Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 10, 2014 11:00pm-1:01am EDT

11:00 pm
when he began this hearing, i have a respect for him saying it. that this situation should not be taken lightly. and i think that, you know, every time i sit in hearings like this, i have to try and the sure that i get past politics and try to figure out, number one, what is right and i also think about how we will >> there has been a lot of discussion about all of the wrong that ms. lerner did. i want to be clear. i would love to hear her testimony. i would love to hear even some of the answers to the things that my good friend presented.
11:01 pm
deserve to hear those answers. timehere comes a point in prompt otherthings things. thatis instance, the idea has, ire rights that one think we have to deal with that first. as i said in my opening about whatit is not is bigger than us. .t is bigger than this moment
11:02 pm
it is bigger than ms. lerner. it is about generations yet unborn. i think somebody who asked the question, people laughed. it was a series question. people come before this committee in the future, will we have to read them their rights? will we have to give them a miranda warning? will we have to tell them that any syllable that is said may be used against them? think we really have to be careful in the precedent we are setting. there will be disagreements with regard to the law. i have been practicing over 20 years. i had disagreements with lawyers.
11:03 pm
i remember in law school we would argue cases in the court read one person will look at the same fax and have one opinion. no matter how you look at the facts, the things that muster. the things that must prevail are the rights of the american people. that is what this is about. the rights. as mr. duncan spoke, i thought of the criminals i have come across. rough people. they still have rights. they will still americans. that is the wonderful thing about this. , we're remind all of us are on the earth today. it is so important that we pass on a democracy our children and our children's children, that is just as strong as the one that existed the day we were born. with that, i yield back. >> i think the gentleman.
11:04 pm
we go to the gentleman from south carolina. >> thank you. when mr. cummings talks about rights, i listen. good attorney. i will listen because i familiar with his personal narrative. while he was talking, i scribbled down court rights. you have a right to confront your witness. that is the same document. you have a right to cross-examine witnesses. i think it is important for us to spend a minute on why our framers thought it was so important you be able to confront and cross-examine witnesses. it is the single best way to elicit the truth. you have a right to remain silent. you have a right to a jury trial. it is waived every day across this country.
11:05 pm
isn you plead guilty, that your waiver of your right to a jury trial. people make the mistake of representing themselves. when we talk about rights, let's talk about all the rights, including the right to confront witnesses and cross-examine witnesses. it is important industry and why we were given those rights. ms. lerner is an attorney. like the folks mr. cummings represented, or the folks i have prosecuted. she is an attorney. she had attorney city behind her. colleagues on the other side, they say we need another hearing where we can bring in experts. let me take out all of the drama. we would pick three that said she waived, they would pick one that said she didn't. do a spoiler, but that is how that hearing would go.
11:06 pm
we would be back where we are now. toen't make the decision, or the language of the supreme court, which is the ultimate expert, i would argue. it is well-established a witness in a single proceeding may not testify on terror really about a subject and then invoke the privilege against self-incrimination when questioned about details. the supreme court continued in such a case. waived to ge is -- you do have a is right to remain silent. , not au talk presentation of words which you should have done.
11:07 pm
but when you wave by testifying, you subject yourself to cross examination. that is true for every client mr. cummings had. it is true for every sexual assault victim that i had to call as a witness. they couldn't give their version of what happened and then not stand for cross-examination. that is not the way the system is set up. it is not set up that way because the purpose is to elicit the truth. mr. chairman, i asked this. this is what she said when she came before our committee. 17 separate factual assertions. , canis is not testimony someone on the other side please tell me what it is. does it have to be 20 factual assertions? 25? what constitutes testimony? if what she said, and the
11:08 pm
pervasiveness of fish testimony, 17 separate assertions, if that is not testimony, tell me what is. if that is not waived him a then tell me what is. chairman, there've been a lot of conversations about rights. most the conversations have been about ms. lerner's rise. that same document gives you the right to free speech, and the right to partition your government for redress. lerner may have waived her right, our fellow citizens did not. the only way we're going to find if shet happened is answers her questions. not just that i did nothing wrong, but answer the question that all of you agree are legitimate questions. if this isn't waivered amuck tell me what is. if that wasn't testimony,
11:09 pm
explain to me what would constitute it in your mind. >> the gentleman yields back. who seeks a technician? the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you. i just want to remind the , andrs of this committee the members of this committee, of a few occurrences that occurred in and around this issue we are covering today. chairman issa would not and did not accept a one-week extension .rom american citizen lerner also, chairman issa chose to go on national television and began to misrepresent facts about what occurred in the irs. , 298hing i do agree on
11:10 pm
applications were not handled raab early. overly scrutinize. yet, 96 of those applications were considered applications that were of tea party guilt or to the right, or what have you. chose to holdissa a hearing that only wanted to look at or consider those applications that were either mishandled or overanalyzed, or delayed beyond reason. he only wanted to have hearings about one out of three applications. of 298.cations out with that in mind, american citizen lerner had much reason to be concerned that coming to this hearing, this committee of the united states congress was
11:11 pm
not a hearing that was going to be fair, or a hearing interested in the truth. a hearing that was interested in playing up politics on national television and in this formal committee. lois lerner is an american who is being treated in a way that no american should ever be treated by any authority. much less the united states congress. to stay for the record i am proud to be a united states congressman, elected by the people of my district, and to do the business of movie the country forward. i believe this committee, on this day, is going in the wrong direction. this is a sad day. it is a sad day for the united states of america when an american citizens rights are being trampled. iu back. >> the gentleman yields back.
11:12 pm
>> we go to the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings. the four i began, upon completion of those who feel they must speak on this, we're going to encourage a previous question. do not feel you have a need to speak more unless you have something you believe you want to say. everyone will be given that opportunity. >> thank you. let me broaden this argument. our country was founded on the principle that citizens would not be persecuted by the government for their beliefs or political affiliations. irs waswhy in 2012 the targeting conservative groups applying for tax exempt status, several members of the house of representatives asked questions and investigated those allegations.
11:13 pm
she would answer questions that would give us, members of question -- members of congress the information of the wrongdoing at the irs. congress is exercising oversight authority as the earliest days of our nation dating back to as early as 1792. robust congressional oversight has exposed waste in government and abuses in power by administration officials and presidents. i am disappointed this administration appear so willing the trusto jeopardize
11:14 pm
and the government that they have not been more forth with information. committee off the natural resources i have overseen numerous investigations into this administration. i can tell you firsthand that it has failed to live up to its promise of being the most open and transparent administration in history. in the course of our ministration, the ministration has numerous requests. there are often copies released under the freedom of information act, or they are heavily redacted. this lack of cooperation undermines congress's constitution. this it ministration seems to be saying trust us. there is nothing to see here. trust, but verify.
11:15 pm
this is what we're trying to do with oversight. to our responsibilities, the natural resources committee has found troubling examples of this administration's decisions being based on politics rather than law. the mismanagement of the process to rewrite cold regulation. i understand that issuing a subpoena is never a preferred option. it is unfortunate i have had to do so in my committee on several occasions. that to holdstand lois lerner and content is not one to be taken lightly. i yield back the balance of my
11:16 pm
time. >> the gentleman yields back. mr. chairman? recognition. seeks you recognize for five minutes. >> i yield my five minutes. >> i want to thank the gentleman for yielding. i have a unanimous consent request. >> preserving the right. >> thank you. i have a request that hope every member of this committee can support. i will just take a moment to describe it. can we please have the staff bring in the documents i want to discuss? support thedo not
11:17 pm
resolution. based on the assessment from more than 30 experts, we believe they federal court will dismiss this case is legally insufficient. we do not -- we do support transparency. we want the american people to have the whole truth and nothing but the truth. these are the full transcripts from all of the interviews, our committee has conducted during this investigation. we have witnesses called by the majority. we have interviewed irs employees in cincinnati, and treasury department employees. 9, -- ar, on june this month you stated on national television, these
11:18 pm
transcripts will be made public. more than nine months. it is time to make these transcripts public. it would give witnesses a roadmap to our investigation. you have already crossed that bridge many times. quotes from the transcripts and reports, press releases, memos, and letters on more than a dozen occasions. reporters to come into the committee offices to read full copies of select transcripts that you chose to make available. the full transcripts in their entirety, it is how the employees [indiscernible] lernery show how lois failed to discover the events for more than a year.
11:19 pm
certainly shows mismanagement of the irs, but no white house involvement in a political motivation, contrary to the claims of the republicans. it is time to put the whole story out there so the public can see everything, not cherry picked pieces. i ask unanimous consent of the committee release publicly all copies of all of these interview transcripts no later than may 1. i want to emphasize this. along with any specific issa,ions, mr. chairman before i yield back today, it is important day. and story day. i know other members want to be rid of them. >> if the gentleman would yield. >> yes. >> i cannot support releasing the documents in their entirety. the gentleman has the right to
11:20 pm
inect documents and use it reports and appropriate material. i encourage you to do so. as i have said previously, it is ill advised. i would ask you to restrain themselves from releasing these documents in their entirety. it does provide a roadmap as to questions and answers. however, it is my intention to release redacted versions of these interviews once we have completed all interviews, and after the discovery process has been delivered to us. i might note that just a few days ago, the commissioner told us it might take two years to get us documents. it should give us less time to get all of lois lerner's e-mails. once we have substantially received those documents, which i expect to be in a matter of weeks, i am certain to work with the ranking member to put
11:21 pm
together properly redacted entire transcripts. i want these records to be public. , asink you would agree someone who has done transcribed interviews, that if everyone is able to see what we're asking everybody else, it it has an adverse affect. i would hope that you would take in good faith that i am making a commitment here that releasing the entire tea, i welcome you to go in and find selected information you believe is appropriate to make any case you want to make, either in the preceding here today, or and others. the refrain from putting these in their entirety until the concluded interviews, which i hope to be sin. and discovery of such information as simple request. i want to yield back. understand everything you said. as a matter of fact, i have often talked about the release
11:22 pm
of documents harming prosecutions and other proceedings. myt is why i made part of unanimous consent request that to chairman be allowed reject whatever you wanted to reject. the reason why i make the request is because i think the public needs to have the information. think the members need to have it beyond us. , i guess we could go on and on. but, can we have some kind of timeline for that? >> i think the gentleman. i certainly, once we have concluded our transcribed interviews, we have received the
11:23 pm
key documents, i am prepared to work with you on this release. i would say that if your --nimous consent would that i surly could support that at this time so that every member of congress would have full access to see all of these documents, including an in camera review, including bringing staff in to help explain it. >> mr. chairman. i object. >> the gentleman objects. we go to the gentleman from michigan. >> thank you. documents and testimony received by the committee show that mrs. liner appears to have a bias against conservative antiparty groups. we have a slide. according to one witness interview by the committee, mrs. -- sherder the irs to
11:24 pm
thought the term tea party was too pejorative. what is pejorative? only her personal negative opinion about the tea party movement. slide two. according to one e-mail, she called the tea party cases very dangerous. what is dangerous about tax-exempt applications? what is dangerous about tea party groups? nothing? other than they do not correspond to mrs. learners believes. -- ms. lerner's believes. she of the fcc will save the day from anonymous donors giving to republican senate candidates. why would the fcc save the day from lawful donors giving to candidates for office? to holdt the resolution
11:25 pm
mrs. lerner in contempt of congress for her refusal to testify before this committee. as an institution, and as the representative of the american people, we must hold her to account and continue to insist that she provide all information about the irs targeting. figurener was a central in the irs targeting, as we have heard. she directed the tea party applications to be put through a multi-tier review she specifically asked by name for the tax-exempt application filed , a prominent gps applicant. the ways and means committee released extensive documents showing how ms. lerner subjected conservative groups to extraordinary scrutiny. beyond these facts, we will hear from this learner -- from ms. lerner. she viewed tea party groups as
11:26 pm
fundamentally different from arer nonprofit, saying they itching for a constitutional exemptge, not part of organizations. the apparent bias likely played a large role in the irs scrutiny and delay of conservative leaning tax-exempt applicants. the committee needs testimony to understand fully how and why the irs targeted conservative groups. a vote no is to abandon what i thought were liberal values to protect the progressive cause. i urge my colleagues to support the resolution. winky. >> will be gentleman yield? >> yes. >> thank you. as a prosecutor, anytime i was prosecuting a case, i would wonder if he was going to testify are not. when they take the stand, i know i'm going to get my crack a cross-examination.
11:27 pm
never in my life have i seen a defendant did you take the stand, make 17 different factual assertions proclaiming their innocence, and then go sit down without being able to ask questions. that is essentially out of a criminal context, that would be the run that would have the most protection. what lois lerner was trying to do, they are trying to have it both ways. when you take the fifth, it is not going to be used against you. there is reputational cost that is associated with that. if you're neighbor learns you took the fifth amendment, most people would say why don't you just testify what you did. that is just the reality. here is lois lerner. a high government official. she has a six-figure salary. ae thought she may have had good job security breach you wanted to come in here, address the harm that would come to her in terms of professional reputation, and personal making factual
11:28 pm
assertions, and then taking the fifth amendment so she couldn't be held accountable on her actions in this position. thereby protecting her six-figure salary, her position with the government. you can't have it both ways preachy clearly waived her fifth amendment right. this idea that somehow she is a victim, she's a sophisticated party. -- i yield back. >> i think the gentleman. tennessee is from recognized. thank you. >> i would like to yield two minutes to my friend, mr. lynch. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. i would like to speak in support of the ranking member requests.
11:29 pm
the investigation has been characterized by politicized statements, and some colleagues on the other side of the aisle, and cherry picked transcript excerpts to support the partisan agenda. issane 2, chairman released excerpts of these and your views with irs employees. in response to the partial release of these excerpts, the chairman issa, why don't you put the whole thing out, because our problem really is here, your critics say that republicans and your particular cherry picked information that goes to your foregone conclusions. what worries us, to put this stuff out. can you not put the whole body of transcripts out.
11:30 pm
during the interview, chairman issa promised these transcripts will be made public. despite the chairman's promise and the subsequent nine months, he has not released the transcripts. instead, time and time again, he has continued to take portions of transcripts and flooded documents out of context and link them to support his inaccurate narrative. at least a dozen times in the past year the chairman has released cherry picked portions of these transcripts. denyingon top of the the ranking member from speaking. that includes shutting off the microphone of any other point of view that varies with his own. it is time to live up to the promises we have made to deliver the fax. all of the american people. it is time for transparency and releasing all of the transcripts. this is an extraordinary step
11:31 pm
for our committee to take. we need to take it. releasing the transcripts will decrease the transparency. almost one full year after we began investigating the irs, it is time the american public receives the truth. i yield. me reclaim my time. i yield permitting time. >> thank you. i want to add my voice to those in support of the motion to release the transcripts. i want to add the chairman of the committee has given hand-picked reporters an opportunity to read entire transcripts. last june, usa today reported they allowed reporters to read the whole transcript. the associated press review transcripts from three interviews with agents.
11:32 pm
the chairman has relied extensively on the interview transcripts and various reports that he has published since this investigation has begun. the report cited in the contempt resolution sites from select transcripts of irs personnel. the chairman has already crossed this bridge. we simply submit that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. you ought to release all of them. if you're one to release all of them to some people you should release all of them to all people. i yield back. >> will be gentleman yield? >> yes. >> i appreciate it. i'm not sure the gentleman from that something you heard me when i reiterated that we would welcome all members of congress read these documents. the minority has every right to select documents and use it in
11:33 pm
producing their positions. we encourage that. hopefully, people would understand the goose and gander in this case. go ahead and use these documents. provide a roadmap and a time which the irs has refused to give us the documents as simple as ms. lerner's e-mail. yesterday that ms. lerner's e-mails included the kind of communications where she held target others. these are new discoveries. these are discoveries in some are the veryion reason we cannot conclude this hearing. the gentleman yield back. at this time ago to the general mode from texas. >> thank you. i will be read -- i will be brief.
11:34 pm
it is important again to the bottom of this. i do not believe that this stops with ms. lerner. there are other people involved. , we just needre to get there. i'm one to go forward with this attempt. i think it is one of the tools and our toolbox to get there. the ways and means committee is referring to ms. lerner. i don't believe for a second that eric holder, who is in contempt for this body for failing to comply with this on fast and furious is going to prosecute that. we do need to move forward with what we have in our toolbox to fill our constitutional duty to get to the bottom of this. the american people deserve to know. i'm going to support this. i yield back. clear, for the
11:35 pm
record, want to explain my objecting to this motion. i have no problem. the chairman stated my position. having been on this committee longer than anyone else, ira onber when mr. cummings was national television and said there's no evidence, we need to close this down. each side does use that. we are finished. we have about a half a dozen major people we haven't gotten e-mails from. we want to do this in a proper way. let me say, this chairman opens every meeting. he cites something every time consistently. we have a responsibility as the chief investigative body of congress.
11:36 pm
there is no other committee like this. there is no other issue i've seen in my 20 years that has riveted the american people. all of us. whether it is a member of congress or the lowest citizen out there. the have to do with the irs. ofs is shaking the core fairness and understanding. then it deals with trying to manipulate an election. the evidence we have so far is clear. we just wanted to hear from some of those again. the rest of the people we can't hear from. accountable ild this committee. but we have that responsibility to the american people. they are out there working like dogs today. they send is to find out what is going on at these agencies. the elections they hold in the highest level, that is the whole basis of the foundation of this
11:37 pm
government, not skewed or manipulated. we have a responsibility to keep that. please do not demagogue the chairman. he has done a good job. logic argument ad hominem, when you attack the man not the argument, and all these other diversions. i know you have a job to do on the other side. we have a job to do for the american people. i yield back. lex will be gentleman further yield? >> i will yield. >> i want to be brief. one thing i want to make sure is in the record is refusal to testify and be held in contempt can be resolved by an agreement to testify. if ms. lerner wants to proffer my inbox is open for her lawyers. testifiedner has
11:38 pm
before the justice department without immunity, and given information, if the braking member would like to join me in requesting again that the justice department provided to us, it might negate the need to have her come before us. it may have asked the very same questions. until questions which we believe are on point to testimony she gave well represented by believe we have little choice. i want to make sure everyone , all we want is the truth. she has statements she could give us. she has made half of a statement available. members to consider that is the goal of this committee. i think the gentleman for yielding.
11:39 pm
does anyone else seek recognition? >> the gentleman from nevada is recognized. >> i speak in support of the ranking member. after 10 months of cherry picked accusations,seless it is time to make good on his promise to publicly release the full transcript in this investigation. before the committee received the single document or interviewed one witness, chairman issa went on national television and stated this was the targeting of the president political enemies. that claim has been debunked soundly. and, repeatedly. releasing these transcripts will not harm the criminal
11:40 pm
investigation of ms. lerner. ms. lerner has already met with federal prosecutors. ms. lerner's quote -- anything, the release of this committee interview transcript could actually a the department of justice in its investigation by providing the agency with more complete and detailed picture of the underlying conduct at the irs. that is ultimately what my colleagues on the other side say they want. why not release the transcript? mr. chairman, if there's something to hide, why not release the transcript? not just to us individual members, but to the public. this is about transparency.
11:41 pm
if there is something in those transcripts, that you believe, do not support your position, don't let the public see it. that is what they expect. not one of the 39 witnesses that have appeared before the committee indicated that the white house directed or was anyway involved in irs employees handling of applications. yet chairman issa has continued -- has at certs thanks continued to leak excerpts. chairman issa leaked portions of an irs tax specialist interview to support his conspiracy theory of political targeting. when she saw any evidence of a
11:42 pm
plot, to target the president political enemies, this republican irs employee said no. not at all. that kind of laughable that people think that. not at all. this is purely cases that unfortunately cincinnati didn't have enough guidance on. the area is very difficult. perhaps the chairman is more concerned at the release of these transcript will give the public a roadmap to the truth behind this partisan rhetoric. let us in the partisan bickering. let's provide the fax. are you afraid of transparency?
11:43 pm
is there something in those transcripts of the public doesn't deserve to know? it will not hurt the criminal investigation. it may actually help the department of justice. >> i thank my friend from nevada for yielding. i want to speak in favor of the motion. the american public deserves transparency. in an investigation, chairman partisanmarred with attacks and released transcripts. i'm incredulous that my friend from florida talk about election integrity and protecting, and stopping the manipulation of an election. resolve forat protecting integrity of elections after the 2000 and
11:44 pm
hijacking of a national election? it is not in this room. it wasn't on this committee. >> the gentleman from nevada's time is expired. all time. no further members seek recognition. a sufficient quorum being present, the question is, contempt report to the house, all those in favor, signify by saying aye. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the clerk will call the roll. >> mr. chairmam. mr. turner votes aye. mr. mchenry votes aye. mr. chez fits -- mr. langford.
11:45 pm
ssard votes aye. mr. ferranthal votes aye. mr. woodall. massey votes aye. ye. desanto's votes a mr. cummings votes no. mrs. maloney votes no. mr. tierney. mr. clay votes no. mr. lynch votes no. mr. cooper votes no. cartwright votes no.
11:46 pm
ms. kelly? mr. davis? mr. welsh votes no. ms. grisham? ms. grisham votes no. -- lex does anyone else seek to be recorded? the clerk will report. >> on that vote, 21 yeas, 12 nays. >> the ayes have it.
11:47 pm
the staff shall be authorized to make necessary technical conforming changes to the report. i asked airman, number of days. >> so ordered. without objection. we stand adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] kathleen sebelius -- >> kathleen sebelius has handed in her resignation. secretary sebelius is on capitol hill thursday looking about the latest health insurance enrollment numbers. here is part of what she said. >> our department mission is to help our fellow americans secure the opportunity to live happier, healthier lives, and reach their fullest potential.
11:48 pm
-- ministration on community all of us benefit from work on mental health and substance abuse treatment, and from the .fforts of employees even prior to open enrollment in -- marketplace, during the past six months moneys and obtain the security and peace of mind of affordable health coverage. many people i have met have told me they have been able to get coverage for the first time in years. some have ensuring for the first time in their entire lives.
11:49 pm
400,000 additional americans have signed up. we expect the number to continue to grow. if more states move forward on expansion, more uninsured americans will be able to get coverage. affordable health coverage, accessible health care, mental health, substance abuse treatment, early childhood help security. all these issues connected present president obama's goal for expanding opportunity, strengthening our security, and growing our economy. >> kathleen sebelius will step down as health and human
11:50 pm
services secretary. president obama will make the announcement on friday. all of the hearing at >> the house oversight committee voted to hold lowest lerner in contempt of congress. on our next washington journal, we will benefit from the heritage foundation john malcolm. jocelyn frye of the center for american progress on white house efforts to combat gender pay inequality. morriswe will talk to jackson about the 50th anniversary of the 1964 civil rights act. washington journal is live each morning. join the conversation on facebook and twitter.
11:51 pm
>> i think what we needed something akin to the grace commission during the reagan administration, or the bright during the clinton administration. an outside group of integrity, former members of congress. everyone has a piece of legislation or a charter that created. it has a purpose. it should be cut or eliminated. let's take headstart. this came in with the highest motivation. there are three headstart prayed there is enhanced headstart. there is regular headstart replied we have the other two? the first wasn't working. the second was in working. thomas on fixing a broken washington.
11:52 pm
immediately following afterward, heritage foundation book party. this years national black writers conference, saturday at noon, eastern. book tv, every weekend on c-span. >> the house approved budget chairman paul ryan's 2015 budget plan. a number of balkans voted with democrats against the ten-year plan, which passed. we will have some of the debate in a moment. the president, commemorates 50th anniversary of the passage of the civil rights act. >> i rise in support of the
11:53 pm
budget act. right now america is not working for too many people. for years our economy has remained stagnant and job growth weak. at the current time three out of four americans report that they are living paycheck to paycheck. the ability to climb the economic ladder of success and live the american dream is becoming much more difficult for millions of people. mr. chairman, this is the status quo in america. but it is a status quo that we must not accept. . our constituents deserve better. our constituents deserve a government that is focused on turning this economy around and making america work again. nd work again for everybody.
11:54 pm
in the house, there are some very clear differences on how to solve america's problems. my democratic colleagues believe the best way to move the country forward -- the chair: the majority leader will suspend. i'd ask members to take their conversations off the floor on the minority side in the back. mr. cantor: my democratic colleagues believe the best way to move the country forward is ith $1.8 trillion in new tax
11:55 pm
hikes. so that this government can even spend more. that's not right and it's not fair. working americans deserve a chance to put more of their hard-earned pay checks into their personal savings accounts, to invest that or spend it on their families before they are forced to send it to washington. we house republicans have a better plan. a balanced budget that will begin to provide working families, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet, with just a little relief. the budget before us will create jobs, it will cut wasteful spending, it will reform our tax code and hold washington more accountable. plain and simple, this budget is pro-growth, this budget is about making america work again.
11:56 pm
today members of the house have a very simple choice. we can continue the status quo, stand in the way of economic progress and new opportunities for working middle class families or we can choose to lead the american people down a path to prosperity where all americans have a chance at success. mr. chairman, passing a budget is not only an important step to restoring trust in government and faith in our economy, it is our legal obligation to do so. the house passes a budget even when our paychecks aren't on the line. the house republicans choose to lead on this issue. we have passed a budget every year since taking the majority. so let's now stand together and
11:57 pm
fulfill one of the most important duties that we were elected to do and pass a budget that the american people that senlt us here can be proud of -- sent us here can be proud of. i want to thank the gentleman from wisconsin, the chairman of the budget committee, for his continued dedication in reining in wasteful spending and restoring fiscal responsibility nd in balancing budgets. i also want to thank the other members of the budget committee for their hard work continuously on this issue. and i urge my colleagues to pass this budget on behalf of the american people. nd i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from maryland. mr. van hollen: mr. chairman, i yield myself four minutes. the chair: the gentleman from
11:58 pm
maryland is recognized for four minutes. the gentleman will suspend. the committee will be in order. once again, ask members to take their conversations off the floor, particularly in the back n the minority side. the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to start by joining the chairman of the committee and thanking both the democratic and republican staff of the budget committee for their hard work and should be mitt for the record their names -- and submit for the record their names. i'd also, mr. chairman, like to take this opportunity, it's chairman ryan's last year as the head of the budget committee, and i do want to thank him for the professional way in which he's conducted the committee. lest he think i'm getting carried away, this is an example where process did not lead to a better product. and that's why we're here today. because unfortunately i have to report that this house republican budget is the worst of the republican budgets i've
11:59 pm
seen in the last three years for the united states of america. budgets, budgets -- mr. chairman, budgets reflect the choices we make for our country. they tell the american people what we care about and what we care less about. and at every juncture in this house republican budget they choose to protect very powerful special interests and the most wealthy in our country at the expense of everyone else and at the expense of all the other priorities. for example, they have tax cuts that actually encourage companies to ship american jobs , not product, overseas. while our budget invests right here in the united states of america. now, we heard the republican leader say we want a better economy for everybody. the congressional budget office tells us that this republican
12:00 am
budget will slow down economic growth right now for the next couple years. that it will reduce job growth in the next couple years. all while doing what? providing another windfall tax break to millionaires. yes, look at their budget. they want to drop the top tax rate -- the chair: the gentleman will suspend. he committee will be in order. the gentleman is recognized. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. chairman. look at their budget. they want to drop the top tax rate, 39% to 25%. full 30%. what does that mean? $200,000 average tax break for millionaires. who finances it in their budget? well, math tells you middle income taxpayers pay more. they pay $2,000 more per average in order to finance trickledown economics, even though they we know from experience that that was a dead
12:01 am
end for this country. and while our republican colleagues talk about fiscal responsibility, apparently they don't care enough about it to close one single special interest tax loophole to help reduce the deficit. not one. not a hedge fund owner, not a big oil company, not one. and because they say hands off the most powerful and the most privileged, their budget has to come after everybody else and it does. so it hits our kids' education, early education, k-12, college students are asked to pay more interest. in fact, they got $45 billion savings by charging college kids more interest while they're still in college and not working. again, while hands off the powerful special interests, seniors, seniors on medicare see their prescription drug doughnut hole open. the safety net, again, sleded -- shredded and all for what
12:02 am
purpose? now, they claim that they're going to somehow balance the budget at the end of the 10-year window. but you know what? they can't have it both ways. we have had over 50 votes here in the house of representatives from our colleagues to repeal the affordable care act. but guess what? they've got $2 trillion in this budget from revenues and savings from the affordable care act. we use some of those savings -- we use those medicare savings to strengthen medicare. i now yield the final minute to the distinguished democratic leader who has been a fighter for america's priorities, nancy pelosi. leader pelosi. ms. pelosi: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. thank you, mr. speaker, for the recognition. i congratulate the budget committee for the hard work that you have done. i wish we had more than 10 minutes on each side to discuss
12:03 am
the house democratic budget. but so it is. here we are about to leave for the holy season of easter and passover. it reminds me of the gospel of it says, where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. this budget is a statement as to where our treasure is and where our hearts are for the american people. a budget, as our distinguished ranking member said, must be a statement of our national values. what is important to us as a nation should be reflected in our spending priorities, in our treasure. but you be the judge, i want to say to the american people, but the speaker will not allow me to address the american people, so their representatives here. is it a statement of your national values, of our country, to give a $200,000 tax
12:04 am
break to people making over $1 million a year at the expense f increasing taxes of $2,000 to the middle class, is that a statement of our values? i didn't think so. is a statement of our values in order to finance the special interest privilege that is in the republican budget, is a statement of your values to cut over $17 -- 170,000 children from head start? is that a statement of our values? children learning, parents earning, opportunity, fairness. is it a statement of your values to support a budget that says 3 1/2 million children in our country, disadvantaged children and economically disadvantaged areas, will have cuts in the budget of title one, is that a statement of our values in order to get tax breaks to big oil? is it a statement of our values to say to aspiring families, some the first in their families to be able to go to college, that we're going to cut over half a million, maybe
12:05 am
over 600,000 kids from head start? is that a statement of values that to say to over a half a million young people, you will not have opportunity to have a higher education, instead we're going to give that same amount of money to big oil for tax incentives, for them to drill, is that a statement of our values? i don't think so. i don't think so. so where is their treasure and where is their heart? the treasure in this republican budget is just what our ranking member said. it's with the special interests and the wealthiest people in our country. it is a trickledown approach that has never worked. it's worked for the rich. it's worked for the special interests. and their supporters. but it has not worked for the great middle clals. do we need any -- class. do we need any more evidence of it not working, that these same warmed-over policies that existed in the bush era, that took us to the great recession,
12:06 am
a great recession where we met right before the election, in september of 2008, where the chairman of the fed said to us, if we do not act immediately we will not have an economy by monday, this is a thursday night, that's where these policies took us. at the end of the bush years. and we're still digging out of that recession. and instead of having a budget that lifts us up to create jobs, to create growth, to invest in science and education, to keep america number one, they call their budget a path to prosperity, it is a road to recession, it always has been and that is what it is now. and that is what it is now. so at least we have a few minutes to discuss our value system, where our treasure is, with the richest and the special interests, or with the great middle class and those
12:07 am
who aspire to it. and therefore where our heart is in terms of budget priorities in this budget. and this is an important budget. some people want to dismiss it as a joke because it's so outrageous. it's debtly serious. it isn't funny at all -- deadly serious. it isn't funny at all because of the impact it has on the lives of america's families. our children, our seniors, voucherizing medicare, removing the guarantee of medicare for our seniors. is that a statement of our values to say to our seniors, you are on your own? you are on your own. don't think so. so our heart is with the middle class, we will put our treasure there. with investments in education, job creation, investments in science. i'll just close, again, i started with the bible, scientific research gives us an almost biblical power to cure. where there is scientific
12:08 am
opportunity, we almost have a moral responsibility, certainly a moral imperative to invest in it. to improve health, to improve the quality of health in our country. and to make sure that everybody has access to it. but don't worry about the access to it, because our investments, our investments in basic scientific research are seriously impaired by this budget. it does violence to any concept of science that keeps innovation making america number one, advancing innovation, investments in science and technology, undermining investments in how we protect our environment so our children can breathe clean air and drink clean water, about how we protect our america by investments in science and technology to do so and the intelligence to avoid conflict, to avoid conflict.
12:09 am
and the investments in job creation that science will enable us to do. so if you believe in knowledge, if you believe in fact, if you believe in the middle class you must reject the republican budget. you must reject the republican budget. what the republican leadership is asking members to do is something that i don't know that they share that value. certainly republicans across the country do not. republicans across the country support education, investments in sigh epidemics, and the rest. any poll will show you that. just one other thing. if you really want to reduce the deficit, one of the fastest ways to do it is have a budget as our does, includes comprehensive immigration reform which reduces the deficit by $900 million, $900 with a b, billion according to the congressional budget
12:10 am
office. so by reason of treasure, by reason of heart, by reason of values, by reason of ethics, by reason of honoring our responsibility to the american people, a good strong no on the ryan republican budget. it's a path to ruin. it is not a path to prosperity. mr. van hollen's budget is a budget of -- about of growth, keeping america number one, strengthening the middle class which is the backbone of our democracy. thank you-all. ote no on this budget. the chair: the time of the gentlelady has expired. he committee will be in order.
12:11 am
the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized. mr. ryan: i yield myself the balance of the time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. ryan: let me start of by saying you have presided over this budget for many years. you have set a great example for the rest of us. this is your last year serving, and i want to thank you for what you have done for this institution. thank you for setting a great example. i ask unanimous consent that that applause did not take out of my time. the chair: without objection, so ordered. mr. ryan: mr. chairman, what this debate comes down to is a he question of trust. we have offered a budget because we trust the american people.
12:12 am
unlike the senate democrats who once again have punted, chosen not to even offer a budget this year, we trust the people to make an honest assessment. we trust them to make the right choice for their future. now to their credit the house democrats have offered budgets as well. the problem is they put their trust in washington. every time you hear this word investment, just know what that means. take from hardworking taxpayers, borrow more money from our next generation, from other countries, spend it in washington. time and again they are proposing to put government in the driver's seat. they have already engineered to take over our entire health care sector. they are overregulating our energy sector. they are depriving us of jobs.
12:13 am
they won't even give us the keystone pipeline. they are proposing yet new taxes. another $1.8 trillion tax increase. they are proposing more cronyism. they are proposing more control for washington, less control of our communities, less control over our businesses, less control over our lives. less control over our futures. in my respectful opinion it is a vision that is both paternalistic, arrogant, and down right condesending. you know, big government in theory, it sounds compelling. in practice it's totally different. remember if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. remember, if you like your health care plan you can keep your health care plan. or remember, if government just takes over this sector, it will
12:14 am
lower your costs. big government in practice is so different than the theory. the results have nothing to do with the rhetoric. we, on the other hand, trust the eople. we are offering a balanced budget that pays down the debt. we are offering patient centered solutions. we are offering patient centered solutions so patients are the nucleus of the health care system, not the government. we are offering a plan to save medicare now and for future generations. we are offering a stronger safety net with state flexibility to help meet people's needs and to help people get from welfare to work to make the most of their lives. we are offering pro-growth tax
12:15 am
code. we are offering more energy jobs. you can boil the differences down to one question -- who knows better? the people or washington. we have made our choice with this budget. i trust the american people to make theirs. mr. chairman, let's call the vote. >> is everybody? to the houseittees floor, once again, it is a busy week here in the people's house. the two committees took action and helped get answers about what to lace at the irs.
12:16 am
the american people deserve the truth about what happened. the administration's targeting an abuse of conservatives. since the president has not acted, the committee advanced -- american natural gas. this will create jobs here at home and put pressure on the russian government as it continues its aggressive stance vis-a-vis the ukraine. we passed budget reform legislation to provide more accountability here in washington and a more accurate picture of what we spend. of course, later today, the house will pass a jobs budget for the fourth year in a row. his document is our vision for getting americans back to work and a budget back in balance. i want to congratulate chairman ryan and the members of the committee for a job well done. meanwhile, democrats in washington continue to play their usual politics.
12:17 am
they're using their old playbook pitting one group of americans against another. frankly, it is obvious that their efforts have failed. their fallen flat because the american people are still asking the question, where are the jobs? these political votes provide no answers. the house is going to continue to focus on the american people's priorities am a creating good paying jobs, increasing wages, and expanding opportunity for all americans. us means reforming our job training and skills programs, advancing bipartisan charter school legislation, a critical water and highway infrastructure allies, ands to repealing and replacing obamacare, just to name a few. we have been building our agenda, building an america that works one week of the time and one bill at a time. we are going to continue to do so. that is the message i expect our members will take home during
12:18 am
this upcoming recess. i expect all members to be held to the highest ethical standards. this is no different. to senatored mcallister, who shared with you the kind of conversations i have. i have had a conversation with him. he has decisions he has to make. today we learned at 7.5 million people have now been enrolled in the affordable care act. you said you put your alternative on the floor. it seems that members of your anference are wanting to put alternative on the floor. when will we see that? we have a broad outline of the kind of things that we
12:19 am
believe would help create more affordable health insurance for more americans. majority leaders have been working with the chairman, the whip, and the conference chair had been working with our members trying to build a consensus over what an alternative would look like. i would hope that work would continue. >> when will we see the bill? >> we will see. >> mr. speaker, could you give -- have you made a decision what, if anything, you're going to do that? >> i spoke with the president last december. if you wanted us to consider an extension of emergency unemployment benefits. it would have to be paid for. they have not put forward anything with regard to how we would create more jobs.
12:20 am
the ball is still in the court. what kind of job creation back it -- package would work? >> they have not had any suggestions. sayonth ago you didn't members would go for that. are there any changes? working on the highway trust fund and the solvency issue. no decisions have been made, but i would hope that they would have some solutions that would work. [indiscernible]
12:21 am
the attorney general has that he and other members were treated a certain way because of race. is it a problem for members of when they go after members of the administration? >> there is no issue of race here. the frustration is that the american people have not been told the truth about what happened at the irs. the american people have not been told the truth about what happened in fast and furious. the administration has not told the american people the truth about benghazi. we have been going through all of these hearings having to hold people in contempt because they have made it impossible to get to the documents. there've not been forthcoming. they owe the american people the truth. when it comes to benghazi, we have for americans who are dead.
12:22 am
their families deserve the truth about what happened. the administration refuses to tell them the truth. >> bitcoin is an internet-based currency. the atlantic council will host a discussion tomorrow on bitcoin and the future of digital currency. that is live at 10:30 eastern. later in the day, treasury secretary jack lew holds a news conference after the bank meeting. that is at 6:00 eastern. president obama was in texas today at the lbj library. the house oversight committee votes to hold former irs official in contempt of congress. >> the whole number of the
12:23 am
electorate is to vote for the president the united states was 538, of which the majority was 270. george w. bush has received for president united states 271 votes. al gore of the state of tennessee has received 266 votes. the state of the vote for vice president of the united states is delivered to the president of the senate is as follows. the whole number of electors appointed to vote for vice president of united states is 538, of which a majority is 270. the cheney of the state of wyoming has received for vice president of the united states 271 votes. joe lieberman of the state of connecticut has received 266 votes. this announcement of the state of the vote by the president of the senate shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the
12:24 am
persons elected president and vice present of united states, each for the term beginning on the 20th day of january, 2001, and shall be entered, together with a list of the votes, on the journals of the senate and the house of representatives. may god bless our new president and our new vice president, and may god bless the united states of america. [applause] highlights on our facebook page. c-span, created by america's cable companies 35 years ago and brought to today as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. >> president was in texas today and delivered remarks on the 50th anniversary of the civil inhts act at the lbj library austin, texas. president johnson signed the act into law on july 2, 1964. we will also hear from
12:25 am
congressman john lewis of georgia. . john lewis 7, 1965, fromd lead a process march selma alabama to the state capitol in montgomery. the march was brutally thwarted by alabama state troopers in a day of infamy that became known as bloody sunday.
12:26 am
president lyndon johnson was never one to let a good crisis go to waste. a week later, he used bloody sunday to show the need to pass the voting rights act that he hadproposed, but that stalled in the halls of congress. in a plea before congress and the nation, he said -- it is all of us who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. and we shall overcome. john lewis watched that speech in selma with his mentor, dr. martin luther king at his side. as president johnson said those words, mr. lewis saw dr. king cry for the first time. we will march from selma to montgomery, dr. king said with tears in his eye, the voting
12:27 am
rights act will pass. dr. king and mr. lewis made their march from selma to montgomery, and president johnson passed the voting rights act. overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice, it is largely because of the courage and fortitude of those, like lyndon johnson, martin luther king, and john lewis. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming to this congressman john lewis. [applause]
12:28 am
>> thank you, mark. and staff of the lyndon baines johnson's library. my friends, my sisters and honorrs, i have a special to introduce the keynotes bigger for this 50th anniversary celebration of the civil rights act of 1964. it is so fitting and so appropriate that president barack obama would join us today to honor the legacy of president lyndon johnson. president barack obama was born into a dangerous and difficult , a timeamerican history when people were arrested and for sittingl just
12:29 am
beside each other on a bus. it was against the law for black and white people to ride in the same taxicab or stay in the same hotel. ,eople's homes were bombed their lives were threatened for taking a simple drink from the same water fountain, for sharing the same table in a restaurant or at a lunch counter. there were signs everywhere that , and they and colored imposed an unholy order on the lives of the average american citizen. did president johnson uses political power in the force of his will to pass the civil later the of 1964 and voting rights of 1965, although signs came tumbling down. you will not see those signs,
12:30 am
our children may not see the signs. museum, in a book, or on a video. resident lyndon johnson, this man from texas, liberated not just a people, but an entire nation from the inhumanity of legalized segregation. [applause] without the leadership of president lyndon johnson, and involvement of hundreds and thousands of millions of people in the civil rights movement, there would've been no president jimmy carter, no president bill clinton, no president barack obama. lyndon johnson usage is skill make it possible.
12:31 am
when people say nothing has changed, i would say, walk in my shoes and i will show you change. [applause] when president barack obama the doors of the white house, he ushered in a time of great hope, silent prayers, and deep desperation. -- deep aspirations. to live the idea of freedom and eliminate injustice from our beloved country. we used the liberty we gain from johnson's legacy to elect a man with the rock courage and tenacity to do all he could to make our society a better place,
12:32 am
and move us closer to the beloved community. president, man, this barack obama. he sees the progress we've made as a nation, and he understands there is much more work to do to redeem the soul of america. that is why as president he has put his shoulder to the plow to push forward change in america andnding two wars bringing in comprehensive health care. [applause] friends, it is my great honor and pleasure to present our friend, our president, president barack obama and the
12:33 am
first lady. [applause] >> thank you, thank you very much. thank you so much. thank you. thank you very much. [applause] please, have a seat. thank you. thank you very much. please, please. what a singular honor it is for me to be here today. i want to thank, first and
12:34 am
formost, the johnson family giving us this opportunity and the graciousness with which michelle and i have been received. we came down a little bit late because we were upstairs looking at some of the exhibits and some of the private offices that were used by president johnson and .s. johnson michelle was in particular interested in a recording in which lady bird is critiquing president johnson's performance. [laughter] come, come, you need to listen to this. she pressed the button and nodded her head. some things do not change. [laughter] even 50 years later. congress, members of the warriors for justice, the elected officials and community
12:35 am
leaders who are here today, i want to thank you. four days into his sudden presidency, and the night before he would address a joint session of the congress in which he once served, lyndon johnson sat around the table with his closest advisers preparing his remarks to a shattered and grieving nation. he wanted to call on senators and representatives to pass a civil rights bill. the most sweeping since reconstruction. most of his staff counseled him against it. they said it was hopeless, that it would anger powerful southern
12:36 am
democrats and committee chairman , that it risked the railing the rest of his domestic agenda. aide saidularly bold he did not believe a president should spend his time and power on lost causes, however worthy they might be. to which, it is said, president johnson replied, well, what the hell is the presidency for? [applause] what the hell is the presidency for? [laughter] if not to fight for causes you believe in. they, as we commemorate 50th anniversary of the civil honor the men and women who made it possible.
12:37 am
some of them are here today. we celebrate giants like john lewis, and andrew young, and julian bond. ,e recall the countless unheralded americans, black-and-white, students and scholars, preachers and housekeepers whose names are etched not on monuments but in the hearts of their loved ones and in the fabric of the country that they helped to change. here, deep inther the heart of the state that shaped them, to recall one giant man's remarkable efforts to make real the promise of our time. we hold these truths to be men aredent, that all
12:38 am
created equal. had the us who have singular privilege to hold the office of the presidency know well that progress in this country can be hard and it can be slow. , and sometimes you are stymied. the office humbles you. you are reminded daily that in this great democracy you are but a relay swimmer in the currents of history. bound by decisions made by those who came before, relied on the efforts of those who will follow to fully vindicate your vision. but the presidency also affords a unique opportunity to bend those currents by shaping our laws and by shaping our debates.
12:39 am
by working within the confines of the world as it is, but also by reimagining the world as it should be. this was president johnson's genius. politics and the legislative process, he grasped like few others the power of government to bring about change. lbj was nothing if not a realist. he was well aware that the law alone is not enough to change hearts and minds. a full century after lincoln's time he said, until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men's skin, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact. laws could not
12:40 am
encompass everything, but he also knew that only the law could anchor change and set hearts and minds of a different course. on a different course. a lot of americans needed the laws most basic protections at that time. itdr. king said at the time, may be true that the law can't make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and i think that is pretty important. [applause] passing laws was what lbj knew how to do. and no one politics loved legislating more than president johnson. he was charming when he needed to be, ruthless when required.
12:41 am
he could wear you down with logic and argument, he could horse trade, and he could flatter. ,ou come with me on this bill he would reportedly tell a key republican leader from my home state during the fight for the civil rights bill, and 200 years from now schoolchildren will know only two names, abraham and evan [indiscernible] and he knew senators would believe things like that. [applause] president johnson liked power. he liked the feel of it. the wielding of it.
12:42 am
harnessedunger was and redeemed by a deeper understanding of the human condition. underdog,thy for the for the downtrodden, for the .utcast it was a sympathy rooted in his own experience. as a young boy growing up in the texas hill country, johnson knew what being poor felt like. he wouldas so common, later say, we didn't even know it had a name. the family home did not have .lectricity or indoor plumbing everybody worked hard, including the children. president johnson had known the
12:43 am
metallic taste of hunger, the feel of a mothers calloused hand , rubbed raw from washing and cleaning and holding the household together. his cousin ava remembered sweltering days spent on her hands and knees in the cotton fields with linden whispering beside her, there has got to be a better way to make a living than this. there has got to be a better way. later,'t until years when he was teaching at a so-called mexican school in a tiny town in texas that he came to understand how much worse the persistent vein of poverty could be for other races in a jim crow south. often times, his students would show up to class hungry.
12:44 am
when he would visit their homes he would meet fathers who were paid slave wages by the farmers for. those children were taught, he would later say, that the end-of-life is in a spanish field or a cotton patch. deprivation and discrimination, these were not abstractions to lyndon baines johnson. andnew that poverty injustice are as inseparable as opportunity and justice are joined. that was in him. early like any of us, he was not a perfect man. his experiences in world texas may have stretched his moral imagination, but he was
12:45 am
.mbitious, very ambitious a young man in a hurry to plot his own escape from poverty and to chart his own political career. in the jim crow south that meant not challenging convention. his first 20 years in congress, he opposed every civil rights bill that came up for a the push forlling federal legislation a farce and a shame. as a vicesen presidential nominee in part because of his affinity with an ability to deliver the southern white folk. at the beginning of the kennedy administration, he shared with president kennedy a caution towards racial controversy. kept -- for littlerls
12:46 am
girls were killed in a church. bloody sunday happened. the winds of change blew. , when lbjime came -- i in the oval office picture him standing there, taking up the entire doorframe, looking out over the south lawn in a quiet moment, and asked himself what the true purpose of , what was the for endpoint of his ambitions, he would reach back in his own and he would remember his own experience with want. he knew that he had a unique as the most powerful
12:47 am
white politician from the south to not merely challenge the convention that had crushed the dreams of so many, but to ultimately dismantle for good the structures of legal segregation. he was the only guy who could do it. and he knew there would be a cost. the democratic party may have lost the south for a generation, that's what his presidency was for. momentwhere he meets his . the zest with an iron will --
12:48 am
possessed with an iron will, possessed with those skills that he had honed so many years in supportedpushed and by a movement of those willing to sacrifice everything for their own liberation, president johnson fought for and argued andhorse traded and bullied persuaded until ultimately he signed the civil rights act into law. and he did not stop there. even though his advisers again told him to wait, again told him to let the dust settle, let the country absorbed this momentous decision, he shook them off.
12:49 am
the meat in the coconut, as president johnson would put it, was the voting rights act. so he fought for and passed that as well. immigration reform came shortly thereafter, and then a fair housing act. and then a health care law that opponents described as socialism , that ultimately freed millions of seniors from the fear that illness could rob them of security in their golden years which we now know today as medicare. [applause] what president johnson understood was that the quality required more than the absence of oppression. it required the presence of economic opportunity.
12:50 am
he wouldn't be as eloquent as dr. king would be in describing that linkage. as dr. king moved in to vocalizing sanitation workers and the poor people's movement, but he understood the connection because he had lifted. -- lift it. a decent job, decent wages, health care. those two were civil rights worth fighting for. he knew, as someone who had seen the new deal transform the landscape of his texas childhood , who had seen the difference electricity had made, because of the tennessee valley authority. concretelyrmation
12:51 am
day in and day out in the lives of his own family. he understood that government had a role to play in broadening prosperity to all those who would strive for it. we want to open the gates to opportunity, president johnson said. what we are also going to give all of our people, black and white, the help they need to walk through those gates. some of this sounds familiar, is because today we remain locked in the same great debate about equality and opportunity and the role of government in ensuring each. as was true 50 years ago, there are those who dismiss the great society as a failed experiment
12:52 am
and an encroachment on liberty, who argue that government has become the true source of all that ails us and that poverty is due to the moral failings of those who suffer from it. argue,re also those who john, that nothing has changed. that racism is so embedded in our dna, but there is no use trying politics, the game is rate. but such theories ignore history . yes, its true that despite laws like the civil rights act and the voting rights act and medicare, our society is still wracked with division and .overty
12:53 am
yes, race still colors our political debates, and there have been government programs in ahave fallen short. time when cynicism is too often issed off as wisdom, it perhaps easy to conclude that there are limits to change, that we are trapped by our own history, and politics is a fools errand. we would be better off if we chunks ofk big lbj's legacy, or at least not put too much hope, invest too much of our hope in our government. thinking.uch not just because medicare -- [applause]
12:54 am
not just because medicare and medicaid have lifted millions becausefering, not just a poverty rate in this nation would be far worse without food stamps and head start and all the great society programs that survive to this day. such cynicism because i have lived out the promise of lbj's efforts. because michelle has lived out the legacy of those efforts, because my daughters have lived out the legacy of those efforts, because i and millions of my generation were in a position to take the baton that he handed to us. [applause] because of the civil rights movement, because of the laws president johnson signed, new doors of opportunity and education swung open for everybody. not all at once, but they swung
12:55 am
open. not just blacks and whites, but also women and latinos and asians and native americans and gay americans and americans with a disability. they swung open for you and they swung open for me. that's why am standing here today, because of those efforts, because of that legacy. [applause] and that means we have got a debt to pay. that means we can't afford to be cynical. later, the laws lbj passed are now as fundamental to our conception of our selves and our democracy as the constitution and the bill of
12:56 am
rights. a foundation, an essential piece of the american character. we are here today because we .now we cannot be complacent history travels not only forwards, history can travel backwards. .istory can travel sideways securing the gains that this country has made requires the vigilance of its citizens. freedoms, they are not given, they must be one, they must be nurtured through struggle and discipline and persistence and faith. sometimesn i have , theg these moments celebration of the signing of the civil rights act, the march
12:57 am
, from a distance sometimes these commemorations seem inevitable, they seem easy. all the pain and difficulty and , all that isdoubt rubbed away. and we look at ourselves and we say oh, things are just too different now, we couldn't possibly do what was done then, these giants, what they accomplished. and yet they were men and women, too. it was easy then. en. still,certain tha the story of america is a story of progress. , however incomplete
12:58 am
, however harshly challenged at each point on our journey, however flawed our leaders, however many times we have to take a quart of a low for half a , the story of america is the story of progress. and that is true because of men like resident lyndon baines johnson. [applause] -- like president lyndon baines johnson. in summary ways he embodied america, with all our gifts and all our flaws, and all our restlessness and all our big dreams. --s man, worn into poverty born into poverty, weaned in the
12:59 am
world full of racial hatred somehow found within himself the ability to connect his experience with the brown child in a small texas town, the white child in appalachia, the black child in watts. became inl as he that oval office, he understood , he understood what it meant to be on the outside, and he believed that their plight was his plight, too, his freedom was wrapped up in theirs and making their lives better was what the hell the presidency was for. [applause]
1:00 am
those children were on his mind when he went to the podium in the house s law. it never occurred to me, he said, and my dreams that i would have the help -- the chance to help the sons and daughters of the students that he had taught so many years ago all over this country. now, i do have that chance. i will let you in on a secret. i intend to use it. i hope you will use it with me.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on