tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 17, 2016 12:00pm-2:01pm EST
to u.s. refineries. just to take a look at the magnitude of that, the average gas price in the u.s. refineries versus what the refineries in europe and singapore see that throughout that show guest boom gas prices0 9-2013, skyrocketed in those areas, especially in singapore and asia, where they bring high cost of lng. dollarsd below four iodough that whole per compared to our refiners in those areas. pricesdecrease in energy , there has been a compression of that advantage. still an advantage, but a compression. if you look at the table on the
left, you can see how that translates to a dollar per barrel operating cost at the refinery level. in 2013, gus refiners had anywhere from a two dollar to .2.50 per barrel cost operating that went down to the somewhere in the $1.50 range. that went down further to maybe down around a dollar compared to where you are comparing it to in 2015. is crude price environment also a big advantage for u.s. refiners. prior to the boom in u.s. production, u.s. imported significant volumes overall into the complex. brent compared to ls at st. --es, brent generally traded it's not really brent, but
all crudes related to brent traded that parity cou. that means it was price three dollars a barrel above dated brains. nd. as we started displacing those imports and domestic crude made its way into a refiner way, we had a great time from 2011-2013 where the brent ls spread was essentially zero. it average to where it was equal to each other. at the same time, regional crude differentials blew out. to threeushing rose dollars a barrel price below print. rocky mount-based crudes and refiners that could access those troops could make huge margins the has those crudes cannot make it to market. as we build pipelines to the gulf coast so u.s. gulf coast
refiners could access them, that moved down for some. of time. as the crew price environment production has not declined very much, but it has declined. we have moved back toward volatile ls and brent trading at about the same level depending on the day you look at it and we are probably moving toward an important level depending on happens over the next three years. all this has driven a huge in the refined refinery balance between the u.s. and the rest the world could -- and the rest of the world . where6, we reached levels we had a net import of 3 million barrels a day of product. with that increasing competitiveness comes time a ,ecrease in domestic demand
that allows us to take market share away from other world refiners, particularly european thaters come and to fill growing gap in latin america that we saw. that has allowed us to completely reverse pattern. theave gone from world largest importer to the world's largest importer of products. of 5.5 million barrels a day, which is huge. the u.s. is a big country. we have by far twice as much refining capacity than anywhere else in the world. is one of the most challenged sectors. the u.s. actually lost in some capacity, but they have stanched that lost by being able to make it investments by building real facilities.
it is obviously still a competitive market and they are disadvantaged by crude exports. a liberalized th european refiner could get it cheaper than a refiner on the east coast in the u.s.. ii experience significant discounts and a lot of that avenge has gone away as pipelines have been built to move that crude further down the line. it is also gone a way in this lower crude price environment. iii, if out there by itself, would be the largest refinery system in the world. its prospects depend on what part of padd iii you are talking about. in the panhandle of west texas and south texas, they did very well. they realized some of those big domestic discounts.
as significant infrastructure has been built so most of the padd can access those crudes, the big thing in padd iii has been increase in exports. both exports markets right now. is the smallest deal. they are the only region where the impact of production of crude succeeds the impact production of crude products. access tohave good the not anymore growing canadian production could they and they had good access to the balkan production next door. demand had been stable, but limited room to do much there. .ere far apart
mostv used to be the challenging environment. just a very challenging regulatory environment. they had declining demand until recently. that has moved the region itself from being in a small deficit to being a small surplus when all refineries are running. the key is that not all refineries run all the time and we had major outages last year. a facility in torrance was down and is still down. gasoline a significant shortage there appeared to have the bring it from overseas and it's not connected well in the gulf coast. in times like that, you can enjoy very good margins like we saw last year. production, and if we include alaska also, it is declining. just last week, we heard that alero, who is applying for
permit to build a rail facility at the mcneese refinery, that got turned down by the local planning commission. like a mentioned, it's a challenging environmental regulatory environment and that will always be the challenge for them. what has that meant for margins? the golden age of refining is that era that was demand driven where refiners experience the best margins they have ever had. all regions in the u.s. did really well there. the financial crisis in the world obviously hurt margins and hurt demand. to that tooke place in 2011 until now was even better, especially for those refiners as you can see in the midcontinent and rocky mountains. 2015, even as margins have declined a bit, they were still very good. they were driven by strong
demand incentivized by low prices. the u.s. west coast had critically strong margins because of the supply shortages there. margins have gone down so far this year. this is a winter season and they typically go down. personally think it's relatively temporary. the west coast is still strong and that's once facility will come back online in the next few months and you will see the margins contract to some degree. the u.s. has been winning against the rest of the world. margins have been significantly higher than the rest of the world. they are significantly higher in 2015 even though we star see -- start to see some pickup of demand in europe. here recently they have contracted partly because of these compressed advantages from the cost side and crude cost side. looking at it from a sector standpoint, this starts from 2013.
all segments of the business did really well. up until 20 and from 2013 up until crude prices started falling in the second half of prices startedhe falling, the independent producers, the green line obviously did the worst and felt a quick history -- sell the quickest. they have been upstream oriented. they also declined. the midstream guys help their own from an equity performance standpoint until recently. by now, all three of those segments are below on an average basis where they were in 2013. only the refiners have done better and they have taken a hit here in the last 3-4 months of margins have contracted to some degree. comparing the integrated majors , youe independent refiners drivingthat net income the growth and equity values has been driven by positive margins, which has led to positive net
income. at 30% growth in net income has grown as crude demand prices went up. just the opposite is true of the and agree to majors. they are so upstream focus these days that whatever profits they made in refining was more than subsumed by the losses they received on the production side. their net income is down by 80% and that does include some special items. s aree way, the independent the four majors of exxon, shell, bp, and chevron. s have beented moving toward getting rid of the refineries and going more toward the production side. that strategy worked well for them. back in 2000 and seven and eight inre prices were up -- back 2007 and 2008 where prices were up, they did well. this latest production boom from
2011-2014, over 40% of their earnings come from production side. here in 2015, that has been completely reversed. over 80% of their earnings came from what refineries they still have remaining. again, that was not enough to compensate for the loss from the upstream side because it becomes so upstream focus. some final thoughts on key , that -- lower for longer is something that's an overused phrase, but everyone's an agreement that we are going to be there -- lower for longer. clear thatty it's not good for the upstream segment. it's more complex for the downstream segment. demandces incentivize and can also lead to higher prices on demand that do not track crude prices like chemical feedstocks and lubricants.
as prices have fallen in the first euro to, they can get a ang as prices stay lower for longer. there is also a negative. you have compression of crude benefits as we have seen already as natural gas cost benefits versus the rest of the world. it is regionally specific. regions where product demand is somewhat related to the health of the oil industry, that is bad for refiners as well and also bad for their ability to access crude at bigger discounts. we have seen that not just in the u.s. but across the world. ban -- the crude export almost all the time in the last couple of years that i spent in washington, it was related to that issue. a lot of people did a lot of study on this. it was a big big deal. of thousands and millions of dollars were spent on study showing why it's good, wife's bad.
-- why it's bad. when it went down december, it was a whimper because there was no incentive to recruit from the u.s. environment and the were not be ad there will limited incentive in the near term. and the longer term, it will matter. we will get back to crude production growth. it will be a market where exports are incentivize. it will prevent these large domestic discounts materializing. it also removes the incentive to build the so-called crude to product projects that otherwise would have been built to get around the band. east coast refiners a disadvantage. boil market distortions have not been removed. a guy and rotterdam can get a barrel of crude cheaper from the gulf coast than a guy from kilduff you can. -- philadelphia can. relations will always be important. it's a regulated business obviously.
what happens in the next election will tell a lot about what happens in the first two items. the rfs standard is being revisited as we hit the wall. that andther go the on or more ethanol in the pool displacing petroleum based material and gasoline pool or we can move that. who knows what is going to happen there? there are other incentives for other alternative fuels. carbon taxes and other petroleum focused taxes -- we had one thrown out he recently. we won't see it in a republican congress, but twice 16 and 2017 could be a different story could -- 2016 and 2017 could be a different story. be important to refiners. some more stringent environmental regulation to go forward regardless of the election results.
that will increase costs to refiners to some degree. it will make our taymor expensive -- octane more expensive. the low sulfur bunker fuels will have impacts on both the residual markets and the diesel markets. product demand is obviously very key. hear about peak oil anymore, but when people do talk about pete manfred -- peak demand. howard showed that he does not believe in peak demand and neither do we or iea. it is harder and harder to predict where it's going to be. it does relate to economic growth. it is harder to predict that economic growth. and thegoing to return demand and develop in countries will be stronger because the demographics and the maturation levels. the lifestyle changes are going to be very important in the developing economies. working from home and reopen as
asian and things like that worked to suppress product demand. impactedl be , butchnology breaks a breakthrough is a breakthrough because no one can foresee it, so who knows? autonomous vehicles keep getting talk about. what impact it will have on demand is a difficult one to know. overall, i believe that u.s. refiners will continue to be winners in the world of refining. their ability to maintain and even grow out of exports can be key because domestic demand has only seen a short-term renaissance here in this low price environment. be essentially stagnant going forward. it is critical for the gulf coast guys and is challenged by the additional refining capacity, not just in other places that import our product, but also as david mentioned, the construction of refineries and export in countries.
. some of come online and some are planned. the industry is there, but has been muted now. the healthy midstream industry will help make a healthier refining industry. i did skip over that point about regulations, but that is a key one. for us to continue to be leaders, we have to make sure that regulations do not handicap us too much. that is always a possibility that they could. this is a huge trade balance issue for the u.s. the most important manufacturing industry in the u.s. in terms of trade balance when it comes down to it if you look at the numbers. the one thing i do expect that these things go as we expect, there will be more rationalizations and the other developed countries like japan and asia and europe. they still have overhang of
capacity. with that, i am done. i ran over a little bit, but that's ok. [applause] all right, so we promised you a lot of content. you delivered with an exceptional amount of insight and a little bit of humor. let me take two questions before we call today. the only rules we have is identify yourself, wait for a microphone, and ask your question in a form of the question and then we can wrapup. up front.n > a couple major pieces of legislations require a strong reserve to sell oil. what a some should have in your what are some of the projections that you have in 2014?
>> in the beginning of fiscal 2018, which is the last three months of 2017, i think one of the sales starts to kick in, but the sales are very backloaded. in the budget legislation, they were largely backloaded, so there is not much. i forget the numbers. but i remember it being in the thousands or low 10 thousands. it was very low 10 thousands of barrels per day. it does not make a big effect in 2016. 2025u go out to 2024 or when the larger things appear, they get to be more material. >> anyone else? ariel cohen -- any
thoughts on how aamco may affect production? thank you. >> let me take a stab at that. this is part of a sort of saudier image of the royal family decision-making, which has been always very quiet as i mentioned earlier. they are taking a higher profile through the to mohammed's, but particularly mohammed bin salman. he was the one that proposed this. i think it is to say that we -- we want to be part of the commercial world more than we are today. that is the outside message. the inside message is that we want to distribute the income around from probably are major asset to the saudi people.
toould be very interested see what kind of restrictions they may put on who gets to own it. it will trade on the saudi exchange. dust getting onto the exchange first, which seems to be a doable thing, is not all of it. it does not go over 49%, so in terms of -- and i would be surprised if it went over 10% or 15%, the model has some of the downstream refining joint venture arrangements. so it's a sharing. they can bring in some money, which is not a small thing for them. remember there was an $800 islion pile of stuff, which more like $600 billion in terms of the current account funding theseis required at lower oil prices. that as others have made it a point that this is a major part of the decision-making looking at their
financial position. i don't agree with that. my thinking is that not only is it a big pile, but they're so much more behind that. all of us would loan money to saudi arabia. we don't get interest, but we get a fee, so it's ok islamic ally. >> this discussion today has left father for future sessions . thank you for coming and please join me in welcoming and thanking our panel. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
>> white house press secretary josh earnest will be briefing reporters today in just a couple of minutes. it is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. eastern. when it gets under way, you can see it live right here on c-span. we havep later today, more road to the white house coverage for you today on c-span. republicanina's presence of primary is this coming evening saturday. a have donald trump with campaign rally in walterboro, south carolina. 6:00 p.m., marco rubio is
pulling a town hall meeting in chapin, south carolina. you can see both donald trump and marco rubio live here on c-span. during campaign 2016, c-span takes you on the road to the white house. as we follow the candidates on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. ♪ again, we are just a minutes away from today's white house briefing scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. eastern. we will have it live on eastman. from now, a conversation today's "washington journal." host: we are back with david savage from the "l.a. times." let's begin with president obama yesterday at the news conference. we showed this to our viewers earlier. i want to get your reaction to
what you said about this process. president obama the constitution : is pretty clear about what is supposed to happen now. when there is a vacancy on the supreme court, the president of the united states is to nominate someone. the senate is to consider that nomination. and either they disapprove of that nominee or that nominee is elevated to the supreme court. historically, this has not been viewed as a question. there is no unwritten law that says that it can only be done on off years. that isn't in the constitutional text. i'm amused when i hear people who claim to be strict interpreters of the constitution suddenly reading into it a whole series of provisions that are not there. there is more than enough time
for the senate to consider in a thoughtful way the record of the nominee that i percent and to -- present and to make a decision. host: your piece for "the l.a. says obama will follow the original intent of the constitution. guest: it was a very shrewd and smart argument. this is about justice scalia and his replacement. justice scalia was known as the advocate of following the original meaning of the constitution, the original text of the conversation. mitch mcconnell came out and said right away we would not act on anything this year. and the president said come on, look at the constitution. it says the president shall nominate and the senate will advise and consent. i thought it was a very nice way to sort of frame the debate. i think it puts the republicans in a very difficult situation if they want to say, no hearings, no nothing.
my guest and the likelihood is that they will have a hearing somewhere down the road. obama is quite clear though that the senate is not obliged to approve the president's nominee. it's just that they should advise and consider the nominee and give give their consent. a very smart way to frame it. host: what does that mean, advise and consent? guest: it could mean a lot of different things in the modern era. it has basically been you should consider the nomination and vote. there is at least some tradition that goes way back to when i first started doing this in the mid-1980's. president reagan was in the office and a vacancy came up at biden was chairman of the senate judiciary committee and there was a back-and-forth discussion. the white house had 10 names. they ran them by joe biden's people and senator biden said we could go along with these names but not this name. one of the names they said don't
go with was robert bork. one of the names they would go along with was anthony kennedy. and reagan nominated kennedy and 97-0 in a democratic senate. so advise and consent means a process like that where the president and the senators have some consultation and discussion about who would be a good choice. host: the current chairman is chuck grassley and he has said he is open to hearings. guest: i think that's what he said. originally come he seemed to say, shortly after justice scalia's death, that this should be reserved to the next president. and then he had an interview with radio reporters in iowa where he seemed to say, we will take it one step at a time. he seemed to say he was open to holding a hearing. and i don't have inside knowledge on this but my belief ofn this is that because
public pressure and whatnot, the senate will at least hold a hearing and consider the president's nominee assuming it's not somebody who they think is sight unseen unacceptable. they have got themselves in a situation now where they won't consider no matter who it is even though we don't know who , the nominee is. i think there will be hearings and somewhere a vote down the road. host: we will talk about the impact of having a vacancy for a year. but before we do that, what is process for picking a nominee from the white house? what is your gut telling you about how long this might take? will he move quickly or will it be a month or two? guest: a month or two. i only know what the white house people are saying and they are saying it may take about a month. they don't have a set of names ready to go. the president has been in california, working on other matters. so what we were told is that a
they were really just getting started in considering nominations and names. this is a real tough choice. , butare all tough choices this one is particular so because early on and the administration, they had a couple of favorite candidates like sonia sotomayor elena kagan, but this is near the end and you are replacing the most powerful, strongest conservative voice. so it seems to me, you have to take that into account. so i think it's a very tough choice as to who the president takes. he would want somebody who would be seen as both qualified and capable of doing the job and a good sort of balanced figure. we will see whether he picks someone who looks liberal or in the middle of the road. host: so he has to consider who he is replacing. what does that mean for the time spent considering the nominee once he makes that pick? guest: in the senate? host: yeah.
guest: that will be interesting, too. president picks the judge on the d.c. circuit, a lot of people talk about him. he got a unanimous confirmation. i went to his hearing and ted cruz spoke well of him and i thought, that is a good thing on your side. they were clerks at the supreme court for the same years. sri clerked for justice o'connor and ted cruz clerked for justice red- william rehnquist so if president barack obama chooses sri srinivasan and he is approved positively and ted cruz has spoken well of him, that would seem like a good start. that therell bet would be a lot of objections on the republican side, but it would be an interesting debate and calculation. it seems to me if you are a republican senator, at some point you have to come up with the argument that this person is not acceptable for this reason.
you can just say no. you have got to explain why this person is not qualified or not acceptable or not the right person. host: phone lines are lighting up. people are engaged in this conversation that's happening in washington. harold in florida. you are up first. caller: i started to think of a question, but let me get to another. what about the 80 year so-called policy of not nominating someone in the last year of a president's term? there's only been one person who was nominated the year before that and in the last year, got confirmed. it seems to me that the senate and the president are very clear as to the president being the lame-duck and he is about to leave and it's just not fair for him to put someone on the court who may be there for the next four terms. host: we will take that.
guest: i will give you a version of the barack obama answer from yesterday, which is that is somewhat of an unwritten precedent. it's a made-up rule. in 1956, in the middle of the campaign, one of the justices retired and president eisenhower inked william brennan october of 1956 and put him on the court in a recess appointment a month before the election. he served for 34 years. people talked about the justice kennedy situation. he was nominated november 1987 and confirmed in 1988 . it is a right thing to say that it is a matter of understanding. i said to people. a summernd i can plan vacation this year because they will not be a vacancy this year. none of the justices are going to choose to retire in the middle of the election campaign. but somebody as what happened, someone can die suddenly and there is a vacancy. so it doesn't happen a lot because the justices don't want
to get in the middle of a presidential election year. nobody intended this to play out this way, but it is a vacancy and the president has nearly a another year in office. i do think if i were a republican, i would say there is a precedent against this, but it's sort of a made up precedent. how could president obama's nominee to the leaning of the court? guest: the court is sort of like this and he put somebody on the left, it's like this. host: right now, it was balanced. guest: there are so many big issues -- affirmative action, abortion, environmental protection, death penalty, gay rights, gun rights -- there are so many issues where it is a 5-4 or 4-4 and justice kennedy.
where if justice kennedy is on the right side then there is a conservative minority but on the other way, there's a liberal minority. just a week ago, the court on a 5-4 vote emergency order stopped president obama's climate change policy from taking effect. that is a big deal. it is because the coal producing states could go to the supreme court and say you have to stop this while the litigation plays out. they granted it. now, the very same thing would come up and it is a 4-4 split. so almost all the really contentious issues -- it is a one-vote matter. so to get back to trying to answer your question, if there were a liberal leaning justice to replace justice scalia, the balance would tip to the left on all those big issues. and that is why republicans are so insistent that we are not
going to allow you to replace the most conservative or at least the strongest conservative voice with a liberal justice. it would be a real seachange at the court . host: david savage reported that if there is a 4-4 decision with the vacancy, it means the lower court's last ruling on an issue stands. we go to lydia, an independent. caller: good morning and thank you for this opportunity. i think the following will tip the balance. the balance will be tipped with fair play. i want president obama to go deep. i want him to be so involved. and i also want him to put on his wall, the picture that was in yesterday's "new york times" sports section, showing jackie robinson dressed in a suit, standing at a podium, looking at and facing a group of young men, all seated in their suits facing
him. and he was captivating. obviously for one reason -- because he represented something different and that was fair play. that is what we have to do. we have to go outside of this venue that is set up by mitch mcconnell and everybody else. and we need to take it to the venue of fair play. i want that introduced into his presidential library. that is where we have to go for the young people. that has to be the qualification he needs to look at for his next new supreme court justice. host: all right. guest: i like that argument. i agree, that is a wonderful photo. i agree with the idea it would be nice and maybe it's too much to believe -- you have the right
idealistic sense. that a president could find somebody who would be seen as both a person who would be fair, balanced, follow the constitution, not an ideologue of the left or the right. i think a lot of people would be very happy. the difficulty is finding that person or even defining exactly what that means. -- you people do have cannot get around the fact that the supreme court, by its nature, gets the hard legal questions where people are genuinely divided. you don't need a supreme court to decide issues where everybody agrees what the law is. so there is something to be said for the fact the court gets these really hard issues where there is a very good argument on both sides. but i agree with the instinct. it would be nice to say that this person is extremely fair-minded and idealistic and
honorable person and i could trust this person to do the right thing on the supreme court. host: rosalie in nevada. a democrat. caller: i have that same issue. the supreme court is supposed to be above the politics. the nominee should be someone who is about the politics and interprets the constitution in the way that it is meant to be. host: and does that include your governor? caller: i would imagine? if he gets elected as a supreme court justice, then he would have to be above politics. anybody would be. anybody elected to that position would have to be above politics could host: i want to stop you because you are using the word elected. they are not elected, they are nominated.
what about this prospect? andt: if we had gone back number of years, i would've thought that some but he would say the really smart thing to do is to find a moderate-liberal republican, someone who the like but also a republican, someone the republicans would like. i don't know if the governor of nevada is such a person. i don't know of a lot of those people. what has been going on with the court is a little bit like what has been going on with congress. if you go back through the years, there were a lot of moderates in both parties. there were liberal moderate republicans and conservative democrats. there were a lot of people in the middle. the supreme court 30 years ago had a series of republican appointees who were very livable some of them, they had a , conservative democrat. there were people like lewis powell and sandra o'connor. there were two or three justices
and it was hard to figure out how they would come up. increasingly, the presidents have done a better job from picking nominees who really reflect the mainstream views of their party. president bill clinton and president bush and president obama. so increasingly, you get a supreme court where there are not, other than justice kennedy, not people who are in the middle. you get people who are strong on the side or the other. maybe this is a possibility to find somebody who is more of the old-style, somebody who is agreeing with the liberals on some issues and with the conservatives on other issues but is not predictable. congressman tim disagreed. he says the constitution is clear. the house members said it is long past time to stand up to obama. a lifetime appointment to scotus should not be made by a lame
duck. john in west palm beach, florida, republican. good morning. caller: give me a minute, i don't mean to correct you but they are elected, in a way. they get a vote in the committee and then they get a vote in the senate. from the lady who mentioned jackie robinson, a lot of people don't realize he was a republican. as far as the qualifications for the supreme court nominee, there are none. he could be a janitor. he could be a doctor. he could be anyone who can read theiasedly and constitution and learn the constitution and know what it means. this is a beautiful example. mr. savage mentioned brennan and he was a democrat. that is a slamdunk. eisenhower, a democratic congress back in 1956. and don't forget that kennedy was the third choice. first, there was ginsburg. then there was robert bork and
then there was kennedy. that was about a 1.5 year process. that was not really an election year. what i think is the people should the side and in election years, that is what has happened. if people want a liberal, they will vote democrat and if they want to conservative they will , vote republican. so let the people decide. let's all try to be a little more educated when we call in. not that i am that smart, but i would appreciate if we could have some truthful answers. host: all right, john. guest: let me see. the constitution allows the president and says the president shall make this nomination. the senate gets to vote on it. if the republican senate votes to disapprove president obama's nomination and the vacancy remains into november, then, of course yes. , the voters will be in effect, be choosing by whoever the next
president is. but i do think it is strange to say, let's follow the constitution but let's not allow , this president's nominee to be considered because there is an election coming up. it seems to me the president should make the nomination and the senate should vote. and then, it may well turn out that in november, the election will in effect decide who gets to fill the seat. host: how many votes does the president need for the nominee? guest: a good question. the constitution would say 51. it is just a majority. there is no two thirds requirement. on the other hand, in the senate , there is always the filibuster notion -- that you can block a vote . unless you have 60 votes to end a debate, you can prevent a vote. the filibuster may not come into
play because the republicans have a majority anyway. they could vote down a nomination. it is true that thomas won in a democratically controlled senate on a 52-48 vote. so they are not all 97-0. sometimes they are really close. anyway, the answer to your question is you just need a majority. host: the reaction on twitter from the public and senators to the president. cornyn tweeted out that schumer in 2007 said do not refer any supreme court nominee and senator alexander said on the question of whether this or the next president replace scalia on the supreme court, i think it is reasonable to give the amazing people a voice by allowing the next president to fill this lifetime appointment. he goes on to write that on twitter. and senator roy blunt saying the senate should confirm a new when the scotus
americans will be voting on a new president in a few short months. guest: they seem to agree on their lines. don't they? senator schumer put out a further statement about what he said in 2007 and i don't know whether he is correcting the record, but he said we shouldn't approve anybody who is not a mainstream candidate. that was his phrase. and schumer repeated that and said, that is still my position. in the senate, you could vote anyway you want, but my position was you should approve a mainstream candidate. a mainstream nominee, whatever that means. schumer was saying i'm not saying we shouldn't approve everybody, but when democrats were in charge, we could insist that it be a mainstream nominee and not a conservative ideologue. republicans may come around to say that this nominee is not a mainstream nominee. liberale is a liv ideologue and that is why i
am voting against him or her. host: others are pointing to what senator obama had to say and 26 about justice alito's nomination. i want to show you what we found in our archives. this is present obama back in 2006 after he met with the bush about his visit to iran. he was asked in the end what he was opposing justice alito and he gives his reasons on opposing qualifications. take a listen. [video clip] president obama judge alito is a : capable and intelligent judge. if you look at his track record however, it appears that he believes in an unconstrained executive branch and does not seem to have much concern or regard for the most vulnerable in our society. that is the reason i will be voting no against him. it?t: it is amazing, isn't
i have mentioned that to justice alito a year ago and they went back and looked at what president barack obama said and it is a great example of how things change in this town. 10 years ago, the democrat's position was president bush has gone overboard with the commander-in-chief power and we need to sort of rein in the executive. and then senator obama said he wasn't confident that judge alito would rein in the executive. now that it's completely flipped. it is conservatives and republicans saying we need to rein in executive authority used by president obama. it is amusing to think that. that was the reason why he was voting against alito. he did not give much of an answer yesterday, by the way, to that question. he was asked about that question and didn't you sort of joint a filibuster? i didn't exactly understand the answer. he said there were a lot of reasons and in the end, alito got a vote and it was approved. he did not exactly explain his
joining an attempt to block a vote on alito. host: from illinois, ron. caller: hello, good morning david. segment, theres has been some discussion about having a protestant or an evangelical christian on the supreme court. at present, there are rules in effect in a number of corporations that don't allow controversial speech. personally speaking, that has gotten so extreme so that if i say god bless as a form of goodbye to people, i am holding hauled into the boss's office and told that i'm not allowed to say that because it is controversial. i have been suspended because of religious discussions i have had
with other people in the break room. so tie this into the conversation. you don't think religion should play a role or you do? anler: i think we need evangelical christian on the supreme court because there is discrimination going on right now in the workplace against christian speech. host: ok, i have got your point. guest: i would say that there are four or five or maybe nine who have been sympathetic to that view. the justices have been very concerned about religious liberty and that has been the whole debate on the contraceptive mandate cases. there were some 9-0 rulings in favor of religious liberty. it is not the case that you are referring to, a workplace dispute about an unusual policy,
the way you describe it. it is correct to say that there is nobody who is "an evangelical christian." there have been several catholic justices and they have spoken and written very strongly on the principle of religious liberty. and that is religious liberty being suppressed by the government, not a private workplace situation. so yes, there are no evangelicals on the current court, but i think there are strong believers in the importance of religious liberty. host: silver spring maryland, , darren is next. you are on the air. caller: i think my question has been answered a little bit, but what i was going to see that both obama and mcconnell are both correct because they both have a role to play at his that is outlined already to nominate a justice and then to advise and consent on a justice. they don't give a timeline on
when the consent needs to take place. host: let's take that point. guest: i agree with that. with the one caveat that senator mcconnell seemed to be saying, we shouldn't consider this nomination. we should wait to the next president. if senator mcconnell's position becomes we ought to take a look at this nomination, it is our job to advise and consent and we do not have to approve this nomination then i , agree that both of them are stating the position laid out in the constitution. host: who are some names that are being floated as a possible pit for president obama? guest: i don't have a lot of good ones. we talked about sri srinivasan. there is the d.c. circuit judge in boston. i think in the normal course of things, he is a judge that a lot of republicans would like. he was a prosecutor back at the time of the oklahoma city
bombing. he is a very good judge and a very much admired person. so he could be a possibility. there are other judges on the d.c. circuit. there is a judge from iowa, jane kelly, who was a unanimous confirmation. she was backed by charles grassley, who would be an intriguing take if the president would choose her. the judge on the ninth circuit, paul watford, from southern california and went to berkeley and ucla. he was an assistant u.s. attorney in los angeles and once clicked for ruth ginsburg. another highly regarded judge, an african-american who could be .hosen coul i have heard some people talk about loretta lynch, the attorney general, and jeh
johnson, the homeland security secretary. it is hard to figure out where president barack obama will go with this pick. always, there is talk about, why don't we find somebody who is not just a judge. remember when bill clinton was president? there was a lot of talk about picking someone who was a bigger figure in politics. i'm sure there will be some senator's names. there is the senator from minnesota. it turns out that in the end, they go back to picking someone whose career has been as a judge. host: some saying possibly a dream candidate for liberals would be senator elizabeth warren. guest: yes, that would be an interesting pick. but wouldn't you guess, that is the pick to say who the to the democratic base, here is who we would really like? and the republicans immediately would be here is who we really would not allow?
that is a way to say and the november election, here is the kind of person that a democratic president would put on the court. my guess is that she wouldn't be somebody who the republicans would say, that is the nominee that we will go along with . guest: by the way, senator hatch has said to the president, it don't take me to replace justice scalia. guest: he has dropped out early. [laughter] host: that is a headline in politico. we are talking to david savage from "the l.a. times." we have about 10-15 minutes left. we're taking your comments and thoughts. we're going to tennessee, a democrat. caller: good morning. i feel that we live in a country where it takes a caucasian to speak out for us. " saidhar on "the view
that this is a racist act, but my comment on this is the i think the president should nominate himself. he is a scholar in the area of constitutional law. he has been a state senator and a u.s. senator and now has been president. he could be the next chief justice. host: ok. guest: there is a small point. he couldn't actually be the next chief justice because that is a position that is not chosen from within the court coul and john roberts is in that seat. i don't know whether the answer to the question that you implicitly raised whether the president could nominate himself? i do know a lot of people who would say that present obama would be a terrific supreme court justice after he leaves the white house because he is a very smart scholarly person who , certainly could do the job and do it well. my belief is that he probably
has other things he wants to do. and i'm pretty sure he will not actually nominate himself. maybe in 5-10 years, someone will say, he is the ideal. former president out: our history buffs there about of william howard taft as presidents who served. whot: taft is someone became president, but wanted to be a judge. he had been a judge early on and became president. he had a difficult for years and was voted out in 1912. 1921, it was chosen to be the chief justice and served and died in 1930. it was said to be a very effective chief justice. he was the one responsible for the building behind us. the supreme court was housed in
the senate. in the 1930's, the new building open. taft is the one who pushed for a separate building for the supreme court. jo a in clifton, virginia republican. of tryingd the spirit to get a candidate an office in november, i step back from the policy. in the age of the internet and social media, it would be great that our party would socialize the people we would accept and give this president a chance to pick out of that pool. votershow the american that we can get something done in this political climate on something so important as a judge. being that we clobbered with the
vote, do you think that is a set ?ack from reality if you wait until november, you risk losing the ability to the influence of a pick. sure that it will be new to have social media picked the nominee. i do think there's a version of that they could take place. -- there was a discussion about various names of the next couple of weeks. a lot of people on the republican side say here will be a great nominee to fill the scalia seat. as i mentioned, there's no reason that mitch mcconnell couldn't have some discussion with the obama white house and say here some people who we
would look fondly on. if you were to name someone so, we would be willing to give that person a hearing and be inclined to prove it. there is no reason that can't happen. there's no reason why the republicans cannot agree on it. here are some nominees, judges with a political background, but a good legal background that good person.be host: let's go to mike in pittsburgh on the independent mind. caller: i'm curious to know justice scalia's views. was he an anomaly on the court? did he -- i have never taken any civics classes. they have always talked about the constitution being a breathing document and iowa subscribed to that. now, where his
views an anomaly or whether others? moscow --dy to go to when did you go to law school? go, i got my bachelors of science. guest: when he came on, the living constitution -- the constitution adapts and changes with the times. a classic example is that the 14th amendment's equal protection of the laws. until the 1970's, the understanding was that you could have lost that discriminated between men and women. in 1868,me court said they may not of been thinking about sex discrimination, but today we will not allow laws that treat men and women differently. that was an example of the constitution. , but wee same phrase
see you quality differently than we saw in the past. the constitution changes with the times. justice scalia is a proponent of the original meaning and sticking to the plaintext. i think it is hard to answer that question. i think that has had a big influence on the discussion and debate about law around the country and law schools. it has not had a great impact within the supreme court. decisionsnue to make -- they have never gone to the strict scalia view of sticking to the original meaning. it is frequently very hard to answer that question. againstke, who could be the text? the second amendment says a new
well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state and the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. mean?oes that sentence is that about an individual or is thatn a gun -- about having a well regulated militia? there was a lot of evidence that when that clause was put in, the anti-federalist were saying that the constitution is giving too much power to the federal government. we need to have the right to have our own militia. that was the history. when justice scalia wrote a famous opinion on that in 2008, he adopted the individual rights view. there were some history going back to the english bill of rights where there is the discussion about people having the right to be armed. sec. earnest: afternoon everybody.
welcome back from california, those of you who traveled with the president. we will do one quick announcement before we get started. it is an update to the president's schedule. today, the president is toointing tom donald letton share on the commission of national cyber security. he is also appointing the former ceo of ibm to serve as vice chair. the president announced the establishment of this commitment on february 9 as part of his cyber security action plan. that plan was the capstone of more than seven years of determined effort by this administration. building upon lessons learned from cyber security trends and intrusions. it directs the federal government to take action now and fosters the conditions required for long-term improvements across the federal government. these appointees have expanded
the challenges presented by today's digital economy from different perspectives. and mr. paul from the challenges such security presents to the american companies. the president expects both of these men to bring their experiences and said the country on a path of ensuring cyber security over the next decade. the president has had confidence in these men being able to deliver detailed recommendations on actions that can be taken over the next decade to enhance cyber security. the commission that they will share will report to the president with specific findings and recommendations before the end of this year. the president will meet with these two individuals in the oval office later this afternoon. at the conclusion of that allow the pooll
and to take a picture in here the president talked briefly. i think we're looking at the 3:00 hour. we will have more details coming shortly. with that important piece of news out of the way, josh let's go to your questions. senator cornyn have suggested that the broker be open to possibly having a hearing on the president's supreme court nominee. coming off what we heard mcconnell and republicans say earlier, do you see republicans coming around on this issue? i thinknest: a republicans will speak for themselves.
we know with the constitution says and what their position should be. whether there is a vacancy on the supreme court, it is the responsibility of the president of the united states to fill the vacancy. responsibility of the united states senate as an institution to give that individual fair hearing in a timely vote. -- wetainly would expect certainly would expect the senate to do it primarily because the constitution of the united states does not include any specific exceptions for an election year. the president is here to do his job in the senate should do theirs. >> the white house has been deeply engaged in talking with members of congress about this process. do you feel that they are making any headway? sec. earnest: the positions that republicans are going to express, i will let them decide whether or not they would do that. it is clear what the constitution expects of them.
it is also pretty clear what the american people expect of them. american people show up and do their job every day. they don't take days off just because they have some other big meeting around the corner. think the american people expect of the senate will show thoughdo their job even they have a big election around the corner. >> the president plans to travel orthe court on friday attendee federal on saturday. sec. earnest: josh, you have good sources. the president and first lady on friday will travel to the supreme court to pay their scalia as heustice lies in repose at the supreme court. i can tell you that vice president biden and dr. jill biden will attend justice scalia's federal at the silica on saturday. >> the president will not attend
the funeral on saturday? sec. earnest: the president will pay his respects at the supreme court on friday. >> if the white house that your prospects of getting a nominee are confirmed barnhill -- nill, it makes more sense to pick a nominee that would make more of a splash politically and could rile up democrats and republicans. how does the white house view that argument? sec. earnest: what we're focusing on right now is for filling the president's constitutional duty to nominate someone to fill the vacancy of the supreme court. that is what the constitution requires and that is what the president and his team are focused on doing. as the president pointed out, there's ample time for him to make the decisions and for the senate to fulfill their constitutional responsibility to give that individual fair hearing and a timely vote. and for that individual to
present to the supreme court. -- the sand to the supreme court -- ascend to the supreme court. we can take a look at the statistics, but it would be virtually unprecedented for there to be a vacancy. certainly the president did in the market area -- tara for there to be a vacancy in the supreme court. that is what would happen if this senate not fulfill the constitutional responsibility. focused on we are what the constitution requires of the president. we are engaged in a process. there's ample time, but we will move expeditiously to work to this process and choose and put forward the person that the canident best believes fulfill the responsibilities that come with a lifetime
appointment to the supreme court. >> there is a dispute between a courtd the fbi over order that they allow the fbi to access the cell phone used in relation to the san bernardino shooting. as the white house want apple to comply with that order? sec. earnest: this is directly related to the fbi's ongoing investigation of the terrorist attack in san bernardino. this is an investigation that is being conducted by an independent law enforcement officer. they have made a case to the that this telephone -- the iphone those made that's owned by the -- that was owned by the san bernardino public health, but was used by one of the terrorists.
that they should have access to that phone and that apple should disable the auto the race security feature on fun. that is the case they've made to the court and the court issued the ruling indicating its agreement. for questions about whether or not that is appropriate for what additional steps the department of justice will take his apple chooses to appeal the rule, i would refer to the department of justice and the fbi because they are leading the investigation. >> placed directly into this broader issue of cyber security. the concept of whether tech companies should be forced to allow the kind of access to their products for law enforcement. in general, do you think -- do you think that the white house should be able to have access to that information? sec. earnest: it is important to
know with the department of justice is requesting. they are not asking apple to redesign this product will create a new backdoor to one of their products. they are simply asking for something that would have an impact on this one device. for the merits of that argument and why the department of justice has concluded that it is important, i would refer to them. the department of justice and the fbi can count on the full support of the white house as they conduct an investigation to learn as much as they possibly can about this particular incident. the president certainly believes that that is an important national priority. it is also up to these law enforcement professionals to do that. that is what they are trying to do. >> going back to the supreme court, yesterday, the president was asked about the possibility of using a recess appointment if
the republicans refused to consider your nominee. he did not explicitly ruling out. can you say right now if the white house has ruled out the possibility of using a recess appointment? is that totally off the table? also, what has been a specific average from the white house to senate republicans in terms of this up in court nomination? sec. earnest: the president was asked this right question yesterday and i did not have anything to add to that answer. he says that we have more than enough time to go through a regular process in regular order. i intend to nominate someone to present to the american people and present them to the senate. i expect them to hold hearings and a vote. i think the president was pretty direct about what his plans are. i do not have anything to add to that beyond what he said. as josh pointed out, the white house officials have been in with senate offices about
this vacancy in the process that is not been initiated under the constitution to fill the vacancy. i can say that we've been in parties on this question. that thereicipate will be more conversations in the day ahead. >> can you say who you have reached out to? sec. earnest: i don't have a list and i will not get into the details. it has been multiple offices in both parties. deployed advanced service to their missile system -- air missile system for an island in the south china sea. the u.s. has repeatedly called for china to stop militarization of that area and it doesn't seem
like that is happening. is the u.s. planning to take any additional action or steps to address these actions that keep happening? sec. earnest: i have seen those reports and the commercial inventory that seems to indicate that china has deployed a surface to air missile system on a disputed outpost in the south china sea. the announcement yesterday in the form of the declaration that was signed by the leaders of the countries who met with the president earlier this week, it is significant. it reflects years of persistent diplomacy on the part of the united states and it commits all of the signatories to maintaining "peace, security, and stability in the region. ensuring maritime security and safety."
that iton to say includes unimpeded maritime commerce as well as non-militarization and self-restraint and the conduct of activities. that is a pretty direct leaders toby the this principle. that is why we continue to urge all claimants, the united states is not one of them, but we continue to urge -- clarify there territorial maritime claims under law and peacefully manage and resolve these disputes. interest is not in any of the land features, but rather in the continued free flow of commerce in this region of the world. that has significant consequences for the global economy and the u.s. economy.
that is why we have maintained that this is something that should be resolved peacefully on the claimants. at the same time, the united states military has undertaken operations to indicate our view and make clear that we intend to continue to fly, sale, and operate anywhere that national law allows. our commitment to that principle is quite firm. we certainly welcomed this commitment from the leaders that was produced in california just yesterday. >> when it seemed that the chinese actions seems to fly in the face of that commitment? sec. earnest: china did not sign the declaration. i think this is an indication that the 10 or so countries in
southeast asia who also have claims in that region of the world are committed to the ,pproach that we have advocated which is the peaceful resolutions of these disputes that does not wrap up the .ilitary presence back on the supreme court, has the president begun reviewing a short list? sec. earnest: i will not be able to provide a lot of details about this process. that may be a source of frustration for all of us. are able to provide insight into that process, i will try to come prepared to do that. today is not one of those days. i can confirm that the president and his team take this process very seriously.
understand that while there is ample time, we will move expeditiously to fulfill the president constitutional responsibilities. that process has begun, but where we are in the process is not something we will be prepared to discuss publicly. >> back on apple and the fbi investigation, critics are concerned that this could be a slippery slope. does the president to share these concerns? sec. earnest: i don't think i will weigh in on the president's view on this particular case. this is a case that is being investigated by independent law enforcement officials at the fbi. we have talked about the president's view when it comes and protecting privacy. the president believes in robust
and strong encryption. he believes in the principle of protecting the privacy and civil liberties of the american people. for the reasons that i outlined before, the question that is being debated in this proceeding is different than that. we are not asking apple to willign its products create a new backdoor. this is a much more specific request that the department of justice has put forward. >> you said the president does not think donald trump will be president because he has faith in the american people. is he suggesting that tron supporters are not successful? sec. earnest: i think the president was is making a comment about the process. i know there has been back and forth between the president and mr. trump. back to the go
super court list. what is different now than before beyond the obvious? sec. earnest: the obvious being that there is now a vacancy? >> know, beyond the obvious that republicans are screaming about this short window. sec. earnest: i don't think republicans are suggesting it is a short window. it will be a tough case to make because the president will be in and theor almost a year average time that is taken to confirm someone who has been nominated to the supreme court justice is 67 days. that is why you continue to hear me in the president indicate that there is ample time for this to get done. the argument that republicans
are making is one that is rooted in the observation they have made that this is a presidential election year. precedent there is a for nominees being confirmed in a presidential election year. that occurred in 1988 when nominated andan senate democrats confirmed 1988 tokennedy in early move to the supreme court. president -- a constitutional responsibility and the senate should fulfill their constitutional possibility. if there's any doubt, they should go back and check. there is no exception written into the constitution about filling a supreme court vacancy
in an election year. >> is the president feeling any this supreme court nomination and who he has to appoint? a minority or a woman? sec. earnest: i think the president takes this process quite seriously. this is one of the most important decisions that any president makes. a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land is a weighty proposition. these are tough decisions that the american people expect the president to make. it is certainly not one that president obama takes lightly. you can anticipate that there will be a rigorous process to ensure that the nominee is who the president believes is the
best person to fill the vacancy on the supreme court. >> does the best person have to be someone who is able to be confirmed? did they have to be middle-of-the-road or will he make a chance to make them more liberal? sec. earnest: i think the president was clear yesterday that he would appoint someone whose credentials for the job were indisputable. that is the question that the , is thisll have to ask an individual who can serve on the court with honor and distinction. that will be part of the criteria that the president includes in choosing his nominee. the old lists for potential in play? sec. earnest: just because they
have been considered before this i mean that they cannot be considered again. >> thank you for that. -- goingoing about to back to my question about timing. is the president's last day or januaryth 2017 19, 2017? sec. earnest: it is at noon on generate 20th 2017 -- on january 20 1917. this harmonious not over until the 20? >> it was on a monday. sec. earnest: in 2009, the president first took the oath of office administered by chief justice roberts in front of a large crowd gathered on the
national mall. that was the first on the president took the oath of office. there was the highly publicized public slip that occurred. later, the chief justice came to the white house. in 2013 when the president to the oval office, and operation day fell on a sunday. the president had a small ceremony at the white house to take the oath of office. done here in front of the pool and televised on live television. i would not envision a scenario that anybody would secretly take the oath of office. that would undermine the kind of transparency we've talked about. oon january 20. republicans are arguing that
they only have to advise and .onsent how does the administration respond to that? sec. earnest: i think it is pretty clear that the senate has the responsibility to offer their advice and consent on a nominee for the president of the united states. there is a well-established process for offering that. it is to give that it individual a fair hearing and a timely vote. that is what has happened for centuries. coincidence, it is because it is consistent with the requirements of the united states constitution and the deeply held tradition to the united states senate. theirstitutionally, argument is that they do not have to do any of those things and cannot consent and don't have to do any hearings. sec. earnest: i think it
violates -- it is certainly inconsistent with the constitution for the united states senate to say the president should not nominate someone, which i believe was the language that has been used by many republicans. that is inconsistent with the constitution and it ignores responsibility that united states senate has as an institution to consider the nominee and offer their advice and consent. their failure to do so is with theent, but also expectations of the american people. until januaryfice 3 2017, but they should do their job in the meantime. i don't think anybody was a just -- suggest that they do not have a responsibility to show up to
work just because it is an election year. members of the united states senate on the republican side have been criticized for not showing up to work on an election year. i will let them debate. i do think it illustrates that the senate has a job to do and the american people would expect them to do it. >> why should the american people decide what the president's point of view, when as a senator himself, he filibustered justice scalia? sec. earnest: there is a difference between the presidents symbolic vote against president bush's supreme court nominee and republicans reflexive opposition to the idea of president obama even nominating anybody. there is a pretty stark difference. what republicans are advocating is wrong and inconsistent with the requirements of the constitution.
the wording of the constitution is unambiguous and does not provide an exception for election years. >> the filibuster would be consistent and ok? 2006, with then president was talking about his filibuster vote at the time, he efforthat the filibuster was not likely to succeed and that then judge alito was likely to be confirmed. that reflects the responsibility united states senate. no party is solely responsible for the way that this process has become so politicized in recent years. institutional responsibility the republicans have. to winent years fighting the majority of the united states senate.
we have talked at some length about how that comes with certain responsibilities. they have to pass a budget, raise the debt ceiling, it also comes with the responsibility to offer advice and consent on the president's nominee to fill a super court vacancy. -- supreme court vacancy. as the president alluded to regrets the vote frankly,ade because, democrats should have been in a position where they were making a public case. they should have looked for a way just to throw a sand in the gears of the process. looking back on it, the president believes he should have followed his own advice and made a strong public case on the merits about his opposition to the nomination that president
bush put forward. [indiscernible] >> if you believe that the president should have made a public case and now that he did not, the republicans are not making a public case and they are saying they were not take it up. sec. earnest: i think these are two different things. the president's objections to then president bush's nominee were based on substance. the president considered the qualifications and worldview and credentials and record of the individual that president bush put forward. somesenator obama raised substantive objections. what the president regrets is that senate democrats do not focus more on making an effective public case about those objections. instead, some democrats engaged in a process of throwing sand in the gears of the confirmation
process. yesterday.to this there is no one party that is responsible for the way this has become politicized. the president acknowledged his role in that. the question is, how as an institution, knowing that his politics are going to continue, how would they confront their responsibility? there are members of united states senate who are running for president and there will be political pressures on them. that is not going to change. what is the institution of the united states senate on to do to make sure that the senate's responsibility are fulfilled and the the -- under the constitution. it is a direct question that is facing ms. republicans who worked hard to get the majority
-- facing those republicans who worked hard to get the majority to be in control of the united states senate. deciding whether or not to shut down the government over planned parenthood. they face that question in trying to determine whether or not they should raise the debt ceiling. they will question is -- they will face this question now on how they will fulfill their responsibility to give the president nomination to the supreme court a fair hearing in a timely vote. >> is the president attending the private ceremony that they are having at the court on friday? sec. earnest: we will have more , but it will be an opportunity for the president and first lady to pay their respects to justice scalia who will be lying in repose. >> given the fact that ted cruz is saying that he will filibuster any nominee, would you agree that it is an uphill battle for the president to get a justice approved?
sec. earnest: just looking at thatath, you would know given the fact that republicans are in the majority in united states senate and the president of the united states is a democrat, the president will case that's been compelling case for a well-qualified -- a well compelling case. of republicanss in the senate in 2016 is the same expectation that president reagan had of senate democrats in 1988. aey would fairly consider well-qualified nominee to the supreme court. the senate democrats certainly upheld the constitutional responsibility even in an election year to confirm the president's nominee.
we have the same expectations. >> but it won't be easy. sec. earnest: even the straightforward, noncontroversial things are not easy when you're talking about this. given the atmosphere in washington, d think that will scare off any potential candidates who might not want to go through that? sec. earnest: my guess is, no. primarily because the individuals that would make good supreme court justices are individuals who have a thick skin and understand that they have a responsibility to defend
their positions and ideas in public as they go through a vetting -- rigorous process. is the attorney general loretta lynch on the list? sec. earnest: she appears to be on the list that many of you. i do not have any details to share about a list. due time? define weeks and months/ sec. earnest: i don't have a specific timeframe. the best i can do is remind you that when two supreme court vacancies occurred earlier in this presidency, the president put forward well-qualified
nominees after spending about a month deciding on who that should be. i don't know the timeframe will be different this time around, but the recent history seems relevant. will the president consider the fact that a nominee will be subjected to a lot of scrutiny and might not want to ever rise to be part of the supreme court and that could be damaging to a career. sec. earnest: just in terms of the coverage of this, i see people speculate this both ways. there are people who say that if you're going to this process and get beat up by republicans in partisanreasonable decision, back after a negative impact on somebody's long-term career prospects. on the other hand, i've seen people observe that running into the law of unreasonable partisan
obstruction from republicans, only serves to elevate the credentials of this individual a good eventually turn them into a celeb on the campaign trail. you could imagine a democratic andnee running around become elected. you can imagine how this could play on both ways. i think with the president is focusing on right now is that he puts forward the person he would be the best person to fill the vacancy on the supreme court. >> new york officials are expressing a lot of concern about the funding with counterterrorism measures. the mayor and police commissioner speaking out. onl there be any change their view of reallocating that money for terrorism used by new york when we are in a constant threat environment?
sec. earnest: this administration's investment on making sure that communities across the country, including new york, are to fight terrorism and protect the homeland are ironclad. all you have to do is take a look at the numbers that indicate that this administration is serious to its commitment about homeland security. right now, in the dhs funding to new york, there are $600 million that is sitting in on account -- sitting in that account. this administration has opposed to putting another $255 million into that account this year. the contribution into that account is almost twice as much as new york officials have spent out of that account over the last two years combined.
there are ample resources that and they are provided by the obama administration because of our commitment to the safety and security of new york and communities across the country. i would point out that the amount of funding that is devoted to protecting new york and making sure the law enforcement officials in new york have the resources that they need is higher than the amount of money that is provided to local communities across the country. we understand that new york is the largest city in the country and it is a high-profile target of terrorists. that would explain precisely the kind of commitment that this administration has made the homeland security and new york. say that at some point, senator schumer's
credibility and talking about -- they security issues have to be affected by the position and nominations. senator schumer is someone who came out and opposed the international agreement from preventing iran from obtaining a nuclear agreement. he was wrong and most democrats disagree with him taken a position. when people look at the facts, they recognize that he is wrong this time, too. >> wow. [laughter] i understand the president was unhappy on senator schumer's position on that. has the white house failed to get that context to new york officials including marielle ?eblasi they do not let
the facts of the matter have an impact on the scheduling of this year's event. the scalia funeral, will vice president biden be delivering a eulogy on saturday? sec. earnest: i that -- i do not know all of the details. ,> back on recess appointments from what the president said yesterday and from what you said today, it sounds like you are deliberately trying to leave options open to the possibility of a recess appointment by not definitively pulling it out. is that a misinterpretation? think thest: i president tried to be as direct as he could yesterday about what our intent is. our intent is to nominate a qualified individual to fill the vacancy on the supreme court.
our expectation is that the united states senate will fulfill the constitutional responsibility to give the individual a fair hearing in a timely vote. >> you are not ruling out a recess appointment? i think the: president tried to be as direct as he possibly could about what our intentions are. >> president obama has not made any recess appointment in four years. can you say why? what we have tried ixed success is trying to find common ground with republicans to ensure that individuals that the president would like to appoint to work with him and make sure that the , wernment functions well have tried to work with them to make that happen.
the president described some frustration yesterday about the havehat republicans engaged in that process. that being said, i think everybody understands that a lifetime appointment to the supreme court is different than that. this is probably true with president washington, every president had frustrations with congress and the pace with which they were acting on the nominations two important jobs in the administration. we have a strong case to make about how republicans have taken that obstruction to a new level. i think everybody understands why a lifetime appointment to the supreme court is different.
that is why we will continue to make a strong case about the president fulfilling his constitutional responsibilities and why the senate should fulfill their constitutional responsibilities. further dragging this into the politicized context of other administration nominations is certainly not what the framers of our constitution intended. to your knowledge, there has not been any secret agreement between the president and the leaders not making any recess appointments over the last four years. sec. earnest: we have tried to work in good faith with republican leaders to see the president appointees confirmed by the senate so they can do the important work for the american people. that has been an ongoing process and i'm sure it will continue. i would draw a distinction between that process and the process described by the constitution for filling a lifetime appointment to the
supreme court. >> you blow up the possibility that the president will nominate himself for the supreme court. sec. earnest: i think the president himself has said in the past that while the esteem toholds high those dedicated their lives to serving on the supreme court, he envisions something different for himself once he leaves the presidency. i'm not asked him that direct question, but i think all the available evidence indicates that that option is highly unlikely. does the president believe his credentials would be able to dispute? sec. earnest: i think that what we have found for republicans is that they have not let facts get in the way of raising disputes
on the president and his initials. who iss one republican made himself famous for that. i will just leave it there. and south dakota, the legislators sent to the governor that this cremate against transgender students that prevented -- prohibits them from using bathrooms. is the president opposes legislation? sec. earnest: i don't know the president has looked carefully at this piece of legislation. i don't have a legal analysis to prevent -- present to you on how that would have an impact on things like title 9. the kind of values that this
administration has championed have been values that have been dedicated to inclusiveness and nondiscrimination for other human beings. there are many elements of this legislator that you described that same to come into sharp conflict with those basic american values. >> change of subject. sec. earnest: we have covered a lot today. blackhawks are coming to the third visit to the white house. fits't know where hockey in obama sports interest. i know he is a big basketball fan. the thing he will visit a game? what do you think you will say when the team comes for third time to the white house/
? sec. earnest: this president is a sports fan. maybe the next president will be someone who was born in canada and will have an even greater appreciation for that sport and the skill that requires. this president is proud of his hometown of the chicago blackhawks and is looking forward to welcoming them here. i don't think there are too many sports teams that have come here. the yukon women's best boxing comes to mind. forwardident is looking to welcoming them. [indiscernible] >> the president is not a regular viewer of the sport. even casual fans of hockey can appreciate both the skill and
athleticism that is required and also appreciate how exciting playoff hockey is. i think that is something that causes television ratings despite during playoff time. the president is proud of his team and is looking forward to seeing them. the president has said that he is not always as sensitive as he should be on objects. sec. earnest: i don't have a sense of what the president's plans are for saturday. the president believes it is to pay his respects to somebody dedicated three decades of his life to the institution of the supreme court. the president gave some pretty
thoughtful words and discussing notice scalia's service just saturday night, but also yesterday in his news conference. friday will be an important opportunity for the president and first lady to pay their respects to justice scalia. i think that is important not just on a personal level, but also on an institutional level. it is an opportunity not just for this president to pay his to thel respects individual who served for three decades on the supreme court, but also an opportunity for the individual who is serving as the president of the united states to offer respects to someone who served in eighth -- third branch of government. we will have more details for you.
about how the president regretted what he did and how it contributes to the polarization here. is there a distinction between what the president did and what is happening now because he was clear that his actions were not actually prevent injustice from taking the seat? what would you consider that roughly equivalent in terms of future bidding -- contributing? sec. earnest: actually think that what republicans are doing now are different than what obama said in 2006. the president was clear at the time in 2006 as he was casting the vote that his vote was not one that would have any impact on the outcome.
had supportedto the united states senate to ascend to the supreme court. the president said at that time that his vote was symbolic. the president did have substantive reasons to oppose judge alito's nomination. right now, the opposition the republicans are reflexively expressing is devoted to the idea of the president even nominating somebody to fill the vacancy. that is the difference. contrary to is so the requirements of individuals
that are outlined in the constitution of the united states. keeping in mind that neither you or i or constitutional lawyers, senator mcconnell's staff would say that there's nothing specific in the constitution that dictates hearings or a timely vote on a supreme court nominee by the president. could you flesh out a little more on what your interpretation is what the constitution dictates beyond the ideas of advise and consent? sec. earnest: i'm no constitutional scholar, but there been hundreds that have served on the supreme court and as best as i could remember, that is the process they have all gone through. surprised that anybody is suggesting that that is not part of the constitutional responsibilities of the united states senate. i would say that i feel confident and tell you that even without having these facts at
hand, i'm sure there are some people who ran for the united states senate a confirming judges. thatis certainly something senate candidate observe is part of the responsibility of individual united states senators. the other part that is relevant here is we actually have a historicalrelevant analogy to draw. democrats in 1988 found themselves in the same position. they were in the majority in the senate and there was a republican in the white house. there was a vacancy on the supreme court, and there was a question they faced about if they were going to vote in a presidential election year to confirm the president's nominee to the supreme court. and even though