,
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and the time and the history rated the change. you did not change the rules of the senate. nothing actually changes. >> we got a yes, and i think we should take the yes. >> why would a member want to change the rules -- a lot of members in the caucus have wanted to change the rules on the filibuster somewhat for its own sake, feeling they simply do not work anymore. what changed inside the room that people like senators who have been in favor of changing the rules decided that this was a better course? >> i think you have the answer already, and that is, the purpose of all of this is not a question of changing this rule or that rule.
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what we have done, the three of us and others, is to restore the ability of the senate to function. i have been here a long time now. i know how the senate used to work. these men with me had a lot of experience in government. they know how the senate should work. and we have been able to accomplish that. does that mean it will last forever? i do not know about that. but we have a good feeling, both democrats and republicans. i think we should, as senator mcconkey said, not gloat, but just a dignified about it. we have a new start for this body, and i feel very comfortable with it. i do not know how i could be happier. we also have a few other things we have to get done.
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student loans. we are very close to getting that done. we have an energy bill we have been trying to get to for a number of years. we have an appropriations bill. we have an issue that -- i can never remember the name. a senator pushes it very hard. we have a lot of things we need to do. do not forget immigration is still ahead of us. it is a big, hard bill. and we need cooperation over here if we are going to get something done in the house. and we need cooperation here on immigration. we have not lost anything. we have gained on a multitude of issues. >> does this mean you will be open to more joint meetings? >> as everyone knows here, i tried to do the joint meetings. for reasons we need not go in here, they were not done. we are going to do more meetings, and we are going to do them on a periodic basis. they will not all be like last
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night. we need a subject to talk about. but i can envision a number of things we could be doing that would he extremely good to get us to talk to each other, instead of talk about each other. i have not asked them yet. but i think george mitchell, democrat, and trent lott, republican -- i think that be a great opportunity for our caucus to talk about how they deal. we will have more joint caucuses. we will have a repeat of trying to talk to each other instead of past each other. >> you talked about senator mccain, and his role in the process. >> john mccain and i have worked together for a long time.
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i have worked with him for 31 years. and we have had some pretty difficult times together. in the 31 years we have worked together, there is no one i have ever worked with that is more a man of his word or a person of his word then john mccain. maybe we could have gotten it done without him. i have answered the question. >> are you confident you will get an up or down vote on the three nominees for the d c circuit for? >> we will take those one at a time. we are talking about executive nominees. those are going through the process. we will see. >> homeland security? >> i could give you a few
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others. we are going to take these one at a time. we feel comfortable where we are. i think there is a way of moving forward. i think there is a good feeling in the senate, the best feeling we have had in a long time. that is how we get things done. this was a very, very difficult issue for a lot of people. one thing i always had going for me was, i had the votes. and there is no need to do any more than what we have done. we took yes for an answer, which a lot of times, around here, it is hard for people to do that. one more question. when are we going to have a vote on the new secretary nominee, tom perez? i do not know for sure. post-cloture, there is a lot of time. at the right time, we will
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initiate cloture on all nlrb nominees. hopefully as early as late next week or early the following week, we will move all five at the same time. >> senator, the labor bill? >> during what time? >> during these negotiations. >> i have had a call or two. thanks. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> the senate armed services >> the senate armed services committee member senator carl levin spoke tuesday morning. he began with reports to changes for rules on executive
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nominations. he spoke before the agreement that avoided the so-called nuclear option. he also discussed the possibility of sexual assault in the military, foreign aid, and military programs. this is an hour. >> here we go. i am dave cook thomas from the monitor. our guest today is senator carl levin of michigan, senator on the armed services committee. his last visit with the group was in january of 2012.
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we appreciate his willingness to come back. he is a graduate of swarthmore and harvard law. after graduation, he worked for the michigan civil rights commission and the appellate public defender's office. he was elected to detroit city council in 1969 and became his president. -- became its president. he's the longest serving senator in michigan history and his current term in 2014 will be his last. so much for biography. now to the popular process of the program. we're on the record. no live blogging, tweeting or filing while the breakfast is under way. there's no embargo when the session is over except that c- span has agreed not to use video of the session for at least one hour after the breakfast ends to give those of us in the room a chance to file. as many of you have heard me say ad nauseam, if you'd like to ask a question, send me a subtle nonthreatening signal and i'd be happy to call.
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i'd like an opportunity to have brief comments around the table. thanks for doing this again, sir. >> thank you, dave. thank you, all, for coming out this morning. my legislative director is with me. i thought i'd start off with a couple of minutes of remarks about what the senate is embroiled in at the moment. dave mentioned their words ever popular before the word process. and that kind of goes to the heart of the matter. but the senate is debating -- what the senate is debating is process. that's not the least bit popular. there's irony in his words. there's no irony in my words.
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process is not something that the people care much about. they care about results. how you get there is not much in their minds understandably. and when you folks report on these kind of issues, it's not very much in the front and center of your reports. understandably. the public wants results. but the senate has a process, and the question is whether or not that process now is going to be changed by a majority of the senate. that is the fundamental question which will be decided later this morning is whether or not the
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rules of the senate will be changed by a majority of the senate. can the majority change the rules whenever it wants like the house of representatives? the rules committee. every day they adopt new rules. they can change the house rules by a majority in whatever they want. the senate by its rules says that the debate -- this is where the subtley comes in but it goes to the heart of the matter, the debate on rules changes lasts until 2/3 of the senate ends the debate. and so for shorthand you and we say right now it takes 2/3 of the senate to change the rules. technically that's not true. it's a majority that votes ultimately if there's cloture's invoked or debate has ended, it's a majority that changes the rule that votes on the change.
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just the way on a filibuster on legislation or on judges' nominees, it takes 60 votes to end debate so we sometimes say it takes a supermajority to get something passed in the senate. that's only true to end debate on an issue. not on the issue itself. now, the reason that distinction is critically important is that process is important in any legislative body that has any protection for the minority. and the senate has protected the minority with a process. that process has been abused. that process has also been used by the likes of me, a democrat, and by members of my party to stop some things from happening which we believe very strongly should not happen. we prevented
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the confirmation of judges who we thought were rigid ideologues who could not be objective judges. we have prevented -- and this is just in recent years -- the prestrixes on reproductive rights of women. we didn't have a majority, but we had 60 -- we had 41 votes. enough to stop those changes from happening. we were able to prevent a -- an amendment which would have inflicted on all of our states the rules of other states -- in other words. if my state -- my state's a bad example, but if a state has a law that says you can't carry a concealed weapon, there was an amendment in front of the senate just a few months ago which said, but if a visitor to that state comes from a state which
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allows you to carry a concealed weapon, then that person, that visitor has a right to carry a concealed weapon when visiting the state. we stopped that. we didn't have a majority. we had a minority of more than 40 that was able to stop it. and so the issue before the senate, the issue before the senate is whether or not a majority of the senate can effectively change the rules at will just the way the majority of the house can change the rules at will. and i just want to end here by quoting a michigan senator.
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many years ago arthur vandenburg, republican from michigan, was facing a similar situation. this issue, believe me, has been debated over the last century at least. there were civil rights legislation in front of the senate. he favored that civil rights legislation. he was a strong proponent of civil rights. it was being filibustered. and the question was then whether or not the senate would by fiat change the rule relative to cutting off debate. in this case it was on the legislation itself. and what he said, and he voted against his own substantive provision, what he says applies today. if the majority of the senate can change the rule if at any time, quote, there are no rules except the unregulated wishes of a majority.
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so do i favor changing the rule about executive appointments getting a vote? you bet you. i believe the president -- and i believe a majority of the senate believe that the president ought to have his or her nominees voted on and not filibustered. i believe that. i want to change the rule but not by fiat, not by breaking a rule which says that it takes 2/3 of the senate to end debate on a rules change. so this is longer than the few minutes i planned on talking. it's at the heart of the issue today. not whether we change a rule so that presidents are guaranteed they can get votes on their nominees.
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again, i favor that change. but how you change the rule and whether or not the majority of the senate can become then the determiner unilaterally, whether they can change the rules, whether it's today on nominees, tomorrow on judges, the day after tomorrow on legislation. >> we're going to go to trisha christina. you will get a lot of questions about the nuclear option. let me ask you about two other subject areas. one about sexual assault in the military. as you know there was a "new york times" story over the
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weekend talking about the impact of president obama's comments about sexual assault saying they should be prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, dishonorably discharged. military defense lawyers cited that as command influence. question, how badly did the president mess up in terms of placing obstacles in a prosecutor's way? >> i'm going to let the courts decide that. i'm an old defense lawyer. if i were representing a defendant i would probably make the same argument. i will not decide that on who wins that argument. the president was not referring, i don't believe, to any specific case so the argument i guess would be on the part of the prosecutor. there's no command influence in this case. these are generalized comments of a president. the president, of course, is he's the commander in chief. if the jurors, whoever those jurors are in that court martial, i think would have to
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be asked by the defense counsel, are they familiar with them and does it go through the usual process of questioning jurors and then if there is a -- if there's a finding of guilt in that case, then there would be an appeal to the court of military appeals. there is a process to resolve that issue. and i'd rather not comment on it because maybe then, because i'm chairman of the armed services committee, my comments could be viewed as command influence. >> let me ask you a related conference. as you know there is a press conference later this morning whether senators paul and cruz are going to be join with senator gillibrand in her effort to get, you know, votes to take sexual assault cases out of the chain of command. the political story this morning saying she had 32 votes before- hand. what's your take on the way this issue is moving? do you see -- what do you see?
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>> well, the armed services committee on a bipartisan vote adopted major changes in the rules and laws on sexual assault. the problem is being dealt with, has been dealt with in our legislation in many, many ways. the most important thing we do is to make sure that the victim or the alleged victim of an assault has an opportunity to work with a special counsel that will be whose ethical obligation is to vet the victim. and there's major changes which has to happen. the problem is that if you remove the chain of command, you're taking away from the command, their chain of command, the club that they need to change the culture which is the club of being able to prosecute somebody. if you take away -- and we've had testimony from the commanders here, including a number of women commanders who
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say we've got to change this culture. we need that club. don't remove that club from us which is the ability to prosecute, because it is that which helps us change this culture. we commanged it relative to race. -- we've changed it relative to race. we've changed it relative to sexual orien fashion. -- orientation. we commanders command, order changes. by the way, the military in some respects was the head of the country when it came to changing discrimination against african- americans. they were ahead of the rest of the country because they had commanders which finally said it's going to end, it's going to end here. and we're going to enforce it. if anybody opens their yap and makes comments of people of other races or ethnic groups, we're going to deal with it as commanders. behind them was the force being able to court martial, prosecute.
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so the commanders are telling us we will weaken their ability to end the sexual assaults and the other types of sexual misconduct. if you take this out of the chain of command. i don't know where the votes will be on that issue when it comes to the floor, but on a bipartisan basis, including a number of republicans, male, female, democrats, republicans, by a pretty sizeable majority in the armed services committee felt the last thing we want to do is weaken the -- not just the power but the -- we have to have accountability on those commanders. accountability for their climate. and we do that in our bill as well. we add accountability for the commanders if they fail to change the climate inside of their command. >> trisha. >> good morning, senator. i was wondering if you could talk about what's going on with getting aid to egypt right now. there's been talk that the
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united states has a lot of options to continue giving aid even though there is a decision it was a coup. what options might you be able to have? what's your position on that issue? >> i think we ought to suspend the tade which the law says needs to be suspended which is the nonmilitary aid which is by its own terms, the law's own terms, must be taken away, suspended in the event there's either a coup or where the military by decree is operating. the word coup is in the statute as a grounds to stop the aid. again, this applies on the nonmilitary side. the president has on military side to do the same thing. we ought to follow that law.
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we ought to follow all of our laws. i don't know of anything new in this area. people have expressed their opinion on it. my hunch is there is not the votes. the nonmilitary aid is required. we believe, as rurd by law. -- a number of us, by law. i think all of us hope the military will live up to what they say they'll do which is to move to a constitution which protects the rights of all egyptians of all faiths and backgrounds and ethnic origin and so forth. we hope that the military lives up to their commitment to then have elections following the constitution. if that's so the aid could always be restored. i think until the actions take place rather than just to the
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statements of commitment that we ought to keep that portion of the aid suspended. >> christina. >> could you explain a little bit more about, you know, the suspension of nonmilitary aid versus military aid? i read the law and 1.3 billion that is military aid -- if it were determined to be a coup, i am confused on that part.
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>> i look forward to more discussions with you. performance to mission is an important role that every department has. aunderstand that that is mission that could be impacted if they cannot hire the people that they need to perform there is possibilities. i know the recommendations given to the federal salary council, with regards to new pay classifications. will becommendations passed on to the president's pay agent. as the pay agent i will make sure that those recommendations are reviewed. in addition, i would -- i would -- would be excited about continuing to have those conversations with you. i know that managers have some
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tools, like relocation and incentives. -- ild make sure that that would make sure that managers know those incentives. >> i want to say that we have been at this for a little over an hour. i want to say thank you. it is not an easy ross is. it is an important one. i want to thank you for your frankness. needless to say, this is a big job and you are up for confirmation. there is a lot of work that will have to be done by you and your staff will stop you have to make sure that health care, oversight, pension benefits, all of those kind of things are dealt in a timely manner.
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hope for a timely confirmation. typically, this committee does that. i want to thank you for your commitment to the public service . without objection, the hearing record will be kept open until 5:00 p.m. tomorrow. that will be for the submission of statements. with that, this hearing is adjourned. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> and few moments, eric holder
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speaks to the national convention of the naacp. ruleshalf-hour, the house committee debates the delays to the health care bill. they will focus on the mandates on washington journal. a.m. s live at 7 >> a couple of live events should tell about on our companion network, c-span3. bamber naked will deliver the annual report on monetary policy. you can see his testimony at 10:00 eastern. the senate judiciary committee looks at the future of the voting rights act, in light of the recent supreme court decision that invalidated part of the law that allows states to change their own election laws
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without advance approval. >> after losing the apple of her eye, rose has seen her children, in birth order, disappear from the scene. she wrote in her journal about what it was like in hyannis. she said, gone are the presidential helicopters that we would look forward to. i would see his children run out to him. >> she missed that. dayse said, gone are the where we were said to be the most powerful family in the world. about theormation kde matriarch. -- and hery, and/or
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contribution to the kennedy dynasty. holder criticized florida's "stand your ground" law. his comments included a personal zimmerman andrge the killing of trayvon martin. he talked about his experience with racial profiling and a conversation he had with his teenage son. >> thank you. thank you. thank you. i know you do. all for such a warm introduction and for those kind words. it is a pleasure for me to be in orlando today. it is a privilege to join
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president jealous and my good friend, secretary donovan and to celebrate the naacp's fourth convention. i am proud to be in good company this afternoon. among so many friends. leaders,s civil rights like julian bond. and passion -- passionate men and women who have dedicated themselves to bringing us together. they focus on the inequities that too many of our citizens face. mindful of the tragic and unnecessary shooting death of trayvon martin last year. just a short distance from here.
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also aware of the trial that reached its conclusion on saturday evening. i would like to join president obama in urging all americans, like he said, that we are a nation of laws and a jury has spoken. members arenaacp deeply, and rightly, concerned about this case. most of all, as parents. things,o show you two i amoncert of this case -- concerned about this case and, the justicemed, department has an open interest again into it. ongoing, iquiry is can promise that justice will
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determine which action to take. no matter the legal i believe this provides another opportunity for our nation to speak honestly and openly about the complicated issues that this case is raised. -- has raised. to have a conversation. familiar withoubt you. actacted police -- how to to police. what to say if you think you are confronted in a way that you think is unwarranted. parent'sthat my hoped that the country would change for the better.
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am serving in the administration of our nations first african-american president. yet, for all the progress that we have seen, recent events demonstrate at we still have much to do an further to go. the news of trayvon martin's death and the discussions that have taken place have reminded me of my father's words so many years ago. i was pulled over twice and i had my car searched to make sure that i was not speeding. i was stopped by a police georgetownnight at in washington dc. i was a federal prosecutor.
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death causedyvon's me to sit down and have a conversation with my own 15- year-old son, like my father did with me. son is a father and tradition that i hoped would not have to be handed down. , ia father who loves his son had to do this to protect my boy. i am his father. , not to responsibility burden him with the baggage of srror is long gone -- of era long gone, but of the world that he still must confront. this is a sad reality. i'm determined to do everything in my power to make sure that the talk i had my son is not the
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only conversation that we engage in as a result of these events. and ways ofed riots est acrossest -- unr the country. the people who said that, and rejectedost part, america's district of past. -- destructive past. people are overwhelmingly making their voices heard, as americans have the right to do, through peaceful road tests designed to encourage responsible debate. those who conduct themselves in
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a country manor do not honor the memory of trayvon martin. hope that we will continue approach this dialoguely difficult with the same dignity that trayvon's parents have .emonstrated in the last year and, especially in the past few days. we should be proud of those people. suffered a pain that no hair should have to and/or -- that no parent should have to endure. not forgo this opportunity to improve this nation that we cherish. now, ittarting here and
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is time to commit ourselves to a respectful and responsible dialogue. andan meet division confusion with understanding and compassion. ultimately, with truth. it is time to strengthen our collective resolve. it is also time to combat violence towards our children. we must prevent future tragedies. , we must confront the underlying attitudes and serve as beliefs that the basis for police action. caseate and apart from the that has drawn the attention, it is time to russian laws that expands the concept of self- defense and so dangerous
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conflict in our neighborhoods. [applause]these laws tried to fix something that was not broken. there is always been a legal defense for using deadly force availabler treat is -- safe retreat is available. retreat,ve a duty to if they can do so safely. by allowing and encouraging violent situations in public, this undermines public safety. it has victimized too many who are innocent. it is our collective obligation
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that we must stand our ground to --ure we must stand our ground to make sure that we reduce violence. .e must seek a dialogue honoring the finest traditions of nonviolent advocates throughout history and, by paying to be to the young man who lost his life here . and, so many others, whose futures have been cut short that are too often unnoticed. we must do so, by
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engaging with one another in a way that is useful, inclusive, and strong. willepartment of justice act a manner that is consistent with fact and law. we will not be afraid. we are committed. we are committed to doing everything possible to make sure that, in every case, in every circumstance, and every community, justice is done. for more than a century, this ,rganization, founded in 1909 strived to do just that. especially in times of need. you have dared to seek
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opportunity. your challenge the nation to aim higher. to be better. to expand their ideals. of the naacp,er walter white, rosa parks, martin luther king junior, and others whose names may be less familiar toave raised their voices reach the goal of a more perfect union. they prove that civil rights centurycan improve last planning planning for the challenges of the next. as recent events illustrate, hard work is far from over. it is tied to a dollars that we ise much more to do -- it time to recognize that we have much more to do. of theh anniversary
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infamous standing in front of the schoolhouse door. got theg students advice of naacp lawyers and step past georgeped wallace in integrated the university of alabama. 50 years ago, last month, one of the students would become my sister-in-law. she passed away several years , her courage soon made a strong impression on me. -- she made me dream of a career in service. thean's memory inspires
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night hespeech of the addressed the american people and expressed his support for vivian and her classmates. he described the cause of civil rights as a moral issue. asuse his words, is as old the scriptures and as clear as the constitution. in that extraordinary moment, president kennedy urged his deny education because of the color of someone's skin. he urged rob burress to -- he urged congress to pass sweeping legislation. voting rights act of 1965. it was signed into law by the
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domains johnson -- lyndon baines johnson. protections for the rights of every citizen and every eligible voter. less thannted nothing the structure of modern voting rights law. an important part of this legislation was chipped away. the supreme court's chipped away the voting rights act. allowed theon department of justice to take swift action against jurisdictions that conducted procedures that were discriminatory. it served as a potent kool for addressing inequities in our
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system. it was an effective legal mechanism. changeson hold voting until they have been reviewed. let me be clear, this was a disappointing and flawed decision. it dealt a serious setback to the cause of voting rights. like all of you, i strongly disagree the court's action. successfuln numerous decisions. that it is far from an antiquated relic of a bygone era. sure that there are fair and impartial voting changes. it works with jurisdictions. court noted the important role of preclearance
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in a photo id law in south carolina. because of the department's engaging with the state and -- state, south carolina officials changed how they would implement a rule and eliminated what would have otherwise been a discriminatory act. mac --as a redistricting map that would have discriminated against dino's. ofre is more evidence discrimination than they have the ability to list. they are significant. they corrode the foundations of our democracy and they are of today. not yesterday. month's despite last ruling, every member of the
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thatme court has agreed voting discrimination still exists. no one doubts that. that is the chief justice. rightsuggle for voting cannot be relegated to the pages of history. this is why protecting the fundamental right to vote, for all americans, will continue to be top priority of the department of justice. so long as i am the attorney general of the united states. it is also why i remain disappointed with this outcome. i believe that we must regard it as a rare and historic opportunity. for congress to consider new legislation to restore, even strengthening,
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voting protections. most effective civil rights laws in american history. passage, the voting rights act has had broad bipartisan support on capitol hill. it's most recent authorization passed with nearly unanimous support in 1996. it was signed into law -- 2006, and was signed into law by president bush. ford,pproved by reagan, and nixon. nixon -- republicans. providing fair and equal access to the ballot box has never been a partisan issue. it is an american issue. about -- it is about the core values that define us as a nation.
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whatever solutions congressional leaders consider, i'm cursed them to remember that the right to vote is a guarantee in a sacred duty conferred by citizenship and protected by the united states constitution. togress must take steps ensure that every american has equal access to the polls. >> in the meantime, the justice department will search for any changes that may hamper voting rights. we will not hesitate to use every tool available to us against any jurisdiction that attempts to take advantage of the supreme court possible link court's we will not wait for congressional action to refine and refocus our efforts.
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today, that the director of the civil rights division will shift resources to voting rights act provisions that were not affected by the supreme court ruling. [applause]{organ] resources to the part of the division at were not affected by the supreme court ruling. race, color, or language, in respect of other laws. it is clear that that was anything but complete. our cause is not yet for filled -- fulfilled.
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thenation postured he on way to equality and opportunity is far from over. this journey goes on every day, and the efforts of those who seek to improve the legacy of our predecessors. it goes on in the steadfast commitment of my colleagues in the justice department and the entire obama ministration -- administration. most of all, it goes on in the passion and advocacy of the in, andd men and women far beyond, this room. make no mistake, the naacp work is not just a store clean relevant, it will always be a vibrant and contemporary
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part of what makes this country exceptional. willet us pledge that we honor heroes, like dr. king, major adverse, and so many evers evers, and so many others by matching their contributions with our own. i want us to seize the breathtaking opportunities to see that justice is done and strengthening our nation's long tradition of equality and opportunity. we need to continue the work that constitutes our shared purpose. the enduring pursuit of a more and more, more just, perfect union. thank you all very much. [organ playing]
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>> in a few moments, the house rules committee considers bills based on the mandates in the healthcare law. washington journal is live at 7:00 eastern. a couple of live events to tell you about today. one is on c-span three. ben bernanke goes to capitol report onliver the monetary policy. you can see his testimony before the house financial services committee. -- 01: 30 p.m., the
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senate judiciary committee looks at the future of the voting thets act in light of supreme court decision that invalidated part of the law. >> we do not know enough about our first ladies. scratch the surface, and you will find lives that often surpass their husbands in drama and fortitude. our original series, first ladies, influence and image, examining the public and private lives of the women and their impact on the presidencies. fromncore presentations martha washington do ida mckinley, starting august 5 on c-span. >> the house of representatives is scheduled to take up to bills tomorrow that would delay the employer and individual man health- mandate of the care. this two hours.
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>> hr 2668, fairness for families act of 2013. on july 2nd, the obama administration announce add one-year delay of the implementation of the employer mandate contained within what is called obama care. this provisionould have forced companies with more than 50 ll-time employees to either offer employer-based health care or face a financial penalty. as a result of this pending mandate, many companies all across america are reducing their employees' hours or are deliberately not hiring new employees in an attempt to avoid the overburdensome regulations. while house republicans agree that the mandate shoulde delayed and ultitely we believe permanently repealed, we do not believe that the president has the authority to
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unilaterally decide which aspects of the law he can enforce or not enforce. we believe selective enforcement is not within the statute. the president is absolutely right that the employee mandate should be delayed. in fact, he should go even further and follow the united states house of representatives' lead and help us to repeal the entire law. however, until he agrees to do that, this bill, hr 2667, would provide the authority to delay the employer mandate through the constitutional and proper legislative process. simply, obama care included an individual mandate which forces every single american to have health insurance or face a penalty. hr 2668 would extend the same one-year delay provided to
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american businesses would also be provided to america's families. we believe it is simply not fair and not right for the president to decide who has to abide by the law and who does not. it is particularly unfair for the president to force upon american families what he does not force upon american business. we think it is blatantly unfair, and so that's why we're here today. additional it's worth noting that less than a month before now, before the president announced the delay, he stated in a reference to obama care that "this is working the way it's supposed to". and yet media records indicate the administration has known for months that the law would never be able to function as planned and that it was destined to
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fail. as we begin discussions today, i think it's important to note that increasingly more americans are able to see what is in the bill, and they are not liking it. this week the gallup organization released a poll indicating that 52%, a majority of americans, are opposed to obama care. this house of repsentatives has already voted to permanently repeal the bill but with senate democrats and president obama failing to join us in listening to the american people, we are here again today to say that this is not working. we join with the president to say this is not working. and this is a disastrous legislation. and it should not be selective enforcement that this president thinks he has. i would also like to insert into the record a letter from 17 conservative groups across the nation that support our bill
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that we are doing today. and without objection i will enter that into the record. and i'd also like to thank our witnesses who are king time to be here at this time i'd like to yield to the gentman, the ranking member of the committee, the gentlemenwoman mrs. slaughter. gentlewoman is recognized. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i am very much aware that this again is an exercise in futility, but it's possible it's the only exercise all of you get. nothing short of famine or flood will stop you from voting the 38th or 39th time to repeal health care. i don't know why. yu kno that the senate is not going to take this up. and surely i'm hopeful we got the administration's statemt here. we do. and let me just look for the point here. he would veto it. so i will just await and
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politely listen to the witnesses, but we sure have been here many times before. and i -- with so many things facing this couny, so many serious issues out there that we need to be talking about in the house of representatives, it really is a tragedy that once again again we're wasting the public's money. you've heard me say a dozen times. it costs $24 million a we're we week to run the house. i'm not sure we're meeting our obligation at all. in fact i'm sure we're not. thank you. >> appreciate the remarks from the gentlewoman. i will answer her question. >> i wanted to insert into the record a statement from several groups saying that this is a disaster. thank you very much. >> without objection, that will be entered into the record. to answer the gentlewoman's questions about what we're doing here might be best answered by an article that was in the "wall street journal" july 15th by the
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gentleman mort zuckerman. what he says is "since the beginning of the year the number of people with jobs increased by about 753,000." that's a net new 753,000. but as he states, but there are jobs and then there are jobs. he states, no fewer than 557,000 of the 753 are part-time jobs. part-time jobs. and this is, to quote the president, this is what it was designed to do. it was designed to take apart american business, it was evidently designed and that's what it's doing to make sure employ employers do not hire more people. to take ay careers and our ability to effectively make sure
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america has a brighter future. without exception i will enter this into the record. i want to thank each of our witnesses for being here today and would ask the gentleman from the state of washington who represents the ways and means committee if he could please take the stand, and also the gentleman mr. young from indiana if he would join us as our two lead witnesses today. and as always -- >> when you finish the introductions i have a question of you, mr. chairman. >> that would be great. if you gentlemen will hold on one second and i'll be right there. obviously we are delighted that both of you are here before the rules committee today. th of you including the gentleman, dr. mcdermott, have taken time to not only study the issuebut i believe dr. mcdermott considers himself an expert on the obama care issue. he has been before this rules committee many times. he's a very dear friend of not just this committee but we count
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on his expert testimony. and the gentleman mr. young, we're delighted that you're hear today. and it is my hope that whatever you have in writing we'll put that into the record without exception. we'll do that. and then any other comments that you may have. if i could have you hold on just for one moment, i would defer to the gentleman from florida. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i'm just curious in light of all your comments at the beginning of all the proceedings, what is your rebuttal or your party's rebuttal to the treasury department's letter to the chairman of the commerce committee, mr. upton on july 9th, pointed will he indicating that the authority to delight employer mandate as put forward by the president is within their
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framework? what's your rebuttal? or was there a rebuttal to that treasury dartment letter? >> well, i think it's important to note in our rebuttalould be i don't know that we were -- [ inaudible ] -- i don't know that there was notice given to the congress ahead of the announcement. i think that there was justification provided once it s done. i believe that consultation, whether it's in this body, is preferred. in our committees it's preferred. and i think that a complete understanding of how and why and what its ramifications would be and what things are lacking, i think it was seen as my party is for a justification, the information businesses need to know what to plan on.
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i believe there was additional information which was released which i have not seen further information on that dealt with how the internal revenue service or this government would look at self-reporting by individuals. i think it opened up more questions that wanted answered. and i believe that it's a fair statement to say my party, not just disagree with the president but was looking for information which would help us to be able to effectively understand what and why the president did this, what problems were in the midst where we could understand that and then to clarify. [ overlapping speakers ] >> you also quoted mark zuckerberg and the "wall street journal." somehow or another, there's this
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skimmer that is put forward in the affordable care act in the minds of some, evidently, thought was done deliberately to cause part-time employment. i read two articles in the "wall street journal" this past weekend on the train. and both those articles cite to technology as among the reasons -- and there's a study they will offer to the chairman that was done indicating that we are headed and quite frankly regrettably into what might best be described as the new normal. i refer to the new normal as abnormal. but fa of the matter is, employers have made choices for a variety of reasons over the course of time. i will say to you this, mr. chairman. i have not seen anything in the three years since this measure
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has been put forward and tested in the united states supreme court and litigated all over the nation, and now about to be implemented in part, i've not seen anything from my colleagues the house of representatives on the other side that suggest you have something to replace it with. and what you and i know is that there are a significant number of people who are uninsured, were uninsured before the affordable care act, and are likely to be uninsured, some of them, after it is fully implemented if that were ever to be the case. so enough of all of this repeal siness. show me your plan. and if you don't have a plan, then the least you can do is try to assist in implementing the an that's on the table. and i thank you, mr. chairman, for yield. >> and i appreciate the gentleman's comments.
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i would respond back as we did the day around march 22nd, 2009, if that was when the health care bill was in the res committee, the republican party had our bills ready and able and preped to go. anthe eence of it is, several piece part, one of them which was stymied in the senate by then senator clinton, hillary rodham clinton, who would not allow association health care plans. and that is independent business pele who might be self-employed. they might work for car dealers. they may work for rea estate people. to be able to gather together in associations to be able to have a large team size. those were many, many of the unemployed across this country, to give them the legal authority
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to be able to gather together a health care organization. the second is, $15,000 that a family -- any family could deduct health care expenses. my family at the time with a disabled child needed additional money to be able to use to take health care-related deductions. so my party did have, does have a very capable and able decision making and bills that are ready right now, ready to go, were then, are now. and the basis is to take as many people as possible and allow them to buy into insurance on a pre-tax basis and to give them the authority and the responsibility to take care of themself. and then those that did not take
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advantage of that, then to figure out the way that we would handle them. but this bill was designed as a businessman of 16 years of background, of understanding how business works, if you put mandates on businesses that are onerous, they will make adverse decisions. and they will reject those as long as they can. and i believe that that not just outcry but rather out and out disagreement with this law from a perspective of a free enterprise system and employing people is the reason why this administration backed off. it is not working. it would not work. it's not designed to work except the way that they designed it it is working. and it is working the way we saw it would. and at is the diminishment of
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millions of american jobs. so not a mistake and not a consequence. i welcome the two witnesses who are here today. and i would ask the gentleman, mr. young, if he would be the lead and the gentleman is recognized. >> well, thank you so much, mr. chairman. i appreciate your leadership as well as the leadership of ms. slaughter here on this committee and all of the members here. it's an honor to appear before you today. i'm going to offer orally here an abbreviated statement in the hope that we can submit to the record. without jection. >> mr. chairman, late in the afternoon of july 2nd, after the financial markets had closed, the treasury department released a blog post that announced the administration was delaying enforcement of the employer mandate until 2015. this i not how our system is supposed to work. we're a nation of laws, not a nation of blog posts. congress writes the laws, and the executive branch enforces
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the law. if it's wise to delay the employer mandate because it's become too complicated and burdensome, then the administration should ask the congress to delay the mandate. they would have found a very receptive audience i believe. we've all heard from our local businesses and employers, including colleges, schools, local governments, about how the employer mandate was increasing costs and impacting hiring adversely. as hr 2667, the authority for mandate delay act makes clear, the employee mandate is ill-considered policy and we can and should come together on delaying its implementation for one year. but a government by the people of the people and for the people must be a government that is fair to all citizens. and it's fundamentally unfair for the administration to grant relief to big business but not give individuals and families the same relief. the individual mandate is equally confusing to the american people as the employer
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mandate is to business. hr 2668, the fairness for american families act, provides that fairness with congress delaying the individual mandate for one year. now, the administration's recent regulatory barrage made complying with the law even more complicated for individuals and families. obama care, as we've come to know it, ha made health insurance more expensive for individuals. president obama has promised a $2500 premium decrease, but states that have released premium rate filings in the obama care exchanges for 2014 are seeing massive premium increases. the bill i introduced, fairness for american families act, again hr 2668, provide the same relief to america's families that the obama administration granted to big business. the bill delays for one year the individual mandate and the
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penalties associated with choosing to not purchase government-approved insurance. that's only fair. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. i appreciate the gentleman's testimony. the gentleman from the state of washington, mr. mcdermott, is recognized. >> mr. chairman and members of the committee, i am pretty sure that nothing i say is going to change the direction of this committee. but i would like to let you understand what you're doing. dealing with two bills, one of which the president has already dealt with the issue by delaying the implementation of the employer mandate, the reporting for the mandate. he hasn't delayed the giving of insurance, but he just delayed the reporting for a year. so the first bill is really irrelevant. the issues raised by my
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colleague from indiana, section 26 of usc7805 a is the gentleman enforcement authority for the president to give waivers. the president can change. we put it in in the affordable care act and said, anything doesn't work, here's the authorization to make a change at the executive level. it's a universally used, been used before by both -- well, many presidents. that kind of leave by the executive branch is often used when a situation doesn't quite work and they mayant to come back and look at it again. so the first bill really is almost irrelevant. everybody who's looked at it says it makes no difference. although mitt romney did have it in his romney care in massachusetts. an employer mandate was an essential part of that.
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one of the things that happened this week was that the massachusetts legislature repealed the employer mandate because they said it's included in the federal law so we don't need it anymore. so the employer mandate was never an essential to making this work. 95% of large companies already provide for their employees, and the employer mandate was to encourage those 5% to figure out a way to offer to their employees, but there were other mechanisms to deal with the fact if they didn't d that. now, the second bill is really the destructive one. this is the end of obama care if it were to go into effect. because the whole thing rests on the question of whether or not you have everybody in the system. everybody knows that in
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insurance reform you have to have insurance reform. you have to change things like guaranteed issue. you have to get rid of people who -- the ability of insurance companies to deny people coverage, which we did. and that's going to go into effect on january 1 no matter what we do here today. that will go into effect on january 1st. everybody in this country will be guaranteed issue by an insurance company. there's no way out of that. now, the insurance companies were countin on the individual mandate, because that gets everybody into the pot. everybody into the pool. the healthy, the sick, they're all in the pool together. and you can do an insurance plan when you can have everybody in. if you take away the individual mandate and say people don't have to get insurance but have the guaranteed issue, it means people can sit at home and say, well, why should i go get insurance? if i get sick i'll run down and
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i' buy a policy. insurance companies can't operate that way. and it's simply a destructive thing to the insurance companies. now, why are the insurance companies not jumping up and down about this? because they know this i not going to pass, it's not going to go through the senate. the president isn't going to sign it. this is simply a p.r. effort that we're going through here today. but it is absolutely essential. and if you go back and look at where did this individual mandate come from? it didn't come from back obama. for heavens sakes. the heritage foundation put it out there sometime ago. nixon had it in his proposal. romney had it in his proposal. every republican proposal has always had an individual mandate in it. i had a big discussion once with jim mccrery, the ranking member
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of the ways and means committee. he said jim, there are two ways to get universal health care coverage in this country. one is a single payer system, which i like, and which i think we'd have been better off if we'd gone that direction. but instead we chose the republican way. let's vet by individual mandating. keep the insurance companies in it. and we will force everyone to join an insurance company. that waye have everybody . no more free riders. romney's talked about this when he was talk about anytime massachusetts. he called it the individual responsibility principle. everybody has a responsibility to take care of themselves. that's a republican -- that's a ground-breaking proposal of the republicans. always. individual responsibility for evything. and so when you put it into the law, you say everybody is responsible for doing that. now, if you open the door as this bill does today and say, come buy anytime you want
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insurance, you simply destroy the whole idea. it would be like you said, the reason we have mandatory auto insurance. why do we have that? because we know that everybody might have an automobile accident. body wantsne. nobody plans to have one. nobody goe around thinking, thank god i got it. i'm going to run into something. that's not why we have it. we have it because insurance companies have to have everybody in, the good drivers and the bad drivers, so they have the money to cover what goes on in the automobile iustry. the same is true of fire insurance. fire insurance on your house is not -- we have an individual mandate. everybody bank, everybody who buys a house has to get fire insurance. it's not up to you, well, i think i'll get it or i won't get it. we know it doesn't work. it started in the 1776 in philadelphia when we discovered
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that individual coverage simply didn't work. you had to have a universal coverage. well, the same is tr in health care. right now everybodyup here on this dais and down here at this table is spending $1,000 a year to cover the people who walk into the emergency room with no insurance. they are free riders in the system. and the individual mandate is to prevent free riders from continuing to take advantage. now, you can say, well, you're telling me -- you're giving me a hypothetical. i am not. i come from washington state. in 1993, we passed an individual mandate. we said everybody in the state of washington had to buy insurance. and we passed insurance reform. we said insurance companies have to offer it to anybody who shows
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up. about three years later, the legislature repealed the individual mandate. so they left the insurance companies with the problem of people discovering they were pregnant and saying,ou know what, i'm pregnant. i'm going to have a baby. i'd better go down and get some insurance so i'll be covered when i deliver the baby. and as soon as the baby is delivered they drop the insurance. and two years later, got pregnant again. went douwn and bought insurance to be covered while they were delivering the baby. they had all kinds of crazy things go on with cancer and everything else. anytime anybody found they had a problem they went down and bought insurance. that killed the individual market in the state of washington. for three years we had no companies offering individual covera in the state. and that's what you are saying to the whole country. you're saying to the whole insurance industry, you have to cover everybody who shows up at the front door, but they can
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come anytime they want, anytime they feel like they wouldike to have some insurance. and it simply will not work. what's puzzling to me is why the republicans would put on the table plan that is so anti-business and so fiscally irsponsible. you cannot have something like this work. and the only reason the cbo has come out with a report, brief report that suggests premiums are going to go up immediately. every insurance company -- if this were to pass, the insurance companies would immediately jack up premiums all over the country because they would have no way of ever underwriting anyone because they have an individual mandate, they have to open it up. or they have not an individual ndate, they have a guaranteed issue. they have to guarantee to anybody. and so it will not work. so this bill, it really is a
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question in my view of whether or not the republicans are serious about wanting to cover the people. if you don't want single payer and you don't want an individual mandate, you don't want a system that works. it's just that simple. and we might as well take it down to the floor, and we'll vote no and you'll vote yes, and it will die somewhere in the black hole between here and the senate. thank u. >> thank you very much, mr. mcdermott. you really opened a lot of questions to me. you talk about everybody in. is this what the obama care does? everybody's in? >> obama care takes -- it gets about 70% or 80% of the people who are not covered today will be covered. that's not everybody. i wish we had -- i would like single payer system where everybody in the country was


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