tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 23, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EST
this is a bipartisan group and a nonpartisan event. good leadership in crisis is not a democratic or republican phenomenon. it is more about the elected official, less so about their political stripes. so here today are people i respect you appreciate there time for being here today. let me introduce them to you. governor dan malloy of connecticut, former assistantconnecticut, former assistant district attorney in brooklyn. how many ada's in brooklyn. graduate of boston college law school, mayor of stamford connecticut for 14 years and has been governor of connecticut since 2011. on december 142012 governor malloy was faced with one of
the worst mass shootings in us history. twenty-six people, 20 schoolkids, six adults. governor malloy had to face hurricane sandy in october 2012. as well as hurricane irene. governor jay nixon of missouri my governor of governor of the state of 6 million been governor since 2004. member of the state senate and lawyer.
governor nixon face the civil unrest and ferguson, missouri in the aftermath of the shooting death of michael brown. in addition governor nixon has had to contend with what cragg fugue eight, the administrator of fema have said is one of the worst tornadoes to ever hit the continental united states and dropped on missouri in may 2011. the city of 50,000 people that involve 158 deaths and affected 7,000 homes. governor tom ridge known around dhs headquarters as homeland security one. governor of pennsylvania, state of 12 million people in 1995 to 2001 before
becoming the 1st sec. secretary of homeland security. governor ridge, like mayor giuliani and others had to contend with the terrorist attack in shanksville, pennsylvania are united flight 193 crashed, 33 passengers and seven crew were killed. governor ridge and i both attended the anniversary in shanksville last year. governor duval patrick, former governor of massachusetts, former practicing lawyer, former assistant attorney general, former general counsel of coca-cola, former general counsel of texaco, governor
oftexaco, governor of the state of massachusetts from 2007 the 2015. governor patrick had to contend an august 15, 2013 with the boston marathon bombing at 249 in the afternoon on patriots' day, one of the best and brightest days in boston and in massachusetts each year, went to pressure cooker bombs exploded killing three people and wounding 260 of the boston marathon. sixty people lost their legs. the immediate aftermath over 10001,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers were brought to bear leading to the ultimate death and then the ultimate arrest, prosecution command conviction of the brothers.
governor patrick had to do with the 100 year100 year blizzard last winter. i storms, waterman breaks that affected the water supply. last but not least, former mayor of minneapolis the city of 400,000 people. he served for three terms from 2002 to 2014. by trading is been a journalist in the commercial real estate agent from our publisher, spent time on the internet, written a book. a guidebook for mayors. and on august 12010 is city
had to contend with the collapse of the art 35 w. bridge over the mississippi river killing 13 injuring 145 and damaging 111 that day on aa bridge over which an estimated 140,000 vehicles pass a day. mayor rybak is today the director of a not-for-profit cogeneration next let's drive storage educational excellence. it is also had to deal with tornadoes. may 2011 and august 2009 and other disasters. so we have assembled these public servants to talk to us not so much about the nuts and bolts of disaster response, or you call tomorrow you call it fema for disaster declarations and so forth, but the broader issue of obsolete and react as a leader in
times of all manner of crisis. and so having said all that will return the floor over to our distinguished guest panelists and let me start working for my immediate left. >> thank you. thank you for what you are doing and what you have accomplished over the entirety of your career. i am actually looking at all of you. having heard the introductions i am wondering what you are doing in the audience. but the secretary called a couple months ago and said what i talk about my experiences sandy hook, supersonic standing irene. on the natural disaster side and six declarations of natural disaster since i became governor speaks to climate change.
i think what i will start with his sandy hook. children and adults and there is nothing in life that prepares you for something like that. but i think from that experience and others when i was mayor and now through the time that i have been governor there are couple things i would like to share with you. every one of the folks would agree that you are handling the crisis is not about you. if it is you have got a problem. in my case you might no some of the story. all ofstory. all of the children and
teachers have been evacuated. by the time that ii got there everyone is already been reunited. the only people left for people who did not know for sure their loved one had passed. and the protocol for a lot of police departments and organizations, you never tell someone that they have lost their loved one until you have identified the body. they kept asking the police, who is going to tell these folks.folks. they kept explaining that is not the way they did it. i let that go on a longer than i should have. eventually i intervened and said i'm sorry i have to tell you this, but you are
here. if you are in this room and you have been reunited with your loved one today you are not going to be. and what we then did to react to that situation i think changed and perhaps a police officer or trooper. by 10:00 o'clock that night we had already decided mental health professional with respect to each of the families and into the broadest community the next day. we had begun the work of breaking down silos long before sandy hook and. and it really had shown itself that day.
people from every department , recovery, investigation, protection. we were well practiced. i think thatthink that is another thing everyone has to learn. i think my experience as a mayor where we lost a lot of the citizens down in new york or other disasters really strengthen the response and made us better responders. i started by saying it's not about you. there is the communications side. ii would not speak to the press until after everyone knew what the circumstances
were for their loved one. i give a very brief statement. visited by evil that day and that we needed to do further investigation and didn't do a lot of interviews. a interviews. a very different type of circumstance particularly when you know people are grieving. we were very careful. a very different situation than when you're dealing with natural disasters. we had portions of the state without power. as people do need to hear from you. theythey have to know when there going to update them.
and so they are very different types of circumstances. you have to be a little bit afraid of communications. those are couple quick thoughts. answering your questions are taking other questions. >> governor. >> thank you. thank you for bringing everyone together. i will try to keep my comments short and focus on the leadership side. my went down to work out in the basement of the mansion on may 21 2011. they gave nothey gave no wonder what was coming on. i can simulate a workout while watching a game. >> works for me. >> my council call me.
switch the weather channel. really bad storms. and so i turn on the weather channel back and forth. sure enough right there you see the three cells heading right toward a very popular area of the state and everything went dark. he had -- nef five tornado came in. but 1100 people in jail have excuse me, and the hospital. 11,500 cars completely destroyed. it was just amazing. the three things i always say his 1st of all separating response from recovery is important. we had a situation where the unaccounted list was taken over.
1500 people missing. when you get back in the situation. a 2nd tornado came through. wethrough. we had 405 law enforcement agencies working cooperatively. state, federal toalmost six different states. the bottom line is that recovery peace, it's going to be in the back of your head. it's not over on the responses over. in the back of your head you have to think recovery. that therein get your own eyes on. it's not going to do very well. you have to get down there. that also sends a message of strength. on the governors there is there that means 6 million missourians are there, people almost feel
relaxed. number one is get there. number two is trying to court and it responsibly. the generally generally have a lot of trained law enforcement personnel. we are trying to do is coordinate. again talking about recovery because what i did not want to have happen is what happened in greenwood, kansas. a year later there were only 20 percent of the people left. it's real easy to move somewhere else. on the 5th anniversary we have more people now that we have before. the schools of been rebuilt, the unemployment rate of that community is a half a.above the state average. you have to get through response 1st and all the requires their personal attention. >> homeland security, thank you to hs four.
appreciate the invitation. the 30 years of government service. i thought about writing a book on leadership. somebody leadership. somebody said what do you think you can do to contribute to back several thousand volumes. there volumes. but you have given me the opportunity to talk more. my inoculation in this world happen as a young congressman. three smaller tornadoes bounced around three different communities in my congressional district. clark in the southern community stopped. they have tornadoes bouncing
around. of the the sea you have to deal with a variety of natural weather problems. business related crises and then finally as secretary johnson pointed out, september 11 and shanksville. based on those experiences out for preliminary thoughts. at the time of crisis those who have leadership responsibility need to do a couple things immediately. understand completely that you will not have total situational awareness probably for several days. the mother was in the hospital. state policeman explains one plane has been hit.
talking on the phone. hopefully as a leader you have anticipated. because of my experience in 1985 they had a very modern, very modern up-to-date emergency operation. when you accept the leadership responsibility is going to happen. to your.response and recovery is important. you get as much information as you can. the 1st thing i tried to do comeau what do i know about this? we know nothing. we just have everyone in place. obviously i hadi had to deal with the press and erie, pennsylvania.
it took aa couple hours to get clearance. venture we had everything going. started evacuating tall buildings. popped off ?-question-mark and made my way to shanksville. they try to get as much information as you can. i suspect my colleagues will agree with me, your presence as soon as possible is absolutely critical. ..
>> >> and then obviously that is just the beginning of leadership of crisis management. i cannot think of anything more important than protecting a called and reassuring message he better be available for the next several days because it doesn't end with that particular day when the crisis services. the more you learn the more you share and the government pointed out you better be coordinating a response capabilities.
so they conclude that you are there because of the victims and that is a first up -- step. >> thanks for having me today. first of all, one of the important points has been made and i will make them again. if you were down a the end we are at the relaxed end of the panel. [laughter] we have had the marathon happening for a long time and it has been described as a statewide block party we had the uncommonly beautiful
day. the governor has a customary role of the boston marathon to crown the female easy to render. but the mayor at the time was in the hospital and could not be there. so he asked me to do the honor. so by new york 1230 i had crowned the winner and i had a non -- an uncommon day that i had no other appointments. i thought i will go home to work on my gardener. i got maya workout in i had my hair cut headed home with my daughter called. what is going on? i said i don't know. stay out of the way.
shirley after that the trooper driving the got a call ahead of our emergency management services and with whom i had been through any significant crisis in the first time i ever heard him shake. he said get down here. 102 hours later both perpetrators were identified one was dead in the other under arrest. none of the people injured at this site many had life-threatening illnesses who got to the hospital died. everyone who got to the hospital survived. there are two takeaways.
preparation is everything. keith to coordinate with hospital and who should tree irish these injuries in that went right into effect the first person was in surgery nine minutes after the first bomb went off. the second, if you have heard various but the second has to do with the importance of making decisions knowing your information is incomplete. you do everything you can to gather information could even most decisions rest with the governor did you
bring 70 of us in secretary i should think before that because it was tremendous and as we had come up through consensus leadership sharing different ideas with that command-and-control structure it was all whole different way of directing and i could see police and fire acting one way in getting those two cultures together mattered because part of this scenario is the piece of equipment small enough to reach so we bought that with only in security dollars in their bridge did collapse of the first piece
was what we bought because of that was critically important that about one-half to -- one hour after the collapse but there are really two parts per:is that tactical command and control but the other is the human side. you were there i believe tuesday the entire community was there. about one hour after the bridge collapsed we were building those relationships and we went to every one of those fuels. in people who had huge concerns were kept together. also it was a call to arms and the of from where it katrina happened is and
katrina was the real of lot. the part of the city that is most impacted for every day in we hear exactly where those disparities are the worst. it wasn't just moving things around by recognizing these are all people who even knew who owned the home. and there's huge other set of issues to undo those in the right way but in i didn't know a lot.
it is important that people in a crisis need to understand these philosophies when the of a bridge collapsed pretty much everyone constituency was on the bridge. that issue of common ground is something that is our primary responsibility. >> a couple of questions. you during interesting contrast between the ongoing crisis with a single event like the mass shooting in
thin dealing with the aftermath of that and it is important that people hear from you sooner rather them later. they need to know that they're there to help them get through this. it is a fair point to say in a shooting situation people would not appeal your publicly for every victim's family i am curious to know why and why did you feel that way? that could not have been the case on 9/11. >> every day we are more connected. if i say anything outside
the firehouse they would have known. so to know how many dead there are. with the survivors and of families everybody is communicating and i have this conflict that we have resolved everything. are you ready to make a statement? i.c.e. said no. in she said i will hold off in the weight. i will just say how sorry we are.
so all of the survivors were in one place so was a very different set of circumstances. i thought with that amount of grief those who had lost their loved ones that there was precious little i can add is the immediacy in that would not resolve any of that. >> is a when i say it isn't about me the worst thing you can do as a leader politically is to make it about you and i have seen people in different circumstances have crossed the line to make it about them and make it worse. not better. every once in awhile with
every of other natural disaster we have warning. >> you have to be communicating before. i did everything to the press two weeks ago. they said wire you even talking about this? so there are two different ways to communicate that which might happen or has happened to be defined differently as a natural disaster. that one very sick individual taking out. i had to have the right balance.
and i wanted to represent them. i have stressed the importance of being there. i am sure each of you know, that each of the staff keeps you in the chair away from the press at your office at the command center to not go out to the scene to the bridge or the st. or to the locality. when you are away from them so is there a drawback they don't necessarily get the
big picture as a critical moment so wanted to ask you to comment on that. >> you are naturally curious so the closer you get you might get not just some intelligence but you still have access to education. i remember one was unaccounted for. ended didn't match those that were missing because they had all sorts of stuff has you deal with potential victims and those that are missing windows that are injured bird taken to tulsa or springfield matching up who was where is extremely difficult.
i would have felt that if i didn't look right in their eyes of the relevance in door extremely appropriately ee emotional about that. water two days after all is trying to get the of clergy together. some of the best intelligence we have never gotten are those who are literally sitting across the table. >> there is of legitimate expectation that you will be front and center.
and then pushed me out the door is mitt is the right thing to do. that when something has gone wrong. to serve that those very high levels of responsibility. that we know when we appear school shooting, a bridge collapse, 9/11, those present it is affected now given the media coverage in in in going through all whole range of emotions. think of 9/11.
you were shocked coming become uncertain in to be unsure where there retribution should be directed. and those are your emotions as well. so you have the opportunity to convey to the larger audience you are there to see those we constructive measures to be put in place because when he basically say to that audience by m accountable that that letter
general eisenhower had in his back pocket. i am accountable for those decisions not quite as tornadic as in the day but you share those emotions as but you also say in they should be held accountable. this is a reassuring message in my judgment. >> i could not agree more. as governor rich described from the water main breaks that i wanted to be present
for the reasons described but we had a first reaction because of i got the news i said turn around. they said we don't know if this is over so we don't want to take you. so we had this negotiation and not in the center of an all. i thank you help to pay for that actually. [laughter] or if we should go to the state house. so we all understood the importance but inactive situation it was an obvious
to my security team what being present mint. >> impossible for a leader to get in the way of the community with those tactical people doing the work where can you deliver value? to meet having a human being and was in the family center is she was expecting and said she never left your house without full makeup i cannot imagine how horrible that would be for that last image to be decomposing coming out of the water. i never would have thought
of that. but there was never a picture of those bodies coming now because she said that to be. oh wife said to me my husband lived for baseball his mitt is in the back of the car. can you get that? we got that but only because she said that. when the tornado hit an older woman in a housecoat walking with devastation said water you drink? she said i have to get out but i walked up to a porch in said can she sit on your porch is she looked in the indignity but the woman of the house was african-american the older woman was white but she said
she will not. she will sit in my living room. but this does take a toll to research a degree to constantly be on the scene. and i had just done a tour of the business in the older beta big deal about the picture taking with his son. lewis said where is he? he is going to madison to look at the college. brief sent somebody to find him so up and down the pipeline you are there to observe that.
>> those of us that were privileged to serve in leadership it does mean you have to be prepared for the ultimate crisis. and nl the commissioner of police and the governor long before that took the time to prepare for a major event you don't know if there is mother nature but those that take the time to prepare. i remember a lot of great stories how beautiful and
magnificent your community responded. that does not happen unless roles and responsibilities are identified and practiced long before the incident occurs. leadership role should be prepared you don't know when a and you don't know the nature i would rather in any situation face the backlash to be over prepared they didn't need to use those resources in the need to have that kind of mindset but that is the nature of the world that we live in. >> there will be a crisis or to.
>> obviously you had to end with that situation in ferguson. in the the unique aspect there is the unfolding situation in you are never sure where it will go and to have to make decisions with that context. >> i remember it like yesterday. we had that picture of the man shot and killed the day before. that picture is in the paper a lot of days. but you see that in the pronouncement of that and as the afternoon those nine you see the intensity level go
what some call the prosecutor and the sheriff to say we need the justice department. you can feel it. vanadinite we went to church and you could feel the energy. it was a lot of years around america that just did not feel right so we established at that point was safety in a speech. i don't think anybody thought there was a lack of first amendment but the safety part is important we do really began studying rights of rodney king 50
people were killed afterwards handed detroit dozens. >> between that time and final resolution there was other single shot fired by a cop nor was a cop shot. dead is a low standard for government service you make it through the day but in a situation that is how basic the day was because we just do we would have to take a lot of banks. when you get that decades of intensity and you know, it will be continued bad feelings and tell it is resolved and even than. so i am proud of the work of local law enforcement we had to speed up the shift you cannot do an eight dash hour shift of that.
but the layers of government can be challenging i usually don't complain even with the cameras rolling. [laughter] that's fine they have a job to do but sometimes the story will be written before happens once we had to seal off the area to make sure we're getting the search is done and find the bodies then we had to deal with that. in those local issues with the rules of the engagement in that part you have 100 towns you have all sorts of people popping up you don't
have time to be the editor and producer in and do what you do. >> that was pretty grateful. >> you have mentioned the value of the trading it in your experience is that principal value more accountable so your people know what levers to pull or what frequency to dial or is it an issue of exercising your decision making? >> after the anthrax and we
did the table top or then you will let the people to get to others. >> there were so many different agencies with capabilities and had to coordinate with almost every crisis. so having them understand and how they make decisions in who would make which kind is a muscle memory and it was enormously important to.
and in the case of the medical and hospital response we had developed that plan. but i didn't develop that planned the hospital did. it wasn't quite autopilot but they executed. they don't answer everything but to build relationships on the understanding of that information is helpful in realtime. >> i have been involved with tabletop exercises going back to post an 11 per but not a single one i did not learn from because we ask everybody that is no. once we have the ongoing educated experience the you augment your ability to respond.
to their not terribly expensive. in you have to be engaged with the ongoing basis because personnel changes. after 27 years is true in every one of the department's. if you were not doing tabletop exercises regularly then you throw away the contribution of those that made those experiences on occasion. >> it is an interesting moment right now i cannot tell you how much we benefited because of a 11 -- 9/11.
. >> you better talk about the work that you're doing as well as more and more information to continue for the public. the crisis requires an availability to journalists because they have a significant role to play. if you don't feel the void as the leader and that's one of the advantages of the tabletop, who who is going to speak for this? i see my friend admiral who did such a marvelous job for katrina and once he got down there he had a significant's presence on television, telling everybody what they were doing. it was a reassuring presence, the more presence, the more information he had the more information he shared. if you are not out there on a regular basis, if it's not the first second or third day we
have well-intentioned people who all live in. >> we all live in fear of getting out there and saying something that is wrong. >> but you're never going to have a total situation where till the very end when it is all said and done. all i know is if you're not out there on a regular basis and identified with accountability for situation you may find theirs misleading information put out there and you have to do everything you can to push back against that. >> quickly, before you have all of the information i think you have to tell people, based on what we now know, it is our belief and i think a lot of folks think in leadership is that you have to go and tell people and only give them one direction to go in or one thought. i think it is much more effective particularly over something that you know is going
to hang over your community to just be honest. if the press asked of fair question or not, you still have to answer it. you should answer and you should say based on what we know, all of those sorts of things. don't crossover, don't allow your own desire to look strong, to overcome what you know you need to do and that is to put modify language out there so that if you have to change, you change. the best example of that i will tell you, it's a little bit like these flashbacks come back. one of the big storms that caused power out of big parts of the state for an extended period of time during very hot weather, one of the utility companies made a promise they were going to have all of the power on by x day. five days, four days, i don't remember what it was. at least five or six days.
their santa, i'm the governor, that's what they're saying. by day three i'm looking at the numbers and those storms hit a bunch of states. i said said you are not going to meet this deadline. and they said no, we we are. i said i don't think we are. i do not go public with that but i stopped allowing him to appear at the podium when i was there. and then finally one time he got up to say this thing and i do want to have a fight but when he got up to speak i left the room, people figured out we are not standing together any longer on this. i think you have to manage those situations. there are other people who will have a voice, a police chief. i think you have to be leading
in different ways. body language is extremely important. modifying language is extremely important. the final thing i want to say any reference whether you have a good relationship or bad relationship, it does not make a difference. you are not communicating if you are not communicating if you are not properly using the press. that means accepting what other people have. the worst express i ever had, the second worst experience, we had and i'm not sure if it was irene and sandy because they both heard our state, they were terrible. we had spent days telling people they had to evacuate from low-lying areas along long island in certain rivers. we spent days telling them. in essence, begging them to do it. the storm is coming along and it does not appear to be taking off terribly badly. then i get a report that more
water has accumulated in the western long island because it is a big funnel and that it gets a very narrow from where i am from stanford, greenwich and into new york. more water have floated at a faster rate than ever recorded. all of a sudden i had to make a choice, do i tell people to continue to the process of evacuating which i have been telling them for days, or do i change that message. we decided to change the message because we believed evacuating at that point would be more dangerous than staying in place and getting to the highest level we had to change that message on a dime and we had to convey it and we had to have it stick. and we did it. i am convinced to this day that changing that message in that period of time, getting an out, having it backed up by the media, but everyone
who could get that message out, actually saved lives. i was in the midst of it and we made a decision and it was a change and we saved lives. sometimes you. sometimes you have to do that. >> one observation i made, i recall and this is very relevant to our discussion, you will remember right after 911 was a series of anthrax threats. i've been in the white house for maybe a week or two, still trying to figure out which door to come in and out of. so we have responsibility for this. we have multiple people in the federal government, multiple organizations organizations that had some sliver of jurisdiction or responsibility over the issue, response for recovery, fbi, and others. people people were having press conferences all over the place. frankie, one evening we got the primary players into the roosevelt room and said from this point forward we are going to operate, i will hold the
press conference and we will cornet our public message together. leadership in crisis, someone has to be the focal point, the connectivity with the broader audience. the last thing you need whether you are governor, mayor, whoever you whoever you are, secretary, is having multiple agencies in your enterprise giving multiple press conferences and holding multiple hearings, because you are supposed to be reassuring people. you're supposed to be projecting confidence and capability, i have this under control, when, when you have multiple people doing crisis under your jurisdiction, giving not necessarily different messages but different messaging, it's a real problem. leaders have to control that. that is what governor patrick did so well in massachusetts. by and large, he was the face of a responsible governor. >> i was going to thank you for
that. we had that experience of multiple agencies, state, local, federal, all convening at the marathon bombing site, all wanted to help you in all having something to contribute. based on experience i had actually, in washington when eyes head of the civil rights division we have this rash of attacks on black churches and synagogues in the south, and to cornet in that case that fbi and the atf. it was incredibly important to say to everybody, you all have a role but we'll have one agency in charge of the investigation and one person in charge of public medication. we went around and agreed what it was going to be and i looked everybody in the eye and have them say yes, i i am in. on the whole, and hell. but i will give a slightly other experience around imperfect information and communicating. i got a call at 1:00 a.m. on a
friday morning of the the first call saying there had been a shoot out in watertown community outside of boston and it was supposed at that point that the brothers were involved. i got called every hour for the next few with additional information about the shooting of the mit security officer, about the older brother was dead , that we had a transit officer that was shot in the younger brother was in flight. so the question came at about 5:00 o'clock, do we suspend the transit service into and out of the community that had been cordoned off for search at
daybreak. since it only involves a bus line it was pretty easy to do. we say great we will come down to the scene at six and announce when the service will start. i'm getting ready to go, heading out the door, the next call comes, we have reports of a taxi and a pickup in the watertown neighborhood around the time the suspect was lost that then went to south station just in time for the first train, and track train out of boston to new york. the next call comes, we have stopped a taxi and a taxi in fenway area boston with explosive device in the trunk, we have detained the driver and we're trying to determine whether this was the taxi with the earlier drop off and if the driver is connected. the next call comes, the federal
authorities by the federal courthouse at the waterfront are in pursuit of someone down by the courthouse that fits the description of the suspect. you have all of this information. the question then was, how do we surgically closed down the transit so there is not an escape route? what is the way that you protect everybody if we have an unfolding situation? but not enough actual facts to report that publicly without setting off a panic. those the basis on which we decided to ask people to shelter in place. that was a big call. it turned out to be a helpful call. but not without its critics. >> let me ask you a hard question, i know there is no good answer. given your experience, what is the best way or the least worst
way to tell a group of your citizens that their child, their parent, their mother has been killed? >> i have reached the conclusion that i have to tell them and nobody else would. everyone is there, so i did a quick tour of the firehouse and there's a building next door. thinking maybe we could pull people out one family at a time or small groups, there is no place to do it.
trucks had already been moved out in the bays were taking over for emergency response. so i left the building to walk 200 yards to an adjoining building to say maybe we can move people there and informed them and they can go home from there. no sooner had i left the building then people started to surround me, most of them to the press and they were just doing their job, i'm not being critical. i suddenly realize that the only way this could conclude in these folks could get on with their own surviving children or to other loved ones or support network is that you are going to have to do it in mass. that that is absolutely the worst way to do it. >> let me ask the rest of you an
open ended question that you can answer any way you choose. in a crisis like this, what what role do you think religion should play? >> i am a huge believer that it plays a vital role. as you have seen there is no way to explain, indirectly stark human terms, what the sorts of things mean to people lives and their futures. if you do not have somebody, if people have a spirit they can call on it will help you. there is no way to do it without having clergy with you at some level. >> one thing i think is important is it is important to speak values. it is is important
to find where there is universals. when you are dealing with death, any of these incidents or others, i find that the one commonality is that the most difficult thing in death's finality. i. i will never see this person again. if you look across a lot of religious experiences there are many ways to deal with that issue. often in a situation where i would be one on one was someone who is facing death and i was in that a lot, i would go there somehow. it can be as complex and theological and religious as they are with god. it can be, you have memories, there are multiple things between that but if you if you are in a one-on-one conversation with someone facing death, i do think there is a way to speak to faith in a way that can speak to someone who is deeply faithful in the classical sense or someone who is very spiritual or somewhere along that.
it is import to acknowledge that. i think the idea that death is on godly complicated thing. my father died when i was a kid. i was confronted with death in early i dealt with death a lot. i do think with people of faith it is deeply helpful. i think the value can be represented of people who are not necessarily faithful. >> secretary, we had an interface service three days after the bombing which i think was incredibly important. is important to important to me and to our community, it was a big part of our healing. i had an opportunity to speak at that service and i talked about both religious faith and civic faith. i think the civic faith point for us in our community was also in numerous lee important to
because there was an opportunity and in some respects a way in which people could turn on each other as a time like that. what we needed was people to tune towards each other. we talked about that. we talked we talked about how the community had helped solve the crime, how they helped support the survivors, reunited runners with their families. that race was stopped midstream and how enormously important all of that was to our recovery and how it had to last once the tv cameras went home. i am not sure i would answer the question just about religion although as a person of faith that is important to me. many in our community we have the interfaith service for that
reason. >> first of all hopefully when you're confronted with the leader with that you can draw on your own faith. those are pretty difficult circumstances. if nothing else you have to ask for the strength to be strong in the face of the tragedy that everybody else is facing in a very real way. i like the allusion i think to most civic faith and personal faith, however your project it is a time to talk about both. faith in your creator regardless of where you are on the religious spectrum, in midst of that horror and adversity i think you can be well assured that 99 out out of 100 people are looking inward or upward to find some strength and a message
of faith. you also need to project faith in their creator but also faith in their civic institutions that we are all together and we will get through this. i think the first place you need to start with is yourself. you need to project that to give you the strength and to say the right thing, do the right thing, and hopefully that combination of faith in both the creator and your community as everybody here has done if you listen to the stories, faith in their community together for healing and recovery is critically important. you need them both. >> before we conclude let me point out there are a lot of people in michigan today dealing with this exact thing right now. in the aftermath of what has
mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. reid: we were all shocked by the sudden passing of supreme court antonin scalia. justice scalia and i had our differences. there is no doubt about his intelligence or dedication to country. i offer my condolences to the entire scalia family who laid to rest a dwoafted husband, father, grandfather this weekend. i watched the funeral from nevada. i was deeply impressed with justice scalia's son, reverend paul scalia, and the moving eulogy he gave his father.
it was really quite remarkable. but now, madam president, our president, president obama, must nominate a qualified individual to the supreme court, and once the president has sent a nominee to the senate, it's our responsibility to act. unfortunately, it appears that the republican leader an his colleagues have no intention of filling this important vacancy. the republican leader has repeatedly declared himself to be the proud guardian of gridlock. that's a quote. and he's lived up to that moniker. and that's an understatement. in recent years the republican leader and republican senators have done everything possible to grind the will of government to a halt. but now we're seeing something from the republican leader that is far worse than his usual brand of obstruction. we're seeing an unprecedented attempt to hold hostage an entire branch of government. the damage already done to the
legislative branch has been written about. the last seven years, the republicans have done everything they can to stop obama's legislative ability to move forward. as leader of this democracy, it's too bad that president obama has had to put up with what he's had to put up with, this obstruction of everything dealing with the legislature. the statement the republican leader issued less than an hour after justice scalia's death announcement argued that starting now any president should be denied the right to fill a supreme court vacancy in a president denying election year. think about that. this is a foolish gambit. one, deny president obama his constitutional right to appoint nominees to the supreme court. this is a full-blown effort to delegitimize president obama, the presidency and undermine our system of checks and balances, which is integral to our
constitution. i can find no limits in the president's legal authority to nominate supreme court justices during an election year in our constitution. i find no mention of a three-year presidency in our constitution. i do find in the constitution article 2, section 2, which clearly provides president obama with the legal authority -- actually, the legal obligation to nominate justices to the supreme court contingent of course on the advice and consent of the senate. this is how our system of government has operated for more than 200 years. this is essential to the basic functioning of our coequal branches of government. what the republican leader is suggesting is inconsistent with the constitution. our founding fathers constructed the american democracy only deeming certain assumptions of us in the future. they expect us to be rational.
they expect us to operate in good faith. they expect this government to be effective. the republican leader's proposal is none of those things. it is instead an attempt to nullify what james madison and other constitutional architects envisioned. the founding fathers never intended the senate to run out the clock on its is constitutional duties subverting the president's authority and leaving the judiciary in limbo. they never envisioned the level of cynicism we see exhibited by today's republican party, a republican party that so loathes this president it is willing to render useless our government system of checks and balances. senate republicans would have the american people believe that it is a long held practice to deny the president the right to fill a supreme court vacancy. this is simply not true. i've heard several of my republican l colleagues repeat this in public statements. it grieves me to say it, but the
fact is when republicans repeat this statement they're clearly spreading a falsehood. it's not true. i have enormous respect for my republican friends, but repeatedly skirting the truth is beneath the dignity of their office. according to amy howell, san expert on supreme court proceedings and editor of the scotus, supreme court of the united states blog, there is no such precedent. she writes -- and i quote -- "historical record does not reveal any instances since at least 1900 of the president failing to nominate and/or the -- i'm sorry. i'll start over. the historical record does not reveal any instances since at least 1900 of the president failing to nominate and/or the senate failing to confirm a nominee in a presidential election year because of the impending election. there is not one shred of evidence in the last 116 years to back the republicans' claims. democrats never stopped the republicans from a supreme court
nominee receiving a hearing or getting a vote on confirmation. never. never, never. let's talk about precedent. in 1988, an election year, the senate confirmed a supreme court nominee. more than one. that year a democratic senate confirmed president ronald reagan's nomination of justice anthony kennedy in the final year of his administration. i voted to confirm justice kennedy's nomination. i did my friend, the current chairman of the judiciary committee, senator grassley. i think it's well that the presiding officer is the junior senator from iowa. i hope she would listen to what senator grassley said time and time again. senator grassley had no trouble supporting justice kennedy's nomination then not withstanding the fact it was president reagan's last year in office. since that time the senior senator from iowa has been on
record inning with defending the president's right to put forward nominee. senator grassley said in 2008 the reality is that the senate never stopped confirming judicial nominees during the last few months of a presidential term. gray with senator grassley, or at least i agreed with him. frankly, i'm not sure where the senior senator from iowa stands now. he issues a statement, contradictory statements it seems every day on this one issue. another person who voted to confirm justice kennedy in 1988 was the first term senator from ken -- kentucky, senator mcconnell. 40 years ago the republican leader was consistent in asserting the senate has a duty to consider the supreme court's presidential nominations. as a law student, he wrote in
1970, even though the senate has at various times made purely political decisions in regard to nominees, it could not be successfully argus argued it isn acceptable practice. it might be suggested that a constitutional amendment be introduced giving to the senate rather than the president the right to nominate supreme court justices. close quote. my friend, the republican leader, carried that belief with him into public service. as a freshman senator in 1986 in the judiciary committee hearing he said the constitutional duty is to provide advice and consent, not to substitute our judgment for reasonable views for a nominee to hold. again, in 1999 -- 1990, the senator from kentucky said it is clear our role of government should not be politicized.
in 2005, the senator from kentucky reaffirmed his stance stating -- and i quote -- "our job is to act to that nomination in a respectful and dignified way, give that person an up-or-down vote as all nominees who have majority support have gotten throughout the history of the country. it is not our job to determine who ought to be picked." close quote. and finally, just six years ago the republican leader put it in as simplest terms possible -- and i quote -- "americans expect politics to end at the courtroom door." close quote. these are just a few examples, but there are pages, pages of similar quotes from the republican leader spanning four decades on this subject. unfortunately he seems to no longer believe that politics ends at the courtroom door. he and his party want to undermine the presidency of this president, barack obama. senate republicans would upend our nation's system of checks
and balances rather than afford president obama the same constitutional authority that other presidents enjoyed. madam president, throughout the news today, it's said by all the republican think tanks, or most of them or a lot of them, that it's more important for the republicans to make sure obama does not get a supreme court nominee on the floor of the senate then it is for them to be in the majority of the senate. a few minutes the junior senator from delaware was here on the senate floor reading george washington's farewell address. he did a remarkable job. this man who was national debate champion twice did really a good job. in his address, president washington warned of the partisan party politics the republicans are now employing.
he warned of their negative influence on our government and he said -- this is george washington i'm quoting -- all obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations of associations under whatever plausible character with a real design to direct, control, counteract the law that regular deliberation and action of constitutional authorities are destructive to this fundamental principal -- principle. they serve to give it an extraordinary force to put in the place of a delegated will of the nation the will of a party." close quote. the american people are watching. they're watching republicans obstructing on this issue in direct contravention with the belief of president george washington. the vast majority of americans are wondering how a republican can say they're sending us back to work. we hear that all the time from my friend the republican. while at the same time denying a vote on a nominee that has not even been named yet. i say to my friends across the aisle, for the good of the
country, don't do this. i hope my republican colleagues will heed the counsel offered by the senior senator from iowa, the chairman of the judiciary committee, a few short years ago when he said, another quote by senator charles grassley, "the supreme court isn't the forum to fight any election. it is the time to perform one of our most constitutional duties to decide whether our nominee is qualified to serve on the nation's highest court." close quote. elections come and go but the centerpiece of democracy, the united states constitution, should forever remain our foundation. so my senate colleagues, my senate republican colleagues, do not manipulate our nearly perfect form of government never to appease a radicalicer: withot objection. mr. grassley: i rise today to pay tribute to associate justice scalia of the supreme court. his recent death is a tremendous
loss to the court and the nation of the -- and the nation. since his death, a wide range of commentators, even many who disagreed with him on judicial philosophy, have hailed him as one of the greatest supreme court justices of our history. justice scalia was a tireless defender of constitutional freedom in so many cases when the court was divided, he sided with litigants who raised claims under the bill of rights this was the manifestation of his view that the constitution should be interpreted according to the text and as it was originally understood. the framers believed that the constitution was adopted to protect individual liberty and, of course, so did justice scalia. he was a strong believer in free speech and freedom of religion.
he upheld many claims of constitutional rights by criminal defendants, including search and seizure, jury trials, and the right of the accused to confront the witnesses against them. justice scalia's memorable opinions also recognize the importance the framers placed on the constitution's checks and balances to safeguard individual liberty. their preferred protection of freedom was not through litigation in the courts imperfect after-the-fact redress for liberty deprived. justice scalia zealously protected the prerogatives of each branch of government and the division of powers between federal and state authorities so that none would be so strong as to pose a danger to freedom. so at this point i will ask consent to place a more
extensive remark honoring justice scalia in the record, madam president. and i would like to use the rest of my time on another subject. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: madam president, we find ourselves in a very unusual situation. we're in a presidential election year. the campaign for our next commander in chief is in full swing. voting has begun. some candidates for president have dropped out of the race after disappointing finishes in the primaries. republicans hold the gavels in the united states senate, and a term-limited democrat in the twilight of his presidency occupies the white house. it's within this context that our nation has lost one of the greatest legal minds ever to serve the court.
justice scalia's death marks the first time a sitting supreme court justice has passed away in a presidential election year in 100 years. and it's the first time a sitting supreme court justice passed away in a presidential election year during divided government since 1888. as my colleagues and i grapple with how the senate judiciary committee should approach this set of circumstances, we seek guidance and wisdom from a number of sources. these include history, practice, and common sense. and, yes, we look to what former committee chairmen have had to say on the subject. in reviewing this history, i am reminded of remarks a former chairman delivered during an
election year. that former chairman tackled this problem and he described what should happen if a supreme court vacancy arises during a presidential election year. in fact, this chairman's guidance is particularly instructive because he delivered his remarks in a presidential election year during a time of divided government. the presidential election year was 1992. we had no supreme court vacancy, no justice had passed away unexpectedly. no justice had announced his or her intention to retire. rather, it was the fear of an unexpected resignation that drove this former chairman of the senate to the senate floor one day before the end of the
court's term. near the beginning of his lengthy remarks, this chairman, who was and remains my friend, noted another speech he delivered several years prior on the advice and consent clause. that speech from july, 1987, was titled -- quote -- the right and duty of the senate to protect the integrity of the supreme court, end of quote. this chairman delivered those remarks in 1987 as the senate embarked on one of its saddest episodes, the unfair and the ugly treatment of an exceptional jurist, judge robert bork. i don't reference that episode to open old wounds, only to provide context, because it was in that speech during the debate that this former chairman
defended the senate's constitutional role in the appointment process. it was there in that speech during that debate in 1987 that this former chairman reached back to an early debate from an especially warm summer in philadelphia 200 years prior. he reached back to the constitutional convention because it was then and there that individuals like rutledge of south carolina, wilson of pennsylvania, gorham of massachusetts and of course the father of the constitution madison of virginia. they debated how our young nation's judges were going to be appointed. it was his examination of the debate in 1787 that led this former chairman to declare 200 years later nearly to the day --
quote -- "article 2, section 2 of the constitution clearly states that the president shall nominate and by and with the advice and consent of the senate shall appoint judges to the supreme court. i will argue that the framers intended the senate to take the broadest view of its constitutional responsibility. i will argue that the senate historically has taken such a view." end of quote. now, that discussion on the advice and consent clause transpired in 17 -- or 1987, but as i said, it was during a presidential election year in 1992 that my friend, this former chairman, took to this very floor. why did he begin his remarks in 1992 by reference to an early speech on the advice and consent
clause? i will say it wasn't only because senators sometimes like to quote wise words they once spoke. my friend referenced his own remarks on the advice and consent clause because he wanted to remind his colleagues in this senate of this senate's constitutional authority to provide or withhold consent as circumstances might require. and he wanted to remind his colleagues of the senate's constitutional authority before he addressed the real reason he rose to speak in 1992. the prospects of a supreme court vacancy in a presidential election year. after discussing the confirmation debates that had not occurred in presidential election years, my friend turned to some of those that had
occurred. quote -- "some of our nation's most bitter and heated confirmation fights have come in presidential election years. the bruceing confirmation fight for roger tinay's -- tawney's nomination 1836, the senate's refusal to confirm four nominations by president tyler in 1844, the single vote rejections of nominees badger and black by lame-duck presidents filmore and buchanan in the mid 19th century and the narrow approval of justices lamar and fuller in 1888 are just some of the examples of these fights in the 19th century." end of quote. now, this former chairman continued -- quote -- "overall while only one in four supreme court nominations has been the
subject of significant opposition, the figure rises to one out of two when such nominations are acted on in a presidential election year." end of quote. this former chairman then outlined some additional history of supreme court nominations in presidential election years. he emphasized that in four vacancies that arose during a presidential election year, the president exercised restraint and withheld from making a nomination until after the election. one of those presidents was abraham lincoln. ironically, like president obama, our 16th president, he was a lawyer and he called illinois home. but unlike our current president, abraham lincoln didn't feel compelled to submit a nomination before the people had spoken in november of 18464.
event -- of 1864. eventually my friend got to the heart of the matter during -- talking about election year 1992. quote -- "should a justice resign this summer and the president move to name a successor, actions that will occur just days before the democratic convention and weeks before the republican convention meets a process that is already in doubt in the minds of many will become distrusted by all. senate consideration of a nominee under these circumstances is not fair to the president, to the nominee and to the senate itself." my friend went on to say -- quote -- "it is my view that if
a supreme court justice resigns tomorrow or within the next several weeks or resigns at the end of a summer, president bush should not consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors -- no. i said that wrong, so let me start the quote over. "it is my view that if a supreme court justice resigns tomorrow or within the next several weeks or resigns at the end of the summer, president bush should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not name a nominee until after the november election is completed." and what is the senate to do if a president ignores history, ignores good sense and ignores the people and submits a nominee under these circumstances? here again my good friend, the
former chairman, had an answer. quote -- "it is my view that if the president goes the way of presidents fillmore and johnson and presses an election year nomination, the senate judiciary committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over. -- is over." end of quote. but what of the likely criticism that will be lobbed at the judiciary committee and at the entire senate if it were to choose this path of not holding a hearing. my friend, the former chairman, continued -- quote -- "i am sure, mr. president, having uttered these words, some will
criticize such a decision and say it was nothing more than an attempt to save the seat on the court in the hopes that a democrat will be permitted to fill it, but that would not be our intention, mr. president. if that were the course to choose in the senate to not consider holding hearings until after the election." end of quote. continuing to quote, though -- "instead, it would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is under way, action on a supreme court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over. that is what is fair to the nominee and is central to the process. otherwise, it seems to me, mr. president, we will be in deep trouble as an institution."
end of quote. but won't that impact the court? can it function with eight members for some time? won't it create --quote, unquote -- crisis? not remotely. my friend considered this issue as well and appropriately dismissed it. so i support again, others may threat that this approach will leave the court with only eight members for some time, but as i see it, mr. president, the costs of such a result, the need to reargue three or four cases that will divide the justices 4-4 are quite minor compared to the costs that a nominee, the president, the senate and the nation would have to pay for what assuredly would be a bitter fight, no matter how good a
person is nominated -- no matter how good a person is nominated by the president if that nomination were to take place in the next several weeks." end of quote. and the next several weeks refers to sometime between june and november of 1992. so i want to read this part again -- "others may threat that this approach will leave the court with only eight members for some time, but the costs of such a result with quite minor compared to the costs that a nominee, the president, the senate and the nation would have to pay for what assuredly would be a bitter fight no matter how good a person is nominated by the president. now, that is very well said. this former chairman is eloquent
, or i happen to be very plain spoken. i put it this way. it's the principle that matters, not the person. my friend concluded this section of his remarks this way. quote -- "in the end, this may be the only course of action that historical practice and practical realism can sustain." well, i think probably everybody kind of knows that these are the biden rules. the biden rules recognize -- quote -- "the framers intended the senate to take the broadest view of its constitutional responsibility. the biden rules recognize the wisdom of those presidents, including another lawyer and former state lawmaker from illinois who exercised restraint
by not submitting a supreme court nomination before the people had spoken. the biden rules recognize the court can operate smoothly with eight members for some time and -- quote -- the cost of such a result, the need to reargue three or four cases that will divide the justices 4-4 are quite minor compared to the costs that a nominee, the president, the senate and the nation would have to pay for what assuredly would be a bitter fight." end of quote. the biden rules recognize that under these circumstances -- quote -- "the president should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not name a nominee until after the november election is completed. the president that he's
referring to there is president george h.w. bush. the biden rules recognize that under these circumstances -- quote -- it does not matter how good a person is nominated by the president." end of quote. the biden rules recognize that, -- quote -- "once the political season is under way, action on a supreme court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over. that is what is fair to the nominee and is central to the process." end of quote. the biden rules recognize that -- quote -- "senate consideration of a nominee under these circumstances is not fair to the president, to the nominee or to the senate itself, end of quote. the biden rules recognize under
these circumstances -- quote -- "the senate judiciary committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over." end of quote. madam president, vice president biden is a friend, as i've said three or four times during my remarks, and i say it with the utmost sincerity. i served with him in this body and on the judiciary committee for nearly the 30 years that he served. i served with him in this body and on the judiciary committee for nearly 30 years. he is honorable, he is sincere, he is loyal to the president he now serves, because i know these things about him, i can say with confidence that he will
enthusiastically support the president and any nominee he submits to the senate. but i also know this about vice president biden: you h he may serve as vice president, but he remains a united states senator. that's why when he rose to speak in this senate chamber for the last time, he shared this with his colleagues. quote -- "i may be resigning from the senate today, but i will always be a senate name, except for the title of'father' there is no title, including vice president, there is no title i am more proud to wear than that of the united states senate." in the president of the united states insists on submitting a nominee under these circumstances, senator biden, my friend from delaware, the man who sat at a desk across the