tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN August 9, 2009 2:00am-6:00am EDT
fortunate. -- those on the other part were fortunate. they did not get killed by compression. they may have that in a lot of oil or getting over to our ship, but they were fortunate. they were about the only ones that arrived of course. the japanese missed a lot of chances. they really did. it was loaded with a lot of 14 inches ammunition. . . smaller. they missed it by about 10 feet with a bomb that went through the dock where they were tied
up. that was one thing. another was the oil storage tanks. we operated on oil. if we did not have oil, we did not operate, and they did not get those. if they had got those, they would have flooded the harbor with running oil. they also missed the gasoline on for island. they did not get that. a lot of us that were at pearl harbor -- we blame roosevelt for a lot of this. the government wanted to get us the government wanted to get us war so we could go against germany, and that has been a lot of us, our opinion is that knowing about or almost
plans to allow the japanese to do this. i guess history will not support that too well, but to me, it sure makes a little bit of sense, that we could have been notified, alerted, so that we would not have had all those people killed. it bothers us. >> we knew sooner or later we would have an altercation, because tojo had signed a pact with hitler. we were sending convoys over in europe, and we had been helping the chinese over in china, chiang kai-shek, trying to keep the chinese from getting butchered over there, which they
were doing a pretty good job of. we have lost a gun but there a few years earlier up in the yangtze river. we knew sooner or later would have a problem. we did not think it would be at pearl harbor, that was too far away. on 7 december 1941 i was serving on a tugboat. all tugboats are named after indian tribes. we were up working already that morning when the attacks started, because we had to meet a ship that was coming into port to take a barge away from it. as we were clearing the channel, we saw the destroyer that was on patrol duty dropping depth charges. again, there's nothing exciting about this, because these patrol things out there used to drop depth charges. they would pick something up on their sonar and drop depth charges. in this instance, what he picked up was a submarine, and he
dropped debt charges. the submarine service, and award sank it with gunfire. this is about an hour before the attack on pearl, but a submarine attack a mile out, does not tell us we are going to have an air attack at pearl. there is no correlation. hardly anybody was scared until after that, until after everything stopped, because we did not know what was going to happen next. were they going to come back and try to invade, or what? we did not know. while the attack and everything was on, everybody was just mad, believe me. all you wanted to do was get at the japanese. that is all you wanted to do. all the time the attack was going on, these bombers were dropping these bombs. you could hear them coming down. we would just completely freeze, and it would detonate somewhere. then we would run back, doing
whatever we are doing. >> we had a party all scheduled for sunday. we had an automobile. an officer was allowed a court of booze a week. we had that. someone had little black vote of girls' names, and we were headed over to a party on the beach. it never happened. we were sound asleep. i had a bomb made and we were asleep. the building started rattling -- i had a bunkmate. we did not think too much about it, but when we heard a big boom, we thought we had better get up to see. we went downstairs and looked out and saw that it was more than what we thought. we did see a jet plane go up. we went back and got dressed and came down to the water's edge, which was roughly 100 yards. we watched the arizona sank in nine minutes. we were just fell down and could not think what to do.
after the ship blew up, the sailors started coming to shore with their skin peeling off their back and their arms, all full of oil. we helped them out of the water, and i remember distinctly taking one man named flanagan down to the hospital. when you get to the hospital, there was a doctor. the first doctor would look the man over, and if he thought he could save him he said go here. if he thought he could not save him right off, he went down to the second line, and that was the fellows that they did not think were going to make it. the rule right now was that if you were physically aboard the ship on december 7 collier remains to be interred on the ship. we are working on a program so that anybody that was out of the ship's crew on december 7 could have that privilege. that is number one.
the second thing is that way back in about 1981, or before that, my son was an ensign on a ship here in 1976. i thought it is just too bad that nothing has ever been done so that the fellows that were on the ship december 7 could not go back here and have a memorial service or something like that. so i worked on that, and succeeded. in 1981, we probably had about 75 or 100 people who were either survivors of the arizona court former ship's crew, going way back to 1960, or their relatives. we got that thing started, and we repeated in 1986, and in 1981 we had 300 people out there. this is the way it is.
yesterday we went back to the ship for the reunion, which i always do on the first day we went in -- first that again. we had a beautiful memorial service. how to get the government -- in 20 years i learn how to get the government to do things i did not know before. not know before. we had a beautiful ceremony, and because we were the uss
>> on friday we received better jobs in july, some 200,000 fewer jobs than we lost in june, and far fewer than the nearly 700,000 a month we were losing at the beginning of the year. comfort to anyone who saw their job disappear in july, and to the millions of americans who are looking for work. i will not rest until anyone who is looking for work can find a job. still, this month's job numbers are a sign that we have begun to put the brakes on this recession and that the worst may be behind us, but we must do more than rescue our economy from this immediate crisis. we must rebuild it stronger than before. we must lay a new foundation for
the aarp supports reform because of the better care offered to seniors, and the american nurses association and american medical association, which represent the millions of nurses and doctors who know our healthcare system best, all support reform as well. as we draw close to finalizing and passing real health insurance reform, the defenders of the status quo are growing fiercer in their opposition. in recent days and weeks, some have been using misleading information to defeat what they know is the best chance of reform we have ever had.
that is why it is important, especially now, as senators and representatives head home and for you, the american people, to have all the facts. let me explain what reform will mean for you. let me start by dispelling the latest rumors that reform will promote euthanasia or cut medicaid or bring about a government takeover of healththat is simply not true. this is not about putting government in charge of your health insurance. charge of your health insurance. other reforms we see, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan. while reform is obviously essential to the 46 million americans who do not have
health insurance, it will provide more stability and security to the hundreds of millions to do. right now we have a system that works well for the insurance industry, but that does not always work well for you. what we need, and what will happen with pass health insurance reform or consumer protections make sure that those who have insurance are treated fairly and that insurance companies are held accountable. we will require insurance companies to cover routine checkups and preventive care like mammograms and colonoscopies, or foot exams for diabetics, so we can avoid conditions that cost so much money. i'll never forget watching my own mother as she fought cancer in her final days, worrying about whether her insurer would claim her illness was a pre- existing condition. i have met so many americans who worry about the same thing, and that is why under these reforms, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage because of a previous illness or injury. insurance companies will no
longer be allowed to drop or water down coverage for someone who has become seriously ill. your health insurance ought to be there for you when it counts, and reform will make sure it is. with reform, insurance companies will also have to limit how much you can be charged for out-of- pocket expenses, and it will stop insurance companies from placing arbitrary caps on the amount of courage can receive in a given year for a lifetime, because no one in america should go broke because of an illness. in the end, the debate about health insurance reform boils down to a choice between two approaches. the first is almost guaranteed to double health care costs of the next decade, leave millions more americans without insurance, leave those with insurance vulnerable to arbitrary denials of coverage, and bankrupt state and federal governments. that is the status quo.
that is the health care system we have right now. so we can either continue this approach, or we can choose another, one that will protect people against unfair insurance practices, provide quality, affordable insurance to every american, and bring down rising costs that are swamping families, businesses, and our budgets. that is the health care system we can bring about with reform. there are those who are focused on the so-called politics of health care, trying to exploit differences or concerns for political gain. that is to be expected. that is washington. but let's never forget that this is not about politics. this is about people's lives, about people's businesses. this is about america's future. that is what is at stake. that is why health insurance reform is so important. that is why we have to get this done, and why we will get this done by the end of this year. >> i am bob mcdonnell from virginia. times are tough in our state, and in yours. yesterday's jobs report is yet another reminder that families and small businesses are struggling as unemployment remains high. here in virginia, we face unemployment rates at a 25-year high. as i travel throughout our state, i listen to our people who are concerned about the jobs they have, worry about
finding the jobs they need, and concern about what jobs will be the years ahead. as a father of five, i share those same concerns. that is why our main goal in virginia is to bring people together to create new jobs and more opportunities all across our state. we want government at all levels to be a partner in promoting small business andas republicans, we believe you create those new jobs by keeping taxes and regulation low and litigation at a minimum. americans succeed when government puts in place positive policies and encourages more freedom and more opportunities. right now, virginians are particularly worried about cap and trade legislation in washington. this would amount to a huge new national energy tax. if implemented, electricity rates would skyrocket and jobs would be lost. two weeks ago, i was in covington in western virginia. i visited an international packaging company, the largest
employer in the area, providing 1,500 good jobs. they tell me that cap and trade, if passed, would threaten those good jobs. mark george, the vice president of the facility, told me this. i feel that the next governor of virginia and every representative we have should jobs in virginia. i agree. we must do everything we can to keep and grow jobs in virginia and in every state in our country. that is why we strongly oppose cap and trade, a job-killing energy tax that would put american companies at a tremendous competitive disadvantage with employees in other countries. is the wrong policy for a nation struggling with the worstthat is why we fought against legislation that is being pushed
by big national labor unions andand we are committed for all coverage they need, not through nationalizing the system with a costly government-run plan, but by supporting free-market incentives to help small business owners make coverage more accessible and affordable, and assuring that americans can keep their individual private policies. government must be more efficient and more counseled, which is why we are calling for an end to the new government spending that is leading to an exploding deficit and burdening our children with the new debt the cornerstone of our founder'' system of federalism is that the states are the laboratories of democracy, where new ideas can be tried and new innovations unleashed. in virginia, i am calling for an -- offshore drilling, selling state-run liquor stores to put more cash into transportation, and expanding access for beginning students at our colleges. i said that the president is right in his call for real
education reform, with more charter schools and more performance pay for great teachers and principals. that is a bipartisan reform that will help all our children get the education they need today, to get those good jobs of tomorrow. and free markets to bring new jobs and more opportunities to virginia and america. have a great weekend. >> on friday we received better news than we expected about the we learned that we lost 247,000 jobs in july, some 200,000 fewer andrew sealy previews the
♪ >> this is c-span's "america and the courts." thursday, the u.s. senate voted to confirm the nomination of sonia sotomayor to the supreme court 68-31 with nine republicans joining the democrats. next, highlights from the senate floor debate. sotomayor's nomination, but first i'm going to be joined by several of my esteemed fellow women senators,
including senator shaheen of new hampshire, who is here already. senator stabenow of michigan. senator gillibrand from new york. and senator murray of washington state. we all know that this nomination is history-making for several reasons, but one of them, of course, is that judge sotomayor will be only the third woman to ever join the supreme court of the united states of america. we know she's incredibly well-qualified. she's got more federal judicial experience than any nominee for the past 100 years. that's something that's remarkable. but i do think it's worth remembering what it was like to be a nominee for this court as a woman even just a few years ago. it's worth remembering, for example, that when justice o'connor graduateed from law school, the only offer she got from law firms -- after graduating from stanford law school -- were for legal secretary positions. justice o'connor who graduated third in her class of law school saw her accomplishments reduced
to one question: can she type. justice ginsburg, when she entered harvard law school, she was one of nine women in a class of more than 500. the dean of the law school demanded she justify why she deserved a seat that could have gone to a man. later she was passed over for a prestigious clerkship despite her impressive credentials. nonetheless, both of these women persevered and they certainly prevailed much their undeniable merits triumph those who sought to deny them opportunity. the women who came before judge sotomayor, all those women judges, helped blaze a trail. and although judge sotomayor's record stands on her own, mr. president, she is also standing on tominee. so what about our current nominee? what makes her qualified? well, first, i think we do have in judge sotomayor a very historic moment and opportunity. it will be the first hispanic to
serve on the highest court of this land. it is a -- a momentous and historic opportunity. but that's not good enough. what makes her qualified? well, i think that experience, knowledge of the law, temperment, the ability to apply the law without bias. these qualifications should override all over considerations when the senate fulfills its role to advise and consent to the president's nominee as dictated by the constitutional charge that we have. these are really the standards by which we, as a body, should determine who is qualified to serve on any federal court including the highest court of the land. these are the standards i have used in evaluating judge sotomayor's nomination to the supreme court. she has the experience. she knows the lawsm she has the proper temperment. and here's something that's very important, her 17-year judicial
record overwhelmingly indicates that she will apply the law without bias. and that's really very important. because, you know, we could find someone who really is facially qualified, but whose views might be for some reason so outside the mainstream, so different than what the norm of our jurisprudence would be, that it might presentedder them, while factually qualified, unqualified. that they could not be relied on to look at the case and apply the facts and the evidence and apply the law to the evidence presented, that they would not follow the law, that they would not be faithful to their oath. because of their views would be so extreme. so outside the mainstream. so completely beyond what would be the norm or considered to be the norm. but here in this person we have a 17-year record. she has written thousands of
opinions. and these opinions ought to provide the body of law of what she does as a judge, not what she said to a group of students one day trying to encourage them in their lives and what they might be doing. not what someone might have from reading an opinion and perhaps not agree with. it is not whether we agree with her outcomes or not, whether her opinions have a reason, had a foundation in law, whether they were reasonable and whether she based them on law and evidence that are supported by sound, legal thinking. even her worst critics cannot cite a single instance where she strayed from sound judicial thinking. i beeve she will serve as an outstanding associate justice to the united states supreme court. and that she will be a terrific role model for many, many young people in this country.
where i've had to have my opportunity to pick -- were i to have my opportunity to pick, i would have chosen someone different from judge sotomayor. that's not my job. i don't get to select judges. i get to give advice an consent. we sometimes confuse the role of the senate. elections have consequences. some of her writings might indicate that her philosophy might be more liberal than mine. that is what happens in elections. when i was campaigning for my colleague and their friend, john mccain, i knew it would be important because there would be vacancies to the court and i knew i would be much more comfortable with a nominee that john mccain would nominate than one that my former colleague and friend president president obama would nominate. the president has the obligation, the responsibility to choose his own nominees. our job is to give advice an consent. -- and consent.
the president has chosen a nominee and my vote for her confirmation will be based solely and wholly on relevant qualifications. judge sotomayor is well qualified. she's been a federal judge for 17 years. she has the most experience of any person, judicial experience, on the bench experience of any person nominated for the court in a century -- in 100 years, there hasn't been anyone who has been on the bench with such a distinguished record for such a long period of time. and that's why, by the way, her record is really her judicial decisions. we don't have to wonder. we don't have to sit around and try to divine whether some day she will answer the siren call to judicial activism as i heard someone say on the floor of the senate. it might give you an excuse to vote against someone who is otherwise qualified. the fact is with a 17-year record, you should have a pretty
good idea if that si ren call was answered now. to my estimation it hasn't been. she received the highest possible rating from the judicial bar association for a judicial candidate. equal to that of miguel estrada and chief justice roberts and justice alito. she was an outstanding lawyer and as a prosecutor beings she was a tough one. her 17-year judicial record reflects that, while she may be left of center, she is certainly reflects that, while she may be left of center, she is certainly well within the legal thinking. her mainstream approach -- her mainstream approach is so mainstream that it has earned her the support of the united states chamber of commerce as well as the endorsement of several law enforcement an criminal justice organizations. she's been endorsed by the national fraternal order of
police, the national sheriff's association and the international association of chiefs of police. i dare say she'll be a strong voice for law and order in our country. now, i disagree with judge sotomayor about several issues. i would expect to have disagreements with many judicial nominees of the obama administration, but probably fewer with her than some that i might see in the future. although i might disagree with some of her rulings, we know she has a commitment to well-reasoned decisions, decisions that seek with restraint to apply the law as written. i do believe that she will rule with are restrain. that has been her judicial history and philosophy. her view in her panels maloney v. cuomo opinion is too narrow and contrary to the founder's
intent. i know that there is significant and well-reasoned disagreement among the nation's appellate courts on this issue. in other words, not out of the mainstream. on this issue i accept the idea that reasonable people may differ. this debate@@@@@@@@@ s@ @ @ @ @t regarding the role in the application of fundamental constitutional rights. the confirmation process is not the proper place to burn mitigate this process. neither is her record outside the mainstream. i believe that her statements reflects the view that is too expensive. her judicial record indicates that in practice, she has given only limited, if any weight to foreign court decisions. in a 2000 international child
custody case hague convention on international child abduction, judge sotomayor wrote a dissenting opinion which she held that the courts of the foreign nations interpreting the same convention, we were -- quote -- "not essential to her reasoning." i believe that some of her statements that she made on her speeches about the role of one's personal experience are inconsistent with the judicial oaths requirement that judges set aside their personal bias when making those decisions. and there are several of my colleagues to say these statements demonstrate that judge sotomayor has had a judicial activist in hiding. this is not supported by the facts. we can throw it out there, but it's not supported by the facts. the relevant facts, her 17-year judicial record shows that she has not allowed her personal biases to influence her jurisprudence. they can talk about her speeches, but they cannot talk
about a single, solitary opinion in 17 years on the bench where that type of a view has been given life. where that type of a view has found itself into the pages of a single one of her opinions. i would rather put my trust and my expectations for the future on her 17-year record of judicial decisions than i would on one or two speeches as she might have given over 10 or 15 years. those who oppose judge sotomayor have yet to produce any objective evidence that she has allowed her personal bias to influence her judicial decision making. moreover, in her testimony before the judiciary committee, she reiterated her fidelity to the law that as a justice she would adhere to the law regardless of the outcome it required. so based on my review, her judicial record, her testimony before the judiciary committee, i am satisfied that judge
sotomayor is well qualified to sit on our nation's highest court. i intend to vote for her confirmation and i intend to also be very proud of her service on the supreme court of the united states where i think, again, she will serve a -- a very historic and unique role to many people in this nation who i know will lo mr. cornyn: mr. president, i would like to address the nomination of judge sonia sotomayor to be an associate justice of the united states supreme court. as well. i've spoken about this nomination several times, both here on the senate floor and on the senate judiciary committee on which i serve. i've shared what i admire about judge sotomayor, including her long experience as a federal judge, her academic background, which is stellar, and her record of making decisions that, for the most part, are within the
judicial mainstream. i've also explained before why i will vote against this nomination, and i'd like to reiterate and expand on some of those comments here today, as all of us are stating our intrengsz this historic vote which i suspect will be held sometime tomorrow. firsts, i cannot vote to confirm a nominee to the united states supreme court who will restrict several of the fundamental rights and liberties in our constitution, including our bill of rights. based on her decision in the maloney case, judge sotomayor apparently does not believe that the second amendment right to keep and bear arms is an individual right. indeed, she held in that case that the second amendment did not apply to the states and local jurisdictions that might impose restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.
and then based on her decision in the didden v. village of port chester case, she apparently does not believe that the takings clause of the fifth amendment protects private property owners when that private property is taken by government for the purpose of giving it to another private property owner, in this case, a private developer. i'm very concerned when the government -- the government's power to condemn properly -- condemn property for a private purpose conflicts with the stated intention of the framers of the constitution that the right of condemnation of private property only extend to public uses and then and only then when just compensation is paid. and then based upon her decision in the ricci case -- this is the new haven firefighter case -- which calls into question her commitment to ensure that equal treatment applies to all of us when it comes to our jobs or
promotions without regard to the color of our skin. indeed, in that case, because of her failure to even acknowledge the seriousness and novelty of the claims being made by the new haven firefighters, she gave short stloift those claims -- short shrift to those claims in an unpublished -- unpublished order and denied frank ricci, ben vargus and other new haven firefighters an opportunity for a promotion even though they excelled in a competitive race-neutral examination because of the color of their skin. fortunately the supreme court of the united states saw fit to overrule judge sotomayor's judgment in the firefighter case and millions of americans became aware, perhaps for the first time, of this notorious decision and what a morass some of our laws have created when, in fact, distinguished judges like judge sotomayor think they have no choice but to allow people to be denied a promotion based upon
the color of their skin for fear of a disparate impact lawsuit even when substantial evidence is missing that such a disparate impact lawsuit would, in fact, have any merit or likely be successful th. mr. president, i cannot vote to confirm a nominee who has publicly expressed some very radical legal theories percolating in the faculty lounges of our nation's law schools. we all heard this during the confirmation hearings. frankly, judge sotomayor's explanations were unconvincing. previously she has said there is no such thing as neutrality or objectivity in the law. merely a series of perspectives. objectivity in the law. merely a series of perspectives. thus, i very concept of equal justice under the law. if the law is not neutral, if the law is not objective, then apparently according to her at least at that time the law is
purely subjective and outcomes will be determined on which judge you get regard than what the law says. she has said in one notorious youtube video that it is the role of judges to make policy on the court of appeals. she has said that foreign law can get the creative juices flowing as judges interpret the united states constitution. and she has said that ethnicity and gender can influence a judge's decision and judges of a particular ethnicity or gender can actually make better decisions than individuals of a different gender and ethnicity. third, i cannot vote to confirm a judicial nominee who testified before the judiciary committee that her most controversial decisions were guided by precedent when her colleagues on the second circuit and, indeed, the justices of the united states supreme court who
reversed her, said just the opposite. or who testified that she meant the exact office of what she said when she said something controversial and was trying to explain that. or a person who testified that she had no idea what legal positions the puerto rican legal defense fund was taking even though she chaired the litigation committee of its border of drs. of -- its board of directors. the hearings before the senate judiciary committee have a very important purpose. and that purpose is informed by article 2 of the united states constitution to provide advice and consent on nominations. it's not to serve as a rubber stamp. i heard colleagues say elections have consequences and the president won. well, that's obvious. that's evident. the elections have consequences and that the president obama won. but that does not negate or
erase the obligation each united states senator has under the same clause and article of the constitution to provide advice and consent based on our best judgment and good conscience. in the case of judge sotomayor the question becomes, what will she do with the immense power gin to a member of the united states supreme court? what impact will she have on rights and liberties over the course of a lifetime -- which, of course, this appointment is for life. in short, the question is, what kind of judge will she be on the supreme court where her decisions are no longer reviewed by a higher court as they were as a federal district court or court of appeals justice. the question is, will she be the judge she has been as a lower court judge ming decisions which, by and large, have been in the mainstream with some notable exceptions and i've talked about? or will she be untethered?
will she be judge sotomayor of some of her more radical speeches and writings which cause me concern? the answers to these questions, i regret, are no clearer after the hearings than they were before. the stakes, i believe, are simply too high to confirm someone who could redefine the law of the land from a liberal perspective. mr. president, i respect different views of different senators on this nomination and i have no doubt that judge sotomayor will be confirmed. but i am unwilling to abdicate the responsibility i believe i have as united states senator when it comes to voting my conscience and expressing my reservations. the united states senate developed our confirmation process for a very important purpose: to learn more about the individual nominees. but over the last several weeks we've also learned more, i think, about a rising consensus with regard to what we should
expect from a judge. i'd like to highlight two important lessons that we've learned this summer. one this is encouraging to me and one that is worrisome. let's start with the good news. i believe that republicans and democrats on the judiciary committee -- indeed judge sotomayor herself -- seemed say the appropriate judicial philosophy for nominees to the federal bench is one that expresses fidelity to the law and nothing else. over years we have been debating whether we have an only understanding of the constitution or some evolving constitution even though that can be interpreted in different ways even though the words on the pain read exactlonthe papere went back and forth on the merits and judicial activism, judges imposing their views as opposed to interpreting the law passed by congress or in a written constitution.
on many occasions our disagreements over judicial philosophy were anything but sill. and dignifyd. i think of the nomination of miguel estrada, to the second highest court in the land. although an immigrant himself from honduras who did not speak english when he came to the united states but who graduated there the top universities and law schools in this country, he was filibustered seven times and denied an up-or-down vote. one member of the judiciary committee, disparaging mr. estrada emphasis character called him a stealth missile with a nose cone out of the right wing deep silo. and samuel alito, an italian american, proud of his heritage who had to defend himself before the judiciary committee against false charges of bigotry,
accusations which left his wife in tears. and then clarence thomas, perhaps the one we all remember the best, an african-american nominee to the united states supreme court who described his experience before the judiciary committee this way: this is a circus, a national disgrace. and from my standpoint as a black american, it's a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks. now, these nominees, mr. president, were accused at various times of certain offenses even though the real crime as we all know was a crime of conscience. they dared to be judicial conservatives. the philosophy that the nominee that we are talking about today now appears to embrace. i hope that these days of these
unfair and uncivil and undignified judiciary committee hearings are behind us. i hope that our hearings are more respectful of the nominees as was this hearing for the judge. she said she could not have received more fair treatment and i appreciate her acknowledging the fairness and dignity of the process. i hope this has become the foundation for a new bipartisan consensus. that the views that the judge affirmed at her hearing, that we affirmed as republicans and democrats and the views that she rejected at her hearings, we rejected as both republicans and democrats. let me give an example of this bipartisan consensus now on a purported judicial philosophy for a nominee to the united states supreme court. the constitution.
it is their words that are the most important aspect of judging. you follow what they said in their words and you apply it to the facts you are looking at. i can't think of a better expression of a modest and judicially restrained philosophy that i embrace that what judge sotomayor said at the hearing and both republicans and democrats appeared to be pleased with that statement. we agreed that foreign law has no place in constitutional interpretation. notwithstanding we are earlier statements judge sotomayor said at the hearing "foreign law cannot be used as a holding or precedent or to bind or influence the outcome of a legal decision interpreting the constitution or american law." now, as i said, notwithstanding her earlier statements, i agree with that estimate that she made at the hearing and i believe both republicans and democrats were satisfied with that statement, as well.
we agreed that empathy or what's in a person's heart, to borrow a phrase from then senator oh bomb, should not influence the decision -- senator oh bomb, should not influence the decisions of a judge. we were surprised when judge sotomayor rejected president obama's standard and said she wouldn't approach the issue of judging the way the president does. judges can't rely on what's in their heart, she said, they don't determine the law; congress makes the law. the job of a judge is to apply the law so it's not the heart that compels conclusion of cases but the law. i agree with that statement and republicans and democrats alike appear to embrace that statement of an appropriate judicial philosophy. no one defended the statement that then senator obama regarding empathy or what was in a person's heart. i was encouraged to see that. supporters of judge sotomayor
appear willing to accept her statements that i've just quoted at the judiciary committee at face value. i hope they're right. i really do. i certainly intend to take my colleagues' agreement with these statements at face value and i expect future nominees to the federal judiciary will conform to this new consensus articulated by judge sotomayor at her hague. her -- at her hearings and embraced in a bipartisan fashion by members of the judiciary committee. i have no question about the outcome of this vote on judge sotomayor but i regret for the reasons i stated because i cannot reconcile her previous statements with her testimony at the judiciary committee that i wish judge sotomayor well as she serves on the united states supreme court. i hope my concerns i have raised here and the uncertainty i have about what kind of justice she will be, she will prove those
concerns unjustified by the way she distinguishes herself as a pen of the united states supreme court. i hope her tenure will strengthen the court and fidelity to the constitution. i congratulate her and loved le. mr. sessions: thank you, mr. president. when president obama nominated judge sotomayor to the supreme court i pledged we would treat her with respect and our questions would be tough but always fair. it's an important office. i believe we have lived up to that obligation. again, i would like to thank chairman leahy and the members of the judiciary committee for their efforts. i think we it did help provide a basis for full debate in the senate. and i would like to thank judge sotomayor for her kind words regarding how the process has been conducted and the way she conducted herself. we've had a robust debate in the senate floor over these past few
days and we've addressed many important questions and issues. the debate over judge sotomayor's nomination began with president obama's radical new vision for the american court system. according to the president, all nominees to the federal bench would now have to meet an "empathy" standard which requires judges to reach their most difficult and important decisions through "the depth and breadth of their empathy," and "their billio billion"their brot america should be." this is a stunning ideology and turns law into politics. the president of the united states is breaking with centuries of american legal tradition to enter a new era where a judge's personal feel, about a case are as important as the constitution itself. the president's empathy standard is much more than a rhetorical flourish. it's a dangerous judicial
philosophy where judges would base their rulings on social, personal, political, views. it's an attempt to sell, really, an old discredited activist philosophy by marketing it under a new label. it is this activist philosophy now under the guise of empathy that has led judges to ban the pledge of a becaus of allegianct contains "under god," and to create a new right for terrorists who attack the united states -- rights never before found in our country or any other country, while robbing american citizens of their own rights to engage in activities like even a silent prayer. that philosophy also helps explain request judge sotomayor's panel on federal judges allowed the city of new haven to strip 18 firefighters of their elgibility for
promotion on the basis of race and explains why judges have permitted cities and states to ban guns despite the constitution's clear language "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." and it explains why judges have allowed governments to seize private property for private commercial development despite the constitution pos guarantee'e that private property may not be taken but for public use. the standard may sound nice but it's cruel, it is, in truth, a bias standard. the power to rule on empathy is the power to rule on religion disasand thprejudiceand the powf any or all and embraces empathy at the expense of objectivity and equality and fairness.
18 firefighters in new haven worked, studied and sacrificed to pass the city's promotion exam but when the results did not fit a certain racial quota the city leaders just scrapped the results. the firefighters put their faith in the system and the system let them down so they took their case to court. but judge sotomayor summarily dismissed their case in a one-paragraph order that did not even consider their civil rights claims. but the judge sotomayor who testified before the committee did thought effectively explain her ruling to deny the firefighters their day in court. she also did her best to distance herself from the activists philosophy she has so long spoken and championed. but it was an unconvincing effort. i believe she failed to offer a crical explanation for her critically important rule uniteo
eviscerate gun and property rights. she failed to offer a credit build explanation of her policy role in a group that took extreme positions while, when pursuing racial quotas advocating that the constitution requires that the government fund abortions and opposing reinstatement of the death penalty. her effort to rebrand her judicial approach stretched the limits of credulity. nevertheless, i believe we have had a deeply valuable public discussion. by the end of the hearing not only republicans and not only democrats but the nominee herself ended up rejecting the very empathy standard the president has used when selecting her and this process
reflected a broad public consensus that judges should be impartial, restrainted, and faithfully tethered to the law and the constitution. it will now be harder, i think, to nominate activist judges. this is not a question of left v. right or republican v. democrat. this is a question of the true role of a judge v. the false role of a judge. it is a question of whether a judge follows the law as haven't or as they might wish it to be. it is a question of whether we live up to our great legal heritage or whether or not it is abandoned. empathy-based rulings no matter how well-intentioned do not help society but imperil the legal system so circumstantial to our freedoms and so fundamental to our way of life. we need judges who uphold the
rights of all, not just some, whether they are new haven firefighters, law-abiding gun owners or americans looking for their fair day in court. we need judges who put the constitution before politics and the right legal outcome before their desired personal, political, social outcome. we need judges who understand that if they truly care about society and want it to be strong and healthy, then they must help ensure that our legal system is fair, objective, and firmly rooted in the constitution. our 30th president coolidge said of the constitution "no other document devised by the hand of man has ever brought so much progress and happenness to humanity, the good it has brought can never be measured." i certainly believe he is correct. that document has given us blessings no people of any country has ever known which is
why real compassion is not found in the empathy standard but in following the constitution. judge sotomayor, however, has embraced the opposite view. for many years before her hearings she has bluntly advocated a judicial philosophy where judges ground their decisions not in the objective rule of law but in the subjective realm of personal "opinions, sympathies and prejudices." a supreme court justice wields enormous power over every man, woman and child in our country, the primary guardian of our magnificent legal system because, i believe, judge sotomayor's philosophy of law and her approach to judging fail to demonstrate the kind of firm, inflexible commitment to these
ideals, i must withhold my consent. mr. president, i see my colleague, senator leahy, is here. he has handled many of these cases over quite a few years. we didn't agree on a lot of the things that came up in the hearings but he committed to giving the opportunity to the minority party to have a full opportunity to ask questions and to raise issues and speak out. thank you for that. i think you did credit to the in our hearings. some critics have attacked president obama's nomination of judge sotomayor by contending the picture for the supreme court to substitute "empathy" for the rule of law. these kittic critics are wrong t the president, they are wrong about sonia sotomayor.
let's leave off the rhetoric and go to the facts. when the president announced choice of judge sotomayor ten weeks ago he focused on the qualities he sought in a nominee. he started with rigorous intellect, mastery of the law. we should all agree with that. he then referred to recognition of the limits of the judicial role when he talked about an understanding that a judge's job was to interpret not make laws; to approach decisions without any particular ideology or agenda. but, rather, a commitment to impartial justice, a respect for precedents, a determination to faithfully apply the law to the facts at hand. that's what president obama said. and then he went on to mention experience. he said "experience being tested by those suffering barriers and hardship
and misfortune. those barriers. it is experience to give someone a common touch and a sense of compassion and understand how the world works. that is why it is a necessary ingredient and the kind of justice we need on the supreme court. the president concluded how the judge has all these qualities. the president was looking not just for lawyerly ability, but for wisdom and understanding how do law and justice worked in everyday lives of americans. in a subsequent address, he said, "as a justice of the
supreme court, she will bring not only the experience acquired over the course of a brilliant legal career, but the wisdom accumulated over the course of the extraordinary journey. a journey defined by hard work and fierce intelligence and the enduring faith that in america, all things are possible." now, president obama did not say that he viewed compassion or empathy as a substitute for the rule of law. in fact, he has never said he would substitute empathy for the rule of law. that's a false choice. in that opposition -- and that opposition to this nomination is based on a false premise. when she was first named, judge sotomayor said, "i firmly believe in the rule of law as the foundation for all our basic rights." judge sotomayor reiterated time and time again during her confirmation hearing her
fidelity to the rule of law. she said, "judges can't rely on what's in their heart. they don't determine the law. congress makes the law. the job of the yuj is to apply b of the judge is to apply the law. it is not the heart that compels in cases. it is the law enforcement the judge applies the law to the facts -- the judge applies the law to the facts of the case." those who ignored her testimony should at least take heed of her record as a judge. judge sotomayor has demonstrated her fairness and impartiality during her 17 years as a judge. she h followed the law. there is no record of her substituting her personal views for the law. the many independent studies that have closely examined judge sotomayor's record have concluded that it is a record of applying the law, not of bias.
what she has said and what we should all acknowledge is the value of her background shall the value her background brings to her as a judge and would bring to her as a justice, our first latina justice. judge sotomayor is certainly not the first nominee to discuss how her background has shaped her character. justice o'connor has acknowledged we're all creatures of our upbringing. we bring whatever we are as femme a jobpeople to a job, liee suprem-- like thesupreme court. everybody knows that. all 100 of us bring what we are to the united states senate. many recent justices have spoken of her life experiences as influential factors in how they approach the bench. justice alito and justice thomas nominated by republican
presidents did so famously at their confirmation hearings, and then they were praised by the republican side of the aisle for doing so. indeed, when the first president bush nominated justice thomas to the supreme court, he touted him as an intelligent person who has great empathy. some of those choosing to oppose this historic nomination have tried to justify their opposition by falsely contending that president obama is pitting empathy against the rule of law. not so. not so. this president and this nominee are committed to the rule of law. they have recognized the role of life experience not has a substitute for the law or in conflict wits mandates but as -- with its mandated but as informing judgments.
the question is whether there is a double standard being applied by those who supported the nomination of justice alito and justice tom moss but choose to oppose the historic nomination of judge sonia sotomayor. judge sotomayor's career and judicial record demonstrate that she has always followed the rule of law. the point is, mr. president, we don't have to guess what kind of a judge she's been. she's had more experience on the federal court, both trial level and appellate level, than any nominee in decades. she will be the only member of the u.s. supreme court with experience as a trial judge. we don't have to guess. there are well over 3,000 cases. we don't have to guess. attempts at destroying that record by suggest that is her eth nighs tirks her heritage will be the driving force in her decisions as a justice of the
supreme court are demeaning to women and all communities of color. i have spoken over the last several years about urging presidents from both political parties to nominate someone from outside the judicial monastery. i believe that experience, respect, and understanding of how the world works and people live and the affect decisions will have on the lives of people are very important qualifications. by striving for more diverse bench, drawing from judges a wider set of backgrounds and experiences, we can better ensure there will be no prejudices and biases controlling our courts of justice. all nominees have talked about the value they will draw on the bench from their backgrounds. that diversity of experience is a strength. it is not a weakness in achieving an impartial judiciary.
mr. president, i have voted on every member of the united states scosht. i've been on the hearings of all but one. and that one i voted on the nomination. i sat in the hearings of judges -- justices no longer there either because of retirement or death. i have conducted thousands of nomination hearings, everything from courts of appeals judges, federal district court judges, members of the department of justice, the rank and member of supreme court nominations and conducted this one. i mention that to thank the senator from alabama for his cooperation during it.
you know, after those thousands of hearings, you get a sense of the person you are listening to. now, i met for hours with judge sotomayor either in the hearing room or privately. you learn who a person is. you really do. you really do in asking these kinds of questions. you have to bring your own experience and your own knowledge to what you're hearing. there's only 101 people in this great nation of 300 million people who get a say who's going to be one of the nine members of the u.s. supreme court. first and foremost, of course, the president, who makes the nomination. but then the 100 of us who must follow our own conscience, our own experience, our own abilities in deciding whether we'll advise and consent to that nomination.
mr. president, it's an awesome responsibility, and we should do it not because we are swayed by any special interest group of either the right or the left. in fact, i have a rule -- my office knows this very well -- that in supreme court confirmations, i will not meet with groups of either the right or the left about it. i'll make up my mind signature through hours and days -- sitting through hours and days of the transcripts and hearings. i would urge all senators to do that. i think it is unfortunate if any senator of either party made up their mind on a supreme court nominee based on the whims or the ideas of special interest groups or special pressure groups from either the right or the left.
that's a disfavor to those hundreds of millions of americans who don't belong to pressure groups of either the right or the left. they expect us to stand up. that is what we should do. that is what we should do on judge sotomayor. this is an extraordinary nominee. i remember when president obama called me a few hours before he nominated her. i was out with our troops in the fields in afghanistan. and he explained what he was going to do in just a few hours. he talked about that. we talked about asmg we talked especially about-- --we talked about afghanistan. we talked especially about her. he said, they are web sites already developing opposed to her. within hours we had leaders calling her the head of the ku klux klan or being bigoted,
senators on neither side joined with that. it would be unfortunate. mr. president, we're almost at a time for the vote. i would hope every senator would search his or her conscience and say, are they voting for this based on their oath of office, based on their conscience? or are they reflecting a special interest group? when the judiciary committee began the confirmation hearings on this supreme court nomination and when the senate this week began its debate, i recounted an insight from dr. martin luther king jr. which is often quoted by president obama, "let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. it is distinctly american to continually refine our union,
moving closer to our ideals. our union is not yet perfected, bu"but with this confirmation we will be making progress. years from now, mr. president, we will remember this time when we crossed paths with the quintessentially is american journey of sotomayor seentdz when our nation took another step forward through this historic confirmation process. i urge each senator to honor our oath, our constitution, and our national promise by voting his or her conscience on the nomination of sonia sotomayor to serve as a justice of the united states supreme court. i will proudly for for her. i see the republican leader, and i see the republican leader, and
>> shortly after the vote, president obama commented on the vote. i want to thank the senate judiciary committee, particularly its chairman, senator leahy as well as its ranking member, senator sessions, for giving judge sotomayor a thorough and civil hearing, and i thank them for doing so in a timely manner so that he she can be fully prepared to take her seat when the court's work begins thi september. the members of our supreme court are granted life tenure and are charged with the vital and difficult task of applying principles set forth and are founding to the questions and controversies of our time. over the past ten weeks, members of the senate judiciary committee and the full senate have assessed judge sotomayor's fitness for this work. they've scrutinized her record as a prosecutor, as a litigator, and as a judge.
they've gauged her respect for the proper role of each branch of our government, her commitment to faithfully apply the law to the facts at hand and her determination to protect our core constitutional rights and freedoms. and with this historic vote, the senate has affirmed that judge sotomayor has the intellect, the temperament, the history, the integrity, and the independence of mind to ably serve on our nation's highest court. this is a role that the senate has played for more than two centuries, helping to ensure that equal justice under the law is not merely a phrase inscribed above our courthouse door but a description of what happens every single day inside the courtroom. it's a promise that whether you're a mighty corporation or an ordinary american, you will receive a full and fair hearing. and in the end, the outcome of your case will be determined by nothing more or less than the
strength of your argument and the dictates of the law. these core american ideals -- justice, equality, and opportunity -- are the very ideal as that have made judge sotomayor's own uniquely american journey possible. they're ideals she's fought for throughout her career and the ideals the senate has upheld today in breaking yet another barrier in moving us yet another step closer to a more perfect union. like so many other aspects of this nation, i'm filled with pride in this achievement and great confidence that judge sotomayor will make an outstanding supreme court justice. this is a wonderful day for judge sotomayor and her family, but i also think it's a wonderful day for america. thank you very much, everybody. >> are you happy with the 68
good morning. i would like to call the hearing to order this morning of the subcommittee on disaster recovery, which i'm proud and happy to chair. i thank the staff for helping prepare the meeting this morning. today's hearing is entitled focusing on children in disasters. the committee's objective today is to evaluate the very special needs of children during the preparedness response and recovery phases of disaster, and the extent to which our current
planning and programs either meets or fails to meet these special needs. we're focusing on children and their needs for several reasons. first, children in most families are the focal point and parents who cannot find an available school or day care center or access health care for their children may be forced to relocate after a disaster or worse, in some ways, be forced to stay out of the work force when they're actually badly needed to help rebuild their communities starting with their own homes, churches and places of worship. according to the bureau of labor statistics, about half the nation's families include children and 90% of those families include a parent that is a member of the work force. so getting your work force back to work after a disaster is one of our primary goals. it seems to me to be very difficult if we're not doing our
best to provide them help and support with proper placement during those daylight hours for their children, either in schools or day care, and provide the mental health counseling that children need and families need to sustain themselves. so we must be mindful of the fact that people cannot return to work or begin rebuilding until they locate a safe and productive environment. these parents, i may remind everyone, are the nurses, the doctors, the first responders, the police officers, the grocery store owners, the gas station operators, the electric line repairmen or other citizens who play an important role in the communities' return. that means the provision of child care and reopening of schools must be a top priority. i would like to show a chart of the number of day care centers that were operating and ben, why don't you stand up there and show this chart. you all have it in your
documents. but in august of '05, the purple line shows how many day care centers were open and of course, you can see the dramatic fall-off over time. the second reason we're focusing on children here today is that children are a vulnerable population with unique needs that require special planning to address, but in my view, they have not received the same level of attention that some other populations, whether it be the adult homeless or the disabled or the elderly generally. a broader goal of this hearing is to encourage the nation to consider the mental wellbeing of a community as a key indicator of recovery, every bit as important as the restoration of infrastructure, housing and the return of the economic tax base. i would like to take a moment to commend the "washington times" for their particularly insightful articles, actually the last couple of days. it was a coincidence that they were running these in line with
our hearing. and wanted just to quote from one of the articles that was august 3rd. says almost four years after the massive hurricanes inundated much of new orleans that killed about 1800 people, millions of words have been written about the devastating physical damage to the city, and hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on fitful efforts at reconstruction, but almost nothing is said and relatively little has been spent on the more silent wreckage, health of new orleans residents who were pushed over the edge by terror and turmoil of the storm and have been unable to recover emotionally or mentally. when i say new orleans, i mean the greater new orleans area and in large measure, you could almost substitute the gulf coast for new orleans. local response plans must be provided for evacuation, sheltering and continued care of children from facilities where they are likely to be clustered
at the time of the disaster, or called for evacuation either at day care centers, schools, hospitals, including the neonatal wards and maternity wards. katrina showed us the impact of failing to include nursing home sector in our evacuation plans and we must ensure in the future that facilities which house other vulnerable members of our society are included fully in these planning processes. save the children issued a report last month called the disaster decade, indicating shockingly that only seven states currently require schools and day care centers to develop a comprehensive evacuation and reunification plan. those states are alabama, arkansas, waii, new hampshire, maryland, massachusetts and vermont. the other states have virtually no plans. local emergency managers and facility owners can do more to expand planning efforts, states
with planning gaps may consider requiring these facilities to develop plans as some states have already done and obviously, the federal government has a role to play. another concern raised by the report is the fact that child care is not eligible for funding under the stafford act as an essential service. i would like to ask and plan to ask our fema director, craig fugate, who's here, to address this in his testimony and i understand that he will. in addition to schools and day care centers, we will also consider newborn infants and mothers who may be in hospital wards when disasters strike. according to hhs, an average of 36 babies are born each day in new york city and in los angeles, the daily average is 416. if an evacuation was called in any of those cities, you can understand the difficulties of moving that kind of population, if necessary. the senate version of homeland security bill for fiscal year
2010 includes an amendment i offered encouraging dhs to conduct massive evacuation planning with states and local governments and nonprofits, including monitoring, tracking and continued care for neonatal and obstetric patients. women's hospital will be testifying in the second panel. they excluded -- executed this function for the state during the response to hurricanes katrina, rita and gustav and have a great deal to share. my statement is much longer. i will summarize the rest of it for the record because i'm anxious to get on to the panel. but let me just say a few more things. after the hurricanes, a demand for mental health services spiked due to an increased trauma, depression and substance abuse. that was combined with the loss of in-patient beds and work force capability which created a severe gap and strained medical workers and facilities, host communities and first responders. it's startling to know that the lsu department of psychiatry
screened 12,000 children and schools in louisiana during the 2005-06 year. 18% of them had a family member who was killed in a hurricane. 49% of them have met the threshold for mental health referral. one year later, the rate was lower but it was still 30%. 28% of displaced children in louisiana are still suffering from depression or anxiety. the suicide and attempted suicide rates for adults are startling. i'm going to include those in the record but some are reporting that the suicide rates are three times higher than the national average but what struck me was not just the high -- height of the suicide rates, but the number of people who had attempted suicide but failed was startling. it was something like, if i remember, 116 people had committed suicide in one year but 750 had attempted suicide.
the crisis counseling assistance and training program is jointly administered by fema and samsa. it is intended to counsel survivors, to teach them coping skills. we obviously need to do a great deal more. there's a chart that shows, if you will put up the confusing overlap of the number of federal programs that are available but they are very stovepiped there's the other one. the number of programs that are available, this graph shows it a little bit better. the number of programs that are stovepiped. some have eligibility requirements and some don't. i know this print is small but basically it's a list of all the different programs offered through federal government grant programs, et cetera. but there is no sort of
testimony later. finally, i would like to conclude with a quote from chris rose, who is a columnist in the "times picayune" that probably wrote more extensively on a daily basis about this than any person in the country. he gave the commencement address to my alma mater high school that's been in new orleans for 275 years. he spoke the year of the storm and he said there was a hurricane, he said his daughter wrote, he's saying my durt was asked to write about her experiences over the past year when she came back to new orleans. this is what she wrote. there was a hurricane. some people died. some of them were kids. my daughter, he says, was 6 when she wrote that. it just doesn't strike me as what you would wish for your child to write in her first grade journal. but there it is. you, all of us are marked for life for what's.
like it or not, this storm and its circumstances have marked you. this was part of chris rose's comments to the graduating class, we call them the katrina class that graduated because it will be four years this august, that graduated in may. these were the freshmen in high school and freshmen in college when the storm hit and the kids that were in kindergarten are in now fourth grade, so they know themselves as the katrina class. and i think this is a good place to start this hearing because these are real results from a terrible catastrophe that happened. we're still struggling with how to respond better, how to plan, how to recover, how to respond, and the needs of children are of primary interest to me and particularly the mental and emotional needs of the community at large as we seek to build a better and stronger community. so with that, let me submit the rest of my statement to the record and i would like to
introduce the first panel. we have craig fugate, administrator of fema, who has been on the job now for about two months. two months. and is already making some very positive changes. we have rear admiral nicole lurie from the assistant secretary for preparedness, u.s. public health, department of health and human services. we're happy to have you, admiral. and cynthia bascetta, director of u.s. government accountability office. they have issued a recent report and we are interested in hearing about that report relative to the subject. i will then introduce the second panel at the appointed time but . fugate, let's begin with you. thank you for being here this morning. >> well, good morning, chairwoman landrieu. i have submitted my written testimony. i would ask that be entered in the record as i have some opening remarks, if that's okay with you.
>> that's fine. thank you. >> as a paramedic, one of the things i was taught early on in dealing with medical emergencies was that children are not small adults. that may seem like duh, but it points out that not only are the pharmacological needs of children different, it goes to the whole aspect an adult, you don't just size down to a child and get the same outcome. you really have to focus on children, their brain development, their mental capabilities and their physiology are vastly different from adults so your treatment approach has to be geared towards a child, not merely taking what you would normally do for an adult and make it smaller. i think that's one of the challenges we have when we look at planning. historically, when we look at communities and we write planning documents, my observation, i've been doing this for awhile, is we tend to write plans for us, adults, the people that have high school education, they speak english or have more education, they have a
car, they drive, they have resources and they can pretty well take care of much of their needs, so we tend to write a plan for that population. then we'll go back and go well, now we got this other group, they have different challenges, we need to write a plan for those, we'll come up with a second plan and third plan and fourth plan. that's been r approach. we're going to try something different and based upon the concerns that have been raised by the commission on children and disasters and the gao reports and the issues you've raised, we've decided to take a different approach in fema and instead of writing our plan for the adults and then try to figure out how we deal with everything else, let's write plans that actually reflect the communities we live in. they have children. there is people with disabilities. there is frail elderly. but let's quit putting all these populations in a special box that we'll get to after we get the plan written and let's do this from the beginning. so we're going to start with children. as you point out, there are cross-cutting issues not only when we talk about disasters but just in the daily delivery of
service programs that oftentimes we do not take advantage of when disaster strikes. there are many things that i think if we looked at children up front at the beginning, across all the areas, and we're starting internally with fema but we also want to look at and work with our partners because again, as we continue this journey as i completed my second month and looking forward to completing my third, i hope, is fema's not the team. fema is part of a team. i think we have to do a better partnership with our federal partners where they have the expertise in how these programs need to be delivered, the needs that we're going to face, particularly when talking about this hearing, children, both from their physical needs as well as dealing with emotional and mental support so that we reduce that trauma. we know that historically in disasters, that in high stress and the events that children face, the quicker we are able to get to a sense of providing routine, to intervene early, the better the long term outcome is for those children.
well, that means you cannot just look at what fema may be able to bring, but look at how do we take existing programs that are already every day in the community and leverage that and particularly when we look to our federal partners, their expertise, in helping us design programs that achieve a change in outcome. not just merely look at an administration of a grant program and hope we get where we need to go but really get our partners to drive that process of how we need to structure and put together these programs so we effect real change. so we have put together and have worked with secretary napolitano to form within fema a working group whose sole focus is to make sure that throughout fema, we are addressing children issues from preparedness grants, training, exercising, all the way through our response recovery activities. and again, we continue to work on these issues everything from some of the issues we ran into, unaccompanied children, working with the center for missing and
exploited children, to establish a child locator center. working with some of our programs like citizen corps, where we have the community emergency response team that now has programs designed for teenagers to become involved in that. also working in looking at how we incorporate this across with our state and local partners. the day care centers, particularly are a challenge because in a hurricane, these are going to be part of the overall, they're closed down as children are reunited with their parents before evacuation orders are issued, but an earthquake would happen during those time frames. we have seen other incidents that have occurred when children are in school and we know that if people don't have good family communication plans, they don't know what the day care centers and schools are doing, it can cause a lot of trauma and stress to families as they try to unite after disaster. so with that, i will conclude my opening remarks and look forward to the questions, ma'am. >> thank you. admiral? >> good morning, madam
chairwoman. thank you first for your continued interest in and support of the issues that we're here to talk about today. as we are coming up on the anniversary of hurricane katrina and reflect on it, it's been a really good time for us again to reflect on both the strengths and the gaps that remain in our national emergency preparedness response and recovery efforts. we all know that throughout this, you have played it out and mr. fugate has, that children and their families are often the most impacted and bear the most long-lasting scars of this. let me say first, having spent now a lot of time in new orleans, my heart goes out to all of those who continue to suffer throughout this. what i want to do is talk to you today briefly about hhs' efforts in the last four years to address particularly the needs of children, with the focus as you requested on evacuation, particularly of neonates and
obstetrical patients and mental health. we all know preparedness is a critical part of what we do. we are completely in sync with mr. fugate about the need to plan for the entire community and a community as it is, and communities are different. we need to plan to their needs. for that reason now, my office has now more than 30 regional emergency coordinators who are actually on the ground in communities, sort of the eyes and ears to really know how to plan exactly for those needs. we know that in the long run, this preparedness and planning promotes resilience and enables communities to cope with the emergencies that come upon them so building community resilience is a really important part of what we do. by way of example, one of the important programs that we've gotten under way over the last couple years are partnerships to really look across the population spectrum as we just heard about, and to integrate really at the front end all of the groups that might be
considered in the vulnerable category because when you add them all up, there's an awful lot of the population that's vulnerable but kids and pediatric populations often very much rise to the top of the list. other kinds of programs that we have developed in response to this include training curriculum for school crisis teams, disaster communication messaging and a lot of work to develop programs in emotional first aid to early on, address those emotional and mental health needs of children. it's important as we just heard to do that at a developmentally appropriate level and that means across the whole age range of kids as well as adults. the national child traumatic stress network has been really instrumental in this regard and launched the psychological first aid field operations guide immediately after the hurricane. we're really proud of the fact that those materials have now been picked up and adapted throughout the country.
on the response side per se, obviously during an emergency, it's critical to support the state efforts to provide quick and competent assistance to everybody, children being no exception. the national disaster medical system, otherwise i think as you know, ndms, is the primary federal program that supports patient care and transfer during this evacuation of patients. it has both pediatric and obstetric capacity and i think since the storm has really worked very hard to upgrade its training, its material and its transportation capacity in this regard. so this ranges from specialized equipment to transport teams who are really specially trained and capable and to be sure that all of our teams now have those special capabilities involved in them. in addition, as i think you know, the pediatric disaster coalition was formed by
advocates and planning region six which includes new orleans and the gulf coast and its goals have also been focused on not only getting people out but identifying the appropriate receiving facilities for these children and their families and anyone else and being sure that everybody knows about them and that that planning is integrated into community operations plans at every level. mental health needs can't be separated from the rest of other children's response needs, and how we respond early on is going to really impact the mental health of children and their families going forward. the crisis counseling assistance program as you know is an example of collaboration between hhs and fema, as this is administered by the substance abuse and mental health administration, and has crisis counselors routinely working at all of the places where children congregate. as a complement, the national child traumatic stress network also has a cadre of rapid response teams that can be
mobilized after a presidential directive. recovery is really complex and i think as we all appreciate, it's been really sort of underattended to until this storm. for this reason, we are very excited about the new directions that fema is taking and are looking forward to working on the children's discovery efforts that have just been described. hhs also started its own recovery coordination effort and now has recovery coordinators identified in each district and a concept of operations that integrate many of these stovepipe programs, particularly within the hhs family, a we're continuing to work on building that out. i think that we've made a great deal of progress in addressing the needs of children in disasters in the last four years. we also have a long way to go. and i think we would be the first to tell you that.
as we look forward to the future, we have a lot of planning and preparedness efforts under way. there's terrific research that's gotten started over the last four years. the challenge now is to take what we learn from that research and translate it into practice and best practices that are going to help communities all over the country, and on the ground. we are committed to the highest level of planning response and assistance to recovery for children in emergency events. we are most appreciative of the important work that the national committee on children and disasters has done to highlight these important efforts. i also want to call out the work of the national biodefense science board, which had a work group focused very specifically and make recommendations for us on the important needs and mental health needs of children and their families going
forward, and we are now moving forward to integrate a number of those efforts and i think during the q & a, we will probably have an opportunity -- >> if you could wrap up. >> -- to tell you more about those things. so thank you very much. >> thank you. miss bascetta? >> madam chairwoman, thank you for inviting me to testify about our recent report on barriers to mental health services for children in greater new orleans and to update you on our recommendations to fema in its efforts to support states faced with the mental health consequences of catastrophic disasters. my remarks will be a reminder of why fema's commitment to children is so very important. as you know, the psychological trauma experienced by so many children in the aftermath of hurricane katrina increased the incidence of depression, ptsd, risk taking behavior and other potentially long-lasting behavioral and emotional effects. it is well known that children who grow up in poverty may be at
even greater risk of developing mental health disorders and in new orleans, the slow pace of recovery and the recurring threat of hurricanes may further exacerbate their trauma. against this backdrop, we found persistent barriers to providing and obtaining mental health services, although federal grants are helping to address them. lack of mental health providers was identified as the number one barrier to providing services. the designation of the parrishes in the greater new orleans area as mental health professional shortage areas underscored this barrier and state data showed a large decrease in the number of psychiatrists and clinical social workers who received medicaid and c.h.i.p. reimbursement. to help address this shortage, funding from hersa and cmf provided incentives to almost 90 mental health professionals who either relocated to or decided to stay in new orleans. the second most frequently
identified barrier was sustainability of funding. we found that although most of the federal grants we identified existed before katrina, the hurricane related programs has been a key source of support for mental health services for children. much of this funding is temporary and it is too early to know whether sustainability can be achieved by these programs. we also reported on barriers to obtaining services for children and the top three were a lack of transportation, competing family priorities and concern about stigma. officials told us that funding from several programs had been used to provide children with transportation to mental health services, although none of the programs were designed solely for that purpose. examples include medicaid, the community mental health services block grant and the social services block grant, as well as samsa funding. similarly, block grants and disaster housing assistance program funds were used to help
families struggling with housing, unemployment and other expenses. there was also federal support for case management and referral services designed to help families locate and obtain mental health services for their children, although we found a lack of continuous and reliable funding for case management. stigma as well as transportation and competing family priorities was addressed by the use of federal funds to support services delivered in schools. during the 2007-2008 school year, nine school-based health centers were operating and at least four more were in the planning stages. the advantages of the school settings are that first, it's not obvious that students are receiving mental health services. second, the transportation problem is solved. and third, the financial burden on the family is reduced because parents don't have to take time off from work and the services are offered at low or no cost. stigma can also be reduced by
media campaigns, including the one run by fema and samsus crisis counseling program. we made recommendations to fema in february 2008 to improve this program by revising its reimbursement policy to pay for indirect costs as it does for other post-disaster response grant programs, and by determining what types of expanded crisis counseling services should be incorporated into ccp. expanded services would provide more intensive services, especially in the aftermath of a disaster when provider availability can be limited. and fema and samsa have allowed the states to develop pilot programs along these lines. the department concurred with our recommendations but has not yet implemented them. fema also recently concurred with additional recommendations we made to expedite and improve the effectiveness of its case management services. taking these actions expeditiously before the next
disaster would improve services for children and their families as well as for all adults. that concludes my remarks. >> thank you very much. i would like to call attention before i get into the questions to two charts that i think are very telling. first is to my left, your right, and you'll see the green lines or bars are mental health resources in new orleans in august of 2005. so starting from the left, emergency rooms in new orleans, nine, psychiatric beds in new orleans, 350,sychiatric beds in greater new orleans, 668, and then physicians in new orleans, 617, psychiatrists in new orleans is the next bar, 196, and number of doctors, new
orleans doctors participating in medicaid, 400. now, when you go to the orange, which is two years after the storm, two years, you would think you would be sort of well on your way to recovery, two years after the storm. we are going into the fourth year but in two years, in 2007, instead of having 350 psychiatric beds, we had 77. instead of 617 physicians in new orleans, we had 140. instead of 196 psychiatrists, we had 22. and instead of 400 doctors participating in medicaid, we had 100. now, just this one chart shows that there's something terribly wrong with the system of support at either the state, the state
and the federal level for shoring up the core of mental health stability in a community. it's one thing to talk about you don't have access to mental health because of lack of funding. if you don't have the professionals to deliver the services, you could just start with this chart and work backwards from there. you don't have enough physical beds, you don't have enough professionals, et cetera, et cetera. this is two years after the storm, when you would think that people would be really trying to return after a catastrophe. this isn't four years. this is two years. and the trauma that occurs in a community struggling with limited services. i want to call your attention to this next chart i would like you all to put up, this one here. this is the child care center
situation as of august 2007. and there are a couple of pretty startling graphs here. again, this is two years after the storm. now, this is two years. people have hundreds of thousands of people have fled to houston, atlanta, they're trying to get back. the year has passed, their neighborhood has finally been cleared of environmental concerns, they're coming back to try to build their life and this is what they find two years after the storm. the blue graph is the number of child care centers in the greater new orleans area that were open before katrina, 275. the green is the marker of august '07, is 100. in jefferson parrish that wasn't as affected, it was 197 and then it was i think down to 170. but this is interesting, very interesting to me, in st.
bernard, which is the small little bars on the side. st. bernard was the parrish of 67,000 people that was virtually completely destroyed, only five homes survived in the whole entire parrish. before the storm, there were 26 day care centers in st. bernard parrish, very tight-knit middle class, working class community. in two years later, after all of our combined efforts, which obviously weren't enough, they only had two day care centers open. two. in a parrish that was completely destroyed. now, my question would be if we're asking parents to return and rebuild their communities, how is it possible for parents to do that if they only have two day care centers in the whole parrish? what do they do? do they strap their children on their backs and gut their homes with their infants on their backs, or do they bring their
children in and let them sit in the gutted home while the parents gut their homes and they can play in the dirt and the nails? i don't -- i'm not understanding how we think that the system that we have is appropriate. in any way, shape or form. so i could show you the statistics four years out from a storm but this really grabbed me when i saw that after two years of all of our efforts, there were two day care centers open in st. bernard parrish. so my first question is to you, mr. fugate. what is fema focused on about providing safe places for children, whether it's schools or day care opportunities, while parents are struggling to rebuild their communities after a catastrophic disaster, and what would some of your comments be about what you've heard this morning?
>> madam chairwoman, mark shriver, who currently chairs the commission on children and disasters, i think he was probably one of my first meetings after i was sworn in, and laid out the concerns and issues, many of which you have laid out, and asked the same question, what's fema going to do about it. the easy answer would have been is to put another box in there and say we'll write a plan for children and that will satisfy everybody's concerns. however, i didn't think that was going to be real change. so as we talked with mark and we talked with members of the commission and we had an opportunity to go to one of the commission meetings, i kept asking, you know, we have historically looked at special populations as an afterthought. i said let's try something different. why don't we write plans for the community and quit writing plans for just one part of the community, the people that can pretty well take care of themselves and really look at what the needs of the community. as you point out, my experiences
with the hurricanes, one of the first things we really pushed hard to do was to get things like the pre-k and schools open, and there were several reasons for that. one is we recognized distressed children were going and that we did not have the resiliency in the mental health community because they were impacted like the rest of the facilities. all three hospitals in charlotte county were shut down. we knew if we could get schools open, we could bring counselors to the schools and start working with children. it wasn't that we wanted schools back to normal. we just wanted to get them open to get children back into an environment that would get them into a routine that would both get them a chance to start dealing with this but also give their parents a chance to deal with what had happened, with their children somewhere safe. the challenge has always been when you get to day care that it depends upon states and localities but that can be a quasi state function, local function or private investor owned and the stafford act again historically has been looking at what government's responsibilities have been when you look at reimbursement
programs. so we're working with the commission and their report, we're seeing we don't have time for the report. as soon as you guys have identified this, how do we go back in fema and look at stafford act, look at grants, look at program guidance, look at training, to start encouraging and recognizing that children from in the home as we look at, again, you cannot just do one for all children. you have to really look at them developmentally from infants up through a certain age and different grades, how do we change what we've been doing so that if disaster strikes in the future, we're addressing these issues. >> i appreciate that comprehensive look and i think it's important, but issues, it brings me to your other point when you said fema is a partner in this effort. yes, i do believe that fema is a partner but i would say that fema is the leader. fema should be the experts on disaster, with your federal -- other federal partners. fema should be the driver.
fema should be the motivator, the communicator. i look at fema and homeland security as not being the only entity that responds after a disaster but being the lead entity that helps to coordinate and manage your other federal partners, gives guidance to your state and local partners, provides technical assistance and support to the private sector, but i wouldn't just say that fema is just any old partner. fema is the lead. number two, when we talk about day care centers, part of this is you're right, some of them are nonprofit, some of them are government operated and run, some of them are nonprofit, and some of them are for-profit but a good plan that would make sure that head start teachers and early childhood education teachers and counselors are part of that first responder team
coming back for rebuilding, loans from the small business administration to make sure that these day care centers can get the loans they need, and think about how difficult it is for a for-profit day care center operator under our current laws and current requirements to get a $200,000 loan to reopen a day care center. any bank or even under any regular system would look at her and say why are you opening a day care center, there are no children in your parrish. she says well, we will never have children in my parrish unless i open and provide a space for them. but she's not or he's not, whoever's running the center, not deemed credit-worthy or their business plan is quote, not viable. well, that is true on its face but that is where the federal government has to step up and say under normal circumstances, you wouldn't lend this person $200,000 to open a day care
center where there are no children, but under this plan, under a disaster response plan, we are going to require you basically to lend the money at a lower interest rate and extend out the repayment, or if you don't get a day care center back in this parrish, you're not going to have a parrish back because there has to be safe places for children in order for parents to return. i will submit another thing that's all interconnected. i think, mr. fugate, you hit the nail on the head, but when we're trying to encourage doctors to come back, we have lost many doctors. we think of them as doctors. we don't think of them as parents. most of them are probably parents with children. they can't come back if there's not a day care center or school for their children. so all of our efforts to rebuild our community are really spinning our wheels if that plan as you said, mr. fugate, doesn't have at its essence rebuilding safe places for children, which represent not only a special
population but a central population to the families that we need to rebuild. i guess is my point. and i just think that has really been overlooked. i've got, they said there's been a vote that's called and unfortunately, because i'm here, by myself, i'm going to need to probably call a two-minute recess and come back. but if the committee will stand just at recess for two minutes, i'm going to go vote, we'll come back. i have a few more questions for the final panelist a
hearing now on children and disasters after a senate floor votes. live coverage on c-span 3. >> you heard the gao recommendation recommendations for fema to modify program rules to allow reimbursement of costs when it comes to mental health counseling. how did you receive this recommendation? how do you plan to implement it? if not what dlou as an alternative? >> senator we received them favorably this is part of my rival. we have been working with hhs to go through the um mrementtation.
we are getting to the point of finalizing those and sending those back out for final comment so we can go forward. we did receive these recommendations favorably. we are working to achieve that. and those are things that are still in process. but i think it goes back to earlier when i said we are part of the team. on behalf of the secretary and president, my job is to coordinate all the federal family when a governor request and receives disaster assistance, part of that is recognizing that subject matter expertise has to be a part of that response. that's what i was referring to. i don't think fema has done a good job of understanding and working with partner agencies to leverage all their programs and we defaulted often times to the stafford act, which may be appropriate in some cases but does not build upon the existing expertise and programs already in the community. that's why we will use this children's working group to step back from our traditional
fema-centric approach and look at all the fall family has and do a better john of leveraging those resources as a team so we know where the expertise is. where core competencies exist and with the program swres dealing with mental health issues, how we leverage the stafford act, so we are not having the locals and have go through and filling out who has got what but present a program that focuses on outcomes, particularly on the outcomes from children as the federal family working under that authority that the president has invested in fema to support a governor in those jurisdictions. >> i agree with that. i think your analysis that it's ban fema-centric approach and has to change to fema leading the team, coordinating, being the link, and designing the programs not necessarily assuming responsibility to deliver them all, but to have
them delivered through partnerships. one more question, then i have a few others. in november of 2005 i led the effort along with senator kennedy and senator enzi, and without the support of these two senators, i have to say publicly it never would have happened. but senator kennedy and senator enzi led a one-time unprecedented effort to establish a base -- basically a plan for the 300,000 children that had been displaced from the storm in the week of august 29th which is approaching soon to try to find them a school somewhere in america where they could start school on a monday, the following monday because children that are out of school for two, three weeks sometimes have to skip a whole year. and under their extraordinary leadership this plan was implemented and basically provided vouchers for up to
300,000 children to attend school for that year. as a result, the katrina class graduated, many of them. this was one time, though. my question, mr. fugate, are you going to recommend a continuation of this plan? if so, how? if not, what plan is going to be put in place the next time a catastrophic disaster happens? >> again, that's some of the issues we want to raise with the children's working group. in florida, our experience was, we ended up with about 25,000 families that had come t florida. they weren't part of any directed evacuation, either through churches or family associations or just coming to florida. we were able to make the decision in florida as a matter of factually that any of these children that had children that were school-aged that wanted them to go to school would enroll. we did this across the board. realizing that at some point we would have to look at how we
would come back to our federal partner agencies that provided funding and get funding. we didn't want to make money away from the state of louisiana but recognized many of these would-be additional burdens for our local tax authorities and how we do that. that's one thing we want to come back and go what is the mes mechanism, so if a state has children coming into their state or a jurisdiction has children coming in, how do we provide that assistance without -- >> i would suggest, respectfully suggest that you look at this program that seemed to work amazingly well. again it was a very simple voucher program, up to $7,500, as i recall, where the cost of a catholic school tuition, whether children left a private school to go to public or public school to private or catholic because you have to have a program that snaps into place within the first week of the disaster, if
it's a catastrophic disaster. it's obvious after a few days of analysis that there are no schools to come back to. you've got to have a button you press and this program operates. right now, as i understand it, though senator kennedy and senator enzi put this in place for katrina and rita, it was one time. and it's not in place today. so if another catastrophic disaster happens this summer in either texas, mississippi, alabama is hit and hundreds of thousands of children are displaced, we have to start all over again and get an active congress to give people confidence that there is a back-up plan in the event that their school is destroyed. so i only raise this to say, in what while we have done a lot of talk and had some actions, there's so many other steps that need to be taken. one more question to goa, let me
see here. the goa recently released another report, as you mentioned, on disaster case management programs. case managers are meant to help clients find job training, permanent housing, relief supplies, access to critical services, particularly after a disaster. case managers can be extremely helpful in trying to make sense of things, trying to identify the programs that are still operating and out there and making them real for clients. what, in your study, could you share with us about the need for case managers? did we have enough on the ground? how did the case management program work generally? i think you testified to this. could you elaborate just a moment? >> yes, i can. overall, because of the chart that you showed here with the mu
multip multiplycity of funding to figure out how families can put together the package of services that they need to stabilize and to, you know, regain their self-sufficiency. we had two major fundings, one was as we found in the mental health area, there was a significant lack of case management providers. and also limited referral services. this links back to the fact that if there are not enough providers in the area, there's nobody to refer people to. the other major concern was sustainability of funding and breaks in funding. there was one situation in which a federal program was about to make a handoff to the state. the state program wasn't up and running yet so there's about a two-month gap in case management services when families were unable to access anything at all. >> whatsoever. >> that's correct. >> i also understand that
catholic charities stepped forward which is a reputable and capable non-profit and provided case management but under the current law they were not allowed to recoup indirect costs. so as a result they were basically losing money as a non-profit trying to deliver services for the federal and state government. is that your understanding? >> i'm not sure i have the details of the situation you're describing. i do know that catholic charities had dropped out as a provider for crisis counseling services because they were not able to recoup indirect costs. this was part of the basis for our regulation to expedite that reimbursement under fema's rules. >> okay. thank you all very much. i'm going to ask the second panel to come forward. i really appreciate your participation this morning and look forward to continuing to work with you. as the second panel comes
forward to save time, let me begin to introduce them. our first witness will be mr. mark shriver who served as the first chair on the national commission of children and dasters das disasters in 2008. the commission is asked to examine childrens needs as they relate to all hazards and evaluate existing laws, regulations, policies and programs relevant to the needs of children during and after a disaster. he's also vice president and managing director for u.s. programs save the children. he served as a member of the maryland house of delegates and is not new to this subject or to his leadership. we're pleased and honored to have mr. shriver with us today. dr. redlinger is a president and co-founder of the children's
leader in disaster preparedness and response for this neonate group which is a very special group of infants that we need to keep our attention to during a disaster. let's start, mr. shriver with you. thank you very much. >> thank you very much, madam chair, for hosting this hearing and for your interest in this issue. i submitted a longer report, frankly you said most of the things i was interested in saying and points to try to get across. just for the record, i'm mark shriv shriver, vice president and managing director for save the children. i want to summarize and say a couple quick facts. the bottom line is children are 25% of the population. yet this federal government and state governments and really all across the board we have spent more time and energy and money focusing on the needs of pets in
disaster planning, response than we have on kids. 25% of the population received less time and focus and resources than pets. i think that for this country n this situation, that's absolutely outrageous. kids, as we all know and as you have eloquently said are lumped under at risk and special needs populations. as mr. fugate just said what he is proposing to do at fema through the efforts over there are an exciting first step in the right direction to address children's needs in a comprehensive and effective manner rather than just creating window dressing, as he already said. a little background on the commission. we had our first meeting last year, our interim report is due in october of this year. final report is due to the congress and president in 2010. we had a field hearing in baton
rouge where dr. redlinger joined me down there. we engaged a large community of entities to gather information, try to assess whether there are gaps in services, and those folks are not just federal government or state and local government but non-profits as well. i do want to comment again, what administrator fugate started at fema is very excited. i want to say a couple quick words on child care. you have already had the save the children report up. there but the issues critically important not just from a kid's perspective, which, obviously, i think is paramount but the fact is that following a disaster, if you don't have child care facilities you have a loss of economic opportunity as you eloquently stated it. save the children's disaster decade report which is up there, shows only 7 states meet the basic requirements for licensed child care providers to have basic written emergency plans in
place addressing evacuation and accommodating children with special needs. seven states in this country have the basic minimums in place. that, too, i think is absolutely outrageous and should be addressed and can be addressed through federal legislation. some steps we are proposing are in my written statement,ed in dam chair. i will just highlight a couple of them. mr. fugate talked about the stafford act and saying child care can be deemed an essential service. we are supportive of this concept. we think that funding is necessary for the establishment of temporary emergency child care and recovery of child care infrastructure. the child care development books are being authorized. we propose during that reauthorization that state child care plans have guidelines for state operating child care after a disaster, and that states also
are required to have chi care providers with comprehensive all-hazard plans that incorporate shelter in place, evacuation relocation, family reunification, staff training, continuity of services and accommodation of children with special needs. the federal government has the responsibility to put these into place and we encourage to you look into that. i know time is of the essence, so i will just wrap up by saying that a lot of the ideas that you and your staff have been working on and mentioned today are critically important. i would only encourage you as the chair of this commission and as a member of the non-profit community to follow up, follow up, and follow up again. you don't hold everyone's feet to the fire. kids because they don't vote and particularly poor kids are not actively engaged in the political process. you are their voice. if you do not stand up and your staff doesn't follow up diligently with all levels of
the government they l unfortunately, suffer from benign negligent, which david paulson has told me is the modus operandi in the past. and i don't think that's the way this country should be reacting to poor children across the country. >> thank you, appreciate it i want to note for the record that commissioner fugate, administrator fugate has stayed for the second panel. i would like that to be noted. it's important to me that he didn't testify and leave but is testifying to stay and hear these comments. doctor? >> thanks, madam chair. i want to echo our great appreciation for you holding these hearings and learning more about this terribly difficult problem we're facing. i'm a pediatrician. president of the children's health fund but also director of the national center for disaster preparedness at columbia university and have the honor of serving on the national commission, chair there the
subcommittee on human services recovery. by way of background, shortly after hurricane katrina and working with local officials, we dispatched seven mobile pediatric clinics and teams to the gulf to provide acute medical and mental health care for those people and those are still there, affiliated with tulane and other institutions. to date, we have seen over 60,000 health and mental health encounters in children. in addition to that, the national center, my center has conducted long-term periodic interviews with a cohort of 1,000 families. i want to summarize a couple key points out of many, many that i think are germane to discussions today. this comes from our clinical information and studies. more than 3 in 5 parents have feld over time that their general situation currently is either uncertain or significantly worse than it was before katrina.
secondly, approximately one-third of this displaced children are at least one year older than appropriate for their grade level in school. third, according to interviewed parents, more than two-thirds of children displaced by the hurricanes are experiencing emotional or behavioral problems as we speak. in a study last fall of our program in baton rouge, 41% of children were found to have iron deaf fish shentcy ameanya, and 55% reported to have behavior or learning difficulties. as far as the overall learning situation for children, the number of disaster-related excessively vulnerable children now four years after katrina's landfall is unacceptably high with some 17 thoushlg at the minimum to, in my opinion, over 30,000 children still in limbo and at risk. many children who are now developing chronic emotional problems or who are failing in school will not easily recover.
we are undermining not just their current well-being but future potential as well in my opinion, the overall management of the recovery process from the hurricanes in the gulf while less visible than the images seen around the world of people waiting on their rooftops for rescue has been more mishandled than the initial response to the disaster. the persistence of trauma and profound disruption to children have been far more insidious and invisible. the failures of recovery have lost the attention of the media, for the most part the public and i'm sorry to say perhaps many in government as well. the basic concept of long-term recovery is fraught with confusion and lack of leadership on every level. there's a lack of clarity by what we mean by the term recovery. ma that is are we talking about rebuilding physical environment other working to help families reestablish conditions of normal life? though a national disaster
recovery strategy was mandated under the post-katrina emergency management reform act of 2006 that strategy has yet to appear that said i believe that under new and highly motivated and capability leadership at dhs, fema and hhs, we are hopeful we may soon see the emergence of this critical road map. there's been no apparent recognition that the needs of children must be understood and absorbed in this response planning, mitigation and recovery. we think this is changing as mark was pointing out. perhaps most egregious of all, there's a growing sense, and i consider it a monumental misunderstanding, that recovery from large-scale disasters is a local problem to be solved and managed by states and local jurisdictions. but the destruction we saw in the gulf and the flooding of new orleans was and remains a national problem. the well-being of the effected states is highly material to the
well-being, economy and security of the united states. so i want to conclude with a few general recommendations, then a couple of points to emphasize what mark was saying about children. in general, i have dozens of these, let me hit three. >> take another minute or two. appreciate it. >> the national disaster recovery strategy must be completed as rapidly as possible and preferably, were i you, i would ask for this by the end of this calendar year. there's no reason that needs to be delayed any more than that. if we don't have that we'll still be flailing around trying to understand who is doing what for whom. secondly, i would strongly recommend a high level directorate reporting to the president that needs to be established to oversee and coordinate all relevantal from assets and age swiss respect to long-term recovery. revitalizing and sustaining and protecting the needs of children and families during this
difficult transition. thirdly, recovery must be seen as responding at every level to these human services needs during the recovery transition and we'd like to see how this national recovery strategy actually addresses that. and then some of the other issues around children, which are -- which represent, to me, the most dangerous problem that we're facing now, because, as i said before, the problems will not be sometimes at all reversible. children lose a year or two at school cannot be recaptured in terms of their economic success. emotional problems rooted in four years of trauma -- we think it will take another two years to get everybody housed if we have housing available, those children we ignore at their peril and our peril. so i have been thrilled to be on the national commission with mark. and here's a couple things i would point out. the national recovery strategy,
when it develops should have an emphases on safe guarding the health, mental health and academic success of displaced children this addresses the point is, you raised before. it cannot be ad hoc it has to be part of our basic understanding about how we deal with recovery. for this disaster and anything else that happens in the future. maybe a storm in the gulf it could be terrorism in new york. it could be an earthquake in san francisco. we don't want to be redoing this. we need that road map. secondly, the federal government must ensure -- assure a robust uniform and accountable case management program for every child displaced by a major disaster. i don't have time to go into it, but i had to medicate myself just to absorb the complexity and dysfunctionality of what our country called the case management in the aftermath of this disaster. it's shameful. thirdly i would say the health, dental and mental health service force every displaced child should be assured under a medical home comprehensive care model this is because somebody
has to take responsibility for not permitting children to fall through the cracks. they can't afford the delays and interrep shuns in their safety net. i think i'll leave it at that and respond to any questions. burr our profound gratitude to you, senator, for taking and keeping the leadership on this vital issue. >> thank you, dr. ms. fontenot? >> it's a privilege toe come before you today to describe our hospital's response to the evacuation of critically ill patients in the aftermath of katrina, our preparations for reit tax gustav and ike, the important lessons learned and our recommendations. women's hospital is 70 miles northwest of new orleans and a two-hour drive from the gulf coast. hospitals are usually a place of refuge rather than a complex evacuation site, so the need to evacuate one or a whole city had not been considered.
but in katrina, women's hospital did just that. working with our colleagues in new orleans under unfathomable conditions, not one transferred baby or mother died. unquestionably this remarkable achievement was the result of dedication and hard work by thousands of people, not because of carefully crafted and effective planning. blackhawk helicopters brought men, women and children day and night to our hospital. we received, stabilized and transferred many patients to other facilities. the most critically ill infants and women remained. for a month after katrina we cared for twice the number of critically ill infants and delivered 150 babies. for several day there's were 125 infants in our 82 bassinet and neonatal care unit. we provided care for over 1,100 patients and provided shelters for 110 newly delivered mothers and families because they were
rejected at government-run and red cross shelters. what began as a rescue became a response to their overwhelming needs beyond medical care. this feat was successful because of our incredibly dedicated staff, an expansion to our neonatal care unit completed just weeks before katrina, and a drill held in 2005 that yielded valuable information. the rescue was adequate, the coordinated planning by all agencies involved could have vastly improved their response. hurricane rita came three weeks after katrina. for rita and each storm since that time, flee neonates and high-risk women were evacuated before the storm. a plan was produced for emergency management of neonates. we contacted neighboring states to discuss evacuation, especially if baton rouge became a disaster site since no other hospital in our state has the capacity to take a large number
of patients. we took part in research with tulane university to study the effects of the storms, and we are the officially designated provider for louisiana medical institution evacuation plan. we are committed to anything and everything that will prevent the chaos of katrina. hospitals in louisiana strengthened their infrastructure and plan to shelter and place with the notable exception of especially fragile patients, those hospitals depend on us to transport and care for patients. women's hospital performance after katrina demonstrate an expert organization with adequate capacity is critical for the emergency management of certain populations of fragile patients. the expert hospital is the coordinator of care and has capacity to care for displaced infants. named operation smart move it's an initiative to ensure infants and mothers have a safe place as well as network of care and
services. a remarkable opportunity exists to further implement these concepts as we build a replacement hospital. search capability was included but was removed due to the high interest rates on tax-exempt debt and deep medicaid cuts to hospitals. search capacity is now unaffordable for us and most hospitals even though the hospitals in louisiana counted on us three times in four years to fulfill this need. the cost for hospitals to be ready at all times is critical. the relocation of our hospital to a new campus will provide a unique learning opportunity. representatives from hospitals like women's from across the nation will participate in a real time evacuation drill as our nic unit is moved from one campus to the other. private organizations will qualify for associated costs of that evacuation.
your concern about the impact of disasters on children is appropriate and important. on behalf of the staff of women's hospital we are excited to share our experience and knowledge in response to the care of our most vulnerable citizens. thachg you for your ongoing support and the opportunity to speak today. i look forward to answering any questions. thank you. >> thank you very much. terry, we appreciate your leadership. you continue to make this senator very proud of the work that you're doing. we'll only have one question for each of you because of our time limitations. let me, ms. fontenot start with you. if you could restate two points for the record. one, despite the fact that your hospital did such extraordinary work in the storm, could you say again for the record what the current law allows you to get in
terms of reimbursement? i understand you're a private facility so therefore basically out of -- while the government depended on to you help in so many ways, through not in line for any reimbursement for. you could explain that. >> my understanding is because we are not a governmental agency, that we are not able t receive funds directly from fema, that we have to have a contract with the state for any type of service that we provide and it goes through state as fiscal intermediary. >> okay. could you say -- talk a minute about the surge ka passcy issue? as we debate the health care bill and how we may reshape the health care delivery system for the country, i think this would be important. so, again, if you could comment about the lack of surge capacity. >> thank you. most hospitals are faced with cuts because of inadequate reimbursement, particularly medicaid, that is the primary payer for children, particularly infants. 60% of the babies in our nicu
are covered by medicaid, two-thirds of the deliveries in our state are covered by medicaid. whenever there are medicaid cuts as there have been just announced this week in louisiana, hospitals are not able to provide the financial support for additional bedses to be on stand by or equipment or supplies or planning or any of those things. any reimburse. they receive has to go directly for the core medical services, that's taking care of those babies that are in the hospital that day without being able to have anything on the side so that we acan -- it's very expensive to have the planning and drills and that sort of thing. >> thank you very much. mr. shriver, let me ask you, if you could sum up, besides your excellent recommendation that a strategy be enacted by the end of the year and a requirement put down to receive that
strategy, and that the child block grants not be reinstated without the requirement that states step up to at least have evacuation reunification, special needs and written procedure force disaster planning, are there one or two other specific suggestions that you would like to mention that you think from your study and review should be really at the top of our list to address in the next few weeks and months? >> i think, as dr. redrener mentioned, coming up with a national framework for recovery is important. i think, honestly, senator, if you look at the child care development block grant and can put those requirements in there you come up with a recovery framework within the next five and a half months, and you have all child care facilities in this country looking at the issue of reunification, evacuation plan, making sure the
children with special needs, their needs are incorporated into their planning, that that is tied in with the local emergency management community, i would consider that a hugely successful 5 1/2 ponts. i think that would be fantastic. i think the issue of -- that administrator fugate talked about, regarding the stafford act and having those child care facilities be reimbursed, i knows there some int tra kacys involved in that, if you can address that issue and come up with recommendations and funding for that, i think that would be hugely successful. i think frankly if you could have another hearing to make sure we are all doing what we are supposed to be doing, that would make the next 5 1/2 months extremely successful. the first meeting we had with director fugate, he said what do you need? we rattled off a few things we said here, and he has set up meetings every 30 days to gauge
progress or lack thereof. so if you and this subcommittee could look at and have another hearing and hold our feet to the fire and the executive branch's feet to the fire that would make the next 5 1/2 to 6 months highly successful as well. >> thank you very much. we will do so. doctor, you said that the case management was -- i think you would say, i'm putting these words in your mouth, you would hardly call it case management. it was not really managing much of anything. so fragmented, unable to deliver in a timely, appropriate way. when we think about creating a new kind of system, i've read in some of your testimony and other recommendations that part of the delivery system might be done through the schools as they start up in terms of school-based counseling services. do you want to comment about the preference for that? or should there be opportunities
community-wide? what is it about school-based counseling that you think is particularly desirable? >> well, first of all, we have to have a system that makes sure every child who is school-aged is in school and kids in pre-school age are in appropriate day care facilities. so the school can be -- and the related institutions could become the basis of stability for lots of families, especially lots of children. from that point of view, if we could have services emulating out of that model, so every child is in school, every child has a family and that it's possible to think about a system that would mandate not only the kids being in school but that appropriate safety net programs and assistance for the families be generated by that relationship as well. i would say -- want to say one other word about the case management issues. there were lots of good people doing case management in the gulf and still are catholic
charities, the other organizations that are down there that are governmental and nongovernmental. the problem is that it's so fragmented and disorganized and competing case management programs that many, many families are just slipping through the cracks. so i just want to clarify that lots of good work was done, just far too many -- getting the numbers that i cited, 17,000 to 30,000 was one of the most difficult challenges i've had in research in 20 years because there is not a single agency that feels itself is responsible for tracking these families who have been displaced. if you start with that, you have an inability to even figure out how many or where they are. we beg them this is fema, and the state, to make sure that no families were discharged from those horrendous trailer parks before we knew where they -- who they were and where they were going so we could provide services to them. but all sorts of bureaucratic
snafus between the federal government, state government and then the private agencies delivering services yielded, a, one of the largest case management systems never got implemented. not one dime out of the original 33 million was spent until recently. secondly, we couldn't track families. we had no idea where they are i don't know where all those kids are that you cited that were part of the evacuees. i would challenge the federal government to try to figure out where are they? how many are in houston mobile, alabama, so forth? how many are still struggling in limbo in displacement conditions that are really, really hurting these children and their opportunity for success. >> thank you so much. i would like to close with a couple of comments. one, the louisiana family corporation, recovery corporation, i understand delivered some very good work. >> they did. >> unfortunately their contract was not able to be renewed, and i hope that they can be called
in for comments as we try to come up with a better system. my final comment is my own personal experience, not only in my own family experience recovering from the disaster as you all know i'm one of nine siblings, and four of my brothers and sisters lost their homes, their children were displaced. watching it up close and personal within my own family, and then expanding that out to our own neighborhood, broadmor, which was destroyed, out to the community. i have concluded one thing that i know without reading one report -- that schools became the center of life when those neighborhoods were struggling to come back. whether it was st. dominic's or holy cross or wilson public school that is getting ready to open or lusher that opened, it became the only stable place,
building, in a anybodihood completely destroyed. the government at its own peril fails to recognize the importance of these schools. it brought stability to the life of parents that otherwise had no stability. they needed to turn from just schools to community centers that provide counseling, medical support, particularly when your hospitals are closed, getting your schools open, getting children back in touch with their teachers, which is a familiar face at that moment is very significant to children that have had such trauma. i can't overestimate and overstate how important this is. and the federal government that doesn't recognize the importance of schools, be they public, private, catholic or independent, and the ability of schools to be sort of step in the gap until the rest of the community comes back, i think is kind of the model that i see.
other. >> one of the advantages of beg last is you get to dispel the fact that we disagree with everyone. the provision goes a long ways towards dealing with that situation. the difference is you don't get to sell a product under non-regulated entity than you would if you were doing so. that is a critical proposal >> thank you for your testimony. i also, lime i'm sure i just
perform, and will look at them in terms of the front line prevent -- prudential supervision of the banks we ensure. i think there are some merits making it independent. i think you do want to make sure it is as and solid as possible for an nea -- from any type of influences -- as insulated as possible for any influences. >> i think i have actually been very supportive of our chairman of the federal reserve. yet at the same time there is no doubt the federal reserve had some failing in this last go around. i read your 2005 federal reserve system purposes and function document. it actually does, for what it's worth a mistake that one of your responsibilities as maintaining the stability of the financial
system and containing systemic risk that may arise in financial markets and providing financial services to depository institutions. so i think it is fair to say that in essence you sort of did have responsibility there, and i am wondering how harboring all of that at the federal reserve would not alter, if you will, be a bit. i think all of us understand today that we need to be more concerned about systemic risk. i am sure the fed does, too. and i say this with respect to the organization. but obviously with concerns. i am just wondering what would be different if in fact the fed was a system of regulator, the system of regulator? >> first off, senator, i don't think there are any proposals on the table that would really make the fed a systemic risk regulator in a sense to be able to swoop in anywhere and anytime saying we need to do something about this.
the proposal that we endorsed was making the federal reserve the consolidated supervisor of systemically important institutions. i would say in direct response to your question, there is certainly a responsibility there. and i would certainly be the first to say that responsibilities at all the financial regulators, including the fed had, were not exercise as effectively as they ought to have been. but i would also say that when you give an entity responsibility, you do have to make sure you give it authority to achieve that responsibility to fulfil it and you have the mechanisms that would allow it to do the job. and when you have a circumstance in which large institutions which turned out to be systemically important, i think, in some cases come to the surprise of many, were not within the perimeter of regulation, it was obviously not
going to be an easy matter to contain the activities of those institutions, including a lot of the wholesale funding and a lot of the very tightly wound approach to securitization, that was a major contributor to these problems. so, i guess i would say, first, need to make sure that the appropriate authorities are present. second, as i have often said, there needs to be a real orientation of our regulatory approach more generally -- and i mean the system. and, third, the federal reserve i think needs to take more advantage of the comparative abilities that it has. that is why we wanted to move forward, to make use of the economic and financial expertise to provide a monitoring of and a check upon the on-the-ground supervisors. that is where the advantages lie and that is where you bring together. >> one last question.
i know there is differing thoughts on too big to fail, but each of you feels that it is a big issue. i know i would like to see a resolution mechanism in place, much like chairman bair proposes. mr. dugan, i don't understand how, if you continue to give treasury the ability to solve the problem with taxpayer money, if they deem it an important thing to do, i don't understand how it creates any market discipline. it seems to me leaving that they got line in place defeats all market discipline. i don't understand how you can cause those to measure up or how we can craft something that actually worked and calls people like the senator of ohio posset constituents and mine, which i think are different in thinking about some things, i think it
would agree that is wrong but he would propose to keep it in place and i don't understand that. >> i think there are ways have to limit it. presumptions to make it more difficult to exercise. i think there are measures to take up front so you don't get yourself in that position beard my only point, though, is this -- that position. my only point, though, it is this, if you need to take action to protect the financial stability of the system, i don't think we should tie the hands of the government able to do it in a moment's notice if we have to. i don't ever want to be in some of the weekend situations i was in last fall. we did have wreck -- mechanisms that ensured a wide variety of government was involved. people can second-best some of the judgments, but i really do not think it is a good idea to completely forbid the ability to address system and situations and crises of we have to. -- systemic situations and crises.
>> thank you all for your testimony. i gather from the panel that, in fact, there is a sense that the un may be what the administration is promoting, which is merging ots into the occ, there isn't a view that there should be further regulatory consolidation. my question is, if we don't do that, then there still seems to be the opportunity for regulatory arbitrage. weather regulated companies would choose what they believe to be the most -- regulator. so what mechanisms can we put in place to prevent that, to prevent the shopping? for example, the administration's restrictions that are proposed on the ability of a troubled bank to switch charters -- is that enough by themselves to prevent regulatory arbitrage that we want? i would like to hear some of
your ideas. >> senator, i will start, if it's ok. i think first of congress has provided some mechanisms to contain regulatory arbitrage. a lot of restrictions that apply to national banks are made by congress to apply to state banks if they are going to get federal deposit insurance. that is an important backdrop, number one. number two, the provision you referred to i think is an important one, it is one in which the agencies have already tried to act. actually i was going to tell the chairman this, there was a break in the hearing in march where chairman bair turned to me and said we have to figure out a way to do something about entities trying to get different charters when they see enforcement action coming. launched -- to have agencies all
reaffirm this charter converting ought not to happen unless it is a signed institution and unless you don't have the enforcement kind of actions pending and you ought not to be will to use it to avoid supervisory ratings. a couple of instances of institutions shifting charters over the last few years has become reasonably well known, and engaged sort of flight from enforcement. so i think this was a very important gap to plug. >> anything else? >> i think it is very important. we have seen over the years a number of institutions come in number of situations in which people have switched charters to avoid supervisory actions. anatoly support the action we have taken. if we wanted to go forward and put some things in legislative language, i think that might be very good idea. just make sure we don't change in the future. >> i would agree. and we indicated and are written testimony.
we are the insurer -- so once the insurance is granted if the entity decides to leadership we really don't have a role in that. we particularly feel it is in our interest to make sure we want good strong -- prudential supervision and we don't want charter convergence to undermine the process. we would also have to work with you, and the center and i had a conversation about that, putting some of like that in the statute. >> i joined senator reid and that effort. >> senator addendas -- senator menendez, could i address the question? from one of the charter's acting being used as an example as an arbor try opportunity -- arbitrage opportunity is countrywide moving from the fed to regulation by ots did this was march of 2007. in doing so, countrywide brought approximately $92 billion of assets to the ots. we undertook extensive investigation by the fed,
enforced. we skam inand enforce but we have never had. that's been separated already. i think the bank regulators are generally support tiff of this. it is being a bank or a non-bfrng or a mortgage broker with little regulation. the agency, this new agency, is providing rules across the board for banks and non-banks, and i think, as we have all testified, that keeping the examination enforcement function with the bank regulators for the banks and having this new agency focus its examination enforcement resources on the non-bank sector, where there is not much oversight at this point, i
think would give the consumers across the board, whether they are dealing with the bank or non-banks, some base level of protection, and the right to the making sure that those rules are enforced and adhered to. does that answer your question? >> to you want to get in? >> i agree completely with everything sheila just said. we have examples of a number of ways in which integrated safety and soundness and consumer protection supervision of supervisors has brought together problem -- race and found issues for both safety and soundness purposes and consumer protection purposes that otherwise would not have been found under the current system. we believe -- that the believe the examination and supervision function in place -- examiners are good looking and rules that are written, and to the extent that a new agency writes strong rules, they will be complied
with by banks with this function better than any other alternative model. >> my understanding from the panel is that you are all in support of the consumer financial protection agency? >>, senator, that is not true. the federal reserve has not taken a position one way or the other. >> are you going to take a position? >> i would not anticipate it. we were specifically asked, i guess we would at least discuss it among ourselves. i think our effort at this point has been to point out the virtues of integrated supervision and regulation of consumer products, along side of the obvious virtues of a separate agency. >> thank you, senator menendez. as senator bunning. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i am happy to see all of you today. after you kiss the ring of the secretary of the treasury, you finally got out of the room, and you are tear in person to
testify -- you are here in person to testify, independently. that is nice to see that. mr. tarlow c-span.or-- tarull.oi want go back to something you said earlier. he said the fed wants the authority and power to enforce. we gave you that 14 years ago, more than 14 years ago, actually. it is 15 or 16 years ago. and you did not write a regulation for 14 years to govern the banks that were under your control. or the mortgage brokers that were under your control. i know you're not at the fed. that is not a problem. the problem is that the fed had the ability to act and did not. so you might understand some of
us not being agreeable to giving you more power when you failed in enforcing the power we gave you. for your information, you can take it back to a chairman bernanke and the rest of the board and say, "it took you, mr. bernanke, two years after you became chairmen to write a regulation on mortgages, and it took chairman greenspan 12 years not to write in, so we are a little reluctant to give at the fed knew additional authority." i just happen to agree with chairman bair on when the rubber hits the road, they are there to make something happen. now, our panel is trying to figure out how to stop the robber hitting the road -- in
other words, to prevent systemic risk from becoming too big to fail. that seems to be the major problem. senator worker brought it up earlier today -- senator corker brought up earlier today, about we really need ideas, because we seem to have failed by not giving the authority to the right person, or the right person not in forcing the authority we gave them. my question to you is what additional authority to you think we should give the fed? >> senators, as you know, i agree, personally, not a board position, with you that the fed to too long to use its existing authority to enact the consumer protection associated with mortgages. i was referring a few moments
ago, and i will allow the rate on and now -- i will elaborate on now, to provide the authority to any systemic institution. as you know, a year and a half ago, that statement would have, in practical terms, it meant that a whole set of institutions -- the five freestanding investment banks -- would likely have been brought in by law to the consolidated supervisory situation. because of the financial crisis, and the fact that a couple of those institutions are no longer with us, and that others have become a bank holding companies, the immediate practical importance of the authority would not be as great as it would have been a year and half or two years ago. there is the possibility that an institution that has become a bank holding company in the
middle of a crisis, in order to get the interim writer -- impr imatur, would decide it is not like being a supervised entity and would -- >> we could prevent that. >> absolutely. and secondly, in the future, if other institutions grow or activities migrate from the regulated sector to other institutions, we would want and make sure that any institution which itself becomes systemically important would also be subject to consolidated supervision. that is what i've is referring to earlier. >> sheila, could you expand on the ability of the fdic to preempt -- in other words, to get in front of the foreclosure or the shutting down of -- in
other words, looking prior to with your regulatory regime into banks that you have under the fdic jurisdiction? in other words, preventing. >> preventing, exactly, and we all have things we wish we had done differently but i think congress did the fdic helpful new tools that were finalized in early 2006 to make risk-based adjustments to our premiums every charged for deposit insurance, because at least for insured depository institutions, this helps us provide economic disincentives to high-risk behavior, and this is a tool we have been learning and use it and will continue to refine, but it has been helpful, i think. the big problem -- the shortcoming we have found is that when these larger entities get into trouble, so much of the activity is now outside the insured depository institution,
that our traditional resolution mechanism does not work, because we can only resolve that is in the insured institution, which is why we believe it would be very helpful to us, as the fdic and collectively, to get ahead of this. first of all, it would be a strong disincentive to we need more regulation, clearly, of these large institutions, but we need greater market discipline, and the certainty that investors and creditors will take losses if they come to the government for help -- >> if an entity is listed on an exchange, would into the securities and exchange commission -- into the securities and exchange commission have some kind of ability to examine all of the aspects of that institution? i'm looking at aig, for instance. >> i think that generally it is the holding company -- >> correct, it is the holding
company. >> i think the sec's regime is not on prudential supervision but investor protection, and it is a transparency regime. they do not do safety and soundness overside -- oversight of listed companies. >> thank you. >> senator tester. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, panelists for being here today. i think we all agree that the gaps exist. i think we all agree that we still have not sealed those gaps up. and so, i guess, referring to the testimony from a gentleman on the second battle -- panel, he writes and recommends creating a world-class financial insufficient specific regulator at the federal level --
financial institution and specific read a letter at the federal level. quite close to what i have in mind. you guys have someone addressed this in some of your other questions, but going back to what senator menendez asked in that he wanted to know if it could be laid out to seal these gaps by rulemaking or some other method, i am not sure i got an answer to that question i want you to share your thoughts as concisely as possible, because each one of you could burn for minutes at 50 seconds with one answer if you wanted, as to why this significant reform in this direction is not the direction to go. taking off your hat, as individual department leaders, because turf does not play a role -- if someone says i will
disarm your farm, i would be upset about it -- but how would we get these gaps closed without something like this? go ahead, sheila, and we will go down the line. >> i think the charter choice, if you will, was between being a bank are not being a bank, and being much less regulated in the non-banking this year. that is the arbitrage that need to be addressed. >> and what you're saying is that that cannot be addressed with one? >> no, it could not, because you'd be consolidating what we do with the depository institutions, but it would not expand beyond the heavily regulated -- -- >> could it? >> for things systemic in nature, you could do it with this risk council, some ability to look across systems and a dubose credential requirements regarding cal