Skip to main content

tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  July 18, 2013 6:00am-9:01am EDT

6:00 am
6:01 am
6:02 am
6:03 am
6:04 am
6:05 am
6:06 am
6:07 am
6:08 am
6:09 am
6:10 am
6:11 am
6:12 am
6:13 am
6:14 am
6:15 am
6:16 am
6:17 am
6:18 am
6:19 am
6:20 am
6:21 am
6:22 am
6:23 am
6:24 am
6:25 am
6:26 am
6:27 am
6:28 am
6:29 am
6:30 am
6:31 am
6:32 am
6:33 am
6:34 am
6:35 am
6:36 am
6:37 am
6:38 am
6:39 am
6:40 am
6:41 am
6:42 am
6:43 am
6:44 am
6:45 am
6:46 am
6:47 am
6:48 am
6:49 am
6:50 am
6:51 am
6:52 am
6:53 am
6:54 am
6:55 am
6:56 am
6:57 am
6:58 am
6:59 am
>> thank you mr. chairman, thank you ranking member. mr. chairman, i join my colleagues in thinking you for the work you have done. we started today with a series of statements from you so i would like to end with one and thank you for it which is, quote, our mission as set forth by congress is a critical one, to preserve price stability, foster maximum sustainability, growth and output and employment and promote a stable and deficient financial system that serves all americans well and fairly. my question will be centered around that last part of it, financial stability or the financial system that will serve, quote, all-american this. i know you have a lot of questions related to the housing market. i thank you for opening your testimony and starting with housing because i am on long-term housing advocate.
7:00 am
in reviewing your documents this morning the multiple pages on housing put in mind this question for you. will you speak to what impact maintaining an adequate supply of affordable housing options for first-time homeowners as well as moderate income and conversely what will happen to the markets if -- or to the economy if we only promote a housing finance system where only the well-off who have the high fresh, who have the double digit dollars to put down 10, 20%, what happens to our market because when you look at what i believe more than $10 trillion in economic value, the united states housing market certainly is inextricably linked to the
7:01 am
performance of our nation's economy. >> in this recovery, one of the credit areas not normalized is mortgage credit and we have noted people with lower credit score is and first-time home buyers are not able to get mortgage credit in many cases and that is a problem for them and their communities and the overall economy since we are looking for a stronger housing market as one of the engines to help the economy recover and so there are many reasons mortgages are still tight for those borrowers. something we are paying close attention to. >> so often, that is the answer we get, america expects to advocate for those folks, and as
7:02 am
soon as you say low income or moderate, but let's look at the flip side of this. in your opinion let's look what it does to the market for credit unions, banks because housing is not only being able to purchase the house but deals with construction, jobs, employment, so what responsibility do you think those credit unions and banks have to play in this environment that we are in? >> we encourage banks to lend to creditworthy borrowers. we certainly enforce fair lending laws. first-time home buyers to get credit to buy a home, and there are some issues out there including -- regulators have to
7:03 am
take responsibility for the fact that not all the rules for making mortgage loans are finished and out there, more clarity on those things, there is a lot of concern about cutback risk, the notion that g s es may put back any mortgage that goes bad if there's anything, any technical flaw that make the banks less likely to lend. there are a lot of things to work on to get the mortgage market in better shape, approaching this from monetary policy which is trying to keep mortgage rates low so housing is affordable but also as regulators and working with other regulators to solve the problems extending mortgage credit. >> the gentlelady yields back and recognize the gentleman from
7:04 am
florida, mr. ross. >> let's begin by addressing your earlier comments, when you said the raids concerning fiscal policy issues such as the status of the debt ceiling will evolve in a way to hamper the recovery. my concern is i believe $17 trillion in counting in the national debt clock up their, 6% of the federal budget is used to pay interest payments alone on the national debt i firmly believe our sovereign debt, a different between borrowing money to pay for an irs star trek video and sovereign debt. it is disingenuous to say the debate on the debt limit will adversely impact when two years ago the credit rating agency will come to us and say if we have in place a systemic long-term path to reduce and address our debt that we will be
7:05 am
downgraded in our debt in ratings. wasn't so much the debate on the debt but the fact we failed to action to reduce unnecessary fashion or long-term fashion, out of the debt ceiling debate in the past we come up with things, there have been good things to help us with that so it is important to acknowledge having a healthy debate on the debt ceiling is prudent and responsible. we also want to address the second part of your opening statement when you address the non-bank significant important financial institutions specifically the implementation of a collins amendment. my concern with that going back to last week when the fed governor testified before the senate banking committee he told senator johnson, quote, in regard to postponing and delaying the rules as you testified before on basel iii,
7:06 am
that is to say the collins dment es require generally applicable capital requirements the applied to holding companies be supervised. i look at that amendment and what concerns me is i'm afraid your hands may be tied. we have two types of financial institutions. we have the short-term funding of banks and the long term insurance companies and yet we're going to give risk-based capital requirements, expanded requirements based on general accounting principles which don't apply to insurance companies, increased costs of insurance. i come from a state where insurance is important, florida. more importantly, we are going to results in a conflict between the ferguson act and the implementation of basel iii capital requirements for insurance companies. how do you feel we can resolve that? >> so quickly on the debt limit i was not trying to make a
7:07 am
policy recommendation other than to say the last time around we got a shock to consumer sentiment and it was harmful to the economy so i hope whatever is done it is confidence inspiring. on insurance companies we do our best to tailor our consolidated supervision to insurance companies but i agree with you the collins amendment does put stuff restrictions -- >> in order -- in other words -- where we are, one of the reasons for the delay is that you can't put capital requirements for banks as a minimum level capital requirement for insurance companies. as pointed out in the wall street journal opinion article you are going to see the insurance companies that are held to higher capital standard build more short-term debt and all of a sudden after the banking business which is counterproductive to where we want to go with the correction we are trying to do so my question is as a result, if we
7:08 am
impose -- bank centric capital requirement on insurance companies would that have done anything to have saved a ig from its financial collapse five years ago? >> a lot of things aig was doing that it couldn't do now, let's put it that way. on the collins amendment it makes it more difficult for us because it imposes as you say banks style capital requirements on insurance companies. there are some things we can do but it is providing -- >> would it be safe to say the future is not too bright for the non-bank financial institutions in terms of having any reduction of capital requirements? >> there are some assets insurance company told the weekend differential the weight for, some things we can do but
7:09 am
this does pose some difficulty for our oversight. >> thank you again for your service. >> the chairman recognizes the gentleman from washington, mr. heck. >> thank you. mr. chairman, given all the eulogies that have been delivered here today at least on the democratic side, i feel little bit like bette midler, the very last guest on the very last episode of the tonight show that johnny carson hosted. he famously quote to mr. carson you are the one beneath my wings, there is some application to that used as relates to the economy and i thank you for your service as well and i think mr. ross for brilliantly anticipating where i wanted to go. i have to admit that every day that goes by i am less optimistic that i am a member of an institution that can successfully deal with the debt limit. sadly, i must admit that. i am wondering if failure by congress to deal with it was one
7:10 am
of the, quote, unanticipated shocks that you suggested the economy might be vulnerable to and whether it is or not, what you would suggest about the economic consequences if congress did in fact, does in fact failed to lift his debt limit later this early fall. >> it would be quite disruptive. is important to understand that passing the extension of the debt limit is not approving new spending. what is doing is approving payment for spending already incurred. it would be very concerning for financial markets and the general public if the united states didn't pay its bills. i hope very much that particular issue can be resolved smoothly. i am not claiming in any way is not important to discuss these critical fiscal issues, it is. but to raise the prospect that
7:11 am
the government won't pay its bills including not just interest on debt but even what it goes seniors or veterans or contractors is very concerning and it could provide some shock to the economy if it got severely out of hand. >> is there a material possibility the shock would be so great as to the recession inducing? >> depending how it pays out, in particular, default by the u.s. government would be extremely disruptive, yes. >> secondly and lastly over the last years the fed has begun targeting interest rates on mortgages in addition to your historic focus on baseline interests, has the fed considered, is the fed
7:12 am
considering, would the fed considered implementing monetary policy in other credit channels even to minimize the possibility of asset bubble or to target job creation should we not see continued progress toward lower unemployment rate desired by so many. >> the federal research is quite limited in what we can buy. we can buy treasuries and government guaranteed agency securities, we are not allowed to buy corporate debt or other kinds of debt so we don't really have the tools to address other types of credit. >> let's say for the moment if we rewound the number of years some people would have said the same thing about the activity you are exactly engaged in
7:13 am
today. it was you who 11 years ago in a speech indicated there might be other monetary policy options available to the fed. it does not seem to me to be much other than a fairly easily adapted technical fix to allow you for example to engage in credit channels that for example back infrastructure. infrastructure is something that is the gift that keeps on giving. i don't see a legal impediment to you being able to venture into that arianna as some would conclude you might have hinted in 2002 before you were chair and some might have suggested a direct parallel to what you are doing today. >> i put you in touch with our general counsel. i don't think that is within our legal authorities. >> you would rule that out altogether? >> i don't see what the legal authority is to do that.
7:14 am
>> i would like to -- >> okay. >> in the meantime in five seconds. thank you very much. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. pittenger. >> in response to the earlier question regarding whether the fed would be willing to conduct the same type of stress tests of quantitative easing exit strategy subjected financial institutions, you stated a reasonable interest rate scenario you would not expect any significant disruptions from the fed to withdraw the monetary stimulus. but the whole deck of a stress test is to position extremely adverse scenario akin to inflation levels last seen in the 1970s and early 1980s, not a reasonable interest rate environment. mr. bernanke, has the fed
7:15 am
stressed its strategy according to that more extreme scenario? >> again, this is not about our strategy but our remittance to the treasury. when we do very tough interest-rate tests and again there are a number that have been published and unpublished available, what we see is first that even though there may be a period where remittance to the treasury are low pour zero, over the 15 year period from 2009 to 20203 the total remittances generally are higher than in the case where there were no asset purchases. you need to look beyond that which is to the extent that our asset purchases are strengthening the overall economy that is very beneficial to the treasury which is higher tax collections though most scholars who look at this conclude that the asset purchases are a winner for the taxpayer and almost all scenarios.
7:16 am
>> are you concerned about the perception that the fed will stress test banks? and other financial institutions but not review its own policies and strategies? >> it is not comparable. the banks have credit risk. we have no credit risk. we buy all lead treasuries and government guarantees m b s. in a recession we make money because interest rates go down. >> chairman hensarling showed on the board the the running-clocks. of concern to you, our friend, my friend for 20 years, erskine bowles, clear around the country, alan simpson, here last week, rang the bell on concerns related to the dax -- bedecked -- the debt. compounding problem when it
7:17 am
comes to interest payments on the debt. do you believe when interest rates rise over coming years and the spending trajectory we are towards the close of the decade that interest rates along with annual deficits push america's dad to unsustainable levels perhaps close to whatebt to uns perhaps close to what we are seeing across europe. i would say to my grandchildren, it is for my kids, it is for me. the urgency seems to be gone. mr. obama never mentioned it. the big elephant in the room that has never been there as a focal point. and the interest requirements are going to be compounded this entire issue. how would you like to address that as we look ahead to perceive the outcomes that might achieve the same results.
7:18 am
>> the cbo and the omb when they do deficit projections assume interest rates are going to rise and give the economy recovers interest rates should rise. that is part of a healthy recovery. that is taken into account in their analysis and what their analysis finds is for the next five years or so, the debt to gdp ratio is fairly stable but getting passed into the next decade we start to see big imbalances are rising mostly from long-term entitlement programs and a variety of other things including interest payments and as i said on numerous occasions i am all in favor of fiscal responsibility but in focusing only on the very near term and not the long term you are sort of looking for the lamp post rather than where the quarter actually is. that is my general view. you should be looking at
7:19 am
longer-term fiscal situation. >> the house is burning down. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman has yielded back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. >> i will echo what many said before. we recognize the service you provided to this country. when you were here back in february, i was the mere freshman with six weeks experience in congress and now i am a seasoned member of congress with seven months. i want to follow upon a line of questioning i took a minute or two to pursue. i will take five minutes and time for others. in your prepared remarks you make some pretty important references and the one that got
7:20 am
my attention was reference to improve financial positions of state and local governments and i think we all would acknowledge that is generally the case but i want to return to what will likely be my team for a long time and that is there is greet inequity in the condition of municipal governments, state governments, municipal governments certainly. i ask if you would mind perhaps commenting further and actually in anticipation of not having time i've prepared a letter for ui would like to submit and ask for your response but if you think in the context of your dual mandate, the potential impact, regional economy is, unemployment as an extension of what seems nearly certain to be severe financial stress cities
7:21 am
like detroit which in many ways is a place holder for a much bigger problem. and that is the disconnect between the presence of well and economic activity in america's legacy cities, older industrial cities and the obligation of those cities to sustainable reasons and filing on mr. heck phone not quite as far as far as the reach of the federal reserve i ask if you think about how you would advise congress or how the fed itself might pursue policies that would have the effect of potentially avoiding or mitigating the effects of municipal financial failure. 01 the always comes to mind is potential for municipal-bond default which could affect not
7:22 am
only the credit worthiness of the municipality but also could have implications for state governments, virtually all municipalities are creatures of state government. importantly, the effect on the economic health of particular regions. back in february, this potentially is an institutional failure that is regionalized or localized, is every bit as much and by what argue even more a threat, what we see with the financial distress, and the auto industry, this is a serious crisis and i would ask your comments and i will submit my letter for further response, thank you. >> i agree it is a serious problem. if i am not mistaken we have deflate city manager on one of our local boards to get this
7:23 am
informed about the projects that are being undertaken raising parts of the city and working on economic development so it is a very serious problem. as far as the fed is concerned there are two things we can do. first obviously you've got to solve the underlying economic problems and that means jobs, economic growth, monetary policies trying to achieve that, that is fundamental. community development experts they work with community development groups. and the economic base, and for various reasons. i went to deflate and talked to suppliers, those who provide
7:24 am
input to the big companies to try to understand their economy. and working for community groups, restoring the economic base. and provide help to the government in the short run and if the economy comes back a sustainable situation. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky. >> thank you for your service, your testimony today. i listened to your testimony. i have an observation and some questions. the observation is this. the fed has interest rates near zero for four years. the fed's policy is www. to $12.3 trillion and continues to grow. today you testified that a highly accommodative policy will remain appropriate for the
7:25 am
foreseeable future and unemployment remains at 7.6%. 54 consecutive weeks of unemployment higher than 7%, 58 present of the working age population is employed. five years of declining wages, quarters of the american people living paycheck to paycheck and gdp growth is well below the long run average of 3%. all of this has happened coincidence to a time when a role of government has grown dramatically as a percentage of the economy, higher taxes, stimulus spending, government bailout, obamacare, financial institutions and crashing overregulation by the epa. given these realities in extraordinary expansionary monetary policy struggling american families are asking the following important questions, what is the cause of weakness and persistent weakness in the
7:26 am
labour market. is it the ineffectiveness of the fed monetary policy or is it fiscal policies like higher taxes, obamacare, overregulation by the epa? my question is related to the exit strategy. during testimony in front of congress last month you reviews to roll out capering by the time period, the federal open market committee will release a statement the federal is reserve will continue its purchases of treasury mortgage-backed securities and employs other policy tools as appropriate until the outlook for the labor market has improved in the context of price stability. you reiterated that today. these are hardly definitive statements about reducing the fed's unprecedented and aggressive bond purchase program. if the average fixed-rate mortgage as we discussed earlier today jumped by 42 basis points the dow suffered back-to-back declines of 200 points to billions of dollars or traded out credit funds after you said last month that the fed could start winding down bond buying
7:27 am
later this year. given the sharp reaction of the credit market to the possibility of tapering, how will you prevent a catastrophic spike in interest rates when you actually do slow bond purchases? >> by communicating, by not surprising people, letting them know what our plan is and how it relates to the economy. you talk about the weakness in the economy that is evidence we need to provide continued accommodation even if we begin to change over time the mix of tools and providing that accommodation. use the a lot of correct things about the weakness of the economy. i agree with what you said. and make some progress since 2009 and many people think of the united states as one of the bright spots in the world, doing better than a lot of industrial countries and certainly not where we want to be, we're going in the right direction and hope to support that. >> given persistent high unemployment seems to me american families who are
7:28 am
struggling many of whom are in my district in eastern kentucky to continue to remain unemployed, as you testified the underemployment problem persists in the country, they justifiably have to ask themselves given the expansionary policy you have pursued aggressively to your credit there has got to be a fiscal policy problem that created this uncertainty. and bring it to your attention, a quote in fed policy. if the economy begins to improve and the fed does not remove what it created from the banking system rapid inflation will follow. if it does withdraw reserve quickly interest rates will rise rapidly. this situation makes economic calculations extremely difficult and makes businesses less willing to invest especially for the long term. if busess owners can trust the
7:29 am
fed this would not be an issue but we have all been burned too many times to trust the fed. can you respond to that? >> people have hypersinflation for quite awhile and inflation is 1%. we know how to exit and do without inflation. there's always a chance of going too earlier too late. not hitting the sweet spot, that happens all time. whatever monetary policy times. and we have no concern about inflation. >> the time of the gentleman is expired. the chairman has graciously agreed to stay an extra ten minutes whether he knows it or not and notwithstanding the fact the problem was with ourselves system without objection by would like to recognize the remaining members in the hearing room at this time for two minutes.
7:30 am
the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognize. >> thank you for being here today. .. >> we have treasury securities on the assets side, liability side we have cash or reserves at banks, and on the margin, that's been building up as the excess reserves. >> i mean, you create the reserves. >> yes. >> i mean, so is that printing money? >> not literally. >> no? >> it's troubling to me when i look at the balance sheet that
7:31 am
the fed has and you look four years ago it was $800 billion, and now we're up to 3.5 trillion. and i know you say you're confident you have the tools available to do a drawdown when necessary without risking hyperinflation. but by your own admission, this is unprecedented, what you're doing. what assurance can you give to the american people that we're not going to have a round of rampant inflation five years down the road? >> it's not unprecedented because many other central banks use similar tools to the ones we plan to use. >> currently, or can you look back in history and say there's been no kind of negative consequences? >> absolutely. japan, europe, u.k -- >> appreciate europe feedback, and we may reach out to you and get that information. >> sure. >> chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, mr. garrett. >> i thank the chairman, i thank the chairman for our back and forth that we've had over the years.
7:32 am
so in two minutes, met me just run through a couple questions, if i may. right now with the balance sheet, as everyone's pointed out, at $3 trillion, i guess you stand as the world's largest bond fund manager. we've seen recently since early may a one percentage point spike in long-term treasuries, right? if the fed were to mark-to-market, can you tell us what the change in value of that fund is? >> it takes us from $150 billion unrealized capital gain close to even. >> 150 to 800. and i think -- can you also then give us a rule of thumb going forward, because we've already heard projections as to increases today, tomorrow or stay in the future as far as inflation, but if you do see further increases in that maybe as a rule of thumb, illustrate a
7:33 am
relationship between d on the ten-year treasury rates and the values of the bond fund. for example, what would the magnitude of losses be for every percentage point increase in long-term yield? >> i don't have a rule of thumb. i'd refer you to the analyses we've published on this. it depends on the mix of maturities that we have and also the mix of treasuries and mbs. >> and do you, did you compute that regularly? >> yes. >> in regard to that? >> yes. and we publish it. >> and so if we see a 2 or 3%, then what would that result in? >> i don't have a number for you. >> all right. and in 20 seconds, um, right now during the week of september 13th fannie and freddie and ginny have been originating around $12.5 billion in debt. you've been purchasing -- no, they've been generating around 11.4, you've been purchasing around 12.5 in agency debt which means a result of 109% ratio
7:34 am
there. is there a problem there, and do you look at their originations going forward? in your bond purchases? >> quickly. >> we're not seeing any problems in the mbs market because we're not just buying new stuff, but old stuff as well. >> right. and i guess that's the point. do you consider that when you do go forward -- >> time. >> okay. >> time of the gentleman has expired. chair recognizes the gentle lady from minnesota, ms. bachmann. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, chairman bernanke, for being here today. i know that the daily treasury statement for july 12th that is subject to the legal limit was 16,699,000,000,000. it stood at 16,399,000,000,000 for 56 days defying all forces of nature when we were accumulating about $4 billion a day in additional debt, and i note that just during part of the questioning we've added over 400 million in debt just in the
7:35 am
time that you have talked to us today. so how could this freak of nature occur that the u.s. treasury would report for 56 straight days that the debt stayed at 16,699,000,000,000,000? has the federal government been cooking the books for these 56 days in a row? >> you'd have to ask the secretary of the treasure -- treasury. >> could you comment on that? whether i don't know what the issue is. i'd have to look at the numbers and what they refer to. >> well, this is reported at, but it's on the treasury statement for july 12th. were you aware of this? >> no. >> that the debt stayed by some freak coincidence at this level? >> maybe, maybe it has to do with the use of unusual special measures to deal with the debt limit. there are various things they can do, you know, to give some
7:36 am
extra space. maybe that's what's happening so it's not being counted in the debt. >> that's what was reported in the news, that this is an extraordinary action. but this looks clearly like the federal government is cooking the books. >> well, they're using, as you know, whenever the debt limit comes close, treasuries under both parties have used a variety of different accounting devices to give some extra head room, some extra space. >> have we exceeded our debt limit? >> i don't think so. >> thank you. i yield back. >> the time of the gentlelady's expired. the last questioner will be the gentleman from new mexico, mr. pierce. you're recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you almost beat the clock. appreciate you staying around. as you remember, last time you were here i gave you an invitation to come to new mexico and explain to seniors about your policy, and we've talked a couple of times. the group is still gathering out there, we're trucking them in lunches, so if you ever decide
7:37 am
tom to have that meeting -- come to have that meeting. mr. perlmutter headed down this direction. you continue to take advantage of seniors, because they don't have access to sophisticated instruments, so a lot of them have their money in cash and near cash equivalence. now, mr. perlmutter noted that the home financing has increased by, from 3.3 to 4.5. we've got a whole sheaf of wall street profit reports. those are going extraordinarily high. did the seniors even get kind of mentioned, honorable mention in the question about who's going to pay the bill for this? when are you going to start going up on the interest rate just a little bit? because right now you're taking from seniors, and you're giving to wall street, basically, and my district we're, like, 43rd per capita income, 14, 18,000 per year.
7:38 am
seniors live their life right. they paid off their bill, and they're being punished for this economy. >> again, i would say that the reason -- i don't think the fed can get interest rates up very much because the economy is weak, inflation rates are low. if we were to tighten policy, the economy would tank, the interest rates would be low. >> they just went with up a percent and a half, their costs are not going up. one last question as we're running out of time. i was interested in the republican obstructionism comments earlier, i'm wondering why the democrats did do anything from 9-10 on immigration. considering the multipliers came in '86, they thought it was one million, they legalized 3.5 million, they brought five with them. that's 16 million. if we get that multiple, 150 million people could be here. is there a number at which the economy is adversely affected? >> i don't know. [laughter]
7:39 am
>> thank you, sir. i'll yield back. >> all time has expired. i want to thank chairman bernanke again for his testimony today. without objection, all members will have five legislative days within to submit additional written questions to the chair which will be forwarded to the witness. i would ask our witness to, please, respond as promptly as possible. without objection, all members will have five legislative days within which to submit extraneous materials to the chair for influence in the record. this hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations] >> federal reserve chair ben bernanke will continue his testimony on capitol hill today
7:40 am
before the senate banking committee. watch live coverage at 10:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3. president obama will speak today about the health care law at the white house. he's expected to talk about the estimated $500 million in insurance rebates that are expected to go out to individuals late this summer among other topics. watch president obama live at 11:25 a.m. eastern on c-span. attorney general eric holder spoke tuesday at the 104th annual naacp convention. he addressed voting rights, florida's stand your ground law and the acquittal of george zimmerman. the attorney general also reflected on his own experience with racial profiling. this is about 25 minutes. there are --
7:41 am
♪ ♪ >> thank you. thank you. thank you. i know you do. well, thank you all for such a warm introduction, and thank you for those kind words. it is a pleasure for me to be here in orlando today, and it's a privilege to join president jealous, chairman brock, your national board of directors and my good friends, secretary donovan and secretary sebelius, in celebrating the naacp's 104th annual convention and recommitting ourselves to your important work. now, i am proud to be in such good company this afternoon. among so many obvious friends, courageous civil rights leaders like julian bond -- [cheers and applause] ♪ ♪ >> and passionate men and women who have dedicated themselves to bringing our nation together,
7:42 am
addressing common challenges and focusing attention on the problems and the inequities that too many of our citizens continue to face. even as this convention proceeds, we are all mindful of the tragic and unnecessary shooting death of trayvon martin last year in sanford, florida, just a short distance from here. and we're also aware of the state trial that reached its conclusion on saturday evening. today i'd like to join president obama in urging all americans to recognize that, as he said, we are a nation of laws, and the jury has spoken. i know the naacp and its members are deeply and rightly concerned about this case as passionate civil rights leaders, as engaged citizens, and most of all as parents. this afternoon i want to share with you two things. i am concerned about this case.
7:43 am
[cheers and applause] ♪ ♪ >> and as we confirmed last spring, the justice department has an open investigation into it. [applause] now, while that inquiry is ongoing, i can promise that the department of justice will consider all available information before determining what action to take. but independent of the legal determination that will be made, i believe this tragedy provides yet another opportunity for our nation to speak honestly, honestly and openly about the complicated and emotional charged issues that this case has raised. years ago some of these same issues drove my father to sit down with me to have a conversation which is no doubt familiar to many of you. about how as a young black man i should interact with the police.
7:44 am
what to say and how to conduct myself if i was ever stopped or confronted in a way that i thought was unwarranted. now, i'm sure my father felt certain at that time that my parents' generation would be the last that had to worry about such things for their children. since those days our country has, indeed, changed for the better. the fact that i stand before with you as the 82nd attorney general of the united states serving in the administration of our first african-american president proves that. [applause] yet for all the progress that we've seen, recent events demonstrate that we still have much more work to do and much further to go. the news of trayvon martin's death last year and the discussions that have taken place since then reminded me of my father's words so many years ago. and they brought me back to a number of experiences that i had as a young man when i was pulled
7:45 am
over twice and my car searched on the new jersey turnpike when i'm sure i wasn't speeding or when i was stopped by a police officer while simply running to catch a movie at night in georgetown in washington d.c. i was at the time of that last incident a federal prosecutor. [laughter] [applause] trayvon's death last spring caused me to sit down to have a conversation with my own 15-year-old son. like my dad did with me. this was a father-son tradition i hoped would not need to be handed down. but as a father who loves his son and who is more knowing in the ways of the world, i had to do this to protect my boy. i am his father, and it is my responsibility not to burden him with the baggage of eras long
7:46 am
gone, but to make him aware of the world that he must still confront. [applause] this is a sad reality in a nation that is changing for the better in so many ways. as important as it was, i am determined to do everything in my power to insure that the kind of talk i had with my son isn't the only conversation that we engage in as a result of these tragic events. in the days leading up to this weekend's verdict, some predicted and prepared for riots and waves of civil unrest across the country. some feared that the anger of those who disagreed with the jury might overshadow and obscure the issues at the heart of this case. and the people of sanford, and for the most part thousands of others across america, rejected this destructive path. they proved -- [applause] they proved wrong those who doubted their commitment to the
7:47 am
rule of law. and across america diverse groups of citizens from all races, backgrounds and walks of life are instead overwhelmingly making their voices heard as american citizens have the right to do. through peaceful protests, rallies and individual jills de-- vigils designed to inspire responsible debate. and those who conduct themselves in a contrary manner do not honor the memory of trayvon martin. [applause] i hope that we will continue to approach this necessarily difficult dialogue with the same dignity that those who have lost the most, trayvon's parents, with the same dignity that they have demonstrated throughout the last year and especially over the past few days. we should be proud of those two people. [applause] ♪ ♪ >> they, they suffered a pain that no parent should have to
7:48 am
endure and one that i as a father cannot begin to conceive. as we embrace their example and as we hold them this our prayers, we -- them in our prayers, we must not forgo this opportunity to better understand one another, and we must not fail to seize this chance to improve this nation that we cherish. today, starting here and starting now, it's time to commit ourselves to a respectful, responsible dialogue about issues of justice and equality so we can meet division and confusion with understanding and compassion and, ultimately, with truth, however hard that is. it's time to strengthen our collective reis solve to combat -- resolve to combat gun violence but also time violation involving or directed toward our children so we can prevent future tragedy. [applause] and we must confront the underlying attitudes, the
7:49 am
mistaken beliefs and the unfortunate stereotypes that serve too often as the basis for police action and private judgments. separate and apart from the case that has drawn the nation's attention, it's time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods. [cheers and applause] ♪ ♪ >> these laws try to fix something that was never of -- that was never broken. there has always been a legal defense for using deadly force if -- and the if is important -- if no safe retreat is available. but we must examine laws that take this further by eliminating the common sense and age-old requirement that people who feel
7:50 am
threatened have a duty to retreat outside their home if they can do so safely. by allowing and perhaps encouraging violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety. the list of resulting tragedies is long and, unfortunately, has victimized too many who are innocent. it is our collective obligation. we must stand our ground -- [cheers and applause] ♪ ♪ [cheers and applause] >> we must stand our ground to insure that our laws reduce violence and take a hard look at laws that contribute to more violence than they prevent. we must also seek a dialogue on attitudes about violence and disparities that are too commonly swept under the rug.
7:51 am
by honoring the finest traditions established by generations of naacp leaders and other nonviolent advocates throughout history, and by paying tribute to the young man who lost his life here last year. and so many others whose futures have been cut short in other incidents of gun violence in the past too often unnoticed in our streets. [applause] and we must do so by engaging with one another in a way that is at once peaceful, inclusive, respectful and strong. as we move forward together, i want to assure you that the department of justice will continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the facts and the law. we will not be afraid. we are committed -- [applause] we are committed to doing everything possible to insure that in every case, in every circumstance and in every
7:52 am
community justice must be done. [applause] for more than a century, this organization -- founded in 1909 -- the naacp has led efforts to do just that, standing on the front lines of our fight to insure security, opportunity and equal treatment under law. especially in times of need, in moments of danger you have dared to seek opportunities for progress and growth, challenging this nation to aim higher, to become better and to move ever closer to its founding ideals. under the banner of the naacp, courageous men and women like w. e.b. duboise, walter white, charles hamilton houston, rosa parks, martin luther king jr. and countless others whose names may be less familiar but whose contributions are no less important have raised their voices to advance our common pursuit of a more perfect union. their stories prove that today's civil rights leaders can best
7:53 am
honor the progress of the last century by planning for the challenges of the next. their examples remind us that as recent events illustrate, our work is far from over. and it's time to acknowledge once again that we have much more to do. after all, we come together today in another moment of need during a year defined by historic milestones including just last month, the 50th anniversary of the infamous stand in the schoolhouse door when two brave young students enlisted the advice of naacp lawyers, support of the justice department and the protection of the national forward to step past golf george wallace -- governor george wallace and integrate the university of alabama. [applause] fifty years ago last month. one of those students, i have -- vivian malone, would much later become my sister-in-law. [applause] although she passed away several years ago, much too soon, her
7:54 am
courage made a strong impression on me when i was a young man. her stories and others like it drove me to dream of a career in public service and led me to spend my first summer in law school working at the naacp's legal defense fund. [applause] and vivian's memory inspires me to think often of the historic speech that president john f. kennedy delivered on that fateful night when she integrated the university of alabama 50 years ago last month when he addressed the american people, expressed his support for vivian and her class mate, james hood, and described the cause of civil rights as a moral issue and, to use his words, as old as the scriptures and as clear as the constitution. in that extraordinary moment, president kennedy urged his fellow citizens to e -- to refuse to accept that anyone could be denied opportunity,
7:55 am
denied education or can denied e future of their choosing just because of the color of their skin. and he called on congress to pass sweeping civil rights legislation, outlining a series of proposals that would later be included in the civil rights act of 1964 and the landmark voting rights act of 1965. once signed into law by his successor, president lyndon johnson, these proposals affirmed and codified into law the greatest of american ideals, that all are created equal. they established -- [applause] they established protections for the rights to which every citizen and every eligible voter is entitled. and they came to represent nothing less than the foundation of the modern civil rights law. now, unfortunately, last month an important piece of this foundation was chipped away when the supreme court invalidated a key part of the voting rights
7:56 am
act. over the years -- and significantly in the past 18 months -- this provision, called preclearance, allowed the department to take swift action against numerous jurisdictions that adopted rules or procedures with either a discriminatory purpose or effect. it served as a potent tool for addressing inequities in our elections system. and it proved the effectiveness of a legal mechanism that it puts on hold any new voting changes until they have been subjected to a fair and thorough review. let me be clear, this was a deeply disappointing and flawed decision. [applause] it dealt a icer -- a serious setback to the cause of voting rights, and like all of you, i strongly disagree with the court's action. after all, as we've seen over the last 18 months, numerous successful decisions in the department's voting rights act
7:57 am
cases have proven that far from being an antiquated relic, such a process frequently resulted in the approvals for voting changes while allowing the the president to work with jurisdictions to address problems wherever they occur. for instance, just last year a federal court noted the vital function that preclearance played in protecting black voters who would have been disproportionately impacted by a photo id law in south carolina. because of the department's engagement with the state during the administrative review and later litigation, south carolina officials changed how their new voting statute t will be implemented in future elections and to eliminate what would have otherwise been a dramatic discriminatory effect. another court cited the voting rights act in blocking a texas congressional redistricting map that would have discriminated against latino voters, noting that the parties, and this is a quote, provided more evidence of
7:58 am
discriminatory intent than we have space or need to address here, unquote. that's a principal court. that's a federal court. these cases and many others illustrate that these problems are real. they are significant. they corrode the foundations of our democracy, and they are of today, not yesterday. in fact, despite last month's ruling, every member of the supreme court has agreed that as the chief justice wrote and i will quote again: voting discrimination still exists, no one doubts that, unquote. that's the chief justice. therefore, the struggle for voting rights cannot be relegated to the pages of history. and this is why protecting the fundamental right to vote for all americans will continue to be a top priority for the department of justice so long as i have the privilege of serving as the attorney general of the united states. [cheers and applause] ♪ ♪
7:59 am
>> it's also why, although i remain disappointed with this outcome, i believe we must regard it not as a defeat be, but as a rare and historic opportunity for congress to consider new legislation restoring and even strengthening modern voting protections. in a manner that's consistent with the record established by one of the most effective civil rights laws in american history. after all, in the nearly half century since its passage, the voting rights act enjoyed broad, bipartisan support on capitol hill as well as in the executive branch. its most recent authorization passed congress with near unanimous support in 2006 and was signed into law by president bush just as prior reauthorizations had been signed by presidents reagan, ford and nixon. republicans. [applause]
8:00 am
this is because providing fair and equal access to the ballot box has never been a partisan issue. it is an american issue. [cheers and applause] it's about, it's about the core values that define us as a nation and who we say we are as a people. whatever solutions our congressional leaders consider, i urge them to bear in mind as they move forward that the right to vote is both a guarantee and a sacred duty conferred by citizenship and protected by the united states constitution. quite simply, congress pus take steps to insure that every eligible american has equal access to the polls. ms. . [applause] >> in the meantime, the justice department will continue to monitor jurisdiction cans around the country for any changes, any changes that may hamper voting rights.
8:01 am
we will not hesitate to take aggressive action using every tool that remains available to us against any jurisdiction that attempts to take advantage of the supreme court's ruling by hindering eligible citizens' free and fair exercise of the franchise. we will also, we will also not wait for a congressional action to refine and to refocus our current enforcement efforts. in fact, i am announcing today that i have directed the department of the civil rights division to shift resources to the enforcement of voting rights act provisions that were not affected by the supreme court rules. [cheers and applause] ♪ ♪ >> to move those resources to the part of the division and to the parking lots of the act --
8:02 am
parts of the act that were not affected by the supreme court's ruling including section two which prohibits voting discrimination based on race, color or language in addition to other federal voting rights laws. it is clear that our work is anything but complete. our cause is not yet fulfilled. and for all the progress that we made over the last 104 years, our nation's journey along the road to equality and opportunity is far from over. this journey goes on every day in the efforts of those who seek to extend the legacy that our predecessors have established by combating violence and realizing america's founding and enduring promise of equal justice under law. it goes on in the steadfast commitment of my colleagues in the justice department and the entire obama administration to prevent all types of civil rights violations. most of all, it goes on in the passionate advocacy of concerned, dedicated and ultimately hopeful men and women
8:03 am
in and far beyond this room. the members and leaders of america's oldest and largest civil rights organization. [applause] make no mistake, the naacp's work is not just historically relevant, it is and will always be a vital and contemporary part of what makes this country truly exception bal -- exceptional. [applause] so let us message that we will honor heroes like dr. king, medgar evers, my vivian malone and so many others who have struggled, sacrificed and died, died for the freedoms that we now enjoy by zealously guarding the progress they achieved and matching their contributions with our own. above all, let us act with optimism and without delay to seize the really breathtaking opportunities now before us, to see that justice is done and
8:04 am
strengthen our nation's long tradition of increasing opportunity and inclusion. and to continue the work that constitutes our shared purpose and must always remain our common cause, the enduring pursuit of a more equitable, more just and more perfect union. thank you all very much. [applause] ♪ ♪ >> federal reserve chair ben bernanke will continue his testimony on capitol hill today before the senate banking committee. watch live coverage at 10:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3. now, immigration policy with
8:05 am
chicago mayor rahm emanuel and americans for tax reform president grover norquist. they sat down monday with the atlantic's washington editor at large, steve clemons. this is just under an hour. [applause] >> thanks to all of you for being here. i'm steve clemons, washington editor at large of the atlantic, and i have a real privilege today to engage in conversation, and later we'll include you as well, two people who are ostensibly two of the leading, most powerful political players in america. and both of you were telling me it was slightly ap out of body experience -- an out of body experience being here. i didn't know whether to have grover and rahm right next to each other but, of course, rahm emanuel, former white house chief of staff, three-term member of congress now the mayor of chicago. frankly, if you go and look around the city or the nation at cities and their mayors and what kinds of things the chief executive of a city does, what
8:06 am
rahm emanuel has been putting in place particularly with his building a new chicago, looking at infrastructure, immigration, how you basically synthesize what the equation of your city's going to look like, it's a very impressive arena. ron brownstein has done a big profile on this and, of course, we have grover norquist, president of americans for tax reform, encouraged by ronald reagan to, basically -- i don't know whose idea the oath was, but it worked, and it continues to be a formidable issue in american politics today. and lo and behold, i was with amy klobuchar recently, we interviewed her at the atlantic, and she was telling us how grover was now getting hate mail from some of his own base because of committee testimony that he had provided in the joint economic committee that was very, very positive. so i thought today, you know, crossfire is coming back on cnn, and that's rather or predictable, right? two guys, men and women on different sides, and they kind of bash each other without
8:07 am
thinking. i thought today we have a thinking forum -- >> not bashing? >> normally think we're on opposite sides -- >> i'm outta here. [laughter] >> normally, opposite sides, but frankly, there are similarities. rahm, forget your white house role, forget you were a big cheese in this town, but we're in chicago, and you are thinking about what the, healthy equation with immigrants as part of it, what as a mayor, how are you trying to change the game? >> okay. a couple things that i think will be very helpful facts and not too different from what javier said at least on the national level. but, basically, in the city of chicago which is true in any major city about 50% of all new business applications for licenses are by immigrants. and that's why i've always said you cannot be pro-small business and be anti-immigrant. the two of them go hand in hand. and we have cut our licenses, business licenses in the city of chicago by 60% making it much easier for people to start a
8:08 am
business, reapply for businesses. but 50% or nearly 50% of all new business applications for a new, start-up business are by an immigrant. second, those who have come to chicago know michigan avenue, know the magnificent mile. it produces more sales tax for the city of chicago than any other one-mile stretch in the city of chicago and also the state. little village, hispanic area, the city of chicago i call, on 26th street, the two magnificent miles. it produces the second most amount of sales tax revenue for the city of chicago and for the state of illinois. full stop. so outside of michigan avenue when you pull out, you know, it's pretty high-end shopping. the most productive area from a sales tax revenue for the city of chicago is 26th street. and it's, and it pulls people literally from all over the midwest who come in. on a weekend, you cannot find parking, let alone the parking meter issue, but you cannot find
8:09 am
parking in the city of chicago near or around 26th street because from as far as minneapolis, minnesota, to columbus, ohio, people come in to get things they cannot get in their communities that are reflective of their home country. so just in a sense of what's happening in the city for us, today i signed an executive order with the immigration office, we are creating what we call citizenship corners if every library and neighborhood library throughout the the the si of chicago. all librarians are being trained on how to help people get their citizenship. they have kits they can take home, check them out like books to actually promote the whole effort. and i'll close by this one example if i can and then, obviously, go on. a year ago we held a forum with robert f. kennedy -- first time here in america, their foundation -- and all the nobel peace prize winners. in chicago. they did it in berlin, rome,
8:10 am
paris, they wanted to come to america, they did it in chicago. i happen to think chicago's the most american of american cities. we did it at von tuben high school. that's where my mother went to school. all jewish. i know, we got -- [inaudible] your high school, hi mother's high school which may explain a lot about our relationship. [laughter] but second is i introduced a young woman who is from yemen to introduce gorbachev. she is, came to america and came to chicago, fourth grade. graduating from high school, she's now at northwestern. full-paid scholarship. the student body is 126 different nationalities. that that's a reflection of what's going on, and she's fourth grade she came to america. she would never, she no more would finish fourth grade in yemen than the idea she was on
8:11 am
her way -- because she was number one in her class, so she did the interview with you gorbachev. how can that be against our interests? she has now decided she's an american. this is clearly in our self-interests economically, and it's in our self-interests as a city when you look at all the diversity of that school and all the relationships that are intertwining that goes on bringing the world to chicago and chicago to the world. this is a huge economic opportunity for the city of chicago, clearly one for the country, and those are just kind of three examples of what's going on in cities around finish. >> before i jump to grover, let me ask you to take off your mayor's has or as mayor if you were to be on a national tour finish. >> but i'm not. >> and you stop by kansas, it happens to be where i was born, and it's not a place bicepping over backwards -- bending over backwards to be necessarily welcoming to immigrants. what would you tell parts of the country, particularly those not exactly moving in a progressive
8:12 am
direction on this, what would you tell them? why does that story you just shared, they're listening to the heritage foundation, and they just say, you know, this is not our story. it may be chicago's story, but how do you reach them? >> well, there is -- that may be true, although i do think immigration's changing what used to be only an urban story is now becoming an inner suburb story, so i'm not so sure -- it may not be, and it also is also quickly becoming, also, a rural story. and that has, that has cultural impact. so my appeal is one on economics, but nobody should dismiss -- >> right. >> -- some of the cultural piece of that which can be disconcerting. it's not true for the city of chicago because, you know, my grandfather came to chicago in 1917, 13-year-old to meet a third cousin, to get away from eastern europe. and that's the history of chicago whether it's ireland or india, you know, the middle east
8:13 am
or mexico, whether that's poland or pakistan. and that's just the history of our city, and that's also true of every big city in america. i think that also is the truth of any state has a history of of immigrants and inflow of immigrants who have given opportunity. and you have to find what i don't have in kansas and i can't provide it, is you can't give them a national story. so there are anecdotes and examples of kansas' own history that you would have to weave in in a very local way. and i would not treat it disrespectfully. i could tell you a story about chicago a hundred different times in a hundred different languages. there's a story and a narrative to kansas, as an example, that you have to go find. if you're going to persuade somebody from kansas why this is in their interest, i can't tell you a chicago example. you have to find a kansas example for kansas where they can then find an opportunity in that story to see their future. >> i actually, you know, as a guy from kansas and oklahoma that came out of that
8:14 am
environment, i think the story is implicit -- [inaudible] >> engines of innovation. >> let me tell you, the atlantic and the aspen institute produce the aspen ideas festival, and this year i was driving at like seven in the morning and going off to do one of two early meetings, and we saw karl rove walking by, and the drivers there who are mostly volunteers are all hard core, left-wing liberals and they said, god with, i'd like to take that guy on. i said, well, he's speaking at 8:00. our editor-in-chief is going to be listening to him. so i caught up with the guy later, he did go, and he says, boy, that karl rove, he made a lot of sense. and you saw rove, and basically from i should say your corner of the woods, somebody went out and walked into the lion's dens of hyperliberals and basically talked about immigration reform, and i bet he got a couple of gop sign-ups that day. but i'm wondering given your role and the role of karl rove,
8:15 am
george w. bush, where were all of you a few years ago? isn't this just a cynical move by some in the party, in the republican party, to say now it's pragmatic, now we need to do it because we're a dead party or is there something deeper than that? >> look, actually, if you go back in american history, the group that stopped all -- that passed the chinese exclusion act, labor leaders thought this is a great idea, let's have add the japanese to it, historically going up to the '80s, every anti-immigrant impulse was driven by organized labor -- >> the democrats, you're saying. >> yeah. the modern democratic party. so there's been movement automatic way around. interestingly, the business community did not get amped. around. eleven companies in the country, sort of a checkup, okay, guys, what's important to you in the year, 1999.
8:16 am
and they went around the room and the capital gains tax, put all the trial lawyer, put them in a plastic bag, throw them in the river, and everybody was in one of those two places. then he finished, said thank you very much, got up and left and like in the last couple moments of the colombo tv shows, the guy from the chamber say said, well, there's this other thing. what is it? well, we've never worked on it. what is it? we need immigration reform. around that table, everybody said that's a bigger issue than the one given an hour talk here that i brought up, and they talked in terms of hundreds of thousands of people that today needed in their various industries. and yet none of them felt comfortable or confident, it was somebody else's issue. moving on this time through, more than 2007 because it just didn't yet organized in -- get organized in that way, the business community, every his
8:17 am
group is -- every business group is for, you know, legalization of the 10 or 11 million who are here, dramatic increases in future flows whether it's low-selled and high-skilled. i always get a kick out of it. this generation, we'll see what happens. future generations can switch in a generation or two. because you're bringing in the talent and opportunity. so the business community, southern baptist convention has strongly endorsed comprehensive. the national association of evangelicals, the roman catholic church, the mormon church, the national -- >> why are you guys losing? i mean, you've got george w., you've got bill clinton, you've got rahm emanuel -- >> very persuasive. >> what's that? >> the last two will not be very persuasive. >> yeah. but just generally, when you look at who's lined up on the reform side, i don't think i've seen an issue ever, ever where
8:18 am
everyone was on that side, and yet it doesn't seem to be percolating. you were just with the greater boston tea party patriots. so how did that go? >> april 19th up in boston, 2,000 people. interesting. it was all about, you know, taxes and spending. but every, maybe 20 people speaking, radio talk show hosts. every second someone said very complimentary about immigrants all the way through. look, the -- >> boston, right? >> that is boston which helps, but you're talking about kansas. the kansas chamber of commerce brought me out to kansas to speak with the governor, brownback, who's the most pro-immigrant governor in the country and the legislate cur, the leadership's committed to doing that, and the chamber was trying to make sure that some of these immigrants, that some of the anti-immigrant legislators were thinking about doing something like arizona were tamped down, and they are going to probably move more along the lines of utah which is the opposite of arizona. so kansas, business community, communities of faith, very active in moving in the right
8:19 am
direction. this has been an issue where radio talk show hosts have driven it to a certain extent on the right, and you can get pretty wealthy in this country with 5% market share on talk radio. you can't, however, be elected dogcatcher with 5% market share. so you've had that conversation. but at the other time, look, all the major business groups and minor and state group, the various commitments of faith -- communities of faith are all out there. take a look at the list of people who might run for president four and eight years from now -- [inaudible] >> that's really helpful. [laughter] >> why don't you just stay focused. [laughter] >> the, but scott walker, wisconsin, has come out strongly for it. rand paul has talked about it, spoke to a pathway to citizenship before jeb bush with, before rubio. so you're looking at chris christie, the leadership of the modern republican party moving
8:20 am
forward is exactly where ronald reagan was and where the traditional republican party has been which is more open to immigration. i mean, i've been at this for 30 years, used to go to these press conferences, jack kevin, me and some little old lady arguing with the afl-ci o and -- which was all always the group we hado fight. when i was with college republicans, we -- >> so, i mean, all this makes sense. >> let me finish that thought. we do these groups and i thought, here's one we can all work on, let's sign this letter we wrote in support of soviet jews being allowed to leave the soviet union. the union-back withed groups wouldn't sign it because it meant we might let them here. that's a huge shift that the unions have been willing to back off. they're still not there on future flow, on guest workers that we need and build a wall instead of having a guest worker
8:21 am
program, but we're making progress. >> before i jump back to rahm, the obvious question is in your tax work in which you've been so powerful and being able to maintain a caucus to veto a deal -- >> we got a deal, just didn't have tax increases in it. >> right. but you've been able to do that, but many of those were motivated by pressure and what not from tea party voters. and it's many of these cases, these same tea party voters that are taking these positions, and it raises an interesting question whether there's a corner of this that has a veto ability that is driven by, and i'll just say it, racism, where if you look at -- not just because we're at the u.s. hispanic chamber of congress, but if you look at gregory rodriguez's work or others, if you look at marriage, home buying, business start-ups, all the things rahm was laying out, it is among all immigrant classes the lead.
8:22 am
and i'm just wondering at one point that empirical stuff, you know, begins to matter to jim demint. >> interestingly on -- first of all, 20 years ago and back from the 1920s to the chinese exclusion act, all that stuff, historically -- not speaking to today, historically -- the anti-immigrant position has been colored with exactly that. connected with restrictionists in terms of number of people working. but interestingly, this is not a vote-moving issue, opposition to immigration. and as soon as people figure that out, that's why the republicans are moving away from the position they sort of got yelled into by some talk radio shows. 19 -- when pat buchanan ran for president, 70% of republicans thought there were too many immigrants. we've thought that too many immigrants in this country since the germans started sneaking in, and franklin was yelling about it in the 170s. first -- 1770s.
8:23 am
first blush, yes, too many immigrants. second thought, i'm not really against it. so pat buchanan ran, 70% of people agreed with him on immigration, he got 1% of the vote. this was supposed to be a big issue in 2007. who'd the republicans nominate in 2008? john mccain. so this idea that there's some sort of deep-seeded, anti-immigration reform vote in the republican party just doesn't show up. the two senators from arizona, john mccain and jeff flake, the two post pro-immigrant senators in congress, in the senate. so it doesn't show up in the votes the way it sometimes shows up in the tongue wagging that you can get on talk radio. >> thank you. rahm -- >> this question budget directed at me -- wasn't directed at me, but i would say that is all true what grover said, but the party has allowed itself to have a few voices describe and define its position. >> correct. >> on immigration. >> yeah. >> which is where the political fallout has occurred for the
8:24 am
party, and that has if not averted soon, will have huge import for both on local and national politics, not just national. so that is all, all those data points are true where the screaming is louder than they, i mean, i always say that sometimes volume does not reflect depth. >> yes. >> that's also true in our party. that said, leaders in the republican party have allowed the screamers or the bigger voices -- the voices that have gotten attraction to define who the republican party is and now has huge import to them politically as just saw on the recent election. >> can you walk us through again from a mayor's perspective how you're trying to position chicago as the, essentially, the friendliest city to immigrants? and you have made the case of why it economically matters, but i think what's interesting -- and i don't even know if this paper that i have is available to folks, but if you look at sort of there are 15 points you have largely put in lace that
8:25 am
you think are game -- in place that you think are game changers for immigrants coming in, is your aspiration to try to create a template for other cities? one of the interesting things -- [inaudible] i'm not sure how much you think d.c. has, but as a mayor, do you create a template for other cities? >> d.c. has a huge impact but less and less. it's a declining impact. that's a debate for another forum. couple things. the state of illinois passed the dream act. it was the only one -- i got sworn into office on may 16, 2011, it is the only piece of legislation i called for. not because i called for it, but -- and we, i've raised $250,000 for that fund privately, and we have a little over a hundred people going to college that could not go otherwise using that resources. so that's one example of where you can do something different. second, just recently we passed what we refer to as just the drive's license -- driver's
8:26 am
license. four other states have done it. we passed it statewide allowing immigrants who don't have a legal status to get a driver's license, allows them to get to employment, get their kids to school, allows them to go around. it has a lot to do with public safety and safety on the streets let alone the ability to have people come out of the shadows and integrate themselves into the society. >> how do they get over the fear of getting tracked down and deported? >> well, we have -- we're a sanctuary city, and number three, since you went there, we used to have it by executive order, i passed it by ordnance so the status does not live by the whim of a major. fourth and probably most significant which led to today's event, or announcement, rather, that we made is i created an office in new americans, and i put it in the mayor's office. and they literally spend all day going through different departments, different areas of the city to say, okay, how is this going to impact immigrants. so they came up, you know, we
8:27 am
have 79 neighborhood libraries. they played no role in immigration. these are huge, i don't want to -- they're huge assets. there are buildings in every neighborhood. we have a big work force, lie brains. -- librarians. so we signed an agreement with the immigration office. we're in the process, we have already done 50, we're training all the librarians, and we've created a special room in a special section of every library that is called citizenship corners. it has kits, and the neighborhood library is now in the process of helping people become citizens. that office, my i office on new americans, thought of that policy. today we signed the order and joint agreement between the immigration office and the city of chicago on this process. and they literally go through every regulation. they go through every office to ask -- and it's not just does the web site have english and spanish? important to do and etc. but they go through every part
8:28 am
of the city's government and says what are we doing to promote immigrants? i think it's in the city's interest, and we focus on mexican-american community. the city of chicago, i just met with the new counsel general from mexico said the city of chicago would be the fifth largest city in mexico based on our population. that's huge economic capacity when you think of what nafta's created for the united states. but we are outside of warsaw the second largest polish-american, polish city. bigger than krakow in population. human amount of trade back and forth that can happen when you think of how poland's growing -- >> guys from the polish embassy are thrilled right now. >> i know that. i saw that, that's why we did the shoutout. that's how i get elected major. [laughter] so just give you those types of sense for the size of the city. that's not going to be true everywhere, but based on the
8:29 am
mexican-american population in the city of chicago, we are the fifth largest city in mexico. we are the second largest city in poland, just in chicago. now, that's part of our history, but when you think about remittance, you think about trade, you think about opportunities, you think about travel; you think about tourism, at every level we have three polish tv stations, four radio, one paper. there are streets in the city of chicago that have english and polish together. that's also true in, you know, spanish and english. that's a huge opportunity if you are looking for market and for a city which is still the headquarters of what i call the flat roof manufacturing kind of 50-75-100 that doesn't have an export strategy because these are family-owned businesses, the historical immigrant route is a huge economic opportunity not just for what the city does, but for what it can export.
8:30 am
you can go on with this, but -- >> let me ask you. >> -- how we've changed, i need the federal government to change a process. short of that, through the new american office, the library, driver's license, the dream act we have done what we can do short of the federal government finally doing the final bit. >> the president operating -- [inaudible] >> everywhere we can press, well, the two, driver's license and dream act, we've done through state legislature. >> right. >> we have pressed the outer limits of what you can do. i mean, there's a couple other things -- >> without -- >> without kind of finally, you know, the dam breaking and finally changing the game. >> let me ask you both the economic question since you've gone right into that. jim demint and some of the folks in opposition to the legislative direction on immigration have said that the 50-year cost of creating a citizenship track and of bringing immigrants is $6.3 trillion.
8:31 am
it's enormous. .. >> i've begin that already on sales tax, but one other thing. why this would be in our economic interest. so much of the services we pay for come from property taxes. a new group of people buying homes, i have another group
8:32 am
paying property taxes. you pay for libraries, schools that way, pensions that way, police that way, so just take home ownership and take what would happen, and if all the people thought, okay, i'm here, i'm now going to buy a home. that's just on a simple repair libraries that way, i mean, just at city level. all the people say, okay, i don't live in the threat of being deported, we are the capacity to buy a home. boom. it's a game changer for a city who is part of, not only, but part of the revenue stream coming from property taxes. it pays schools that way, libraries that way, police that way. just one to have the facts. >> at the national level, the reason why we're the future and japan isn't and europe isn't and china isn't is that we do immigration. i get a kick out of people whether we should be
8:33 am
proimmigrant. that's asking the united states whether mcdonald's should sell ham burg hamburgers. it's our success all the way through. it's saying something. we need to say, wait a minute, that's true, okay. what made us different was 1777, and we had open borders, and so where we had immigration and lower taxes, grew faster than everybody else. because they want to be here. the idea people come from a country we don't like, we don't tell cubans don't come because cuba's communist, but they are leaving cuba because they are communism, and they want to be something else. they are not trying to set up shop like it was at home. they were happy at home if they liked that, but they want to be
8:34 am
part of the american experiment, and china can't do that. a lot of chinese -- people in china right now, but they are getting older and fewer of them. they will have a declining work force, and they culturally don't do immigration. that's why japan, which when i was in business school, was immediately, all finished because we didn't do media or something, disappearing in terms of overall strength. immigration makes us the future, not europe, not japan, not china. we do it better, smarter, get op track to where we have been, and in being welcoming to immigrants. we are just stronger as a country. economically, every city, country, town and so on. a enwould ask any of you to come to the city of chicago. when you see -- there's nothing like the dedication of a child from an immigrant in the studies and their purpose.
8:35 am
they know in their dna that they are here, lucky, and that this better not get screwed up or your parents are going to kill you. [laughter] the -- the -- >> i read these books. >> and a lot of other things to it, but i give you a young woman from yemen. came in 4th grade, now at north western. she was just a unique opportunity. you can't do this anywhere else, do not mess this up, and that is rejuvenation of the american dream, and people left somewhere to come someplace because they could do what they could do only here in america because they couldn't do it here, and to leave is a big step. something was motivating. nothing like the child of an immigrant trying to make sure parents think. only possible in america. >> cycle out and come back. >> you know, whether the school,
8:36 am
and that is a -- that's a gold mine for us. i wouldn't trade it for anything. >> you're the best political strategist in dc, and everyone's scared of you. rewon fun yiest poll of the year in the improvisation things in september. >> yeah. funnyist celebrity in washington, and john lovett won by imitating rihanna last year. what a score card. [laughter] >> boehner call you scene say, hey, it's a tough one to crack. any ideas on what we can do with the caucus? i mean, you're the strong man in
8:37 am
the issues buying for inclusion of gays in the republican party immigration, and do they call you and say, hey, how can we elbow a renegades into this? >> i work with all of the nice republicans in the house and senate to encourage them to do what reagan did. it's the reagan republican view. this is not compromise. this is not moving to the left or something. this is the mobility of labor, mobility of capital. this is economics for crying out loud. it should be second nature for republicans and conservatives, and good news is we are making a lot of process. we have to do more. i mean, there's a lot to be done. there's a strong republican vote for this when the --
8:38 am
>> you now have so many positions, congress, chief of staff of white house advising the president and mayor of chicago. given your perspectives, if you were asked by the white house how to improve it, what would you put on the table? what do you think democrats have to do they are not doing today to make this a salient or get more traction than now? >> well, phi of all, this is really not a problem or interest to democrats. that would be vast advice. this is really an issue that someone in the -- it's in the republican party, in their hands. i don't think this notion of -- there's members of congress running in specific districts. a few pop heads up and think about the priority's future to think about their open. >> there's a cynical thing if you don't get a deal, where do they get the progress.
8:39 am
>> a cynical view in a sense, but i think there's two parts of the conversation, and only one part's engage ofed. it's important to have grover, talk radio, religious community engageed because there's a group that need a permit slip to say, "yes," and no democrat will create that. going to the white house, how to create a permission slip for a republican member op voting is a dumb idea. that's number one. that's really for leads in the republican parties, both talk radio, religious, individuals like grover, and that's why. the other part of the conversation i would engage that i think you can have some impact. that is how to persuade somebody to go from here to a yes. there is how you can also where
8:40 am
the problem will be is how you permit a vote and don't expect people to vote yes. they allow a vote to happen without them -- they can individually vote no. they don't mind being road kill. part of this whole discussion is how to get somebody to go from here to a yes column. there's another part which is not a conversation publicly on how you allow people to allow a vote to happen even though they are oppose the to it, and that part is not a public conversation. that, i think, if you ask me, is where democrats, where the white house can be helpful in creating a space for that to happen. both of those have to happen. >> one thing people are not aware of, we have another board, they have to be instructed in that. >> in canada, the conservative
8:41 am
party carried the majority of each of the minorities. they do the outreach, and they win volts. they are attacked by the left party for promoting more immigration to get more votes, and so the free market -- the more free market low tax party is an example of how you win the votes. they've done it in cap da, and we have done historically in the united states. we have to get back to it. we carry the asian-american vote. we should have that again. >> interesting. open to the floor. we have ted, foreign relations. get the microphone. just don't bring it near us. [laughter] >> thank you. i wanted to ask -- >> make it brief. >> the notion that immigration is second nature to republicans. you and others in the party spend a lot of time persuading voters the government is not effects, wastes tax money. you got a big bill now that
8:42 am
requires the government being really effective. it's got to secure the border, verify, you know, for every workplace. it's got to weed out fraud. how are you going to persuade republicans that the government is capable of doing that, and, therefore, they should vote? >> that's one of the challenge, but what eisenhower did with the guest worker program, took us from 800,000 people getting arrested at the border down to 40,000 and organized labor and democrats killed it in 65. the guest worker program, went back to arresting a million people. we know how to police the border, the guest worker program at a minimum. that's not more guess government, that's less government. >> i'm delighted -- i knew there was a time when i would agree with grover so that's all. terrific. [laughter] >> do you feel better now? >> emma green? >> you must have twitch your nose or something.
8:43 am
emma green in the back. >> emma green with atlantic. mayor, you said your city is a sanctuary city, and in that way, chicago stands in conflict with federal policies on immigration. do you hope your policies in chicago move the dialogue op immigration debate? >> many say this, emma. what we do in the city of chicago, i do -- because i think it's in our self-interest. do i think as somebody as a student in government and politics, what happens to the cities or state, do you want have ripple effects as people look to it? yes. i didn't do the -- i took -- we had a sanctuary city done by mayors by executive order. that's not good enough. i don't know what elections tomorrow bring, and if they want to change, that i want them to repeal it rather than just not sign it and reauthorize it, so to say, but i do think we have
8:44 am
the right way for the city, but for example. i would draw a bigger example out of both the dream act we passed. there's 100-plus kids going to the college. see what they are studying. it's impressive. tell us that's not in the interest -- i think it's a city, and on the driver's license ability, parents can take their kids to school safely, awe low them to get to employment, to church, and those are examples that have huge -- they are all driven, especially the last one, emma, is all about safety on the roads. there's nothing worse than driving with somebody you don't think has insurance. >> margaret? margaret carlson. >> you're on a first-name basis with everybody. >> grover, you know, opposed to
8:45 am
the mayor, you don't have to do anything. i mean, you can flip from issue to issue. you're not really accountable, yet you hold the hill in your pledge. [inaudible] you must feel powerful, but at the same time, you have more power than many people in the congress. >> he's also funny. >> there's a commitment that elected officials can sign to the voters, not to me. it's senator harry reid misspeaks, but to the voters. the tax issue is powerful going back in history, the forming of the country, and so when they make that commitment to their voters, they tend to keep it. on the republican side, we have percentages of republicans signing the pledge and taking it because they want to, and because they intend to keep it
8:46 am
so republicans sign the pledge because they don't want to raise taxes. it's not that they don't want to raise taxes because they signed the pledge. the pledge highlights the commitment to vote. the power remains with voters, and they've spoken harshly to people who break the pledge. >> is there a methodology, i mean, you rooted the sort of tax pledge in the tax revolts part of the founding united states, but also there were a lot of people from lots of religions, aligns themselves under a criminal. is there some methodology of grover that can be apprised to the immigration debate we're not seeing today that creates a binary yes or no punishment on one side or award on the other? >> no. when you talk to people who think they are against more immigration or immigration at all -- >> right. >> i'll give you -- drill down to a series of different issues, people who worry about the entitlement system and for every
8:47 am
dollar joe puts into medicare, he's going to get $3 out. therefore, fewer immigrants. it's an argument of having children because everybody has that differential. people can -- that don't like the welfare program think immigrants can go on welfare. lives damaged by dependency on welfare were born here. they tag immigrants with something else they are focused on including education. gee, the schools don't teach american history. i went to one of those schools, i was born here. they don't teach it well. it's not just the immigrants getting a strong a public school system as we'd like. a lot of times when you talk, explain to people what is it that bothers you? let's go reform the welfare system as clinton started to do. let's reform entitlements, have school choice. that's the way to fix things, not to yell at 3% of the population and say it's their fault. >> i don't know if that's --
8:48 am
>> you have a question now? >> john, you're next, then we wrap it up. so, jim? >> most of the viewers in the room and many watching the atlantic site agree with the proposition all three of you advancing, i firmly believe, that im-- >> i'm probing, not advancing. >> advancing that immigration makes the united states different, strong, vital, ect., ect., i bet your pop cigs, that g.o.p. votes are not -- that people don't vote that way. with the evidence you can show us, and people move on the issue within the republican party and becoming more accepting of this. >> sure. before we go to grover, do you have thoughts on that, ron? you death with both parties. >> sorry? >> you dealt with both parties, going back and forth.
8:49 am
aren't there republicans in chicago? there's got to be a few; right? couple? [laughter] >> found one the other day -- no. let me not answer the question, but use it for what i'd like to say. >> okay, good. [laughter] >> look, you got two major things going on here, and it's at a cross. when ronald reagan was president, republicans had a lot electorally on the map and democrats had a lot op the congressional map, and cultural issues worked on the democrats' side and against republicans'. democrats -- i wouldn't say they are close to a lock on, but they are beginning to slowly show that looking at the history of how states go and florida, for example, where it is today compared to ten years ago, where it is today, to ten years from now, and arizona, blah, blah, blah, go through it. you have what i think has been a
8:50 am
detriment to the country. that is on l congress gnat side, it's not the that the republicans have a lock, but the system is set up for voters to pick the representatives, and we have the technology representatives to pick voters changing the politics, and while the cultural issues shifted, and the national mass shifted one way, we want a conversation in the party's interest, and, basically, people will be republican members of the congress, immune from that argument, which is why i think is the argument to pass immigration reform and deal with a host of other issues. you need a permission slip to allow something you can oppose. there's another discussion that as long as the math is there, it's going to interest. >> interesting. grover? >> against allowing the iraqi translaters to come here, threatened over there, that's immigration, that's bad.
8:51 am
somehow the democrats muted the unions to a certain extent, that there's still the problem on future flows and h1b's, and that sort of thing. they are the sticking point, why this bill doesn't work as well as it could, but the d's are working on that. on the republican side, it's the bottom-up thing. the southern baptist thing weighing on this, tens of thousands of churches, organizations, this is not unimportant to a republican candidate. roman catholic, latter-day saints, orthodox jews. it's important. add to that the business community, farming industry, the dairy industry that can't function without more immigration. these are all people speaking -- >> startup communities. >> high-tech communities. it's critical to speaking to republicans and explaning this to them. it's taken longer than i would have liked, took a long time to
8:52 am
get the democrats to mute the labor unions a little bit, but we'll get there. >> time question, john, if he wants. >> i just like to have a two-part question. part process, part economics. on process, how do you feel about a situation where there's republicans who don't approach the leaders enough -- [inaudible] the second is the argument that legalizing a bunch of immigrants is going to exert downward pressure on wages that's going to hurt some of the working class voters, and republicans should go for, and if markets work and we have a labor shortage, wages should come up, and that's how we solve it. anyway, thank you. >> grover, and time word, ron.
8:53 am
>> on the economics of this, look, the economics is just so clear when people move into the area of economic growthings you get more growth. people are in assets. the argument that immigration depresses wages is the argument of having children because that depresses wages because there's more people. people who talk that way are -- i think there's a general consensus that they were a little off on predictions, but there's antipeople. how do you argue with people who think people are the problem, okay? that's -- that's not something that sells as well as they are thinking it did. i think the open and freer economy at all levels, including mobility of labor is -- making the country stronger, the economy stronger makes everybody better off. growing at 4% a year rather than 2%, that's $5 billion in additional revenue, okay?
8:54 am
that's a huge shift in revenue. more growth and having more imopen immigration, but increased growth about 1%. that's a will the of economic growth. that's a lot of opportunity. even more running for the government, a waste, unfortunately, but that's a step in the very correct direction, and i think the voices that are shrill arguing for let's not have a vote are doing so because they understand that every day the republican caucus is moving towards that, the last conference they had, they are going to get a yes vote, do their own border thing, own h1b thing, not the senate thing, house is not going to take orders from the senate, and they are not going to pass a law that doesn't require trusting obama because he changes his own rules, and that scares them. this is going to play out, going to be done in regular order. i think that -- >> when is it going to happen? >> boehner is making the move
8:55 am
forward correctly. >> mayor, final thoughts. >> john's question is hard to take up after the hits on obama. >> i was wondering how long we'd go. >> can't wait to get the flight out of here and back home. [laughter] the fact is that i think i'm optimistic for a different set of reasons why republicans get there, and get the issue, i think, dispensely. i don't think they think it's in their self-interest. there's a lot of parties, and you could have the vote now, and so i understand, i think they are imoing to get there for a series of reasons of internal republican caucus politics. i did not add the data point talking about on small businesses, and illinois, the u of i, one of the number one computer science and engineering schools in america, i think 40% of patents come from immigrants
8:56 am
so it is a classic example of what both on -- trying to go with your point, there's a lot of people trying to look at small businesses, whether it's a restaurant, whatever, and there's a lot of high tech entrepreneurs here, not purely greek imgrants here and economics, but there's a lot of entrepreneurs, inventors, startup capacity, and there's -- you know, we had one example, microlensing. people starting businesses that were too small without any background or history for banks and financial institutions. all of it almost all immigrants just in the lending space, and those were businesses that then are a second restaurant or another dry cleaner. i'm telling you, there's a huge amount of energy, and the notion
8:57 am
this is depressed with wages, it's a stabilizer for economics. >> i had the team at the atlantic scan hundreds and hundreds of policy issues, and we may have found one, maybe another issue that the two could agree on something. maybe we could have you back. >> don't tell anyone you were here together. would not work back home for me or him in washington. >> ladies and gentlemen, i want to first thank the u.s. hispanic chamber of commerce, the atlantic, the mayor's office who helped put this together today. thank you so much. grover, mayor for tax reform, the mayor, thank you very, very much. good to see you. thank you. we're adjourned. thank you so much. [applause] >> yesterday, the senate confirmed fred to serve another term as the president of the export/import bank.
8:58 am
the senate returns to work today to continue considering president obama's nominees to head the labor department and environmental protection agency. the senate majority leader's intense to finish work on two nominees by day's end. the chamber is scheduled to round out work on executive nominations by considering a group for the national labor relations board by the end of next week. watch live coverage of the senate when they return at 9:30 a.m. eastern here on c-span2. >> pram will speak on the health care law in the u.s., talking about the insurance rebates expected to go out to individuals late this summer among other topics. watch president obama live at 11:25 # a.m. eastern on c-span. in june, the u.s. supreme court
8:59 am
ruled section 4 # #, the voting rights act, unconstitutional. section 4 defines the formula used to determine which states need federal approval before changing voting laws. civil rights activist and georgia congressman testified yesterday calling the vote precious and sacred. the republican congress mapp who chaired the house judiciary committee in the 2006 reauthorization process of the act also testified. from the senate judiciary committee, this portion is half an hour.
9:00 am
[background sounds] >> happy to welcome back to the senate judiciary committee one of my heros, of course, john louis, and one of my other dear, dear friends from so many battles over the years, not with each other, but how we joined together, and i welcome everyone to the important hearing. it's an issue that affects all americans, our rights to vote. the title of the day's hearing, working together to restore the protection of the voting rights


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on