tv First Ladies Influence Image CSPAN December 31, 2013 12:00am-2:01am EST
are going to continue to be undocumented workers in this country, people who are not legally. and this is untenable to the thatcan producer out there somehow we can't get him or her a legal workforce. so that's first. secondly, you know, we do have labor shortages in this country. it is resulting in crops going unharvested and agricultural production and i cited the california study of tens of thousands of acres moving to another country. that pattern will continue if we do not fix the problem. >> some would argue that if we do not have a foreign labor force, that simply means more jobs for americans. how does the lack of a program like this affects u.s. jobs or american worker jobs? >> several have raised this point. i know time is running out. this has been studied and looked at exhaustively. senator feinstein has been
involved in efforts to demonstrate -- are we replacing u.s. jobs here? we are just not paying enough or something is wrong and therefore, we are turning to foreign workers. it has been proven time and time again, study after study, that is not the case. they will not do this work. without this workforce, again, food production will go off seas and crops will be left unharvested in the u.s. >> why are we tying the pathway to citizenship to a guest worker program? i am not going to give 11 million illegal immigrants a path way until i get something i want. i want a new immigration system. i would not trust them to give it to me.
our democratic friends are not going to trust us to hold everything up until we are satisfied with border security. you live on the border. i know you are as sincere a this as possible. we have to talk about the elephant in the room. every time we have this debate, there's always a reason the border is not quite secure enough. we spend billions of dollars and we got 21,000 border agents on the border and we're spending $4.5 billion more. we will have 18 drones and we're going to have the comprehensive strategy at substantially deployed and operational. we are going to have terms that are flexible because at the end of the day, people on their side believe we are going to use 90% or 95% to find one problem after
the border and we never quite get there. your desire to secure this border is my desire. the southern fencing strategy is completed. that makes sense. as senator has expressed numerous times, fences are not the best security available to the country in some parts. in my view, the mandatory e- verify system is the ultimate border security because they come here to get jobs. as to the exit system, that airports have not had the same as land-based systems. we created a new system. that is a gap in the system. at that airports and seaports look at boston, that is the gap. we are improving every day and want to do more. i am not against biometric. i am against having systems that can never be achieved. in my lifetime.
i'm against moving -- i am for moving forward and make our border more secure. the reason we have 11 million illegal immigrants, none of them coming from canada, it's because the people come here from the south and overstayed their visas come from distressed parts of the world. if you can control who gets a job, you are going to control illegal immigration. you cannot build a fence high enough if you are still having availability of jobs in america to illegal immigrants. we are going to do two things we never done before. we are going to increase border security using more money and technology and finally, address the cause of this problem -- controlling who gets a job. if you are an employer and you hire somebody illegally, you are going to jail or lose your business. that is long overdue.
>> on schumer number five. we will have a vote. >> if i could respond briefly to my friend. drug cartels and human traffickers do not use e verify. drug cartels and human traffickers do not use e verify. they do not use entry/exit system. i don't doubt the sincerity of proposed.ang has here is even more fundamental problems. the border security trigger calls for a plan. it does not call for results. >> i am david vitter and i am really pleased to join the tea
party patriots here today and all of their guests you are going to hear from. once you hear from them, you will see that we all support america as a nation of immigrants and fixing, truly fixing, our broken immigration system. this is where we are in regards to this bill. this gang of eight bill was supposed to come to the senate and essentially sailed through with over 60 votes. once it was actually introduced and debated, that support started to erode and concerns started to arise. i do not think it has the 60 votes right now as we speak without an amendment. now, we are going to plan b. it is to bring up this amendment, very, very quickly, a lot of hoopla about border security and try to pass it and
then with that amendment over 60 votes. again, it is important that we look at the details. let's read it before we vote on it. once the american people do, they will understand and the same thing if they came to understand about the bill -- it does not truly fix the problem. first of all, an immediate amnesty and the legalization happen first and only after that are their promises of enforcement. secondly, because all they guarantee is -- spending money. there is no measurement of success of results of actually securing the border. they have rejected our having any verifiable measurement of securing the border. those are the two big problems with underlying the bill and that remain the two big problems with this amendment.
i will be pushing so we can read and understand the amendment. the american people need to be able to read and understand and the amendment. then, let's have a full debate and vote. >> anyone in the chamber wishing to change their vote? before the chair announced a vote, approval or disapproval are not permitted in the senate. the yays are 68 and the nays are 32. the bill as amended is passed. we will call the roll. >> mr. alexander? [chanting] >> yes, we can! yes, we can! yes, we can! yes, we can! >> the sergeant of arms will
restore order in the gallery. the sergeant of arms will restore order in the gallery. >> we are back with alan gomez talking about immigration. our year in review. you talked about this immigration -- conservatives trying to sway. how far did they get? >> not very far. it is progress for them. what you saw was a different tactic that they were pushing this year. in previous fights, it was a traditional hispanic advocacy groups. pushing for reform and that was counterbalanced by people on the traditional right and other
groups. what you've seen this time around is a collection of bibles, badges and businesses. that the putting the pressure on republicans. it has created more space for republicans to give them cover. the chamber down here is ok with it, let's go forward. that has been a big change. house leadership still said that if they wanted to get something going moving forward. >> in terms of that, they want to get something going, what has stopped them forgetting -- from getting something on the floor? >> who knows? the senate passed their bill in june. the house has looked at it and what did they refer as a piecemeal instead of a big, comprehensive a bill that is
everything into account, they pass smaller bills. three of them have to do with immigration enforcement and 2 revamping the legal immigration system to bring in more workers. have considered those and they are ready to go to the floor. they have not introduced the bill that deals with the 11 million undocumented immigrants. it has been stuck there. >> on that point, it seems to be a key point of real opponents. the undocumented immigrants. what is going to happen to them? what is the argument of people like steve king of iowa? >> at a time when unemployment is very high, why are we vowing to bring in all of these workers from outside? why are we letting these folks who started their lives in this country by breaking the law and give them amnesty? the counterbalance is saying it is not amnesty, it'll be a very long process. at least in the senate bill, a
13 year path have to pay taxes and have to learn english and jump through all these hoops. before -- they get is the opportunity to apply for a green card. the argument is saying why are bringing in all of these guys and letting these folks stay here when there are so many america unemployed? >> you mentioned senators who have concerns in 2014. every member of the house has reelection concerns. are there key members in the house trying to work and those in favor? >> we are starting to see change. it was a bill introduced that has garnered 190 cosponsors. not very surprising that all democrats would be on board. it has picked up three republicans. a couple of others have followed on.
what they are seeing, they come from heavily hispanic districts, some of them have their own personal stories about immigration. the problem comes down to the huge chunk of the house does not have a big hispanic group in their district are designed to deal with the issue very much. house republicans districts are 75% white. that is increased since 2010 redistricting. for a lot of them, they do not have a lot of hispanics. >> we will take a look at some the house action from the past year. starting the steve king of iowa. >> it grants amnesty to everyone who is here. it's is an invitation to everybody who is been deported in the past and said marie apply, -- re-apply. as a promise that everybody who comes or after the deadline, they've also get amnesty. that is the package. everybody here and deported and
everybody here are going to get it unless they are convicted of a felony. by the way, nobody is coming out of the shadow who does not want to. the people they think will be sorted out, fellas will not be felons will not come out. they will live in the shadows. here is how bad it is. you know how badly i despise obamacare. i spend years of my life fighting against obamacare. i spent many years. i despise that bill because it is unconstitutional taking of our bodies, our health and everything inside it. it is terrible and it diminishes the destiny of america. if i have to choose -- if it came down to this, if there was an offer that you will do one or the other and you have to choose one. i would take obamacare try to live with that before i ever ate accept this amnesty plan.
the amnesty plan is far, far worse. that genie cannot be put back in the bottle. we can repeal obamacare or pay for it. if this amnesty goes through, there is no one doing it. the genie of the left would've escaped. >> ultimately, the american people have little trust that an administration who have not enforced the law in the past will do so in the future. that is why real immigration and nissan mechanisms to ensure the president cannot simply turn off the switch on immigration enforcement. the bill contains such a mechanism. not only does it strengthen immigration enforcement by giving the federal government the tools it needs, it ensures where the federal government
fails to act, states can pick up the slack pursuant to the act, they are provided with specific authorization to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law. states and localities can in act and enforce their own laws as long as they're consistent with federal law. it shows how to avoid mistakes of the past with regard to immigration law enforcement especially the 1986 immigration law. the bill expands the type of serious criminal activities for which we can remove aliens including criminal gang membership, drunk driving, manslaughter, and failure to register as a sex offender. they cannot take advantage of our generous immigration laws. in addition, the bill strengthens federal law to make it more difficult for foreign terrorists and other nationals who pose national security concerns to enter and remain in the united states. it bars aliens who threaten national security from receiving
immigration benefits such as naturalization and relief from removal. such provisions are relevant following the boston bombing where naturalized aliens killed and injured americans. under the bill, no immigration benefits can be provided until all required background security checks are completed. another item that the senate bill fails to include. it offers to waive background checks. it improves our first line of defense. the visa issuance. the safe act lives up to his name and provide much-needed assistance to help the u.s. immigration to carry out agent'' jobs while keeping them safe. it allows local officials working in their communities to pitch in, the bill also strengthens national security
and protect our communities and from those who wish to cause us harm. the safe act provides a robust enforcement strategy that will maintain the integrity of our immigration system for the long- term. i look forward to hearing from all of our witnesses and i think the chairman. -- thank the chairman. >> the gentlelady from california. >> thank you. over the past six months, this committee has engaged in informative and civil discussions. they have shown members of this committee recognized our immigration system is broken and must be fixed for america's businesses and families. most have recognized that deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants is not a realistic and it would tear parents away from children and separate spouses and leave gaping holes in businesses and
communities. that is why today's hearing on hr 2278 is so disappointed. portions should be familiar because they draw heavily on bills we consider in the 112th congress. it will allow people to be detained indefinitely and deported based on nothing at the discretionary decision of the secretary of homeland security without due process. i am confident some this language would never survive constitutional scrutiny. it troubles me more because how similar it is to a bill we consider in the 109th congress. in this bill contains many provisions from that bill including provisions that essentially turn all undocumented immigrants in the country whether they cross the border or overstay their visa into criminals. and every day they stay in the
u.s., they continue to commit a crime. under this bill, every day and undocumented father or mother stays in this country to feed or care for a child, he or she would be committing a crime. their family members may be committing criminal acts for living with them or driving them to the doctor. this bill goes further than hr 4438 by unleashing states and allowing people to enforce. every cop would have the ability to detain a person based on mere suspicion that the person may be unlawfully here. and be put in jail for being here. it is impossible without thinking about the lessons we have learned about what happens with local police officers are turned to federal immigration agents.
we know entrusting immigration to local police damages community policing practices and leave community less safe. it breeds distrust in the community from u.s. citizens, legal residents, and undocumented persons alike. we have heard this from major organizations. and the major cities chief association. a city police chief testified last year that placing local law enforcement officers in the position of immigration agent -- excuse me, it undermines the cooperation essential to successfully policing. recently, we heard from a survey of latinos. 44% said they are less likely to contact the police if they are the victim of a crime out of fear officers will inquire about their immigration status or people they know. seven out of 10 respondents who are undocumented said the same
thing. when victims of crimes and people witness are afraid to contact the police, crimes go unsolved. when they go unsolved, communities lose faith. rather than making our community safer, something the bill purports to do. it results in unconstitutional racial profiling and prolonged detentions. the poster child for this bad behavior is maricopa sheriff. just last month, a federal judge ruled he engaged in a pattern of unconstitutional racial profiling and the lawful detention while participating in the agreement with the federal government and the enforcement of arizona immigration laws. last year, the justice
department concluded that north carolina engaged in routine discrimination against latinos which included illegal stop and detentions and arrests without probable cause. the justice department entered a settable agreement following an investigation into widespread racial discrimination and abuse against latino residents. it involved the arrest of police officers on charges of excessive force and conspiracy. immigration law is complex. even federal agents sometime make mistakes leading to the detention and removal of u.s. citizens. imagine what would happen would we turn over this power to people who cannot possibly understand the complexities of immigration law such as the rules surrounding acquisition of u.s. citizenship, derivative, extension, adjudication,
withholding and removal, and it goes on. it turns a blind eye to these problems. that is a gross understatement. >> ms. velasquez. all of the witness that have made reference to 11 million. i hear it everywhere i go. we know it is not. you made reference several times to the 11 million. would you agree with me that those members of the 11 million who cannot pass a background check should be on the path of anything except a deportation? >> maybe those people do not want a path, there should be a pathway for the majority. >> that is very different from what you said earlier. my point is, all 11 million i cannot have any background
checks. all the 11 million of any category of people from futures too nervous congress -- preachers to the congress cannot pass a background check. we know that is disingenuous. all 11 million do not want to be citizens. all cannot pass a background check. even if you can see that, we get to the details of what the check is going to look like. if you were sitting where he is sitting, if you have a condition for domestic -- conviction for domestic violence, should you be on a pathway to citizenship or deportation? >> i can only argue for my parents -- >> no, no. you advocated for 11 million aspiring americans. ms. rivera is not a back patter, the talking point of aspiring americans. i am not interested in that. i am down in the details. what does a background check to look like? do you think a conviction for
domestic violence shouldn't dismiss somebody for a pathway? >> i am going back to that is up to you all to decide. >> if it is up to us, why do i hear 11 million if it is one monolithic group? why? why not said what you said? there are subgroups that warrant different levels of scrutiny. children who were brought here with no criminal intent warrants one level of scrutiny. the parents who brought them here warrant another level of scrutiny. those who have misdemeanor convictions have one level of scrutiny and those who have multiple convictions have another level. those with felony convictions.
why is that not most honest response? >> honestly, i am in no position to tell you who deserves what. how would you decide that one -- >> it is not hard for me. i spent 16 years prosecuting people for domestic violence. that is a disqualifier. even though most states consider that a misdemeanor. the devil is in the details. the bright line, people do not have any problem with that. i am out of time. i will say this. all 4 of you who were good, persuasive witnesses -- even if i do not agree with everything that is said, you are here in good faith and you contributed to the debate. when i see things like i saw today from somebody named dan pfeiffer who works for the president, i think the same who said the law is irrelevant. he tweeted out today that our plan is to allow some kids to
stay and to deport their parents. he summarized his entire debate with that tweet. i want to compliment you and thank you for not being a demagogic, self-serving political hack who cannot be elected to an advisory committee much less than congress. i want to thank you for not doing that and understanding these are complex issues where reasonable minds can perhaps differ. >> when the government shutdown ended, the white house to turn its attention to other public policy issues. we will show you comments from president obama on november 25. we will bring you our conversation with a senator. he indicated support for a path to citizenship.
he was our guest on "washington journal." >> if we get immigration reform across the finish line and it is there, it would give folks in washington to go ahead and do what needs to be done -- we will grow our economy and make our country more strong. we will strengthen our families. most importantly -- [shouts] we will live up to our character. [shouting] >> please use your executive order to stop -- we need -- >> obama! obama! >> you have the power -- >> i do not.
[shouting] >> stop deportations! stop deportations! >> you guys do not need to go. let me finish. you can stay there. [applause] hold on a second. i respect the passion of these young people. they feel deeply about the concerns for their families. what you need to know, when i am speaking as president of the united states, i come to this community is that if in fact i can solve all these problems without passing laws in
congress, i would do so. but we're also a nation of laws, that is part of our tradition. the easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like i can do something by violating our laws. what i am proposing is to use our democratic process to achieve the same goal you want to achieve, but not an easy as shouting. it requires us getting it done. [applause] >> immigration is one of the challenging topics not only -- the biggest issue is that there is no fiscal cliff. no debt ceiling deadline. there is no date.
we have to get the country focused. the house focused on this and we are doing that with this new bill that i co-authored and offered amendments. >> does congress need that pressure to get something done? when will we see a vote? >> i am confident will see a by the end of the year. they made a commitment will have a full debate on the issues and a floor vote this year. our challenge is we had so many issues, recently with syria and the shut down. we are running out of time. we are trying to make sure that not only does house leadership know how many members are really motivated on this issue but a engage in the entire public. we have something out there, several bills, one in particular. there is one thing to talk about how many democrats will support
something where how many republicans will support a pathway. until you actually have a bill, that makes it a challenge. we are getting them now. they are bipartisan. >> you signed on to a larger democratically led bill. explain your decision-making. >> this is something i've worked on for many years. when the senate bill came out, i always said that was one major issue and that was border security peace. both republicans and democrats have come out after the fact and said that was a flawed issue. the republicans in the house had a good border security package. bipartisan, but has been added to the bill. we address border security and guest worker program and a path to earned citizenship.
>> talk about border security. a rundown of these issues. it increases spending by $40 billion over the next decade to bolster border security. a bill was passed. is that enough for you over like to see further action? >> i think there will be room for amendments as we move forward. there are a number of members that we continue to talk to. if you have an issue with this bill, tell us what it is an last amended and make sure we have a good working product. an example is my enlist act to
allow dreamers to be able to serve in our military just as we always have. with that openness and bipartisan support, being able to change a bill, not only rare but refreshing in this circumstance. >> alan gomez. some the house action from earlier. as we wrap up, looking ahead, senate has passed its bill. what are things going in 2014? >> they need to figure out what the house wants to do with undocumented population. we have seen representative issa has floated the idea of not allowing citizenship for them but in between where they have legal status of but can never reach the point of citizenship. representative cantor is working on a bill to deal with the young undocumented population. those brought as children. those are the big things they need to figure out. they need to figure how they can deal with the population. everything else when it comes to border security and the system,
there are two different chambers. that's what we will see the work through. >> you mentioned 75% of districts are white majority. you point out eric cantor and darrell issa. their districts have larger proportion of hispanics. alan gomez, thank you for joining us. people can read your articles at usatoday.com. in wrapping up this year of review, we will look at a recent conversation on the history of american immigration and why the u.s. continues to see unlawful immigration. >> what we call comprehensive immigration reform comes out of the experience. it is a formula that says we will try to stop and solve the
problem of illegal immigration by legalizing those who are here and putting in place mechanisms to prevent any future unlawful immigration. as we know, that did not quite work out. there's a lot of discussion as why that is. it was too idealistic and too lenient. in fact, the reason we continue to have unlawful immigration is because the system put in place which has the same maximum for every country, 20,000, that means belgium has the same quota as mexico. new zealand has the same quota as india. when people talk about being a long lines for visas, only four countries that max out on visas every year. it is the same four every year.
mexico, india, china, and the philippines. if they say you should go to the back of the line, for some countries the line is 20-40 years. in 1990, congress raised the ceiling migration by 40%. that is a lot. that was in response to the economic expansion at the time. because every country gets the same limit, 20,000 limit went up to 25,600. for a country like mexico or india, a small increase. you still have the same problems. i want to end by saying a few words about the most recent period of economic expansion and recent recession and how it has affected immigration. one is economic restructuring
and that took place at the end of the 20th century was continued to draw migration said anti-immigrant sentiment. you had a decline in manufacturing industries and growth and service sectors so native whites and blacks suffered greater unemployment and was a new sector and service economy as well is agriculture and agricultural practices that drew a low-wage immigrant labor. it saw declining strength in organized labor. and getting away from unions which hired low-wage immigrants. another feature of this economic restructuring was a reversal in the trend of distribution of wealth. from 1947-1974, we had a steady trajectory of declining gap between the wealthiest and poorest in the united states.
since 1974, we have seen the increase in wealth inequality. >> on the next washington journal, a look at the top news stories of 2013 and the decline of the middle class over the past 50 years. our guest is hedrick smith. liveington journal" is every morning. the world is on fire and moving fast. that tople could define my education expires after five or 10 years. the cloud is new. twitter and google are new. different programming languages. what we have done is put life into two -- the first five years
and then a learning phase the next 20 years. a worker phase and a resting phase and eventually dying. what we should be doing is interlinking. have them at the same time. you should play and work and rest as at the same time. the world moves so fast. date.ve to set up to >> new year's day on c-span. throughout the afternoon. and twitter on higher education and robotics and data as the new revolution. -- kay tv, cable and bailey hutchison on the women who shaped texas. three, daughters of civil rights leaders as segregation share their memories of the civil rights era.
>> we are in the gallery of the museum and looking at a vanishing ice. expedition is the to highlight the rich cultural frozene of the planet's frontiers. the arctic and and are a couple stop this a photograph of the greenland ice by a german artist. 2008. from it exhibited side-by-side with a seaman.ph by camille of the east greenland. this from her last a 2006. many people understand the importance of ice for the planet
and reflected in the qualities that regulate the climate. many people are unaware there is a collective consciousness in western culture about these regions. it was important within the context of climate change to let people know these regions are fundamental to our identity. the museum this weekend as a book tv and american history tv look at the history of a bellingham, washington. sunday at 5:00 on c-span 3. >> 2013 was the year in which filibuster rules was finally put to a vote. the so-called nuclear option of changing rules was threatened in july and put to a vote in november.
the result in e all presidential nominations -- result? all presidential nominations only require a simple majority now. on the c-span year in review, we show you some of the debate over the past year. comments from harry reid, mitch mcconnell, and even video by c- span viewers using the c-span video library. >> these are dark days in the history of the senate. i hate that we have come to this point. and now, our request for a joint meeting, all the senators at a time when attendance around here is frequently quite spotty, in an obvious effort to keep as many of his members from hearing the concerns and arguments of the other side is possible. it remains our view that for this to be the kind of joint session of the senate that it ought to be, given the tendency
of the senate to have sparse attendance on monday night, to have this meeting on tuesday, before it is too late. >> mr. president, i don't want him to feel sorry for the senate and certainly not for me. i will continue to try to speak in a tone that is appropriate. people start believing it. mr. president, it is quite interesting that he thinks that richard cordray, nobody says there is a thing wrong with this man, democrats and republicans have both said he is a good guy. this man has been waiting 724 days.
assistant secretary of defense, 292 days. monetary fund governor, 100 69 days. epa, 128 days. 15 of them. average time waiting is nine months. >> we are with alex rogers, congressional reporter for "time" magazine. we showed harry reid and mitch mcconnell after july, after the bubble up of the nuclear option discussion. what happened in july? what was the cause of concern that first brought it to everyone's attention? >> the national labor relations board, there were nominees that the republicans did not want to put on. the leaders got together.
there was a historic meeting in the old chamber where it seemed like everything had gotten back together. they were going to get nominees that they wanted and a majority of the rules for the filibuster were going to stay the same. fast forward to november and things have gotten a lot different. the government shutdown. there are four key nominations in three weeks. filibuster. you have the agency that oversees fannie mae and freddie mac and three nominees for the d.c. circuit court of appeals. >> in terms of the july meeting and the old senate chamber behind closed doors, what came
out of there that was a lot of positive feedback. the issue dies down a bit and i believe you wrote about some discussions going on between harry reid and john mccain that were trying to work something out? >> before harry reid decided to press the nuclear button, before that, he had a conversation with senator john mccain who had reprised the role he had already done in 2005 with the gang of 14. they talked about a similar deal. you will have your nominees for the d.c. circuit court if you keep the filibuster rules in place. senator reid said no and went on with it. >> this applies to just the procedural votes that lead up to a final vote on the nomination. >> the vote before the vote. the changes that have been made, the nominees for all executive branch nominees and judicial branch nominees with the
exception of the supreme court. it is a big change and allows the precedent in the future for legislation. >> this came to a head in november, so we will show viewers some of the debate that happened ahead of the nuclear option vote. >> the american people believe that congress is broken. they believe that the senate is broken. i believe the american people are right. during this congress, the united states has wasted an impressive it did -- unprecedented amount of time with procedural hurdles. work in this country goes undone.
congress should be passing legislation that strengthens our economy, protect american families, and we are burning wasted hours and wasted days between filibusters. instead of wasted days and wasted weeks, even one of the most basic duties. confirmation of presidential nominees has become completely unworkable. there has been unprecedented obstruction. republicans routinely use the filibuster to prevent president obama from appointing a consecutive team or confirming judges. it is a troubling trend that they are willing to block executive nominations even when they have no objection to the nominee. still, they block nominees to circumvent the legislative process. they block qualified nominations to force wholesale changes to
laws. they restructure entire executive branch departments. they block nominees because they don't want president obama to appoint any judges. the need for change is very obvious. it is clearly visible, it is manifest that we have to do something to change things. in the history of our country, 230 years and more, there have been 168 filibusters. half of them have occurred during the obama administration. over 230 years. 50%. four and half years, 50%. is there anything fair about that? these nominees deserve at least an up or down vote.
yes or no. the republican filibuster denies them a fair vote. it denies the president his team. gridlock has consequences and they are terrible. it is bad for president obama and bad for this body. it is bad for national security and bad for economic security. that is why it is time to get the senate working again. not for a democratic majority or a future republican majority but for the good of the united states of america. it is time to change the senate before this institution becomes obsolete. at the beginning of this congress, the republican leader alleged that this congress should be more bipartisan than the last congress.
we are told in scripture. let's take the old testament. promises, pledges, one must not break his word. republicans promised to work with the majority to process nominations in a timely manner by unanimous consent except in extraordinary circumstances. exactly three weeks later, republicans mounted a first in history filibuster of a highly qualified nominee for secretary of defense. despite being a former republican senator, being a decorated war hero, chuck hagel's nomination was pending in the senate for a record 34 days. more than three times the previous average. remember, our country was at
war. republicans have blocked executive nominees like secretary hagel not because they object to qualifications but because they seek to undermine the very government in which they were elected to serve. here in take the nomination of richard cordray to read the -- lead the financial protection bureau. there was no doubt about his ability to do the job. but the consumer financial protection bureau, the brainchild of elizabeth warren went for more than two years without a leader because republicans refused to accept the law of the land. they wanted to bring back a lot of protects consumers from the greed of wall street. you don't have to like the laws of the land, but you do have to respect those laws and acknowledge them and abide by them. similar obstruction continued
unabated for seven more months until democrats threatened to change senate rules to allow up or down votes on executive nominations. in july, after dozens of executive nominees, republicans promised they would end the unprecedented obstruction. one look at the executive calendar shows that nothing has changed since july. they have continued the record of obstruction like no agreement had ever been reached. they continued obstruction as if no agreement had been reached. there are currently 75 executive branch nominations waiting to be confirmed by the senate and waiting an average of 140 days. one executive nominee to the agency that safeguards the water that my children and my
grandchildren drink, the air they breathe, has waited almost 900 days for confirmation. we agreed in july that the senate should be confirming nominees to ensure the proper function of government. consistent and unprecedented obstruction has revised consent to deny obstruction. >> the american people have been witness to one of the most breathtaking indictments of big government liberalism and memory. i'm not just talking about a website. i am talking about the way it -- obamacare was forced onto the public by an administration and a democratic led congress that we know is willing to do and say anything to pass the law. the president and his democratic allies were so determined to force their vision of health care on the public that they
assured them up and down that they wouldn't lose the plan that they have. that they would save money instead of losing it. and that they would be able to use the doctors and hospitals they were already using. of course, we know that that rhetoric just doesn't match. the stories on a daily basis range from heartbreaking to common. i saw a story about a guy getting a letter in the mail saying that his dog had qualified for insurance under obamacare. i would probably be running for the exits if i had supported this law. i would be looking to change the subject. just as senate democrats have been doing with their threat of going nuclear and changing the senate rules on nominations.
one of them has not enrolled a single person. i would probably want to talk about something else, too. here is the problem with this latest distraction. it doesn't distract people of obamacare, it reminds them of obamacare. it reminds them of all the broken promises. it reminds them of the power grab. it reminds them how democrats set up one set of rules for themselves and another for everybody else. one set of rules for them and another for everybody else. actually, this is all basically the same debate. rather than distract people from obamacare, it only reinforces the narrative of a party that is willing to do
and say just about anything to get its way. willing to do or say just about anything to get its way. that is what they are doing all over again. once again, senate democrats are threatening to break the rules of the senate in order to change the rules of the senate. and over what? over a cord that doesn't even have enough work to do? millions of americans are hurting because of a law that democrats forced on them. what do they do about it? they cook up a fake fight over judges. a fight over judges that aren't even needed. i wanted to be talking about something else, too.
but it won't work. the parallels between this latest skirmish are just too obvious to ignore. think about it. the majority leader promised over and over again that he wouldn't break the rules of the senate. this is not an ancient promise. july the 14th on meet the press, he said we are not touching judges. this year. e are not touching judges. then there are the double standards. the democrats were in the
minority and argued strenuously for the thing they now say we will have to do without. namely, the right to extended debate on lifetime appointments. they believe one set of rules should apply to them, and another set to everybody lse. he may have just as well said if you like the rules of the senate, you can keep them. huh? if you like the rules of the senate, you can keep them? just the way so many of the democrats now believe that obamacare is good enough for their constituents, but when it comes to their political allies and staff, that is different.
let's not forget about the raw ower at play here. the similarities between the obama care debate and the threat to go nuclear are inescapable. they muscle through obamacare on the party line vote and did not care about the views of the inority. and that is just about what they are going to do here. the american people decided to give the democrats -- not to give the democrats the house or to restore the filibuster proof majority they had in 2009. democratic colleagues don't like that one bit. the american people are getting n the way. so they are trying to change the rules of the game to get their way anyway.
they said so themselves. the senior senator said they wanted to fill up the d c circuit one way or the other. fill up the d.c. circuit one way r the other. and the reason is clear. president obama's agenda runs through the d c circuit. he can't get what you want through congress because the american people in november 2010 said they had had enough and issued a national restraining order after watching two years of this administration unrestrained. now the agenda runs through the bureaucracy and the d c circuit. there is now a legislative check on the president. the administration doesn't much like checks and balances. they want to circumvent the
people with an aggressive regulatory agenda. our colleagues want to facilitate that by filling up the court that will rule on this agenda. a court that doesn't even have enough work to do if it means changing the subject from bamacare for a few days. they think they can change the rules of the senate in a way that benefits only them. they want to do it so that the agenda gets enacted but a future republican president could get his or her picks confirmed using he same precedent. they want to have it both ways. >> we didn't have a chance to debate the change in rules, so i will speak now on some things that should have been said before we voted, not that it would change the outcome, but we ought to know what we are doing
before we vote rather than afterwards. i will spend a few minutes discussing what the majority leader called the nuclear option. this wasn't a new threat. every time the minority leader has chosen to exercise his rights under the senate rules, the majority has threatened to change the rules. this is the third time in just the last year that the majority leader has said that if he didn't get his way, he would change the rules. ironically, that is as many judicial nominees as our side has stopped through filibuster. prior to the recent attempt to simultaneously add three judges
to the d.c. circuit that aren't needed, republicans stopped a grand total of two judicial ominees. not 10, as they had by president bush's fifth term in office, not 34 as one of my colleagues tried to suggest earlier this week. two have been stopped. f you include the nominees, we stopped a grand total of five. not 10 as the democrats had done in 2005 or 34 as one of my colleagues tried to argue earlier this week. during the same time, we confirmed 209 more article three judges. a record of 209 judges approved the five that were not approved. this threat isn't based on any
crisis. there is no crisis. today's wall street journal editorial entitled d.c. circuit breakers, the white house wants to pack a cord whose judges are underworked. it lays out a caseload pretty clearly and i ask this editorial be made part of the record. this is about a naked power grab nd nothing more. this is about the other side not getting everything they want when they want it. the other side claims that they were pushed to this point because our side objected to the plan to fill the d.c. circuit with judges.
but this side plans to forget history. let's review how we got ere. after the president nominated three nominees for the d.c. circuit that aren't needed, a blatant political power grab in its own right, what did the republicans do? we did something quite simple. we said we want to go by the rules the democrats set in 006. we would hold those democrats to the same standard they stablished in 2006 when they blocked a nominee of bushes. let's be clear of why the emocrats are outraged. they are outraged because republicans had the temerity to
hold the other political party to a standard that they established. but because we did, because we insisted we all play by the same rules, they came right back and said, then we will change the rules. the other side has said, we don't want to be held to the standards we established in 006. and if you don't give us what we want, we are willing to forever change the senate. that is what happened today. we hear a lot of ultimatums around here. ut this is very different. this threat is designed to hold the united states senate hostage. it is different because it is designed to hold hostage all of the senate's history and raditions.
it is different because it relies on the goodwill of senators that don't want to see the senate as we know it destroyed or as the constitution writers intended. i will note that today's majority didn't always feel that way. the very way we have seen expressed today. my colleagues on the other side described their fight to preserve the filibuster with great pride. n 2006, 1 of my colleagues said, "the nuclear option was the most important issue i have worked on in my public life. it's rejection was my proudest moment as the minority leader. i am urged with a renewed appreciation for the majesty of enate rules.
i intend to run the senate with respect for the rules and for the minority rights the rules protect. another of my democrat colleagues had this to say. i will start the quote again. today, republicans are threatening to take away one of the few remaining checks on the power of the executive branch by their use of what has become known as the nuclear option. it is an assault on checks and balances and on the protection f minority rights. eliminating the filibuster by
nuclear option would destroy the constitution's design of the senate as an effective check on the executive. you have had two quotes from democrats in 2005 and 2006, very strongly supporting the senate using the filibuster to protect minority rights. but then they went to the majority and the tradition of the senate doesn't mean uch. have another quote from 2005. i detest this mention of a nuclear option. the constitutional option. there is nothing constitutional about it. but that was way back then. today's majority was in the mine nor any and there was a republican in the white house.
they say if we confirm any more judges, there would not be enough to go around. it's not as if all these nominees are mainstream and census picked. despite what the other side would have you believe. the professor has written this about motherhood. productive rights, and looting the rights to contraceptive and abortion lay a central role in freeing women from conscription in the maternity. is that mainstream? she has also argue this about motherhood. antiabortion laws not only enforce women's incubation of unwanted pregnancies, but also prescribed a vision of a woman's role as mother and caretaker at a way that is at odds with equal protection. what about our views on religious freedom? she argued that the evangelical lutheran church that challenged ministerial discrimination said it was a substantial threat to he american rule of law.
after she says that, the supreme court rejected her view 9-0. the court held that it is impermissible for the government to contradict a churches determination of who can act as its ministers. do my colleagues believe that mainstream america believes that churches should not be allowed to choose their own ministers? could go on and on. voting to change the senate rules is voting to remove one of the last meaningful checks on the president. any president. and voting to put these views on this important court. i ask again, why would the other side do this?
it is nothing short of complete and total power grab. it is the kindest thing we have seen again and again throughout this administration and their allies. you can sum it up this way. o whatever it takes. >> i congratulate senator reid for leading the senate into the 1st century. thank you very much for your courageous action, making sure that the senate can now work and get our work done. i have waited 18 years for this moment. 1995 when we were in the minority. i proposed changing the rules on filibuster. i have been proposing it ever since.
what has really happened is that his war has escalated. i said at the time that it was like an arms race. that if we didn't do something about it, the senate would reach a point where we wouldn't be able to function. i thought my words were a little apocalyptic but it turns out they weren't at all. so this is a bright day for the united states senate and for our country. to finally be able to move ahead. nominations for any president can put together his executive branch. nder our constitution. a president should have the
people that he or she wants to form the executive branch. every senator here gets to take his or her own staff. we don't have to have the house ote on it or anybody else. the judiciary, they can hire their clerks and staff without oming to us. now i think it is appropriate that any president can form their executive branch with only 51 votes needed, not a super majority. it is a huge step in the right direction. and now we can confirm judges, again, with 51 votes and without this super majority.
i listened to the republican leader during the run-up to these votes. he said that we will somehow break the rules. we did not break the rules. with the vote we had, the rules provide for a 51 vote, non-debatable motion to overturn the ruling of the chair. we have done it many times in the past. we did not break the rules. we use the rules to make sure that the senate can unction. and that we can get our nominees through. like what the writer gail
collins said in her column this morning in the new york times about these rule changes. she has had a lot of good things, but she talked about how we were calling it the nuclear ption. she said it is called that because changing the rules here is worse than nuclear war. but it's not. it is time that we change these rules. and the republican leader said it was the democrats that started this. it reminds me of a schoolyard fight between a couple of adolescents. and the teacher is trying to break it up. he hit me first. who cares? it is time to stop it. even if i accept the fact that democrats started a, maybe we did way back when.
it has escalated and it turned from a punch here and there to almost extreme fighting. it got to the point where we can't function. just on nominations alone. we have had 168 nominations since 1949. that is when this filibuster tuff really started. 82 have been under this esident. if they want to say we started it, fine. but it has escalated and gone beyond all bounds. it turned into an arms race and it is time to stop it. that is what we did this morning. we took a step in the right direction.
a congressional scholar wrote about the broken senate. how we couldn't function. you can go back beyond that in 985. senator eagleton, he said the senate is now in a state of incipient anarchy. i think we had something like 20 or 30 filibusters in the congress before that. this has been escalating over a long time and it is time to stop it. that is what we did this morning. this is a big step in the right direction. and now we need to take it another step further and change filibuster on legislation. we just had a spectacle of a
bill that i reported out of our committee unanimous. past the floor of the house unanimously. comes to the senate and one senator held it up for 10 ays. it finally passed by unanimous consent. should one senator be able to stop things around here like hat? it is time to move ahead. get rid of the legislature at the same time to protect the ights of the minority. offer amendments that are relevant and jermaine, debate them and have a vote on it. the minority should be able to offer debate and have a vote on relatives and jermaine amendments. i proposed 18 years ago, a formula that was first proposed
by senator dole many years before that. that was, on a cloture vote, the first time had to be 60 votes. then you could wait three days to file a new petition with requisite signatures. then you needed 57. if you didn't, you could wait three days and file a petition and it would require 54 votes. then you would wait three days and you would need 51. at some point, the majority could act. but the minority would have the right to slow things down. as the senator said in 1897, to
give sober second thought to legislation in the senate. sober second thought. not to stop it or block it. maybe things shouldn't be rushed nto. i understand that. maybe things ought to be amended. they should offer amendments relevant and germane to the legislation. 51 should decide on how we proceed. what we vote on. and the outcome of the vote. i hope that the vote today leads the senate to adopt an approach in january of 2015 when the new senate comes in. i won't be here for it, but i hope the senate will take that next step of cutting down on the
blatant use of the filibuster on legislation. the action just taken here today, here is what i predict. i predict the sky will not fall and oceans will not dry out. a plague of locusts will not cover the earth and the vast majority of americans will go on with their lives as before. i do predict that our government will work better. a president will be able to form an executive branch. our judiciary will function better. the u.s. senate will be able to move qualified nominees through the senate in a more responsible anner. >> as i mentioned earlier, this
country did really well for 140 years. the first vote on speech of filibuster was 1919. the filibuster was put in place to get things done. but now it has been turned on ts head. the four of us have really tried extremely hard. i have been criticized by a lot of people for having gone through two congresses. and i wanted it to get along. as i try to explain on the floor today, they have simply not told the truth. look what has happened.
the thing about this is they don't deny why they are doing it. we understand all the onsiderations. what could they do to slow down the country? what could they do more to stop legislation? we have all been in congress for a long time. senator murray has been in the enate a long time. there was a time when we used to do that. but not anymore. and all of this talk coming from my republican friends, why don't you vote the way you do?
they vote together on everything and it is only to discourage the president of the united tates. >> if you're majority were to change the filibuster rules, you ould do it for everything? >> let him do it. the country did pretty dam well for 140 years. i think we are beyond seeing who can out talk the other. let's just get some work done. let him do whatever he wants to. >> will this come back to bite you? >> no, this is the way it has to be. he senate has changed. if we have a republican president and we think he shouldn't have the team that he wants, one thing people don't understand and i will try to
explain this a little bit -- a simple majority is not going to be a piece of cake and every nstance. there are a few situations where the democrats don't like the ominees. good, we can work on that. having served in the house, the different body, the majority ote is not so bad. >> we have had this threat for some time now. at the beginning of each of the last two congresses, we had a discussion about rules changes. senator alexander was right in the middle of those and will
give you an update on what happened back in january. the majority leader said that we set the rules for this congress. obviously, that was a commitment not cap. we thought he said if you like the senate rules, you can keep them. but in fact, we ended up having another discussion with another threat of the so-called nuclear option and you have seen what they have done today. we have confirmed 215 judges and efeated two. it was related to the size of the court and the size of the docket. we took the view that there was no rationale for extending or increasing the membership of the .c. circuit. the letters signed by schumer and kennedy and others saying there was no need for an dditional judge. this was nothing more than a power grab in order to try to advance the regulatory genda.
they just broke the senate rules in order to exercise the power grab. >> we are back with alex rogers, congressional reporter for time magazine. we saw the 52-48 vote to change the filibuster rules for nominees. we heard from mitch mcconnell nd harry reid. if you look back and the rate of approval in terms of nominees comparing to the george w bush administration, what does it look like? , president obama's nominees have seen a wait time of around 140 days. under george w. bush, those same nominees saw a wait time about a quarter of that amount.
for district nominees, they have waited around 100 days. three times the weight time of george w. bush's nominees. you have seen significantly longer wait time from court approval. the difference was the senate democrats had it different strategy mixing the process up. they would try to hurt the nominee's chances before they even got to committee. when harry reid went on to the floor in the midst of this nuclear debate, they talked about how half of the cloture motions have come under president obama's term. which is a startling statistic. i think only for cloture motions were ever invoked the past 13 years. >> these nominees were on the floor and they had to bring this to a vote?
>> right. they nominated what they thought would be the best candidate possible. >> those people passed the committee. >> they are approved in that process within they have to wait to get to the final confirmation vote between 140 days, and 100 days on average. >> we do this interview on friday, december 13. the fallout from the nuclear option vote is longer wait time. republicans are insisting on the full number of hours of debate. as you look at it in the couple of ending weeks of december, hat is ahead for nominees? >> i think a quarter of the senate is 70 or more and they
have been sleeping on couches and watching action movies in between votes. the only thing republicans can do now is delayed for 30 hours for some of these votes. harry reid said we will vote in the middle of the night if we have to. looking in the next year, how that is going to affect the senate, there will be a relationship change. the other senators that call each other friend, it will be interesting to see if that elationship has changed. >> alex rogers, also writes covering the hill. thank you for joining us for the year in review. >> before we wrap up our look at the nuclear option, we wanted to show you some video pulled by c-span viewers using the video library.
different views from harry reid and mitch mcconnell. kerry reid was majority leader in 2008 and then you will hear from mitch mcconnell. then assistant authority leader in 2005. >> i have my own ideas about working with john mccain for many years. >> the nuclear option, describe the circumstances with the nuclear option just so our viewers can better understand what the nuclear option was and what likelihood is there we will have to face those questions again? >> the republicans came up with a way to change our country forever. they made a decision if they didn't get every judge they wanted, they would make the senate like the house of representatives.
a legislature were a simple majority could determine hatever happens. whatever they wanted, they get done. the rules allow that. the senate was set up to be different. that was the genius. that this legislature had two different duties. one was to pour the coffee. that is why you have the ability to filibuster and to terminate filibuster. they wanted to get rid of hat. >> is there any likelihood we will face circumstances like that? >> as long as i am the leader, the answer is no. we should forget that. it is a black chapter in the history of the senate. i really do believe it will ruin our country.
i said during that debate that in all my years of government, it was the most important thing i ever worked on. >> i give you great credit for the way you handled it then with extraordinary repercussions. >> this is not the first time a minority has not upset a tradition or practice. the current majority intends to do what the majority has often done. use constitutional authority to reform senate procedures by a simple majority vote. despite the incredulous protestation of our colleagues, the senate has repeatedly adjusted its rules as circumstances dictate. the first senate adopted rules by a majority vote. rules i might add which specifically provided a means to
end debate by a simple majority vote. that was way back at the beginning of our country. the ability to move to the previous question and end debate. two decades later, and possibility of a filibuster arose. the failure to renew in 1806 on the grounds that the senate had hardly needed to use it in the first place. in 1917, the senate adopted its first restraint on filibuster. first cloture rule. a means for stopping debate after a democrat from montana forced the senate to consider to simply change senate procedure. specifically in response to
concerns that germany was to begin unrestricted submarine warfare against american shipping. president wilson sought to arm urchin ships so that they could defend themselves. however, a 11 senators that wanted to avoid american involvement filibuster the bill. in 1917, there was no cloture rule at all. the senate functioned entirely by unanimous consent. so how did the senate overcome the determined opposition of 11 isolationist senators who refused to give consent to president wilson to arm ships? senator walsh made clear that the senate would exercise its constitutional authority to reform its practices by a majority vote. >> i think the majority leader deserves more respect. >> the senate is not in order and the senate will be in order. the senator from alabama is correct. the senator from kentucky is ecognized.
> senator walsh made clear the senate would exercise its constitutional authority to reform its practices by a simple majority vote. a past senate could not take away the right of the future senate by tying the hands of the new senate. he said a majority may adopt the rules in the first place. it is preposterous to assume they can deny the right to change them. what he may -- said made good sense.
just before 1:00 p.m. eastern and throughout the after noon, c.e.o.'s on education and robotics. on c-span2 book tv, former senator hutchison on the woman who shaped texas. daughters of civil rights leaders share their memories at 8:30. >> i have been involved in politics for four years. i worked on cam papers and worked in the administration. the fact of the matter is, i have never seen so many people quoting and reading the
declaration of independence and the constitution. many of you 10 years ago didn't give it a second sthout now i think it is in the front of your mind. the fact of the matter is tens of millions of us love this country and don't want it transformed. we have to get to other people, wake them up and educate them. that's the purpose of being an attorney. i consider part of the purpose of my radio program as do a number of my brothers and sisters in radio broadcasting. personality mark levin will take your calls and questions starting at 9:00 eastern.
>> 2013 saw some of the most ignificant revelations and leaked documents unveiled a widespread vacuuming of voice and data communications. senator feinstein spoke with reporters following a briefing of the n.s.a.'s collection of verizon phone records. they said they have to find ways that can prevent plots against americans. >> first of all, i really think that protecting the nation is important. secondly, protecting the nation within the principles of this great democracy and this great constitution is also important. now, the metadata is not constitutionally guaranteed to be first amendment material.
the supreme court has passed on that. but having said that, we have got to examine ways to be able to get data, to get intelligence that is operable and that can prevent plots from hatching and americans from being killed. that is the goal. now if we can do it in another way, we are looking to do it in another way. we would like to. if we can't, we can't. >> could you say that this program has thwarted some specific attacks? >> well, it has. but that is classified. we discussed it in there. i gather there is -- i have to -- there is a report on hat. i'm going to look at that report. >> senator, was this a regular meeting or did you put this together because -- >> we just put this ogether.
because what happened -- we just put this together quickly as a briefing because on the floor a number of members came up to me and said we really need a briefing. and what also happened is members who briefed made comments they were astonished, they didn't know this was happening. we thought so many things that people have to deal with that it would be critical if we could bring members that were interested to come in. i think there was a good crosssection both of republicans and democrats there. >> senator, are you able to share with us some of the concerns that members -- >> this took place in a classified briefing and we don't talk about the substance of it. >> are you considering looking at changes to the program? hat kind of changes would be made? >> we are always open to changes. but that doesn't mean there will e any.
national security correspondent at the "new york times" bureau here in washington. we saw a clip of dianne feinstein back in june. she had just come from a briefing on the n.s.a. revelations. take us back a little bit. who was edward snowden and how did he get such access to the top secret material? and how did it make its way to publications like the "new york times"? >> edward snowden was a n.s.a. contractor working for a number of companies. most recently booz allen. working as a computer systems administrator which gave him ccess to a tremendously wide array of classified files inside the n.s.a. system. think the f.b.i. and n.s.a. are still trying to figure out the extent of what he took and how he did what he did. but what he did over the course of 2012 and 2013 was systematically download and copy files, thousands and thousands f files from a facility in
hawaii that the n.s.a. ran. >> is there any idea, do you think the n.s.a. has any idea how much information he has? >> they are still trying to grapple with that. even so many months later to figure out exactly how much he took. and to some degree the american government has been scrambling with each new revelation in the press, the foreign and the american press, to mitigate the damage whether it is relationships with other countries or other intelligence services. >> and you have been writing regularly about this story, the n.s.a. surveillance and revelations. what has been the most surprising thing that has been revealed in his treasure trove of data? >> i think that you go back to the very beginning. i think in my mind the most extraordinary document is really the first one that "the guardian" published which the court order ordering both collection of cell phone records of americans.
i think that even after months and months of revelations about tapping the internet, about gaming, of all sorts of things you go back to this because it is extraordinary the reach of the order which allows the n.s.a. to gather data about pretty much every single phone call of americans, and i think that really is even to this day extraordinary. >> it unfolded almost like a weekly serial novel. your most recent article was about online gaming, an infiltration there. what is the n.s.a. and the .i.a. looking for? >> they are trying to just build up massive amounts of data, collect massive amounts of information in order to then go back and run searches in order to find what they call the needle in the haystack. and they say you have to build the haystack in order to get the needle.
they are looking for terrorist activity. in this order they claim to find out cell phone records or e-mail records of people who might be engaged in the activity you need to build up a massive amount of data and then run algorithms to find the information. in the gaming story that i did, it is hard to know exactly what it is that they were looking for in world of warcraft or in second life. hey were, we believe, they thought that these games provided a venue for terrorists to go in, pose as different characters, and be able to discuss things in normal gaming code and actually discussing real world terrorist attacks. we don't have any evidence that was actually happening. >> we will show the c-span viewers on the year in review program some of the hearings held and some of the floor debate. what in general has been congress' reaction to the revelations?
>> there have been episodic attempts by congress over the course of this year to restrict some of these activities. but nothing has really in the end happened of any significance. in part because congress itself is very torn about what they think about these things, and the democratic leadership of the senate, the senate intelligence committee, dianne feinstein has broadly supported this activity. and so you have for the most part a congress that has blessed these activities of the n.s.a. so that is why any kind of real change is difficult. >> get back to the information with mark mazzetti in a moment. we wanted to show the floor ebate on the amendment and other hearings this year on the n.s.a. surveillance program. >> in recent years, the information gathered from these programs provided the u.s. government with critical leads to help prevent over 50 potential terrorist events in more than 20 countries around the world.
f.a.a. 702 contributed in over 90% of the cases. at least 10 of the events included homeland-based threats, and the vast majority business records fisa reporting contributed as well. it is a great partnership with the department of homeland security in those with the domestic nexus. it has been our honor and privilege to work with director mueller and deputy director joyce. i will turn it over to sean. >> thank you for the opportunity to be here today. n.s.a. and the f.b.i. have a unique relationship and one invaluable since 9/11. i want to highlight a couple of the instances. in the fall of 2009, n.s.a. using 702 authority intercepted an e-mail from a terrorist located in pakistan.
that individual was talking with an individual located inside the united states talking about perfecting a recipe for explosives. through legal process, that individual was identified and he was located in denver, colorado. the f.b.i. followed him to new york city and later executed search warrants with the new york joint terrorism task force and n.y.p.d. and found bomb-making components and backpacks. he later confessed to a plot to bomb the new york subway system ith backpacks. also working with business records, the n.s.a. was able to provide a previously unknown number of one of the coconspirators. this was the first core al-qaeda plot since 9/11 directed from afghanistan. another example, n.s.a. was monitoring a known extremist in yemen.
this individual was in contact with an individual in the united tates. individuals that we identified through a fisr that the f.b.i. applied for were able to detect a plot to bomb the new york stock exchange. he had been providing information in support to the plot. the f.b.i. disrupted and rrested these individuals. also, david headley a u.s. citizen living in chicago. the f.b.i. received intelligence regarding his possible involvement in the 2008 mumbai attacks responsible for the killing of over 160 people. also, n.s.a. through 702 coverage of an al-qaeda affiliated terrorist found that headley was working on a plot to
bomb a danish newspaper office that had published the cartoon depictions of the prophet muhammad. headley later confessed to personally conducting surveillance of the danish newspaper office. he and his coconspirators were onvicted of this plot. lastly, the f.b.i. opened an investigation shortly after 9/11. we did not have enough information nor did we find links to terrorism so we shortly thereafter closed the investigation. however, the n.s.a. using the business record fisa tipped us off that this individual had indirect contacts with a known terrorist overseas. e were able to reopen this investigation, identify additional individuals through the legal process and were able to disrupt this terrorist activity. >> now in order -- the way it
works, is the -- there is an application that is made by the f.b.i. under the statute to the fisa court, we call it the fisc. they ask for and receive permission under this to get records relevant to a national security investigation and they must demonstrate to the fisc it will be operated under the guidelines that are set forth by the attorney general under executive order 12333. it is limited to tangible objects. what does that mean? these are like records like the metadata, the phone records i have been describing but it is quite explicitly limited to things that you could get with a grand jury subpoena. hose kinds of records. now, it is important to know prosecutors issue grand jury subpoenas all the time and do
not need any involvement of a court or anybody else really to do so. under this program, we need to get permission from the court to issue this ahead of time so there is court involvement with the issuance of these orders which is different from a grand jury subpoena. but the type of records, just documents, business records, things like that are limited to the same types of documents that we could get through a grand jury subpoena. the orders that we get last 90 days. we have to re-up and renew the orders every 90 days in order to do this. now, there are strict controls over what we can do under the order. and again, that is the bigger thicker order that hasn't been published. there is restrictions on who can access it in this order. it is stored in repositories at n.s.a. that can only be accessed by a limited number of people
and the people who access it have to have rigorous and special training about the standards under which they can access it. in order to access it there needs to be a finding there is reasonable suspicion that you can articulate, that you can put into words that the person whose phone records you want to query is involved with some sort of terrorist organizations and they are defined. it is not every one. they are limited in the statute. there has to be independent evidence aside from these phone records that the person you are targeting is involved with a terrorist organization. if that person is a united states person, a citizen or a lawful permanent resident you have to have something more than just their own speeches, their own readings, their own first amendment type activity. you have to have additional evidence beyond that, that indicates there is reasonable
articulable suspicion that these people are associated with specific terrorist organizations. >> madam president, thank you. i'm reading the statement on behalf of the commission and i'm >> madam president, thankvice you. i'm reading the statement on behalf of the commission and i'm here today instead of the vice president, who is unavailable. >> the commission is concerned about recent media reports that the united states authorities are accessing and processing on a large-scale the data of european union citizens using major u.s. online service providers. programs such as the so-called prism and the laws on the basis of which such programs are authorized potentially endanger the me