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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  February 24, 2016 7:00am-10:01am EST

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ition regarding the flint water crisis. a reminder. you conjure in the conversation on facebook and twitter. years itma: for many has been clear that the detention center at court panama bay does not advance our national security. it undermines it. ♪ this good morning on february 24, 2016. closing guantanamo bay has been on the president's agenda since 2008. in the final year of his final term, president obama is eyeing a proposal to close the detention facility. lawmakers on capitol hill are resisting the idea. what do you think about president obama's plan to close guantanamo. republicans, (202) 748-8001.
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democrats, (202) 748-8000. .ndependents, (202) 748-8002 you composed your comments on facebook.spanwj or on we will start with the front page of "the washington times." their headlines of what president obama announced yesterday. is the latesture obama plan to get snubbed from the gop. republican said they would not entertain the president's plan to move terrorist to the mainland. they said they would not rule out closing the military prison through executive action. return to you about the idea of closing down guantanamo bay. is it a good one? first, let's show you what the president had to say yesterday,
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outlining his arguments for the reasons -- the reasons for closing down guantanamo bay. pres. obama: it is counterproductive for our efforts against terrorism because they use it as propaganda. it drains military resources, with nearly 450 million dollars spent last year alone to keep it running. more than $200 million in additional costs to keep it open going forward for less than 100 detainees. harms our partnerships with allies and other countries, whose cooperation we need against terrorism. when i talk to other world leaders they bring up the fact that guantanamo is not resolved. moreover, keeping this facility values.contrary to our it undermines our standing in the world. it is viewed as a stain on our
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broader record of upholding the highest standards of rule of law. as americans, we pride ourselves as being a beacon to other nations, a model of the rule of law. 15-yearsafter 9/11, after the worst terrorist attack in american history, we still have to defend the existence of and a process where not a single verdict has been reached in those attacks. host: that was the president's argument about why america should close guantanamo bay. we want to know what you all think. randy is a republican from fort worth, texas. itler: the president said cost to keep it open. actually, the prisoners in guantanamo bay are living like kings. prayer rugs and all
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kinds of necessities they don't need. he said it is a recruiting tool. how can that the if you bring the prisoners to the united states of america, that is going to be a recruiting tool. what will happen is it will become a target. president closes guantanamo bay, i personally believe that the russians will put a missile site there and theet it toward us in united states. everything the president has done has been wrong, in my opinion. host: what do you think of him not ruling out, the white house not ruling out, executive action? caller: well, as i said before, all of his policies have been executive orders. the american people have stated that we want to keep guantanamo bay open for the safety of american citizens.
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like i said, when you close guantanamo bay they will have hearings in the united states. the prisoners testifying against our soldiers, the harsh treatment they have been receiving, the unfairness. the technicalut cases where they get the cases thrown out. i think it is a terrible idea. host: randy mentioned americans are opposed to it. cnn surveyed and found 53% of americans wanted the prison to remain open while 44% thought it should be close with prisoners transferred. states planning to receive detainees oppose president obama's plan. governor nikki haley will block, kansas lawmakers are blocking, and they denounced having
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prisoners located to or near their states on tuesday. it is a widely held "not in my backyard" sentiment. week,gning last republican presidential candidate said they would oppose closing guantanamo and would reverse mr. obama's plans if he carries them through before he leaves office. let me share what michael bennet said. he said none of the prisoners should be transferred to his state where many terrorists are already held in the super max in colorado. he gave this before even mr. obama spoke yesterday. caller: i support the president's view of closing the facility. like michael bennet said, we have a super max prison, and we arty have a couple of those terrorists in super max.
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they aren't getting out, no one has tried to get them out. i do think it is a recruiting tool for terrorists good what do we do when we have prisoners overseas and we want other countries to release our prisoners? they look at us and they say, you have hours, you will lead hours go, we won't let yours go. ours, you won't let ours go, we won't let yours go. host: john is a republican. caller: i think it should be closed. $50 million to house 91 prisoners, $9 million apiece is ridiculous. $100,000 to house a prisoner at a super max prisoner, which is outrageous. you need to transfer these guys to the states.
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there are 91 of them. .ess than 2 visitors per state you can put them in a super max risen and never hear from them again. it will be the end of it. are a republican. what do you make of the reaction on capitol hill? saying we will not jeopardize our national security over a campaign promise. he said the proposal is dead on arrival. pat roberts from kansas put together this video, you can see him taking the nine-page plan, crumpling it, and throwing it in a wastebasket. saying this is what i think about the plan to close gitmo and send terrorists to the united states. senator mike rounds will be on our show. he says transferring detainees to the u.s. is a direct himselfn of laws potus
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has signed. and do have senator dan coats saying i will fight any plan that closes guantanamo without congressional approval. caller: or hundred $50 million is not my money. -- $450 million is not my money. host: the washington times says transitioning to a u.s. detention civility would have a one-time cost of 290 million to 3-5million, but within years the lower operating cost could offset the transition cost according to the pentagon. brenda, democrat. are you with us? we are on the last call for brenda. moving on to pennsylvania. good morning.
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caller: i am with obama. close it down, save the money, take the black mark off of our already destroyed image around the world. try to make amends. this is one of the best examples, every few days it comes up with something. this is one of the best examples for democrats to vote. we have to get rid of the republicans. they won't do anything other , number one, and get the low-information voters riled up. get rid of them. int: an independent pennsylvania. tom is a republican in fairhaven, massachusetts. caller: good morning. i believe if president obama does not go through congress, it is a lawless move by rogue president. it should have been appeased long ago.
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also, you just mentioned the offset and costs that will occur. that was my second point. themwill it cost to house in the u.s.? the 450 million dollars spoken of is really a moot point. also the terrorists are not housed with americans in prison. from what i understand they will be. potentialhuge pool of radical islamists. that argument is ridiculous. also, our presence in guantanamo helps us in keeping an eye on cuba to prevent the russians from placing missiles in cuba, 90 miles off of the florida coast. by closingou think
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down this detention facility that obama is also trying to close down this military base? absolutely. absolutely. cuba doesn't want them there. host: the white house says that is not part of the plan. caller: it's not part of the plan, but what is the eventual plan? that is what i'm saying. he just tradedn't them ride of the u.s. and put them back in? put them through the american courts, which is different than the military innocent.d find them there they go. you andwant to stop have you listened to president obama yesterday. he talked about what will happen going forward. would try terrorist going forward, military
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commissions of verses federal court. also talked about how they would be held in the united states. [video clip] as we usea: even military commissions to close out the cases of some current detainees, which given the unique circumstances of their cases makes it difficult for them to be tried in article three courts, this use of military commission should not set a precedent for the future. wars,y have been in past military commissions will be an option when individuals are detained during battle. , the mostred option effective option for dealing with individuals detained outside of military theaters, must be our strong, proven federal courts. finally, we will work with congress to find a secure location in the united
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states to hold remaining detainees. these are detainees subject to but alsocommissions, includes those that cannot yet be transferred to other countries or that we have determined must continue to be detained because they pose a continuing, significant threat to the united states. we are not identifying a specific facility today in this plan. we are outlining what options look like. congress has imposed restrictions that currently prevent the transfer of detainees to the nine at states. we recognize this will be a challenge, and we will keep making the case to congress we can do this in a responsible and secure way, taking into account the record of our maximum-security prisons. let me point out that the plan we are submitting is not only the right thing to do for our
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security, it will also save money. the defense department estimates of this plan, compared to keeping guantanamo open, with million as by $85 year. over 10-years it would generate million.f $300 20 years, $1.7 billion. was president obama announcing his proposal. a nine-aid plan he sent to capitol hill, not a lot of details in it. chairman john mccain said he will hold hearings on the proposal, but he rejected the plan saying that it was too appropriateas not for national security. on the same day that president obama submitted his plan, this is from "the hill." detainee ismo arrested for isis ties.
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the president says the number of detainees that has returned to terrorism is a small number. you just heard what the resident had to say. let me go back to you. caller: if the number is $85 million, what the heck is that? is that security worth $85 million? i think so. terroristsr converted, is that worth $85 million? i think it is. vague.u said, it is very there is no commitment. he is holding back to use any , if he that he wants uses the options he mentioned of using a military tribunal. we are at war. our president has not declared war on islam. that is what needs to be done.
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we are at war. are warrrorists criminals, whether they are in direct battle or not. if a terrorist is a u.s. citizen, even is aiding and intting radical islam terrorist activities, they are as guilty as anyone else. if i go into a variety store with a friend of mine innocently , and that friend, unknowingly to me, pulls a gun and rubs the place, i'm with him, and i jump in the car with him, am i not part of that crime? herald" hasiami this, guantanamo is the most expensive present on earth. in 2005 a desk officer at the made aent of defense
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list of the cost of doing business. the waters around guantanamo are defended from a terrorist $9 million were spent on a temporary coast guard. the pentagon held 660 were on terror prisoners in cuba. another $3 million to run the dining hall have prepared their and fed prison staff. they were forbidden to furnish those figures by order of a superior. now reply to a decades old filing found that secrecy was wrong. they note in the miami herald on their website they have this headline about the 91 guantanamo bay prisoners that remain are vastly outnumbered by the 2000 staff that iran the
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detention facility. you are a democrat in upper marlboro, maryland. caller: i am a moderate democrat. i believe that they have some detainees there since 9/11. we knew from the beginning it was wrong. we have detainees there that are innocent and should be given a trial. those that are guilty, we should kill them. then we close guantanamo bay. there is no need to spend that much money. i am upset with republican this fiscalve conservative that won't spend it, but you want to spend $85 million a year at a prison. it doesn't make sense. give the detainees at trial that need to have a trial, the ones that are guilty, execute them. save the money. host: we will keep getting more
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phone calls. you can join us on twitter and facebook as well. president obama submitting the plan to close guantanamo in the final year of his final term. this has been on the agenda since 2008. it was a campaign promise that he made when he first ran for president. other news, campaign 2016 and the results from the republican caucuses in nevada. after donald trump scored his third victory, the front page calls him "the nominee." that is what they put on their banner. let's look at the results. donald trump in nevada with 46% of the vote, followed by marco rubio with 24%, and senator ted cruz at 21%. 5%.carson trailing at john kasich with 4%. look at the number of people that voted.
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keep that on the screen. 38,000 people voted for donald trump, 17,000, ted cruz with a vast number as well. that is significantly more people that participated in the republican caucuses than the democratic caucus, where hillary clinton got 6300 votes. bernie sanders around 5000. those were the total numbers for the democrats versus, look at the numbers that turned out for the republican caucuses in nevada. also, if you look at the entrance and exit polls, they the firstnotably in state with meaningful gop turnout among nonwhites, trump even won spanish caucus-goers with 45%.
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as good as ted cruz and marco was, trumpluence also did well among those that were uneducated. caucuses inada previous years, 39% versus 24% in 2008. outsider and angry voters, trump had his best showing among evangelicals winning 4-10 of inir votes, versus 3-10 earlier contests. this is what donald trump said turn his victory speech. [video clip] we won with evangelicals, young, old, highly educated, poorly educated -- i love the poorly educated. we are the smartest and most loyal people. do you know what i am happy about? with the hispanics.
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46%. number one with hispanics. [cheering] i'm really happy about that. "trump"]anting thank you. i am very proud of you. this is an amazing night. i love the country. >> we love you more. [cheering] going in the are wrong direction. we are keeping gitmo open. we will load it up with bad dudes. we will have our borders nice and strong. we will build the wall. you know that. we will build the wall. i have a lot of respect for mexico. we just won hispanics. mexico is going to pay for the
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wall, right? it's going to happen. host: three straight victories for donald trump here the get the delegate numbers. if you go to you can find this information. it is automatically updated with the latest numbers. on the republican side donald trump in the lead with 79, ted cruz with 16, marco rubio with 15. on the democratic side, hillary clinton with a wide lead over bernie sanders, 503 to 70. the superdelegates can change their mind. bernie sanders is trailing hillary clinton in their next contest, south carolina this saturday, followed by super tuesday on march 1. a little more from the campaign trail. journal" is street as ted cruz must win texas.
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with more than the first four and losingt stake, ground in the more conservative states, ohio governor john vermont andrking massachusetts. it also says that ted cruz is leading mr. rubio and the money. he entered the month with 13.6 million dollars in available cash. looking at super tuesday, look cruz leadsphic, ted his republican rivals in political donations from super tuesday's states. he has $1.8 million compared to over 700,000 for marco rubio. in the papers, less about ted cruz and the labels he has received from marco rubio and donald trump about him being air and using dirty tactics. the headline in "the washington
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aid have given his campaign a black eye. milbank's column in "the washington post" he writes where have these guys been. m a good guy. as early as april 2013, i have observed a perplexing tendency at the capitol when republicans are willing to look the other way when ted cruz assaults the facts. one of his first acts as a synergy was to spread slander that chuck hagel may have been on the payroll of the north koreans. this piece in "the new york times" says "the devil in ted not." he writes that i have attacked and quotes ted cruz by
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saying, i have not attacked my colleagues in the senate, democrats or republicans. he writes is he suffering from dilution or amnesia? he called the republican majority leader a liar. he also like in the senate republicans who recognize the impossibility of do funding obama care to not. said during one presidential debate i am pretty sure mitt romney french kissed barack obama. this in the new york times, a profile on his campaign manager. they say that in interviews his clients and current colleagues defend his ethic. memberselped reelect 41 of congress, six senators, five governors. they say hurt feelings is to be expected. theikes to win, says
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representative of arizona who won her seat in 2014 by 167 votes. first working for mr. cruz's fireent produced a attacking his legal work for chinese company. he has a reputation for being aggressive and winning according to "the new york times." on 2016 asupdate donald trump scores his latest victory. you can see marco rubio edged him out for second place by a bit. marco rubio is in minnesota and michigan. look at ted cruz's speech in nevada. [video clip] cruz: one week from today will be the most important night of this campaign.
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it is super tuesday. [cheering] alabama, alaska, arkansas, georgia, massachusetts, minnesota, oklahoma, tennessee, vermont, virginia, and the great state of texas. mosteek from today, the delegates that are awarded on a single day will be awarded, next tuesday. the role of the first 4 states is to narrow the field and give super tuesday a clear choice. now, the voters can decide. if you want a president who will stop amnesty, ask yourself who has led the fight against amnesty. who willnt a president , ask yourselfre
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who has led the fight against obamacare. if you want a president who will extend for life, marriage and religious liberty, ask yourself with us lead the fight defending life, marriage, and religious liberty. watch theou want to entire speech, you can go to our website,, along with the rest of her road to the white house coverage. lewis in south carolina, republican. what do you think about president obama proposing to congress that the shutdown the detention facility in guantanamo bay, cuba? see of mr.m what i obama, he is the president probably of isis and he wants to release those people in the united states.
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in louisville,n kentucky, democrat. caller: thank you. i wanted to broaden the conversation and clarify that i think the guy tom may have done this. it has been my understanding that the government does not have the permission of the cuban government to have a base on the island but we just kept it there because we don't recognize that government. i don't like that. are we talking about closing the prison of gitmo or is he talking about closing the navy base? which you may have the authority to close the navy base. what i also would like to know into the election is how does donald trump feel about this? i went the american government to do business with cuba, and if this president is talking about the major league baseball game in cuba, i don't see why we should have a major league team in havana. martin, let me jump in.
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donald trump said last night in nevada that he will not close guantanamo bay and he will put more terrorist suspects in the prison. president obama will be visiting cuba soon. you are making the argument that president obama can do this by executive action if he closes down the entire military base there? caller: that is what i am asking . i am trying to clarify this. i'm in favor of the american government doing business with cuba and i think everybody would benefit except for people like ted cruz and marco rubio, the rich people who left cuba after the revolution, but i am in favor of moving forward. i won't vote for donald trump even though -- but i have been voting democrat since 1980. host: elroy in arkansas, independent caller. pocer: this is the type of
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when i was an administrator in choline. also, i was african-american president at the turn of the age 22 and choline -- coleen. [indiscernible] call arkansas that we had to go to war after the first plane hit on september 11, but i just wanted to say as an administrator myself, i would try to say that if we would bring something in and have a new phase of intelligence and that we know we are fighting terrorism, so if we have an international community that will work and put jail
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cells together themselves, so if put can work together and down national jails together or whatever, we could take from the dollars -- the billions of dollars that we spend on her own military might and just cut about $1 billion or something like that to support keeping gitmo open just in case we do need to imprison people that attack us. elroy.k, let me hear from randy in wisconsin, republican. caller: good morning. host: morning. caller: the president and some of these democrats, is in a prison a prison and a prison? what is the difference of where they are? if they come to the united states, they get miranda rights, so in other words, they won't
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quit recruiting terrorists if they come to the united states? it is political prostrate by the president. -- it is preposterous politically by the president. he cannot get it done and it will not close. host: on this issue if he can get it done, "bloomberg politics" writes that the -- that it challenges existing laws that not only prevents president obama for moving guantanamo prisoners from u.s. soil but the pentagon from spending congressionally appropriated funds to do so.
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host: roseann in san diego, democrat. what are your thoughts on president obama wanted to close guantanamo bay? particular i you called. i am so proud of president obama and i hope he does everything he needs to do to get this fixed and put america back on the right track. i have been really disappointed in him for so long because he was not getting it done and it seemed like it was on the back learner. at the end of this term, he is working toward that. even if it takes executive action, good for him. i wanted to say that the caller
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for massachusetts give a lot of incorrect information and assumed everybody down there is "terrorist," and the fact is nobody down there is a terrorist because none of them have had a trial that identifies them as terrorist. more than half of them that are still there have been cleared for release for more than five years. they should have been released yesterday. the only reason they are not released is because of the republicans in congress. he can get it down so that the 10 people who are going to have trials and the only one keep they will be able to the prison open for 10 prisoners. that is really the only number of people that are ever going to be tried because that is the only number of people who have evidence against them. ok, i will leave it there because there is another battle on capitol hill and that is over filling the seat left by the late justice antonin scalia.
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gop senators say that obama court picked and they said that there will be no confirmation, no vote, not even a courtesy meeting with president obama's nominee to replace justice scalia, all slamming shut the supreme court confirmation. host: here is a tweet from one of the report is from "the hill," saying that the republican for maine says that she thinks obama's nominee should get a hearing.
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also, saudi arabia is declaring was new freeze that brokered recently between iran, russia and other countries and they say it will not happen. they say the u.s. shale producers, they tell them to cut costs or go bust with warning triggers that falling crude prices. also, in the papers this morning, a lot about the zika virus. and they are trying to stop the zika virus before it forms. host: that will be part of the discussion on the capitol hill when there will be testimony
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from the top doctors. he will have coverage on a website that loretta lynch will be talking about the budget. also, you can follow everything else we are covering on c-span, 2016 and youpaign can get that on a website that back to your calls, herbert in texas. caller: what topics are you on? host: [laughter] a lot to report on. if you want a job, go down to thomas construction site and you will get hired. good luck on that one. as far as the prison system, you need an oversight committee. what the department needs to do
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is get everyone on the committee and explain where the money went. your next guest, ask him where the money went. that is what america is pissed off. knowing went to jail for the trillions spent in afghanistan. take care, america. jobs are coming back. host: glenda in texas, as well, you are on air. caller: i am calling about all these black churches supporting hillary clinton. how can a pastor support the democratic party when they believe in abortion and gay marriage? i am activist and i do not believe in those things, so what kind of christian are they to support this woman? i need some of your pastors to call and tell me. i would like to know. host: all right, tony in
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pennsylvania, democrat. what do you think about closing down the detention facility in guantanamo bay, cuba? caller: i think the president down the able to close prison and i don't understand why there hasn't been any legal determination about all the people that have been held all the time since they have been in prison. that is something that is definitely opposed to one of our fs that is people are considered clear until proven guilty. host: let me go to keith in madison, wisconsin, independent. good morning. caller: good morning. i agree with a lot of the caller
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s that the prison should be shut down. if they leave it open, they should put bush and dick cheney in it. i am serious about that. that tax on afghanistan -- the attacks on afghanistan were in imperial invasion. the people at guantanamo were defending the country. everybody has the right to defend their country and that is what they were doing. the reason they do not have evidence is because they did not do anything wrong. they should be let go and the people who forced them, by putting plastic hoses up their noses, should be prosecuted and put in that prison. int: ok, that is keith wisconsin, independent. let me share one more story in "the associated press." at late justice goodley separate from -- justice scalia suffered from many health problems and there has been discussions on what he died. they reported from dallas that
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antonin scalia it separate from con -- coronary artery diseases, obesity and diabetes, among other elements that probably contributed to the justice's sudden death, according to the letter from the supreme court doctor. host: we will get one last call on president obama submitting his plan to close guantanamo. allen in brooklyn, new york, democrat. go ahead. caller: good morning.
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it seems to me that there is a kind of metaphor involved in guantanamo, the island where the republicans believe they could have the constitutional rights of the prisoners suspended for the convenience. it seems they are doing exactly the same thing with the senate and supreme court nomination. they want to have an iowan of their will against the constitutions revisions for filling the vacancy on the supreme court. it is right in the face of and youa's view would be aghast that they are interpreting the constitution that ignores it. the corp. versus bush decision, he stressed heavily for the need to remove uncertainty of the election period and that the country was suffering from uncertainty. what will be get if we had an opening on the court for over a year? of certainty. he would not be happy about that
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either, so there is an overlap with the attitudes of republicans on guantanamo and the supreme court vacancy and it is inconsistent. host: allen, a democrat in new york. we will take a short break. when we come back, we will talk about guantanamo bay with a member of rounds, the armed services committee, but we will also talk about the proposed peace deal for syria and the latest efforts to combat isis. later, we will talk to the democrat of new york about environment, the economy and water issues. all in light of what is happening infants, michigan. we will be right back. -- happening in flint, michigan. we will be right back. ♪ ofbook to be has 48 hours nonfiction authors. here are some of the programs to watch for this weekend.
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saturday, david randall of the national association of scholars talks about some of the book's incoming college freshmen are asked to read before class. on sunday night at 9:00 on "afterwards," former nsa director michael hayden gives an inside look at national security in his book "playing to the edge: american intelligence of the age of terror." he's interviewed by the former cia director in the clinton administration. >> it is outside of the envelope for electronic medication. as you said, law enforcement has traditionally able to look at the outset of the envelope. the supreme court decided that the fact of your phone call, who longall, when and for how is also essentially the outside of the envelope. >> watch the tv all weekend and every weekend on c-span 2. television for serious readers. [applause] >> every election cycle, we are
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reminded of how important it is for citizens to be informed. a home fors political junkies and to track the government as it happens. >> it is a great way to stay informed. >> there are a lot of c-span fans on the hill. my colleagues will say, i saw you on c-span. >> there is so much more that c-span does to make sure people outside the beltway know what goes on inside it. >> "washington journal" continues. host: back at the table this morning, senator mike rounds sits on the armed services committee, and he is here to talk about national security issues. we will begin with the closing of guantanamo bay. president obama proposes this. what is your reaction? does it need congressional approval? guest: i think it does. we have a lot on the books that says he cannot do that. he said he did not -- he signed
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it into law and said he did not like it when he did, but he did sign the bill. it has a prohibition against using funds to close guantanamo bay. host: can he do it by executive action? out, i don'tl find think he can but it does not mean he will not try. the real question is it there is a way -- he cannot do it himself. i think he can direct the military to do so, but the military also has to follow the law. how that comes down, good question, i don't -- we don't think he can, but how they respond to it -- that is what we have to watch. we are in an area where it frustrates us in congress, a lot of people across the country that if the law says you are not supposed to do something, you expect the chief executive officer of the land to say, i will execute the law. in this case, if he says, i signed it into law but i will try to get around the law, that doesn't send a good message to the people out there.
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he has the ability to interpret a look around and figure out if there is some way to get around to it, but i don't think that bodes host: well for the system. what about his argument that we theput these prisoners, ones that remain, about 30 or so, in maximum security prisons in the united states? guest: he is welcome to make the argument. he has tried to argument and failed. republicans and democrats alike have said, we want to keep them at guantanamo bay. i have been there, i have seen it. it is a secure facility, it is a case that was designed specifically for these individuals that we do not want to rejoin the battle against our forces or allies. it has worked to date. if the president wants to change to offeris welcomed alternatives, but they should be those which had to be cleared by congress. they have a lot on the books. it says he will not be transferring those prisoners.
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we are trying to figure out a law that would along to get around and we don't know what it would be. host: how do you explain the money spent to keep the prison open? the prisoners are outnumbered by the guards and staff. guest: you will not close guantanamo bay, the naval base. the base will continue on. part andan important that part would not change. what would change, if you move them someplace else, you would move guards with them. there is an additional cost of about 400 million dollars or more to make the transfer, so there was a cost involved in transferring it. the facilities are set up where they are at and we will have guards no matter where they are at so the cost would be ongoing. host: we are getting senator pective,nds' pers
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republican of south dakota, on his opinion to close it no, but also the latest on the piece deal with syria, the fight with isis, and lots of different things to talk about. a big proponent of ratcheting up for cyber war, so we will talk about all those things. we will get to our first phone call and then go on to other topics. jordan, maryland, democrat. good morning. caller: good morning, senator rounds. i agree that signing statements are ineffectual and the president should restrain himself when issuing them. i also agree that the president should not close guantanamo by executive action, but i have to say as a moderate democrat, the cost savings over time are very clear to me. roughly millions of
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prisoners going forward with a $250 million cost for 91 prisoners, $2.2 million per year. domestically, weekend house moneypeople without that and it would be astronomical but when you think about the savings over time -- and i didn't hear you mention the cost of the transition, but over time, and they would be there for years conceivably, we spend a lot of money. how any defense spending that much money on housing these folks? thank you. guest: i appreciate your comment and the question. , we talkook at this about the money because comes into the focus, but the reality is is that most of us do not think that is the primary driver. what we care about is the individuals being housed right now and not allowing them to get
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back to someplace else. most of us believe that we do not want them not only on the battlefield but in the continental united states. the system we have got right now does work and it does keep them off the battlefield and outside of the continental united states and all their repercussions that could come up we had them in the united states. we know there is a cost. we think is well worth keeping these individuals out of the battle. to the next coming year anyway. it doesn't mean in the future we will not take a look at other alternatives. for right now, we have not been convinced of the proposals that have been suggested about putting it in one of the 13 different locations in the united states and if it is worth the money that would be saved versus what we know right now is working for us by keeping him in one location and off the continental united states. it is a fair question and i think it can be continued to be debated in the future. is there a better alternative?
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most of us in the senate, republicans and democrats, do not believe the alternatives being offered are as good as the one we have right now. host: jim is next in ohio, republican. caller: i have got a few comments i would like to make. first, i think president obama is the first president i can remember who wants to be a dictator. i think you should be impeached. i don't care what the cost of guantanamo bay, that is where we need to keep those people. we do not need them on u.s. soil and that is my comment. guest: thank you, jim. host: you agree, senator? guest: i will agree that we should not have them on u.s. soil and i understand the frustration he expresses, but the president has prerogatives. i will not defend with the president is doing, but i would suggest that he believes he is doing what is right and we
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simply disagree and that is the place where we start. we negotiate from there, but in this case, we have not yet seen any alternative just better than one we have right now in terms of keeping these individuals in guantanamo bay. host: secretary of state john kerry was up on capitol hill before the senate foreign relations, talking about this proposed to steal. i want to show you and our viewers what he had to say about it this also a part in what happens next. [video clip] john kerry: i appreciate your comments but it would be a to calculatenybody the present obama that if that doesn't work, there is not another set of options. i do not buy that. anybody who presumes that is the stretching this president. making toughd at decisions and doing what is necessary. the president's first choice is to try to see if this can be
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resolved diplomatically. my first choice, the first choice of the security team, that there are plenty of people who were thinking about, if it does not work, then what? of theng the president united states who has the responsibility to make that choice. anybody who thinks that there is impunity for just violating this going forward is making a great mistake in my judgment. rounds, your reaction? diplomacy should work, but there is a question of all the sides are a green in the first place. second of all, the real question is to whether or not russia will honor the agreement. and what are the discussions if they do not? we have watched this play out they have bombed individual civilian sites and so forth. we have looked the other way. all of a sudden, now that they have gone objectives that, i slow this downd
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a little bit carried there was a question of who is playing who? in this case and whether this is a surrender agreement or this is a peace agreement. we are going to ask hard questions about that. do we want peace in the middle east? absolutely. do we want the place where people can go to be safe? a lot of us have talked about this and we sent letters suggesting, let's get in some areas where refugees can get we can provide day to them. so thateed to police it the russians can be assured we will not be housing those individuals that they are after, supposedly, they are the same people we are after, members of isis and so forth, but let's try diplomacy if we can. the way that it has been established after russian was able to take over some of their objectives they were able to, it reeks along the lines of they got what they needed out of this thing and if they see that they have to move in again, we suspect they probably will. host: if you have questions or
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, syrian about these peace deal, other national security issues, (202)-748-8001 for republicans. (202)-748-8000 for democrats. independents, (202)-748-8002 . the wall street journal says that the cabinet is split. host: what is the cia operation happening in syria? can you tell us about it? guest: i really cannot tell you about it. the information i have is limited. i would say the chances are
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pretty good that you have that information as well. i can tell you that i agree with the assessment. if russia decides they will not do it, they won't do it. right now, they have no respect for our ability to come back in and likely challenge them because we have not so far. vladimir putin figures things out, he is a chess player and he is looking at how far he can push. he has pushed buttons in the past and he is doing it in europe right now. he is looking to find out how far we will go and how far we can be pushed. to pushhe is continuing the buttons. he will come in, tell us he wants peace, but it does not fit -- but if it does not fit his style, that is the end of the game and he will move back in. we will find out whether or not this peace agreement works. i have no doubts. i do not think all the groups have assigned on to, but nonetheless, this particular piece agreement i think will be short-lived. host: the papers are noting that the current presiden of syria,
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has agreed to on paper what the cease-fire is and it could be happening in the next couple of days. guest: once again, we have a case where we have individuals theirve obtained objectives, they are on the move. the allies, who had -- who we had been supposedly backing are taking a pounding. now, after it is almost complete, now we will begin to cease-fire and maybe a little too late. host: and the deal does not include isis forces or the al qaeda linked groups in syria. interestingly, the foreign republican ofman, tennessee, said russia is using the refugees as a weapon of war against europe. guest: well, let's take a look at the facts. right now, you have syrian refugees who are entering europe and putting a huge burden him financial burden, social burden on a number of countries in europe.
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those particular countries are not necessarily allies of prussia. have individuals moving across, creating problems and you have them pushing them. if they are pushing them out and they're not doing anything to keep them there, and certainly, these refugees, they don't necessarily want to leave but they are in a position where they have to, and air going to places right now that they do not necessarily want them. his vladimir putin playing the right game? probably, but it is hurting our allies. host: the new york times says that vladimir putin is hoping to break the 28 nation consensus behind economic sanctions imposed on russia over its annexation of crimea in 2014. host: let's go back to calls.
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ryan in michigan, independent. question or comment for the senator. caller: good morning. it is funny that the president is talking about closing guantanamo as former president bush did but nobody clarified to meet or the american people if we are closing the whole base, that is a strategic base used for shakedown cruises for the navy. i have been there. it is a great place for training. we have no other facility like that. we also closed the egg is island -- the bombing range island years ago or not years but decades ago. russia has a presence on the other side of cuba and a port that we never talked about. , 90 is a strategic location miles off our coast. it is not just about the prison. of course we should have the prison there.
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it is logical. i do not believe the figures that have been touted about how much it would cost, maybe we should get into that a little bit, but it is amazing after all these years, we do not have the basic trademark of what are we doing? we don't want to give up that land. we have to have that land. host: all right, senator? guest: the plan right now as we to pointd is not guantanamo bay but to remove the individuals from the secure facility within the naval base. and move them to other locations in the united states. that is the challenge that has been prohibited or the rule or proposal from the president that has been prohibited by law. to the best of our knowledge, there is no plan to close guantanamo bay area as the caller indicated, this is an important facility, one of the locations that we use in south comm. host: chris in dallas, texas, democrat. caller: the last caller stole
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some of my thunder. i was just wondering, how is it that republicans can get too upset now with president obama went all the has done in his administration is something that happen whenoing to he was inaugurated but he was blocked and obstructed. they had a secret meeting. it was detailed in the book called "dark money." they were going to block with the president wanted to do. president bush, president obama is following the same line of argument that president bush had planned to do a guantanamo bay and the prison. he has tried prisoners in federal court with prisoners in federal prison. republicans are not opposed to that. the only reason people like rounds from south dakota, and it is a shame that the sender retired and give that
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seat to him, they just hate being -- they just hate having a black man in the oval office. otherwise, you cannot explain. host: we would get the senator a chance to respond. guest: first of all, i would disagree with you. there are members of the united states senate and the house that we work with on a regular basis that are black. i don't think this has anything to do with race. we do have an honest disagreement with policy. we can talk about whether or not people disagree or agree with the president's policy. i have yet to be in any conversation with the house or senate where race has come up with president obama. i would say that in the times i had the opportunity to socialize with them when i was governor, and since then, he has been a gracious host and the kind of you you would not mind sitting down to have a beer with. the simple issue is we do not agree on policy, national, tax
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policy, we have different points of view with regard to the president. if you sat down and visited with them about things, he will try you his point of view and we will talk about our point of view, and in a lot of cases, they are different at nothing to do with race. host: senator mike rounds served his first term and before that, he was governor of south dakota from 2003-2000 11 and served in the state senate as well. he was involved in an insurance firm before that. taking your questions and calls on national security issues. we will hear from bill next in pennsylvania. independent. caller: good morning. president obama is a great president. i voted for him the first time. the second time, i had to drop out because the economy just did not come back the way i thought it was going to come back under his policies. having been in the vietnam war
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100 years ago or so, i can tell you that one of our objectives on the battlefield was to capture enemies and to get information out of the enemies which would help us to go toward victory. but ourate to say it, military has been handcuffed in this respect because over the last six years or seven years, they keep sending drones here, drones there, and i remember when bush and cheney were using drones and everybody in the media said collateral damage. this president i think is 500% more drones than bush and cheney . instead of capture people to get information out of and that will save american lives and it will take us to victory, the policy from the last six years or seven years has just a bit to drone everybody out there. host: ok. guest: bill, thank you for your service.
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did a dedication back in 2006 to the nonveterans in south dakota and 40,000 people showed up. i will tell you that there is a need to say thank you on a regular basis to veterans and that is critical. we appreciate your service and we should continue to say that every chance we get. we understand that the face of war has changed with technology, and i do not disagree with bill when he says that interrogating prisoners appropriately can be effort.eficial to the it is an area where we have fewer opportunities now than we did in the past. that is the reality of the modern-day war we are fighting right now in the middle east. we are using drones, it is safer with regards to sending our men versus a drone, and it is an efficient way to take care of problems in areas that we otherwise would not have access to. it does leave us with fewer individuals to visit with, talk
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with and find out and get information on the battlefield. the caller is correct. host: mary is on the air, democrat. caller: hi, greta. i am glad he wants to close gitmo bay. he is always trying to protect the people of america. , theyy want to open cuba have got to get those people out of there and put them in american prisons. it is just an invitation for the terrorists to come to cuba and re-catholic on that country -- and re-catholic -- wreak havoc on that country. i heard about the environmental situation there is almost pristine. once you send in those -- all those business people, they are going to tear that land up. i would just assume to keep it with taurus -- tourists.
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host: your thoughts? i think barry suggested that wherever they are housed, it may be a draw for other terrorist to come. that is one of the reasons why the suggestion is made that they would not be appropriate to bring them to the united states. one of the reasons they are left in guantanamo bay. i think most americans would say they would rather have them getting to the guantanamo bay been the continental united states. a discussion over whether the president should nominate someone to fill the seat for the late justice antonin scalia carried front-page page of the new york times, gop says that obama's pick will be shunned. in a closed-door meeting, it appears the request was made with republicans that they will not consider any sort of nominee from this president. can you tell us about that? guest: i was at the meeting they
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are talking about and we had a closed conference on tuesday, wednesday and thursday of each week, so it is not unique to have a closed-door meeting, republican or democrat, but one of the discussions was the announcement from a letter from the republicans on the judiciary committee, where the advised senator mcconnell that they did not intend to take up the nominations from the president for the supreme court, and during our discussion, it is a private discussion, but it was not so much a pledge as a consensus that republicans do not believe that this is the right time to take up a nomination for consideration to the united states supreme court. i think there are some very strong feelings about that. discussionry robust that i think would be fair to say there is a strong consensus that we believe the next president of the united states should make that determination after the people of the united states vote for the next
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president. and there is precedent for that. depending on whether your party is the party with her without the president, there is an ongoing discussion about whether or not there is a history suggesting that the president's nominations are approved. history does not support that in an election year. in fact, -- and you will see lots of film clip age of vice president joe biden and senator harry reid and chuck schumer all identifying during a presidential year or earlier that there be a delay with regard to when the senate considers a nomination for the highest court in the land. in this case, you are talking about replacing or finding another person stepping onto the bench for justice scalia, and he clearly is the gold standard. this is not one that any of us will take lightly. host: there has also been precedents that they have moved forward and has not been a
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vacancy on the court for an entire year. you have any concerns with eight justices? guest: really not. having an even number of justice is is not new in united states. when we had 36 states in the union, there were six justices, at all.were not unusual in fact, when we had the last couple of judges appointed to the supreme court, there were delays before we could actually allow them to participate in court hearings. the way that we understand right now, arrested this year, regardless of what happens, there would not be time for a justice to sit in on hearings during this year. most of the hearings will take close to six months from the time a nomination is made until an approval or consent is provided. that is in the best of times, so if you take six months from now, you are talking about september
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and close to a presidential election to begin with. even after that, let's just say that the nomination occurs with the next president. once that occurs, there is a time delay, but the supreme court can adjust their schedule for the most difficult cases to wait for nominee to be approved. we do not think that there was going to be a huge change in terms of the number of cases that cannot be decided, and most certainly, this is not the case where we are in uncharted waters because we are not. this has occurred host: on multiple occasions in the past. host:rick in -- on multiple occasions in the past. host: rick in georgia, a republican. go ahead. yes, ma'am. president obama, when he goes to cuba for his visit, he is going to be at guantanamo bay. then, he is going to tell the senate, you will find something to do with the prisoners.
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rick'sou think that is prediction that when the president goes to cuba, that will happen. heard thatve not before. that is a new one. guantanamo bay is a valuable piece of real estate for the united states. we have a pretty good-sized naval base there. it is important. i would be pretty surprised that the president would actually bay,n to return guantanamo the naval base, to cuba as part of many deal. i would be surprised if congress would have allowed that to happen. nonetheless, it is interesting and thought-provoking. uran, indiana, good morning. caller: this is a qualified mess republicans have done over and over in america. i am ashamed of their leadership. you can understand that these
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guys are ready to shut down the government every single day. they are really working against the constitutional discretion and they should be ashamed. even their leadership when they are trying to elect new presidents, most everyone is calling them liars. keep america brave. let proud americans be very proud americans, and this is not the way to lead the word. host: to think that is the tender of the nomination process en the republican side -- tenur of the nomination process on the republican side? guest: we don't like it. i don't think anyone likes it. it is bringing people into vote. each one of the candidates is doing what they think is right to get attention and in a lot of cases, it is working. if you take a look at the approaches they have taken, each has a plan. even though we may not like the process, it is one that plays
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out with the winner in the end. we will then reanalyze what worked for them and what did not. look, mr. trump, as an example, has become the face of people who are very angry about washington, d.c. thataller has suggested there is a desire to shut down washington, d.c. yet, most republicans have taken back the senate this year. not only do we pass a budget, but we made the deals necessary in the major appropriation plan that keeps government running, and reestablished the timeframe what they would not be a shutdown of the national debt until after the next president has been elected. i think we have done the best we can to point out that we do not want to have those types of divisive battles and we went to move forward and face the challenges that our country has in front of us right now. if we can get to the bottom line on this and say, this -- here is the reality, with tax codes,
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which have got to be revised, we have regulatory problems that are stopping the growth of our economy, and you have entitlements which we cannot afford anymore. in fact, government operation released a report about three weeks ago. if you look at the report, within 10 years, by the time our country turns 250 years old, in 10 years, 99% of all revenues collected by the federal government, all, will go into two categories -- interest on the federal debt and mandatory payments for entitlements and so forth. it does not include money for defense, education, research, roads and bridges. some people say, we will have a crisis that we have the crisis now. when these folks run on the campaign trail, they have their own opinion on how to move forward, but you have to have
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the vision and get people fired up. right now, each of them has their own approach. it is not fun necessarily, except a lot of people enjoy it like a reality tv show. host: your candidate was governor mike huckabee. you have not decided on your second choice. let me ask you, what makes a brother president -- what makes a better president? a senator or governor. you were both. guest: you are accountable for what you are getting done. here is what i think he needs -- a vision, be able to share with people what you want to see in america 10 years from now, share with them how you will get there, you have to have a tactic lay down and bring other people with you. you cannot be the only person saying that, so it is a matter of sharing a passion that other people want to join and believe. that goes for republicans and the crowds alike. all those individuals have to have that but they have to be able to execute it and get the job done.
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in a crisis situation in this country and the american people understand that and that is one of the reasons white mr. trump has been as -- one of the reasons why donald trump has been as successful as he has been. he is mad at washington and folks are saying, g, i wish of the people would say that. for those of us to get one year ago, a lot of us ran on the same platform. what we are looking for is a vision for what we want to have, how we will make that vision a reality, and how we will bring other people with us. host: if you support him? guest: the republican nominee, regardless of who they are, i think we'll have a better plan moving forward then any democrat nominee. i can tell you that these people once to do it is right, but i think their philosophy on how we get there is not as good as the republican point of view, which is you have to address the tax situation, regulatory reform, and he will have to face the facts that the sooner we start thinking of changes in the
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entitlement process is out there, we will not save social security if we do not start now and we will not save medicare if we do not start now. time is running out. each of these presidential nominees has got to have a plan laid out in the vision that other people can believe in as well. i think any one of the republicans out there understands it and will work added in a way that will bring more people on board then what are democrat nominees would do. host: we need to share this story related to 2016 campaign. e-mail testimony could rattle -- it is on the first page of washington post and washington times -- hillary clinton should be questioned under oath about her use of a private e-mail server as secretary of state.
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host: we will go back to calls. brian, democrat, louisiana. caller: good morning. are that i think republicans are obstructionist and i think there is a lot to what they have to say about undertones of races. i think it is consciously and effort that republicans make to prey on people's fears. they wave the constitution all the time, yet, when it comes to selecting the next supreme court justice, they are ignoring the constitution. host: let's get the response to that charge. guest: first of all, i do not believe it is correct to say we
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are ignoring the constitution when we talk about how we handled the supreme court nomination. supreme court nominations in the united states are set up in a fashion where the person who was nominated, but you go to the senate for advice and consent. they can nominate but not the point. the senate, by simply saying it is up to them to make a decision, right or wrong as to whether not the agree with the presidential appointee, does not give them the timeframe in which to do it. advice andre is consent and nominee cannot become a member of the united states supreme court unless the united states senate is convinced they are the right person for the job. i think that is where a lot of folks are saying, isn't that amount of when the president? sent somebody up and you just approve the and -- you just approve? no. is there is a vetting process in here as well, and in a lot of cases, the vetting process determined to the president
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might nominate and who he might not nominee. that is not something you take lightly to begin with if you are the chief executive officer. as a governor, i know that when i would nominate individuals for positions that had to be approved, you do a vetting process beforehand. once you have done that, the next step is to literally go in and show the members of the senate that the choice you made, the correct choice, and it is one for a lifetime appointment the right person. remember, we are replacing justice scalia. i truly believe he is the gold standard when we talk about individuals that understood about how the sickly interpret the constitution of the united states. the balance of the united states supreme court is in this decision. one weight or another. or another and that is not a decision and one should take lightly. washington,, republican. good morning. caller: happy rainy day. [laughter] i believe congress is
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ignoring the constitution and you explained yourself, i think you should be enrolled in obamacare just like every other american out there. you to, i would like for clear something up for me. i believe that guantanamo is american soil because isn't every naval base on american soil, including embassies, with the exclusion of benghazi, that was not american soil. i just wanted to clear that up. guest: thank you. number one, with regard to obamacare, members of the house and senate are included in obamacare today. our staff members are not happy about it, but in my particular case, i am on obamacare and my obamacare. -- and my staff is on obamacare. there has been a proposal, as a matter of fact, democrats made
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it, that there is an interpretation that says each separate congressional office is by itself and not subject to those rules that would require them to become obamacare members, but republicans have basically said, we do not like it, but if we force this on americans, we will live with it as well. in my case, unfortunately, my employees have had to put up with obamacare and i'm in the same process. second of all, the constitution is different with regards to how it applies to foreign bases versus continental united states soil. there is a difference and that is one of those areas that some folks have said, well, if you bring people from guantanamo bay into the united states, there is a question as to constitutionally what rights they have versus if they are kept in guantanamo bay bay. i don't think there are any questions that the right to more limited in guantanamo bay than the continental united states. that is one of the reasons they have been pushed to keep them where they are at an guantanamo
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bay and not allow them onto american soil. host: i want to get in one last benny in missouri. independent. caller: good morning. my question is on sovereignty. and i respect for sovereignty. it cuba is a sovereign government -- is cuba is a sovereign government and they do not recognize america on guantanamo and they have not accepted any payments that america has sent to them in guantanamo, are illegally occupying cuba? guest: my understanding is that there was an original agreement that allows the american ands -- that allows the united states axis to guantanamo bay. if you make a change out of it, it would have to be a bilateral change, so if one country decides they do not want to live up to an agreement that had been made earlier, that does not necessarily meet the agreement is no longer in effect. if cuba decided today that they want it all back, they still
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have to respect the binding agreement or the agreements in place before. host: thank you, senator. we appreciate you building the different questions. guest: i appreciate the opportunity. host: come back again. guest: thank you. host: up next, we will talk about water issues in this country. the leadings republican leading that. also, we'll talk about the current debates over voting rights. we will be right back. ♪
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>> some of the highlights for this weekend include saturday night at 8:00 eastern on lectures in history. cornell university professor garcia on the united states refugee policy since world war ii. who qualifies as a refugee and how that has changed over the years. the final part of our three-part series on -- investigating the united states policies in vietnam. dean raabof state testifies on behalf of the johnson administration's actions in vietnam. morning at 10:00 on the road to the white house rewind, the 1960 west virginia democratic primary debate between senators john f. kennedy and hubert humphrey of minnesota. muste next president
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arouse this nation to heroic deeds. he must courageously seek -- must understand complexities of disarmament and the workings of diplomacy. >> because i believe strongly in my country and its destiny, and because i believe in the power and influence of the next president and his vitality and forced are going to be the great factors in meeting the responsibilities we are going to face. >> at 6:00 on american artifacts, we tour the whitney plantation slavery museum that traces its history to 1752. slavery isy of integral to the history of the united states. we don't talk enough about the inequality of african-americans and what they have faced in this country and we don't talk enough about our role in perpetuating that inequality.
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it is significant and a lot of as aric sites address it start and i think it is important for people to come here and get a more complete understanding of slavery. >> for the complete american history tv weekend schedule, go to >> washington journal continues. host: back at the table this morning, democratic representative of new york and a member of the energy and commerce committee. thank you for being here. guest: my pleasure. host: we want to talk about what is happening in flint the water shortage. also, what is the water infrastructure like throughout the country? guest: it is an aged infrastructure that carries with it some concerns of wooden pipes, discontinued inventory, and aging human infrastructure,
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people who have a great responsibility who are certified, well-trained professionals, well educated for this system they carry institutional knowledge that needs to be transferred. it can help the system and i have done tours throughout my district to better assess the situation and compile data that is available to serve us in this effort to upgrade our infrastructure and i hope that we can encourage that throughout the map of the united states. built public sentiment to invest in what i call the hidden out of sighte, cannot be out of mind. host: the age of u.s. water pipes prompt -- from pre-civil war to civil rights era. look at philadelphia, half of their water mains were installed or 1930.
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some of the pipes were put in the ground before the civil war. or 13 states are younger than infrastructure in the northeast. when we address that, at first, it took a few visits in our tour to get a sense of the age we are talking about, but the efforts to get people to understand that in many cases, they are taking us back to a time of rutherford b. hayes. this is not a mind-boggling tought to consider that transplant our given cell phones because there is new shelf opportunity or we will order new screens for our homes because they are not large enough or trade our cars in every four to five years, but we are content with our drinking water
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infrastructure to be nearly 300 years old. host: a plan to replace water pipes could cost $1 trillion over the next two decades. it is quite the price tag, but talk to the folks of flint, michigan and asked them what the cost is. the price of doing nothing may be larger and there is a moral responsibility along with an ethical responsibility. there are certainly ways to address the system in more effective and efficient manners. we just met with a group that will line pipes with a certain resin that as a fiberglass bond on the inside of these that do not contaminate the water. they are a quicker response and 30% cheaper. there is new technology that has come along that may bend that
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cost curve. we are putting a stronger bit of preventative measures in the future. of thated about the age philadelphia system, it is also important to ellis that under our cities, especially, small and large, there are miles of pipes in the capital city of new york, the types under the city of albany are 317 miles. that can take from the capital city in new york to near baltimore. when you think of it that linear, is an awesome bit of potential for failure and an awesome responsibility. host: american municipal water systems are responsible for more than one point 2 million miles of water mains.
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we have a fourth line this morning for those residents of flint to call us up and tell us what is happening there. --(202)8-800 caller: 748-8003. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. i am an engineer serving in the united states house of representatives and i think a plan is the first initial step. we then put the strategy together that will best assist in that regard. there are efforts that i am making. we were drafting legislation for safe drinking water. , wellitation of that act before the flint incident. there are several pipes that need to be examined for lead
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contamination. not only that we reauthorize the fund that distribute money to the individual states, but to make certain that we are getting money targeted for various efforts out there, including the inspection of lead contamination. host: the safe drinking water act is decades old. where is the epa in writing rules for that long? guest: they have propagated rules and regulations that are sound, but what is really the failure of the system is that we are not offering enough resources. theave not reauthorized resources since 2003 and we certainly need to do that and enhance the effort. we are paying on average, 4% of these projects. the fed needs to be a stronger partner in this regard and it is toritical need and also, bring in the incentives that will reach new technology. perhaps some of this lining of
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pipes of which i spoke that would be very helpful, and i think with innovation and with new materials that are produced in the various efforts in this country with our pioneer spirit and academic prowess, we can do things better, but we might render these pipes stronger than they were at the time when they were placed. i have seen what corrosion from the outside is doing and what calcification from the inside with the collection of minerals along the pipe length is meaning to areas across the country. inch-28render a eight four inch height -- eight inch inch pipe.our the issue in flint has shocked
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the senses and has people with their focus on what needs to be done for water infrastructure. host: the epa estimates that year, about 200 or 8000 water main breaks result in lost water and disruption to daily life. bob in wisconsin, republican, good morning. caller: i notice when you had that graph, there was no walkie. i'm about 150 miles from milwaukee. every summer, we go through construction. ies systematically target these bad pipes and replace them .nd let the people know why should the federal government try to bail them out and what about the inside of the house?
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i was told years ago to run the water a little bit, especially if there is copper pipes in the house. is it copperhost: or lead that is the concern? guest: it is primarily led. there is a responsibility for all levels of government and property owners. have a fairto partnership and when we pay on average for 4%, i think the fed can do better. when you talked about a number of water main breaks, a quarter of a million per year, you think about that, it is not just water flowing out of those pipes, it is tax dollars, because it is treated water. it is very full is not to invest into the improvements that are required. it is costly, but what price tag the you put on public health
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that you address after the fact? my heart goes out to flint, michigan. just had a situation in upstate new york where there was a contaminated water supply. it was just a hunch of a homeowner to test his water that triggered that awareness. there was just recently in the a community in texas had a similar situation. we had a water main break in my district in albany that's built 10 million gallons into the community -- that spilt 10 million gallons into the community during this frigid winter and the cost of repair in challenges is something that should bring all
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of us to think of a more orderly way to do this preventative therapy, if you will, and engage in a bid to find the weakest spots of the system. privacy and the safe drinking water act brought that about. it really is there governing. flint i thinkin is a failure of state government, but it should not end there. but we need to do is stressed -- strengthen that partnership and in this budget alone, we have to address what is a slight cut to the safe drinking water pot of money. that is critical. we have to do better than that and congress has not stepped up to the plate. when you talk about this, some of them pull back and say it is expensive. ist isn't expensive and what
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-- what are our priorities if not public health and safety? host: democrat in mississippi, go ahead. caller: good morning. i think accountability is the thing. -- it isve the point because of some of the industries and when we as the citizens are treated as though we should drink the water and the water is bad and nobody is held accountable or it at the company, not a senator or congressman or governor or a federal judge, we just had the bp oil spill. these companies are doing these elected officials are allowing them to do it without any accountability. officepeople to be in just like if you were on a job and you were responsible for what we do, summary should be held responsible and they should be punished.
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guest: thank you for your thoughts. i could not agree more and i think there should be efforts to first enhance the collaborative that needs to exist, not only among government players with the private sector and the general public and there needs to be accountability and transparency in the process. if something is discovered to be a risky situation, there should be the demand for public disclosure and if we have to provide for those incentives to encourage that exchange of information, we need to do so. guest: michael, california, independent. caller: good morning. from what i understand, some flint residents are refusing to pay their water bill for this poisoned water. than the childcare agencies can
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step in and remove a child from their parents's household because they are not paying a running water bill poisoned water. you think that is a proper course of action? from ave a child household because they are not paying a bill for poisoned water. guest: if that is accurate, i am dynamics,n of those but if that is an accurate description, i think it is harsh and anti-child and we need to do better than that. why would one -- why would somebody want to paper contaminated water and why should there be a punitive outcome? let's get to the root cause of some of these situations, let's put a better, more comprehensive system together and let's invest in our communities across the country. on to a property
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taxes verio is the most regressive outcome. recently, ledne in the waterway beyond flint is what they report. the aba estimates it will cost you hundred $84 billion over the next 20 years to address the country's drinking water and infrastructure need. -- needs. newmarket virginia, steve. to remove is simple all the pollution of the water. you put gabion baskets down like a third of the river, either in the third and then you just you use liquid oxygen to remove the
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pollutants. of the oxygen does is it allows the pollution to fall into the bottom of the river. then all you have to do is put in a filter with charcoal and it is completely filtered out and then you just add some chemicals that the epa approves. withinld have been fixed the time we spent talking about it and it would not have cost the people much money. minutes- it basically -- makes a mountain stream that mimics a mountain stream and it makes it clean. i don't understand all of this carrying on other than the fact that the epa is busy looking at pornography run a than doing their job -- rather than doing their job. guest: you propose a technical response which is great. we recently did a smaller bill in energy and commerce that
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offers technical assistance to small rural systems. that is a step in the right direction, but it is a drop in the ocean. you are right that some of these things can be repaired or addressed with a sound filtering system, but there is also the corrosion or the undoing of some of these pipes by mother nature or by calcification within that needs to be addressed because we are having water loss and it is a precious commodity. are transitioning from an oil-based economy to a water-based economy. when you have millions of gallons lost in california as they did a year or two ago, that is a double dose of concern. many reasons, we need to go forward with infrastructure improvement along with the quality of water concept. host: carol, new jersey, democrat.
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know, if would like to we are paying for water and sewer four times a year, where does that money go to? i thought that would go to treating the pipes and making sure we had good water going to your house. outt: it is probably spread among a term and for the treatment which is not inexpensive and for the human infrastructure for people that maintain and operate these systems. when you have something with such longevity in terms of its useful service as a public investment, it makes sense to stress that out -- stretch that out and we may need to go to a bond concept because hundreds of
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billions of dollars are forecast to be the price tag. the systems have not been replaced in 150 years. it is going to be a problem a longou let it go for time and the price tag is all the greater. host: ted, independent, new hampshire. caller: my concern is -- i believe the man from mississippi hit the nail on the head, because i work for the town for 30 years and our water systems -- we draw from the river and some others rings, and they test the quality of the water coming in. if there is any chemicals, impurities or anything else in the water, it is not allowed in fixed,nt until that is whether it be some pollution from upstream, done village or whatnot.
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there is accountability because once it gets into the system and gets to where children have to drink it or bathe in it, that is way beyond reasonable, it has gone through a plant and treatment system. guest: i could not agree more. but ifs accountability, there is a weakness in the system, if there is contamination in the supply, --re should be the demand hearings are going on on the situation and we will probably discover some additional therapy that is required in the system, but suffice it to say, we need to do better than we are doing now and when you talk about the supply, a couple of people have indicated various different sources of supply for one given community. that in and of itself represents a challenge.
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in a restaurant, you need to know the quality of the water and the minerals in that distant -- system. there is a challenge to make certain that you are dealing with the mineral aspects of that water because it can affect certain businesses out there. when you look at the supply chain, it is not just how it is being served, it is businesses in many way. businesses, they also need a non-contaminated source. host: virginia, then, republican. -- ben, republican. caller: i taken issue with a couple of your points, you talk a lot about meeting federal responses, municipal water is a surface that is provided to
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people who live in a municipal area. there are benefits to living in a municipal area. people who live in that area benefit from those services and utilities, and they pay fees for them. folks who live in a rural environment such as myself, we pay higher burden and equipment , however, my water comes from a well. it seems highly unfair that somebody in a city gets all the benefits of living in a city, yet when their elected him -- elected leaders make poor choices regarding investment of those resources and they end up with a problem with their water system, you want to raise taxes on all of us to pay their problem. guest: the primary -- the first interaction, the first interrelationship is the federal with the state governments who
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have privacy with the same -- safe drinking water act. is within that state confine that all of the administration of the -- implementation of the programs is decided. those who are living off of wells and their system for their water supply, so be it, but there are also situations where it is proven by this latest scenario that the best was not done and it relies on sound governance from that state because again, they are the primary agent. we cover the bulk of people with a sound partnership with this federal flow of dollars. i think that is essential, otherwise, -- when you think of cities like went, there is a low per capita income there. if communities are going to come back, it is in our benefit to
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have them realize that come back and some of the -- it to have the furnace of clean drinking water. kathy, michigan, democrat. caller: i am just outside flint. regarding the hospital situation. those of us in the smaller surrounding areas to flint utilize both mclaren hospital and hurley hospital. hurley has become more of a name nationally, however, mclaren has had the worst problem with the legionnaires breakout. there have been other problems. there are many things i could say about this situation, but we
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cannot get any comfort -- information. to go toe terrified the hospital. i lived in a condominium association, and there are more elderly people in flushing, michigan than there are younger people. host: i would like to have the congressman responding about -- respond about people being afraid of going to the hospital. guest: there is a ripple effect with the situation and it affects also is of industries, including hospitals, so it is important for us to get answers and get the improvements that are required. i can tell you in interfacing with my michigan colleagues, that delegation is very steadfast in wanting to pursue the elements of truth and fact that will guide us. hearings that are being called for, i know some of my
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democratic colleagues have called for these and are bringing in forces to bear. this is about information gathering and you cannot do it quickly enough in my opinion. this is a health risk and it needs to be addressed. host: darren, washington, d.c., independent. i am a regular c-span fan. becauseu for coming on you did not have to. i want to make a general comment about infrastructure and then a quick question. it has been known for years that our infrastructure in america needs a lot of work. you can look at the army corps of engineers and see projections for bridges, roads and water systems. baltimoreetween dcf
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-- d.c. and baltimore. we've had water main breaks in baltimore like back in 2008 and a legionnaires outbreak. i wish people like our politicians were more -- more proactive about these things that they are more reactionary. everyone saidd let's fix it and do this and do that. now we have this flint water crisis, but it has been known for years that we have 150-year-old pipes. we should have a plan to replace our nation's water pipes. hope: as an engineer, my in serving in congress was to help build a stronger nation. when the american society of civil engineers rates the system with a d, that is not good enough on a report card.
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-- we need to face the challenges and address what we will do and share that with the public because when we all get involved in the dialogue, we come up with the best, collaborative response that will give us a stronger future. any modern society requires a sound bit of infrastructure, including water infrastructure and our percentage of the pie, our wage pales in comparison to that which we offer a roads and bridges. let's get on with it and show that we can function and function well. i think the people deserve what they are asking for, that we have a plan of action, that we accept rings, get things done and find a way to get to that finish line. graphic here,our phoenix, arizona ramped up its water program in the 2000 which helped cut water main breaks by 40%. the next call comes from arizona, ed, democrat.
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caller: good morning. i had a quick question. i was wondering if he ever tried to develop a flexible tube or piping system that could be pushed through the existing pipe so that it could cut down considerably on the cost of replacing a lot of this old pipe. guest: thank you. interestingly, i met recently with some engineering groups in my district who have a novel concept they are working with that has been proven to be safe and workable and imagine a flat hose like a fire hose that is then pulled through a system after they have ground through with their device to address the calcification. then they weave this flat hose through the system. it can go as far as to hundred feet in aspan -- 1200
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fair -- in a span. fillseed it and and it the shape of the pipe and renders it stronger than it has ever been when it was placed. it is a resin with a fiberglass liner on the inside so there is no contamination of the water. quicker, much quicker than traditional repairs and sometimes on average, there is -- it is 30% cheaper. guest: -- host: what happens to the old pipe? guest: it stays in place and if it does fully corrode, you have that resin that stays there. ohio.john, independent, caller: good morning. the story iis about
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read about erin brockovich, talking about the water municipalities and trimethyl leans in the water and using -- try methylene in the water and how they are manipulating the epa rules on trimethyl leans and anding ammonia in the water that is causing depletion of the -- whye in the water and haven't they -- why is the epa demanding carbon filtration in all water systems throughout the united states and ?llowing this try methylene in the water is a it is carcinogenic. could that also because he the beionnaires disease -- also
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causing the legionnaires disease ? what we contaminate our modern society, how we do it and what we do it with is under great concern. this also -- also falls under the tutelage of the epa. we are trying to reform and and -- from the political perspective, that,able and to tether work that in tandem, we are also in the midst of reform which i hope we can get done this year which will give the epa the tools ever iris and the process that is much stronger in its response. host: to, maryland, republican. caller: let's not play the blame game.
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let's just move forward. , how do yourstand call water a commodity? it is a god-given right. people need this stuff to live, i thought we had vote right to life -- we had the right to life. we need pure, clean drinking water for everybody. guest: there are many who would suggest that we pay for bottled water, it has become a commodity. -- it is store and is one of the first things you see. all sorts of marketing that is utilized in the industry. it is a natural given, falls from the sky, but it speaks to why we should be protecting our environment and not allowing any contamination with acid rain or
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with the insensitivity that is that is climate change -- ing some wasteful host: mary in michigan, democrat. ask thei would like to -- is money a big flint?in the town of not that far away, and i would like to know why we send million dollars to israel, we sent money to pakistan, and they don't have enough to make our water clean? guest: it is a matter of priorities.
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foreign policy is another discussion. we can argue that investing in some of our allies or the isions around the world savings because they can avoid disruptive government takeovers. that is an argument for another day. in this regard, i think that someone be suspect that in the initial findings and hearings, that this was the governments way to cut corners and skimp on budgets when in fact, when we do that, there are dire consequence. in this case, i think we have seen that children and families have been put it risk and lead contamination is a very serious thing that can take effect rather quickly and can call all sorts of learning problems. us tovery important for see the problem, determine what the root causes are, come up with the solutions and let's
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commit to the resources that we require. we are a nation that has great intellect and great resources and we have to set the right priorities. to walk away from something , what ist is expensive the price tag of doing nothing? host: pennsylvania, independent. caller: thank you for c-span. i have a question comment, and i tuned in late and i heard the congressman talk about -- say that they don't want to point the finger or play the blame game, which i think needs to be done. contamination can lead to children's development and they can develop criminal behaviors because of this. these children grow up and commit crimes. are you going to point the finger at that child or the
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person who contaminated them? on the hearing that congress health, for flip michigan, the government refused -- the governor refused to go. he should be impeached for that. guest: thank you for calling. i want to circumvent the responsibilities we all bear here by suggesting we avoid finger-pointing, i'm suggesting that lets not get trapped in the blame game and not move forward and be paralyzed in the process. this community requires our focus and our service. lets come up with a legislation and the resources that make for the best response. we have seen too many examples in our neighborhoods and nationally with the focus on flint and other communities. we know that this can offer some dangerous outcomes. let's be sensitive to that and i
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agree with you, there are ripple effects into the decades and if someone's behavior of their dates back -- out there dates back or is explained by this failure, we can always shift the blame and it's wrong to do that. let's get past the blame and invest where we need to do with have a plan where a smartest -- a smart nation has the way to make this happen in the world should be established. michigan,h, detroit, good morning. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. i have been watching the flint crisis and a lot of things that are going wrong. i believe that the people know exactly what to do to clean up these things, but as long as the to bank -- had to bank -- had the bank accounts
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and cut jobs, they will not be able to pad their bank accounts if they stop cutting the jobs. these people know their jobs. they know what to do about all of these things, it is just that they are not working. host: for me get in frank and then have you respond to both, democrat, maryland. caller: good morning. i have a question. the republican governor of flint , why has he not been held accountable? host: it will take that point. what is going on with governor snyder? guest: time will tell with these hearings and we will assess for the weakness was. there may be a price to be paid for that weakness and hopefully,
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the system will work itself through to make certain that fairness and justice is addressed. as to the revenues. we live in a nation that has great talent and opportunity. perhaps we need to revisit revenues and how we are producing it. we are settling the cost of government on to the middle class. ushink it is what has caused to delay some of the responses we require. that should be part of this determination, this pathway to success for our water supplies. if again, leadership is not coming to the table, somehow they should be required because we need to hear from all the that have a response in this given situation. is the best way for us to learn from this situation and to go forward with a commitment that we will pursue
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one this issue until we are successful because i think it is that important. host: we will try to get in a couple more calls. ronald in new york. republican, you are on the air. caner: my question is, why it take care of all the other countries, but they can't take care of the people in this country? first andposed to be the greatest, but there is so much failing. water systems, air transportation, and so forth. it is outrageous. when we look at the price tags out there for war, the trillions we invested in war and a number of situations, the cuts to domestic programs. it showed that we did not want to place high prayer these things and i think that the time has come where the public is
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concerned and outright angry at certain points and we need to address that. there has to be a soundness of investment into domestic programs so we can continue to prosper as a nation and embrace innovation which we can do with this response to water. host: allen in new hampshire, independent. a question, the u.s. have any idea there is a clean water act that says that huge corporations would not be penalized in the event they break the law, where as if it was a regular citizen, they would be penalized? i would hope that the attorney general or any of the forces out there that need to review these things would pursue justice. ,ou cannot contaminated
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creating a grievous outcome, but again, the responsibility that needs to be born, especially with technology and innovation -- you should be able to go forward and not contaminate our water supplies and the awareness and incentives to share public information and the demand for transparency and accountability in the system needs to guide us. host: congressman, thank you so much for your time. we will take a short break and switch topics. what we come back, we took to the president of the brennan center for justice with a new book taking a look at voting rights. ♪
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>> how can we best get people to pay attention? we tend to find things that are easy to understand. the government is so large and note -- an organization has to cut through a lot of noise and other things going on. members of congress talking about the wonderful things they are doing. try to get people more involved and they get more personal so that they understand the impact on them and their families and their children and grandchildren. a,sunday night on q and president of citizens against government waste talks about his organization's efforts to bring attention to wasteful federal spending. against government waste also publishes a book which compiled the organizations listed on authorized government programs.
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-- list of unauthorized government programs. us with ame up with definition of what was then called -- b game -- became the term earmarks and we went through all the appropriations bills answered the book. it went all the way up to $29 billion in 2000 x and every year that we can find earmarks in the appropriations bills, we release a book around april or may -- 2000 -- >> sunday on c-span's q&a. cycle, we areion reminded how important it is for citizens to be informed. >> c-span is a home for political junkies and a way to track the government as it happens. >> it is a great way for us to stay informed. >> there are a lot of c-span fans on the hill. >> there is so much more that
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c-span does to make sure that people outside the beltway know what's going on inside it. booktv has 48 hours of nonfiction hooks and authors every weekend on c-span2. here are some of the programs to watch for. 7:30, david randall of the national association of scholars talks about some of the books incoming college freshmen are asked to read before the first day of class. sunday night at 9:00, former nsa and cia director michael hayden gives an inside look at national security in his book, playing to the edge, american intelligence in the age of terror. is interviewed by these -- former cia director of the clinton in administration -- clinton administration. law enforcement traditionally has been able to look at the outside of the envelope. the supreme court decided that the fact of your phone call, who
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longalled when, for how also was essentially the outside of the envelope. >> watch booktv all weekend, every weekend on c-span2, television for serious readers. >> washington journal continues. host: we are back. joining us from new york is the author of a new book, the fight to vote. he is the president of the brennan center for justice. voting rights has been the center of what you do at the brennan center. why are you writing this book now? guest: great to be with you. i wrote this while leading the brennan center. we are in the middle of a whole host of debates and fights over the rules over protecting voting rights and the other ways that citizens need to be able to have ,heir voices heard in elections
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dealing with gerrymandering and the role of big money in policy -- politics after citizens united. it is it more intense fight right now in the middle of the selection that it has been in years and i wanted, among other things, to learn about and tell a story of how this has played out over the course of the country's history. it turns out this is not only happening now. americans have been fighting over voting, the fight to vote has been the center of our story, the heart of our politics from the beginning. of various a raucous up and down struggles. it has a lot to teach us. that is "what debates are happening right now as we head into or are in the middle of -- election cycle guest: this year is the first time that 16 states will have
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new voting laws on the books. a high first time in turnout president election and the first presidential election since the united states supreme court gutted the heart of the voting rights act of 1965. there has been a whole push across the country to make it harder for people to vote. the first time that happened since the jim crow era. also a time where we see a flood of new money from big donors. it has been a long time since the gilded age since we have seen a handful of wealthy individuals giving so much money in elections. you see voters mad about this. you hear it in both parties. a great deal of disquiet and unhappiness and awareness that the system of our democracy right now is not what it ought to be. host: let's talk about the history.
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the first americans that were allowed to vote and how did the fight ensued after -- in sue after that -- ensue after that? at the time of the declaration of independence and menconstitution, only white who owned property were allowed to vote and that was a small amount of the population compared to everyone else. that seemed to be the way it ought to be. there was some debate over it. ben franklin led a working man's revolt in pennsylvania and when the state of pennsylvania became independent, it gave nearly all white men the right to vote, but it was viewed as not something of the constitution was going to deal with. that is loose this idea thomas jefferson wrote, government is only legitimate if it rests on the consent of the governed and that idea took off, and so you had the very first
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set of debates over whether working class men could vote. that went on for decades and they won the right to vote in the early 1800s. host: the fight they came next? -- the fight that came next? guest: democracy became almost a fad. the united states built the first political parties with a massive group of voters. turnout was very high. a lot of people said wait a minute, who else should have that same right? after the civil war, frederick douglass and the other abolitionists say we need to make sure that the former slaves have the right to vote. guarantee thement right to vote, regardless of color or having been a slave.
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it was this incredible flowering of democracy in the south. hundreds of african-americans who were elected to state legislatures and congress, even a governor. then there was a backlash with the ku klux klan and other violent terrorist groups that drove african-americans away from the polls. was withdrawn in a deal and you had a real repression were african-americans lost something they had gotten. in the north, after all this progress with democracy, it was a crackdown. immigrants, especially catholics, irish, came to the united states and flooded into the city. there was a real backlash and a lot of rules were changed to make it harder for them to vote and you sort of see this pattern where people are fighting for their seat at the table and at every step of the way, other
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people fight to keep them from having that vote. things moved backwards in the late 1800s. host: during this debate over whether or not african-americans should be able to vote, what is happening with the debate over whether or not women should be able to vote? guest: it is a fascinating story. women found their voice in the -- 1848 at the second false convention in upstate -- seneca falls convention in upstate new york. they called for the right to vote, but not much happened. it was an idea that when african-american men would get the right to vote, that women might as well. as one feminist leader said, they would walk in on the strong or of a blue uniformed black of a view strong arm
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-- blue uniformed black soldier. there was an ugly split with the women's movement of the time opposed the 15th amendment because it did not include women. there was ugly language that makes her realize these issues are often very complicated. they were fighting for something very profound, the ability of half the population to participate. host: how is it that women were able to get the vote in 1920? guest: after this gilded age, the suppression of the black vote in the south and the working class vote in the north and you also had this flood of new big campaign money into the system for the first time, which really affected things, you had period of reform and revolt call the progressive area. , the of us realized
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americans at the turn of the 20th century thought that part of the answer to a government was was corrupt and broken to enhance democracy and give people a vote. the first thing they did was to say now that you could vote for your united states senator, before that in the constitution, senators were chosen by state legislatures, not by voters and they thought that this was a form of campaign finance reform because they thought that the big businesses of the time were corrupted legislatures, but women still do not have the right to vote. it is a wonderful story that so many people do not know enough about. , some off young women whom had been graduate students in england and active in the suffrage you -- movement there. they creatively pushed for the 19th amendment.
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the day before his presidential inaugural, woodrow wilson got off the train in washington, d.c. and there was basically nobody to greet him. the princeton glee club was there. he looked around and said where is all the people, they were down on president -- pennsylvania avenue. there was a march of 5000 women demanding the right to vote and about 100,000 men lining pennsylvania avenue and a lot of them have been drinking. the men broke through police lines and assaulted the women. since 100 of them to the hospital. the police chief of washington, d.c. had to resign. it got it kind of publicity and public opinion swung toward voting rights for women. in a way, it may strike your as similar to what happened at thelma. and --aul and lucy burns
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brother -- they were creative and they picketed the white house for years and engage in all kinds of activities and eventually, the politicians realized they needed to swing toward women voting rights or they might lose their elections. host: with that history on the table, we are talking about the fight to vote as michael waldman puts it in his latest book out this month. walking us through the history of voting rights and participation. the debates continue, so we want to get our viewers involved. tom and clinton, maryland, democrat. clinton, maryland, democrat. caller: in order for black people not to have to go over -- to get the right to vote, there has to have been an amendment to the constitution that black people are allowed to vote, is
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that what you are saying? guest: there is an amendment that says that. what we need to do is enforce the amendment and not and poor people to vote. one of the things i think make a big difference is we should be finding a way to restore the promise of the voting rights act. others ared a lot of challenging the voter id law in texas which made it so that 600,000 people did not have the right kind of id to vote instantly as soon as the voting rights act was gutted by the supreme court. something i think needs to happen next make a big change is if we moved towards automatic voter registration, and other words the way they do it in canada and other countries where
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if you are eligible to vote you are on the roles. it would cost less. it would in franchise so many people and prevent possible fraud. there are things we can do to make it easier for everybody to vote. we have got to stop these laws that do target african-americans and other minorities in the way they are implemented. it's not by accident this is happening this way. host: here is one from the national review. polls that show 75% of americans routinely support voter id laws. one reason is people know you cannot function in the modern world without showing id. you cannot cash a check, travel by plane or a train or read a video without being asked for one. me poke at some of the facts and there.
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it's just not sure you can't travel on a train without a drivers license or an id. it's not interestingly treaty can travel on a plane. they just put you through exit security. -- extra security. everyone should have id. it is hard to imagine going through modern life for most of us without it. i am for voter id myself. i think it makes sense for people to have to prove who they are. requiring idd and that lots of people don't have. voters doof eligible not have a drivers license. or the other kind of government take your id that i have, but lots of our fellow citizens do not have. we should not be saying that they can't vote. there are all kinds of ways to have voter id that does not disenfranchise. ande are states doing it
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that would satisfy any real concern about fraud. these laws unfortunately are constructed in a way that is very mischievous. that wasin texas pushed through by the legislature. use youryou cannot university of texas student id, a government id, but you can use your concealed carry gun permit. nobody is fooled about the implications of that. all the studies show, including the most meaningful one baby government accountability office, a nonpartisan think tank that works for congress, shows that specific kinds of strict voter id laws actually do depressed turnout in the minority communities. cd inlet's go to mississippi.
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you are on the air. caller: thank you. i'm in favor of voter id laws. i think people need to stop looking back in our past 200 years ago or whatever and making it all about race. whites thatot of don't have an id. the people that complain about it, they have had eight years of obama to go get ids. host: we will take your point. michael? guest: it is true that when there is -- when there are laws that make it harder for americans to vote it affects a lot of people in all different kinds of communities. an interesting example. the poll tax. it's something that was one of the laws on the books that said
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you had to pay to be able to vote. he was eventually overturned by constitutional amendment in the 1960's, as well as by supreme court decision. poor white for -- voters as well as african-american voters. poorer, educated, the it often didn't matter with the race was. i agree with you. a lot of these laws were just passed in the last five years. i don't want to be looking back either. unfortunately what i have learned and what i hope history is useful for us to understand is these fisa been going on for 200 years. -- these fights having going on for 200 years. we are making it so the promise of our democracy israel for everybody. believed you should have to be a property owner to
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vote. a white male property owner. somebody wrote and said shouldn't we expand this? he said no. the next thing you know women of 18ant to vote, lads will want to vote, people without a farthing to their name think they will have a say in government. he said it will be no end of it and he was right. it was always a struggle to keep our democracy. host: those modern-day struggles is something michael waldman writes about in his new vote -- book. he's also author of "the second amendment." speechwriteror and for president bill clinton in 1995 through 1999. assistant to the president and special assistant to president clinton for policy coordination during that administration. now he is the president of the brennan center for justice. mike from georgia? this is the most
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convoluted argument i've ever heard in my life. women and blacks have always been given the vote. aware of the american people giving away the right to vote. voter fraud is always on the top end. one or two people on the bottom end will not change the election. the fact you have to have the privilege to exercise a right is the most stupid thing of ever heard in my life. these folks claim they know the constitution. i will be honest with you. -- or we willch not be able to make it. manipulated by folks that are unaccountable, invisible. host: who are those folks for you? caller: all kinds of politicians
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and corporations and folks that quite literally don't have our interests in mind. host: let's take that. you seen the popularity of donald trump having to do some of the fact he is not taking money from corporate interests or special interests in this election. the same with bernie sanders. he is constantly talking about small donors and rails against the banks and wall street and their influence in elections. what are your thoughts on that? is that a new fight? guest: it's a great question. it is not a new fight. it is often been a fight that comes through in these kinds of questions of not just to can vote but who has the power and how are decisions made. theughout our history question of whether wealth should dominate and how it can have too much of an impact on
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government is something people have grappled with for a long time. we believe in one person, one vote. but we also have an economy where there is an accumulation of wealth. now there are people so much accumulation and inequality in economy and it is seeping into the political system. revolt you are seeing at the ballot box today is of the kind we saw 100 years ago when people where passing laws and constitutional amendments. a lot of the new challenge us to do with what happened with the supreme court. and with the vacancy we have now these are even more front and center. and thealler may know, last few years the united states supreme court knocked down a lot of the laws that had been on the books dealing with campaign finance. citizens united and other cases opened the door for the
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situation we have now where in 2014 the top 100 donors gave millionn the 4.7 5 small donors combined. that is a level of inequality we have not seen in political spending since the gilded age. turnout so far in the last election, the 2014 election, voter turnout was at its lowest level in 72 years. the public is unhappy. we are seeing it manifests itself in a bunch of different ways. what i want to know is not only how are they funding their campaigns, but what will they do? what are the plans to address this and trump or sanders or any of the candidates have? clinton funds are campaign -- her campaign and a more traditional way. definitely the most ambitious
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plans for what to do about money and politics and voting. i think all the candidates should be asked not just to argue mad at that what would you do about it? host: john, democrat. you are next. caller: it's a nice coincidence you just mentioned the supreme court. i want to ask a question. i have a feeling there might be a voting rights case pending now. my question to you is what do you think would happen if the president or a number of other people and the press would ask chief justice john roberts what he thinks he should have -- if he thinks he should have an undivided court for a year? am i right that when john adams was defeated by thomas jefferson and before he left he nominated john marshall, perhaps the greatest chief justice we have had until more and -- warren maybe? host: michael waldman?
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guest: it's interesting question. the supreme court now has eight members. it is divided between four conservative justices and f our liberal justices. yesterday they asked justice alito the same question. he said we will deal with it. will bethe justices likely to keep your heads down on this one, although there is a precedent. during the court packing fight of the 1930's the chief justice of the time, charles evans carefullyid a very timed letter saying the court was just fine with a number of justices it had ended 90 more. i don't know that john roberts would get involved politically in quite that way. he is pretty canny about staying out. it is the case that the senate refuses to consider any nomination from this president.
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there is no precedent for it in american history. people reject nominations. they fight over who to fill the nomination, but there is no precedent for the senate just not this president for the last year of a four-year term. judges that the caller describes, i don't remember if john marshall was one of them. .there were a number of them host: that is the headline in the front pages of the papers this morning. gop says no vote on obama nominees. senators rally behind place to let next president replace justice scalia. lee in new york? caller: morning. i have two comments. i constantly get flyers in the mail. this particular one yesterday says that more than 4 million illegal voters, including 1.8 million deceased people registered to vote.
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there are people in counties that you double voting because they basically live in two states. my second comment is i live in upstate new york. in the country in low voting. when i discussed this with other people they said the governor said we have a small concrete voting base and we would like to keep it that way. that is because people in upstate new york cannot go to the polls to vote on a weeknight and and clement whether. -- in inclement weather. thank you. guest: great question. let me take them separately. first, there is a lot of scare talk in that flyer about some kind of epidemic of voter fraud. i assure you everybody who has
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studied this in any serious way will tell you that just is not true. statistically you are more likely to be killed by lightning and commit voter impersonation in the united states according to all the studies. that sometimes what they are talking about is that our voter registration rules are a mess. yes, there are dead people on the rolls and wrong names. i found it hard to move from place to place and get my name off the old place when i register in the new place. that's why we should move towards modernizing our registration rules and automated systems. but there is no evidence of people individual people showing up and voting fraudulently. let's put that aside. the question about what we can do and make it easier for people to vote, we have our elections by and large on the first
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tuesday after the first monday in november. a lot of people assume that must be in the constitution. it is not. it was a law passed in the 1840's for the convenience of the farmers of the times who needed to be able to ride their horses to the county seat or they could vote. -- where they could vote. we should have early voting nationwide to make it easier for people to vote. new york state is backwards on these things. some people have said voting should be over a weekend or a federal holiday, although that would not help the people who have to work on the holiday. there are so many things we can do in new york state and elsewhere. one of the crazy things about our ramshackle system of running elections is it is different in every state. as part of a bipartisan presidential emission led by mitt romney's lawyer and president obama's lawyer, they
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said they should be a national standard for how many days of early voting there should be. so people who cannot get out on a weeknight or has to work or see their children, everybody who wants to can vote. host: daniel in baltimore? caller: they had these voting machines. you can't check the origins of some of them. butcan vote all you want, your votes are not counted or -- or they can use technology to switch it to whatever they want. it's a wasted vote. if you check it out, once it is in the machine there is no way you can recount. host: that is one comment. michael waldman, let me get to howard. caller: thank you so much. answertion i wanted to
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is why isn't the white man understanding he created this problem we have in america today? callerdy -- no should be involved with it. war -- creating a race which are not going to go back to the good old boy days. once the white man can realize that nothing is going to happen. thank you so much. two important and powerful in different point s. literally what we do to cast our vote changed over the years. it's always been a controversy. in the beginning people voted by voice. there was an let's scenes of violence of the polling places. people would drive each other away with sticks and clubs. overtime they moved towards a paper ballot which allowed
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parties to print up a valid -- ballot that allowed people to vote straight ticket. about 120 years ago they moved by the government running the system, the secret ballot. a lot of the things we know today. it's not necessarily what you would expect. when they moved toward these changes turnout started to go down because people lost the tribal team aspect of everybody going to vote together and cheering on their parties or team. the voting machines we have now after the debacle of the recount in florida in 2000, it was a tight election and the recount was a mess and we realized the machines were not very good. togress ordered the states
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buy new electronic machines. a lot of people were worried that they could be hacked. it's really not such a worry right now. if there is a paper record, and there are ways to make it safer. those machines are now 15-year-old computers. a lot of them are going to break. they are 10 years old or more. we will have to buy new voting machines in this country of the next several years and hopefully they will be better. and hopefully give confidence to the callers. a lot of the new machines are better than the old ones which were susceptible to error and fraud. the second think asked about was the painful issue of race, which is all the way through this story. so much of the time the folks who have been locked out of the political process and blocks from having a vote in this democracy have been african-americans, immigrants,
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latinos and others. but not only them. it's entirely focused on those who are cut out of power otherwise. it is an unfortunate fact of the states with the new restrictive voting laws, those laws were passed with the republicans took control in 2011. it was states with the biggest increase in turnout among minority voters that have the most likely passage of these news laws -- new laws. it's hard to escape the conclusion that a backlash against rising voting rates by communities that had not voted so much before my be underlying some of the concerns. host: peter from kentucky, independent? caller: thank you for c-span. you are much appreciated. and many compliments to you.
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my quick question. mr. waldman, thank you for writing this book. it is much needed. aclu,stion is why not the the unions, the naacp along with other voting rights organizations not combining their efforts to have a class action suit against the voting rights act? host: you are a little difficulty here. michael? a lot ofere is in fact action in the courts. a lot of the groups you mentioned and my group, the lawyers committee for civil rights, there is a whole alphabet soup of organizations that are in court often challenging these laws. the laws and taxes and north carolina -- texas and north carolina. there was a challenge to new is
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in ohio where the governor settled the case for the selection. or later these cases have to go back to the supreme court. it is a challenge because the supreme court, at least in recent years was surprisingly in dismayingly -- and dismayingly hostile to the protection of voting rights in a number of ways. the case in 2013 called shelby county that gutted the voters rights act. that was the most successful civil rights statute in american history. the idea -- chief justice roberts said that was then and this was now. we don't need it anymore. in her dissent justice ginsburg in ayou are standing rainstorm of an umbrella and not getting wet, the answer is not to put away an umbrella. past after theot voters rights act.
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it's not only in the southern states. it's all over the country. 20 to modernize and move our elections towards the 21st century. we could fix these problems easily if we wanted to without disenfranchising anybody and boosting security. it would be easy to do it if the political will was there and the politicians didn't try to write -- make partisan hay out of it. host: president obama reading today -- writing a description for the nominee he would like to put on the court. -- a deep record, sd respect for the judiciary's role, and the way the real world works as i fill my constitutional duty to appoint a judge to our highest court. connie in alabama. you are next. caller: hello everyone. i appreciate the opportunity.
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mr. michael, you are on the right point. it's like that because they want to keep all the people,, the democrats from the polls. it has nothing to do with no fraud. it's just racism. the supreme court is racist and the congress is racist. host: let me get in ray from cape coral, florida. do you have a question or comment? caller: i have a comment. item when everybody to have the right to vote, especially people that are fiscally irresponsible. if you can afford to get an id or hold down a job, you have no right to say who the next president is or the next representative. that's the only comment i wanted to make. host: michael waldman, what do you make of that? argumentat was the that a lot of white men of the
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time at the beginning said. onlyriginal rule was the white men who own property could include slaves. only they could vote. country have moved past that. we passed five constitutional in the men's saying everybody has the right to vote. let me tell you a story about a particular person. it isn't that people are lazy or able to get a job. somebody was a witness in a case that we helped bring in texas. his name was sammy bates. she grew up in mississippi. she remembers county of the money for the poll tax for her mother. she is african-american. he moved to detroit and chicago and went to college. she worked for whole life. then she moved to texas and retired.
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she has no money. she hasn't ever thing right and she has been voting for decades. all of a sudden she did not have the kind of id she needed to be able to vote. in order to get that id she would have to find a way to get her birth certificate from mississippi. it would've cost at least $42 plus whatever else they cost. she was asked why didn't you just spend the money? $42 where had to put it would do the most. you can't eat a birth certificate. i reject heatedly the premise of the caller that people who are poorer are less deserving of a voice in a democracy. i have a feeling his ancestors in my ancestors would have been locked out in fat equate if that had been -- locked out emphatically if that had been the case. host: tom in ohio? caller: they are asking women to register for the draft.
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why doesn't everybody registers for the draft automatically get a government id and be registered to vote? host: michael? guest: that's a great question. that might be the answer. up until now only men have registered. a lot of people get nervous about using that selective service information for any other purpose. the basic thing the caller is implying is right. to government have many ways make sure everybody is eligible to vote. turns 18 theye ought to be able to be registered unless they don't want to be and they have that kind of card issued to them. he is on the right track. what we are in california and oregon and other places is a move towards automatic registration. it will boost voter registration. i have a feeling.
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it will boost participation as well host: michael waldman, let's talk about today and where is the right to vote fight happening. what are you watching for next? guest: the fight to vote for the right to vote will not be won in the courts alone. it will be in the court of public opinion. and engaged. this election year we are seeing people focused on what is broken with politics and our system. you hear it in a lot of different ways. some talk about voting rights. some talk about special interests and big money. as he said at the very beginning from donald trump to bernie sanders and everybody in between. what i want to know is the next step. we should be asking these candidates not just who are you mad at, but what would you do
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about it? host: we have to leave it there. thank you for your time. appreciate it. "the fight to vote" is the book. the house is about the gavel and for the morning legislative session. live coverage on c-span. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. february 24, 2016. i hereby appoint the honorable john j. duncan jr. to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 5, 2016, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate wreck niggets between the parties


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