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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN2  February 26, 2016 12:00am-2:01am EST

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which is what we have experienced when they participate. experienced when they are still challenging, but in reality we have to have people to fight. >> i have the privilege of commanding all the nato nations. we have 50 members of the coalition command i will tell you there are some tell you there are some , but that issue of caveats and rules of engagements and we have some
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incredibly effective partners and over time they accomplished the mission. my expectation is they will do that in the future. we don't have nato and iraq. we have members of the nato alliance or nato itself, and we can work through those in the past. it is a political issue. the forces are more than capable enough to be shoulder to shoulder with us to make an invaluable contribution. >> it is a critical issue. >> i think right now your in a good position as far as protecting our country. we know a lot about cyber. it affects our business,
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communities, combatant command. in that regard because of the fact that we need to deal and focus on cyber, i personally believe we need to take cyber command and make it into a fully functional combatant command. i represent an essay. are you considering that? and we need to focus on the budget issue. and then one question about russia. >> thank you, congressman. we continue to consider ways to improve our approach for cyber. it is a growing organization. it is now a sub unified
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command. that is an arrangement that works but is not optimal. we have a reluctance because what we are doing is cutting headquarters staff. but whichever way that turns out, cyber come as an important future.future. it is important to me that cyber comment nsa are in the same place. >> i agree with that. >> skilled cyber people are not -- they are hard to find. cyber is partly a money issue.
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having nsa next to cyber, cyber, means that they can interchange talent and drawn one another. the fact that admiral rodgers words both fat -- both hats is a critical advantage. for now i would not recommend that separation. >> i also want to field questions about russia. and then we went to estonia and latvia. there is great concern, why won't the united states stand behind them? especially in border states.
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they are concerned. we have concerned. we have to let them know and let the world no we are the strongest military in the world. i am wondering if there are strategies we might consider. you need to get them around these countries. putting troops on the border that is your call. we need to show we are strong and will not tolerate the aggression of russia and especially with our allies. >> i will start 1st. the reason we are quadrupling is precisely for the reason you say, to signal the determination of the united states and nato to defend nato territory. we do that with activity sets the permanent presence,
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exercises and so forth and russia should know that what they see in europe on a daily basis is not what we used to defend europe. we have plans to do that, the defense of nato territory and we would do it with the full weight of the united states as has always been the case. it will be different, and i emphasize that. it is not just territorial. little green men, hybrid warfare. the kinds of things you saw in crimea and ukraine. a different kind of threat
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but what we have to plan for in order to show strength and be strong. >> very briefly. >> very quickly. the secretary mentioned exercises. posture forces, would that make a difference. with the european initiative does, it helps us develop interoperability. the exercises are designed to send a clear and unmistakable message of our commitment to article five and as importantly a clear demonstration that if russia faces nato may face the full weight of the military capability and the full political will 28 nations and quite frankly if you put that together it is an
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overwhelming challenge, and our exercises designed to make sure one part of that is clear comeau we can bring the full weight to bear in the event of a contingency. >> that would be appreciated by the ukrainians. >> thank you and thank you all for your service to men and women in uniform. pretty well laid out all the threats we face. i cannot think of a time where we faced more on near-term, short-term, long-term. we are facing them at a time a shrinking budget. the subcommittee has a role to play. i think we all bring unique perspective.
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i want to have a brief discussion about your decision to end the combat program at 40. if you look at that program you can see that it was set up to be a 52 ship program, and that decision, the secretary of the navy reported in the press and talked about the fact that some of the lethality was not there. it was almost like maybe the navy spends too much money on ships and not enough on some of the other platforms like the hawkeye command i happen to be a big supporter. but i am not sure it is correct to justify them comparing them to the two other programs.
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when i read that memo and talk to senior members it seems like there is a question, more of a presence ship like a patrol board or frigate, does not have the kind of high-tech capabilities in this new world to deal. that is one opinion. he read articles about how important the lcs can be, talk to folks in the asia-pacific and they tell you you almost need those kind of ships. i guess my question is if the navy says we need 52, they reiterate that after they did a year-long study and then your decision as they need 40, the question
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becomes how does that requirement change so quickly and really get an analysis that when into your decision? in other words, do you really believe we need less combat ships or spend more money and other areas? is that a decision based on long-term national security or decision based on a short-term budget? >> a decision based on long-term security. a successful program, an excellent ship and will be much better than the mine counter ships and so forth that it replaces. these are critical capabilities. and in general and shipbuilding this budget makes a huge investment and
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shipbuilding, new ddg, new submarines, aircraft carriers, overhaul and maintenance, amphibious ships, the 1st ohio class replacement submarine. an enormous amount and the added virginia payload module for the submarine program, so there is a lot that goes into it. the number of ships in the u.s. navy is increasing. the will go to 308. we did want to apply resources elsewhere as to
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the lethality of our ships. that is critically important. we not only have enough and more but that they are the best. that is why we are investing in, systems. a new lightweight torpedo, various missiles including the new capability for the sm six missiles, surface-to-air missiles, the stuff that makes our navy the most lethal. so there is balance that needs to be done between high-end and very important lower end. nothing wrong. we like it. our plan is not to buy 52 at 40 which doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the program.
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>> thank you. >> the gentleman from georgia. >> thank you. the 2017 will be available to support the policies and the programs and ex-president the american people in november. telling the american people in the world the torture works. things way beyond waterboarding, order our military to take out the families, directing the secretary of defense intentionally kill innocent family members including children that might be suspected terrorists. i find these frightening.
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do you support allowing us troops for the intelligence community to use torture to exact information from suspected terrorists. the question is aa fair one. i want to say something about the framing of it. this is an election year. i feel very strongly our department needs to stand apart from the electoral season. i respectfully decline to answer questions arising
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from the political debate. general dunford even more so not to be involved in political debates. if you address the question of how we conduct ourselves as a military in the air, that's fine. >> we respect your decision. >> we had discussions on the political nature of guantánamo. a blanket statement as to the military's role of the use of torture? we have had a lot of hearings on this. we went through one administration. as far as i know wei know we are working to stop and ban the use. >> let me answer the question broadly. one of the things that makes
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me proud is that we represent the values of the american people. when young men and women go to war they go with our values. this reflects that young men and women bring values with them. when we find exceptions you can see how aggressively we pursue. we should never apologize for going to war with the values of the american people. >> thank you, mr. secretary.
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>> am concerned with the timeline from the reduction. the timeline for ioc is gone from 2002 and the reason -- the existing fleet lifecycle cost is going to go through the roof. they are missing out on $100 million or more in reduced operations and maintenance. maintenance. the current ea aircraft are reaching the end of their service life now we are being told there is need for more tech maturation.
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the recap will only be an integration effort. explain why this year's year'syear's budget includes additional delays which result in additional expenses and gaps in capability. >> i cannot. i will describe the acquisition. you are absolutely right, the air force does have a continuing requirement for ground moving target indicator radars. a fleet of 16707 based aircraft and have to be recapitalized.
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you don't need as big physically of the radar. flew them in afghanistan and have flown them elsewhere. the air force is committed in our budget does lay in the funds for a j*recap. they have not chosen. they want to do a competitive source selection both for radar and integration. they have not picked a winner yet. i have announced competition and then i think it is somewhere between two or 3 billion. so that is the acquisition strategy. i think the thing i can say
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is we are committed to capability and after recapitalize because it is an airframe now that is decades old. >> thank you, mr. secretary and you are absolutely right. it is an old platform and the needed platform. my understanding is in the not-too-distant future half of the fleet will be at its full lifecycle and we still do not seem to be on the timeline that would fill the gap. we have had tremendous support in the community for the program and advancing it and moving as swiftly as possible because of deep concern for the troops in the capabilities that they have. any additional support or hurried mess would be greatly appreciated. >> thank you. captor and calvert.
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the state program and survivor benefit. on russian propaganda i read your statement and the testimony the russian military presents the greatest challenge. i agree. i want to express my own concern about russia's well-funded and organized propaganda war in ukraine, politics, europe command here in the west. andwest. and i observed the west's approach to confront that force of harvard warfare respond, review what is being done, design a strategy to counter russia
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and their efforts including assigning a lead. number two, on a state partnership program it is one of the most effective tools to meet the challenge of facing europe, ohio what does the budget due to facilitate this growing capability that is essentially carrying out activities. thirdly, describe the development and size as a terrorist force in the motivation for what seems to be drawing additional adherence and would appreciate the view of victory in syria. i was recently contacted by a veteran constituent at the 87 level and has pts, gold
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star wife due to the death of her husband in iraq. under current law required offset and payments private are from receiving the full amount. let me also state 5 percent of widows remarry. for women with children it just seems there ought to be something going on that would help those who have so nobly served our nation. i want to put that on the record. first on the russian propaganda issue. >> thank you very much. it is related to hybrid warfare.
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sometimes that contains what i call the big lie. our principal response to that as a country is the truth, but we have to watch the effect of that. the state department does that, intelligence community does that, but it is related to harvard warfare. earlier we were discussing the european reassurance administrate and we were talking about territorial but another critical part is heartening the states of europe to essentially subversion which is hybrid warfare shades into subversion, heartening them
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by helping them to defend themselves from cyber manipulation and from other kinds of insidious influences that we saw precede the russian actions in crimea and ukraine. we are trying to learn from that. that is why hybrid warfare is part of the new playbook. it is not like nato was long ago which was more conventional kind of conflict. we have to expect more unconventional kind of conflict which is exactly what the chairman and i am general breedlove think about and plan for when it comes to europe. i will europe. i will stop there. put in a plug for the state
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partnership program. we get huge value. the fund them and the people are enthusiastic. countries tell me all the time much they love the state. it is a great way of tying america to others and complementing with the defense department does institutionally. >> find ways to broaden it. i really hope you can lead in administration effort to be a little more coordinated we need a strategy to combat the propaganda that is floating nations like ukraine. it is is not in our interest to have this continue. >> let me commend for your persistence on this issue.
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we might come up with a game plan. >> thank you. for being here. i want to expand on chairman rogers questions regarding china. closing the technology gap between our countries. historically focused internally with the primary mission to protect the communist party and existing government. they have been interested in projecting military power in their own region. i would argue that we would wars not because we are the
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best trained and most proficient because we are good at large-scale strategic operational and tactical logistics, supply maintenance procedures and practices, good at getting people and equipment anywhere on the globe in a timely manner and prepping in executing combat service support functions. china is new. china is knew to power projection. i question her ability to conduct these functions effectively. you can have the largest military in the world but if you cannot feed the more supply them they become worthless. can you comment on china's ability to effectively project war fighting power beyond the shores especially with regard to conduct effective logistics supply maintenance operations external to china? i don't think we put a lot of thought into that.
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>> congressman, thank you for the question. i agree with just ask is one of our competitive advantages and the chinese capability is relatively mature. however, ifhowever, if we are talking about within the pacific may have one advantage. if we talk about a conflict in the south china sea, the logistics challenge significantly less than that we would have as we project power to places like the middle east a pacific. i do see when you talk about putting equipment at sea and deploying sea -based capabilities and deploying logistics, that takes many years. i was around in the early days. we put equipment aboard a ship how to do that.
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that was a discovery learning process. i would agree with the thesis that the chinese have a long way to go in terms of developing power projection. if you look at the investments they are making, attention they are paying, recognition of the comments made looking at capabilities in terms of shortness and integration and have just made major reorganization insight to chinese military which is important to mitigate challenges. do i think they have a legitimate power projection capability? no. twiceno. twice he forces deployed to places like djibouti, the maritime development, aviation, yes. it is fair from my perspective. i look at the trajectory and think it is fair to say
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whether they continue to emphasize and make the investments that they are that they will develop projection capability that that is sometime away. what they are developing would provide the capability that is much easier, the capability with interior lines to project power. >> mr. ryan and mr. womack. >> thank you for being here. the issue that we talk about here, budget, money, and we have priorities and the challenges we face are unlikely have ever had to making sure they offset, so
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we must be smart and i know we have been spending a good deal more money on health care. causing us to spend money in the healthcare system. i want to talk to you about the healthy base initiative, the food, the nutrition that we are giving these elite warriors. many of these are diet related and it would be smart to take a holistic approach and say if we know we start feeding soldiers, airmen and the rest healthy food many of these problems can be avoided. you do not have to necessarily comment, maybe
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comment for the record on a healthy base initiative and what we can do to drive down healthcare costs to free up money. the defense industrial base issue is home to america makes my doing a phenomenal job and can transform manufacturing. want to make sure we robustly support institutes as we move forward and then just to touch base quickly, the idea of mind fitness training, mind, body, health , how we prepare men and women to function at the highest level possible in using the most cost-effective ways to do it you mentioned liz stanley. she is not doing any more work within the military now and i would like to say we
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need to reconsider that because that would be a huge opportunity. leslie youngstown we have the only aerial spray unit and are now dealing with the globals he can issue and ii see that we are reducing rc 13 j request by three and wonder, can you touch upon this issue, keeping troops safe, making sure we have the capacity to address and will the reduction affect our ability to combat this global problem. >> i will be brief and we can get back to you.
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we spent 50 billion a year on health care. obviously we want to not see that grow too quickly. keep people healthy by teaching them how or what is healthier. i also wish to thank you. these are public-private partnerships, model ways of doing things high skilled jobs but more importantly industries supporting defense. i will say this and get back to you, i am not aware and anyway the program is at risk as a consequence. we have several hundred. we adjust accordingly. we have not been assigned a
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role in that. the department of health and human services. we stand ready to help them with research, whatever they end up asking for. we are on tiptoes. we have not been asked yet but will play a role in fast. >> our focus obviously has been on preventive medicine and protection and force. pregnant women in south america and those kinds of things and affording them the opportunity to leave the area. right now we're making sure particularly in those areas where the virus is present taking measures to ensure. the things that we do, congressman, medical
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professionals are experienced in good at preventive health. good at making sure we are proactive. >> the committee would like to commend the department department for the good work that they did addressing the ebola. command-and-control was important. >> thank you. >> thank you for your patients. >> great to see you. i am a big picture guy. it is obvious you are a big picture guy. there is another big picture view that a stark reality. we talk about it a lot, the trajectory of the federal budget and the squeeze that is happening in the fewer and fewer dollars there seem to be for discretionary
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programs including the defense of our country is alarming to me and we do not have an answer. that said, as a result of sequestration in the budget control act we have lost a lot of what i believe is writing this capability because of difficult, constrained resource environment and it looks like we are going to be trying to buyback readiness now and deferring our other obligations to the future which this congress is good at. i hate to see the department of defense have to do the same, but that is the reality. i am just going to throw that on the table as a concern from this member of congress and ask you to
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comment and give us the reality of what is happening in the pentagon and how we are having to push vital procurement needs to be able to buyback readiness that has been lost today. >> you are right we are trying to give priority in this budget to restoring readiness and modernization. we must balance the two, trying to find money elsewhere in the budget which is why the shape of the budget is different this year. with respect to readiness, each of the services is somewhat different but there , but they are all trying to get back to full spectrum readiness.
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we are funding their return to full spectrum readiness. the stability that you gave us is absolutely critical. without it we cannot be on the trajectory to full spectrum readiness. you began your question by talking about everything that goes into it. we understand you have to deal with all of the parts, but we cannot just keep focusing energy on the discretionary part of the budget as has been the case and is why i am glad the budget agreement was reached giving us stability. readiness is a big priority. i could go through the services but do not have time. let me ask the chairman to comment. >> thank you for the question.
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we cannot buy our way out of the problem. a couple of things that impact. there is a factor of time. operational tempo has an effect and then the impact with regard to the industrial base and maintenance backlog is a physics issue in terms of getting the equipment fixed and then of course the modernization that has been deferred because the equipment buys are out. but what i would say i try to do is you look at readiness and force structure and modernization and the foundation, my perspective was given the resources we have you have to achieve balance.
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so you are right you do not want to make decisions for the near-term that mortgage the future. we have lived year-to-year, just trying to get through the fiscal year and delayed decisions. we reached a point where we recognized we can no longer wait. what we tried to do is achieve the best balance we could so that we were making investments. job number one has been making sure the young men and women have the wherewithal to accomplish the mission. given that we made otherof the decisions that would allow us to balance near-term readiness with long-term modernization and
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i describe that as wellness. so tough decisions had to be made and what i would say is we came out of fy 17 balancing the best that we could call that you identified something that is my number one concern. my number one concern is where we will be five to seven years from now, five to seven years from now if we don't start making investments where we can say russia is a challenge, sure it is. but make no mistake comeau we have a competitive advantage. i am not sure we can say that in 2022 and that is what we are most concerned about.
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>> others have referred to the enormous contribution of our natch -- national guard. a lot of keen interest. let me know if there is italy's. i would like to talk about the whole issue of deacon flexion with russians and others in the middle east. a lot of open source. we see russian superiority in major portions over syria. talk about what we are doing
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, getting, letting russians no where certain operations are occurring? >> i wouldi would love to go in the greater detail privately. in terms of russians and syria they have a memorandum of understanding, the word is accurate and precise. the conflict from what the russians are doing which is unfortunately something quite different which is not what they said they would do. so they are off on the wrong
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trajectory, a somewhat separate subject that we do not agree with and cannot align ourselves with. deacon flexion does not mean we are aligning with the russians but we are working with them so that we do not inadvertently run into each other. they are abiding by the memorandum of understanding. it is professional, military to military and the russians conduct themselves in accordance and therefore do not impede our campaign. at the same time i must compete we do not otherwise associate ourselves because it is wrongheaded.
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>> able to unite disparate group of shiite militias do you have any degree of discomfort? >> chairman, thanks. i am satisfied, and aggressive counter intelligence program. thatthat is a piece of what you alluded to. with regard to provisional forces ii am encouraged. they recognize that our support was conditioned on not having the iranian backed forces and so they were not participating. there is a great deal of
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energy being applied to talk about how to integrate forces and we are not adding john providing support for any forces that are not legitimate parts of the iraqi government and under the prime minister's control and responsibility. >> the issue of force protection just because at this point in time people are leaving us alone comeau one must assume they are doing what we are doing. >> we are concerned and watching closely and i would not suggest for a minute that we are complacent. the other significant amount of resources dedicated to ensure we can recognize changes and take appropriate action in anticipation.
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>> good to have the public reassurance. one of the benefits of congressional travel is that we often separate ourselves from general officers, the men and women who do a remarkable things and i follow the lead of my predecessor getting out to bethesda walter reed and i run in to situations where remarkable people have done courageous things and have been injured in the bothers me when i hear that they did not get the air support needed. as you pointed out, maybe the afghans are ready for prime time, but i hear more than anecdotal information that some forces do not fight at night and as a result some men have been put in compromising positions.
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it hinges on my introductory remarks which are not political. there is a feeling shared by many members of congress that somehow forces of higher up -- and i understand the chain of command -- people have to check with a variety of different people before they look after the mission that they are involved in. could you comment and give a level of reassurance, to think that someone would be checking on you the remarkable people in positions of command and 2nd guessing you, assure me that that is not happening. >> first of all, i would not understate concerns of the folks you have talked to.
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i have talked to them to. believe it or not they bring it up to me as well. they do not hesitate to unload on you. if you make yourself available for questions you must be prepared to answer. i would distinguish rules of engagement has become a catchall phrase for a wide range of activities. i can assure you this nothing that limits a soldier, sailor, airman can more marine from taking appropriate action. that is the fundamental. whatfundamental. what you are referring to is when, where, and how we combine arms. there are times when decisions are made at a more senior level and i made them at that level on occasion
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because there are strategic implications. >> collateral damage. >> collateral damage. we have various levels of authorities associated with the numbers of civilian casualties in the amount of collateral damage. elevated to the general officer level. again, when it comes to soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines they can crush and call and combine arms and do what must be done. when it comes to conducting a deliberate strike we have, do, and will make those decisions federal level were risk can be managed appropriately to ensure what appears to be tactical actions was strategic consequences, the decision-making is being made at the right level. in some cases our very presence and ability to contact counterterrorism
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operations was being managed as a result of these strikes. i understand their concerns and try to explain, it is an we don't trust you. frankly your is a little wider. when it comes to doing what needs to be done it is decentralized. sometimes we make decisions federal level and those of us feel like sometimes we have to make those decisions >> i am glad to hear it because i think as our footprint shrinks force protection, every soldier and whoever is representing our government deserves that
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assurance. >> the european reassurance initiative, a number of interchanges, any sense given my impression that this will be a permanent situation some monies migrated to the base budget? >> the reality there is that this is money we need to spend on a requirement that is quickly come upon us and therefore it is appropriate.
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therethere are other things being done that are part of enduring investment, so there is a mix and if the question is are we going to be doing more you see that in fy 1717 already assuming with the chairman said is our biggest risk which is a collapse ofa collapse of budget agreement and reversion to budget control. that is the biggest risk to everything we are trying to do. >> one more question and more if you wish to address the issue of the budget recommendations on health
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care retirement. congress has a huge improvement and blame, not that the administration is always right. i mentioned mandatory. you suffer from the same problem. if you will comeau what is, what is your justification of doing this wrong budgetary standpoint? >> we have made proposals and the department continues to ask for your support and have not always gotten the support of this committee for what we regard as reasonable steps to make our provision of healthcare more efficient and to the rise and growth of healthcare cost. we try to do that in a way that is -- does not compromise quality of care but restricting the number
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of people receiving care, but i can give you examples. medical treatment facilities are using them more efficiently. the issue of co-pays has come up, strong -- small co-pays and the basic purpose is to make people asked if i really need to go to an emergency room for this or take a different route. this is just a little signal in that regard. and we try to allocate these efforts across the population so that we protect parts of our military family, active duty and retired to have the greatest needs and the fewest alternatives. we try to do it as carefully as we can. we have not received 100 percent support. we are grateful for the support we have gotten, but it is tough on us as well as
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the congress. with respect to retirement, we do have an approach to retirement for new members, a blended retirement system. i think that is a good thing. it will be good for the all volunteer force going forward. for members of the service who are already end, they do not have to go to the blended retirement if they do not want to. this is a program that will be available in the future. those are a few things about healthcare. ..
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>> >> so i looked at compensation holistic play it is the entire package that insurers have the most training and well incentivized force we could possibly have. i appreciate the latitude to make these decisions free share high quality people to recruit and retain with the right skill set to make sure
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>> a quick follow-up with those rotational brigades to be ideal for the reserve component formation it does a law of things this state partnership programs with the relationships that are forged to become combat multipliers if necessary. so just to put in a plug for that i got to know general hodges pretty well in one remarkable person to make 30,000 look like 300,000 on a given day and he relies heavily on the state partnership programs so ask for your continued support without regard.
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as most of those speaking today may i commend you for the relationship of our staff and other committee members? with the facts we need to do the job. >> with the discussion and looking to send programming this year as a possibility. >> be sure to take a look at all the programs with the awful justifications. >> then the next day the women's team beat the basketball team for cargoes for ever.
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>> and i am very delighted to hear. spec on behalf of the remarkable men and women please extend our thanks to their dedication and service to the best of america. we stand adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> had we best get people to pay attention to wasteful
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spending? those that easy to understand because the government is so large the organization has to cut through och delays and members of congress talking about what they're doing and try to get people to be more involved in making a more personal so they understand the impact on them >> the work with a bipartisan is -- bipartisan coalition of congress of what was called pork barrel spending and still is and
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with that $3 billion and every year they confine their marks on the appropriations bill every election cycle will remind us how important is for citizens to be informed. >> the kit is a great way my colleague said i saw you on c-span. now it's what is going on inside mr. grassley: thank you,
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mr. president. yesterday the minority leader came to the floor to disparage the work of the senate judiciary the work of the senate judiciary >> yesterday the minority leader came to the floor to disparage the work of the senate judiciary committee is also to disparage, the work of the senate as sole and as he does from time to time he launched into a personal attack against me. that's okay i don't intend to return the favor. i love senator riegle don't want to talk about the nuclear options in the families over the years as senators had to endure his leadership without even being able to offer an amendment.
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the story of one democratic senator in the last election was defeated to never got a chance to get a vote during whole six years he was in the senate. we know that is how some people act when they don't get their way. but tantrums are not appropriate for the senate. and as they said that is a bunch of malarkey. to talk about the minority leader of my remarks from earlier this week now in fairness senator biden didn't make this up out of thin air. his speech in 1982 when into
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great historical detail of a vacancy and how the senator has handled these vacancies haven't had ben should handle that based on that history with a dose of good common sense senator biden laid out the rules that govern supreme court vacancies arising during a presidential election year and of course, we have divided government as we have today as 1982 the bided rules are very clear my friend from delaware did a wonderful job to lay out the history for those sound reasons as they boil down to
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the two fundamental points. first the president should exercise restraint and not name of nominee until after the election is completed. and as i said on monday, president lincoln is a good role model gore stated differently, the president should that the people decide. if the president chooses not to follow president lincoln's model but instead it goes the way of fillmore and johnson who is the election your nomination nomination, then the senate should not consider the nomination will hold hearings. it doesn't matter how good a person is nominated or to
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state plainly it is the principal not the person that matters. and vice president is an honorable man. to know that this is true. i was not surprised he released a relatively short statement sending his remarks with those presidents decision to press forward with the nominee. and i predicted on monday vice president biden is number two. and to have the difficult task in the 1982 it was a
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tough sell. and vice president biden did his best monday evening and the new vice president and his comments and calls that as nbc and. it is just a bunch of malarkey. here is part of love vice president biden said on monday. '' the one excerpt of a speech is evidence that i do not support. this is not an accurate description with my views on the subject but in the same speech critics are pointing to today i urge the senate
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and white house to overcome partisan differences to work together to ensure the core functions of mr. president and with those rules and i shared his macaulay's on monday we ask, is it really possible to square chairman biden's 1992 election-year statement with that 2016 election year. was that statement really all about greater cooperation between the senate and though whitehouse when the chairman said in 1982 that if the vacancy suddenly arises actions on the supreme court nomination must be put off until after
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the election and campaign is over. was that simply more cooperation? when he calls for withholding consent the matter how good a person is nominated, was he suggesting that the president and the senate work together a little bit more? when he said we should not hold separate -- hearings for the circumstances was that about cooperation? since we talked about filling justice scalia see how would he solve this puzzle? he was stuck with attacks. begin there. 1982 chairman biden discovered between the
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branches. yes he did so far so good. but that cannot be the end of the matter that doesn't explain the dash explained the same statement was local more closely what chairman biden said about cooperation let me start with the nomination and process and how that may be changed with the next administration. and again to emphasize that we will have to search a very long with evidence with the chairman's words in
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1982. with that corporation was to occur with the next administration. in other words, after the presidential election of 1982 and the senate with wilkinson of the matter how good to be dominated. but if you need more evidence is as inaccurate understanding with the abiding rules mean look no further ahead than a link "the washington post" article has we make the rules quite clear if someone steps down i would highly recommend horn of the and
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then to send someone up if the president did, i've asked the senate to seriously consider not having a hearing on that nominee and go. can you imagine dropping the nominee after those decisions that are about to be made by the supreme court into that fight in the middle of day presidential election? pas chairman biden went on there will be no bounds of propriety that would be honored by either side of the environment that such a
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hearing would be so supercharged in to be distorted. at the end of the day at the end of the 1982 statement is clear so in 2016 serving as a virtue to this president vice president biden is forced to argue that the abiding rules secretly mean the exact opposite of what they say. , ironically that is the trick justice scalia's taught us to recognize and to reject on-site. we go to look to the meaning of his text.
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this was not a one-off comment this is a 20,000 were floor speech laying out a difficult in a principled decision that relied on a historical precedent. there relied upon respect in democracy and the for the integrity of the nomination process. there is no doubt what senator biden it mr. president there is of course, a broader point, and i hope in the next several months we concentrate on the point that text matters. justice scalia had devoted his adult life to these principles to the american
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people want to elect a president in the mold of scalia to replace him or do they want to elect a president clinton or sanders fuel to view any more liberal decision? do they want a justice looking to the constitutional text while drilling down on the most difficult constitutional questions? or do they want another justice for those really tough cases based on what is in the judge's part and it comes down to this we have lost one of the great that is set to the american
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people whether we preserve his legacy and more importantly to follow the text of the constitution with the text of the law or follow what is in the hearts of the justices on the supreme court? this is a debate we should have. this is a debate with we are for national debates before nominee clinton nor sanders or nominees on the obverse side. the american people should be involved and we should let the american people decide. i yield the floor.
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>> i want to thank my colleague from i was to get a chance to speak personally on another matter but i will call him to the floor afterwards the of the senator hatch's here i don't want to allay the proceedings but on this issue raised by senator grassley senator grassley is my friend politicians say that sometimes in don't mean it but i mean it we have become friends from neighboring states sharing a law of plane rides together in serving in the same body for a number of years. i respect to very much we have different points of view but common agreement on others so i do respect him and say that at the outset. this is about the passing of justice scalia added his seat on the supreme court
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will be filled. if it will, who? when? the first place for us to turn when it comes to asking questions is the one document, the only document that matters it is this document we swore to uphold and defend in this document that is explicit not making a suggestion of the spelling of that responsibility, and it comes to a vacancy on the supreme court. it says the president shall appoint. shall appoint. in the senate shall give advice and consent to the nominee. shot. it is not the responsibility
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of the constitution to do this. it is amazing to me in the history of this republic guided by this great document we reached a point in the year 2016 where those simple words, directions in the constitution are being challenged and ignored by the republican majority. there has never been a moment in history when the senate has refused to extend a hearing to a nominee until this moment never been a moment in history, never that the senate has refused to vote on the nominee. and i cannot say never but has been more than 150 years since we have allowed a
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vacancy in the supreme court to golan for more than a year as the republicans in the senate are determined to do here. that 150 years as back to the civil war so i would say to a colleague from i we were about to make history if he steals by this decision. if they will not even entertain the nomination to fill the sculley is a vacancy for the history of the native state senate the first "in-depth" that the republican leadership makes that decision that even if the nominee said they will never allow a vote it is the first time for the history of the united states of america that is why it is such a definitive issue that is why the position taken by
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the senate republican majority is so unusual to have and in some cases so extreme. the argument is made it is a campaign year. this is a presidential election year. kudos to the next president will be? that overlooks the basic fact that three years is in three months ago the american people chose a president by a margin of 5 million votes barack beaded -- defeated the romney was set a three-year term? let me check the constitution but i think it was four year term. three years in three runs? no. it turns out to the american
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people spoke in our democracy by a margin of 5 million votes to say barack obama you are president through january 20, 2017. was there an exclusion that says you cannot appoint a nominee to fill a vacancy in the supreme court of your vacancy? i don't remember that. perhaps it is the case in some states but not illinois or no other state. the president was elected four years. to give that consent and authority to govern the nation in to fill the vacancies on the supreme court to see is directed to do by united states constitution and now they come up with a different
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spin. from their point of view he was not given the full power of office he was given something less he was not given the authority to fill a vacancy on the supreme court on the last year of his term. i invite my colleagues we have to on the floor here showed that historical precedent that shows proper obama president of the united states only has the authority for three years in two months and he is a lame duck president. give me the authority for that.
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they hang their hat on the speech made when he served the body 25 years ago. he is truly my friend and i respect him so much i was so surprised at all when i heard the senator from iowa say he gave a 20,000 words speeches he gave a law. i saw him deliver a few in they were a sight to behold and i think this one went 90 minutes as a then senator shared his view to fill judicial vacancies. and that they recommended it should consider was there ever any time that the senator denied a hearing to
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a supreme court nominee? no. was there ever a time as chairman he recommended to the senate they denied a vote or a presidential nomination to fill a supreme court vacancy? no. we'll cover the theory was asked joe biden was respectful of this document in do with the united states constitution said. i find it hard to imagine that the republican senators will walk away from this constitution i have the lovely the statement that i will conclude after remarks. which goes into the question why the republican majority continues to obstruct the
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appointment of judges in people to serve the executive period she. it has been unprecedented. , long ago they would not give this president the same treatment, this same respect as has been given our president. now it has been brought to front and center with this scully a vacancy on the supreme court. i disagree with scully on a law of things but i do not argue the the seventh circuit of my state when he said justice scalia was a major force of thinking and the supreme court. the philosophy is the
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original so people would market and time and again read the precise wording. i saw a different things than he did but that was his number start coming to a supreme court decision. the article ii, section ii one is says the president shall appoint that said the senate shall and advise and consent on the nominee nominee, there is little doubt with those words. if he relied on the president of united states history that united states senate has never denied a hearing to a presidential nominee until this moment in history, never refused a vote on the nominee until this moment, then he
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realized what has been done is unprecedented for and uncalled for. is my republican colleagues 54 of votes from disagree with the president's choice whoever it may be have an option there is a constitutional option to hold a hearing do the background check in the vote if you disagree though no. that is the regular order the constitutional way to approach this. as senator mcconnell said two days ago to have no
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hearing or no vote in refuses to meet with that person whoever it may be. that is the link they will go to to avoid facing the constitutional responsibility every senator has. eating'' his words are read them over again but the fact is he never stopped a hearing or he never stopped a vote the wording of the constitution and to go on at 20,000 words just a handful. , a handful we have sworn to uphold. history will not look kindly from the republican majority. it will not give them a pass
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history will ask time it again how could you ignore the constitution? is how did you ignore your responsibility? why won't you do your job? the job you were elected to do to fill this vacancy? is that victory worth this to turn your back on the history of this country? i don't think it is. and the republican senators go home to meet with their constituents over this weekend and the days ahead ahead, with the president sends the nominee i hope they will abide by the constitution to be respectful of this president to give the nominee the same consideration as was given throughout history. justice kennedy became a
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justice of the supreme court a democratic controlled senate and it gave him a vote a lame duck outgoing president a democratic senate did not refuse to meet with them or refuse a hearing or refuse a vote but said we will abide by the constitution. for this upcoming president he has the full authority of office. president barack above the deserves nothing less envious senators have a responsibility under the constitution regardless of what speech was made 25 years ago, and to pay close attention to these words to our constitutional duty. i yield the floor. >> the senator from utah.
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>> apparently some read because tuition differently than others. we do have an absolute right to consider the nomination but just for the record there are approximately 160 justices' nominated and 36 for some reason never got a vote. there is a law of presidents your the you can ignore and one that we should not ignore that my dear friend
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the majority leader and as chairman of the judiciary committee senator grassley by calling him in that -- in at dash german there is a reason for that kind of language on the floor even if it is true which it is not in the majority leader knows that it is not true. one of the most effective hard-working in the united states senate. as well as any chairman, and everybody knows they can treat people fairly so i hope they get rid of that kind of language. and with regard and with
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other issues. in for the republican to do this. it just should not happen. and after the late justice scalia i know him well. passing of one of the greatest supreme court justices and i rise to make the case to replace justice scalia. into situate properly though role of the judiciary. added in doing so much that justice scalia himself employed to address audiences that which part is
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most important to protect the liberties of the people invariably to provide answers as freedom of speech and religion the right to keep in their arms in the effects of unreasonable search and seizure. , justice scalia said that these protections are obvious in to make one crucial observation. and with those oppresses dictatorships typically have provisions akin to the bill of rights. something enshrining the constitutional text as consent? >> without objection.
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the accumulation of all powers legislative executive in judicial and the same hand is the very definition of tierney. to be still on this with the constitution and with the balance between three coequal branches of government. solyndra occupies a unique station to decide cases iran controversy in marbury vs. madison with the duty to say what the law is. to go on with life tenure and salary protection they have the power to hold the political branches to account this is the source of much of the brilliance of the constitution of the
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ability to restrain transient political majorities from exceeding their authority but however it is the source of one of the great potential pitfalls in which five lawyers can substitute their personal policy preferences for the executive and legislative branches there by usurping the people. to preserve limited government under the constitution it to say what the law is to make that judicial selection in process important. with that legislature critical roles by which we
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can maintain data integrity of the judicial bridge. and of that process article ii, section ii provides it shall appoint the judges of the supreme court and officers of the united states by granting to separate roles in the executive branch to nominate and a legislator brandt's with advice and consent to create rival interest. alexander hamilton explained the rationale of this allocation of federalist number 76. following the example of the constitution of massachusetts the responsibility for nominations of one officer to assure accountability and
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to guard against corruption. into improvements that characterized the appointment process by concentrating on the power of nomination and one person to create accountability or a lively sense ability and more exact regard to reputation. the favors expressly rejected that notion and by requiring to submit for the approval with any potential abuse of the nomination power. in to serve as an excellent checkup on favoritism and those unfit characters from
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family connections from personal attachment from popularity. although the practice of the early republic that the chief executive the history shows that the senate equally possesses the authority to reject or confirm the nominee with the text of the appointments clause with those considerations to take uplight the unfettered right with complete discretion to approve or even consider a nomination. colleagues on the other side have taken up the mantra that our job despite with the democrats are saying is
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the to follow a particular path whether to determine the most appropriate on that particular vacancy. that process that is not appropriate before us today in withhold consent just as valid and during that confirmation process with the most appropriate exercise. it depends on the circumstances. the senator has never confirmed the supreme court vacancy with a limited president's time in office. only the third time to occur
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only after the american people had started voting in the presidential election and. in the 1956 and 68 the senate did not confirm the nominee until the following year. that takes precedence. and since the supreme court justice has been nominated and the only time they have never confirmed that vacancy with the presidential election year was 1916. because chief justice hughes resigned his seat on the court with president woodrow
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wilson. they have reproached the election-year vacancies by present circumstances as the colleagues in the minority will say. with their constitutional actions with that unilateral cancellation with legal immigration. contrary to the text of a law. the willingness to ignore the statutory obligations with the president's decision to release the top five taliban leaders of where to find congress beforehand.
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those efforts to stretch those lawful authority is the executive branch does possess and in the confirmation process to a dozen times before the supreme court. is to elect the rates of president obama into the constitution is of the law the senate has every reason deliverly especially with appointments to the highest court in the land. that would hardly resulted in a constitutional crisis.
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with those vacancies that lasted more than two years. to accommodate the vacancy of liberal obstruction of two candidates by a republican president. what right do they have? id to take a yearlong leave of absence from justice jackson from the tribunal they wrote to him that having a temporary absence would not sacrifice a single interest. naturally we would all prefer to be flung out -- filled but it is not.
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more over for the court to consider various cases including a high-profile case such as arizona and vs united states or the university of texas and those even number of justices to keep the supreme court from functioning. in these situations with the split and an unlikely event to add a 38 of the refusals it is simply upheld. to gate and that vast majority along those
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ideological blind. typically less than 20% and even fewer along those lines. the court has the authority that a new justice is confirmed in quite simply the absence of the justice on the court and did it for of waiting until after the election in the minority leader read the same point in 2005 when he claimed the senate must always have the upper down vote.
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and referred to this chart right here. set forth in the constitution of the united states. and it says appointments should be made with the advice and consent of the senate. that is different than to say every nominee received a vote. that is our minority leader. >> with the minority leader on this point though with said that the clear language of the constitution requires the up or down confirmation vote.
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that claim is obviously wrong on its face the constitution says no such thing. from the minority leader standard they are rewriting the constitution to reinvent reality. to have the upper down confirmation is baffling for another reason. the minority whip a vote to filibuster nominees. to deprive traditional -- judicial nominees with the clear language to require you cannot have it both ways. and then as he repeated the observed the process until the next president takes office would be unprecedented.
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the filibuster is used were also unprecedented in the proper question is not if this is happen before but whether or not if it is a step to take now. it to decide how best to carry out the duty in a situation before us. thankfully we are not without guidance in making that judgment. and in 1982 the presidential election year that different parties controlled the white house and the senate, a judicial committee chairman now vice president by dint delivered was along this speech in his 19 years in this body.
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part of the confirmation of process to make a specific recommendation that if the supreme court vacancy occurred that president bush should consider the practice of a majority of predecessors to nominate that nominee. chairman biden said the senate judiciary committee should wait until after the political campaign season. . .


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