tv Public Affairs CSPAN June 25, 2013 1:00pm-5:01pm EDT
in 30-plus years at the education department through a series of, you know, escalating positions, if you will, of responsibility. and so andrew, you know, came to me a few months ago and said, you got some great stories, can you write them down? so that's what i tried to do in this particular section of the book. .
years ago where congress was the player of policy development arena that was largely because the administration at that time was not particularly interested in student aid issues. in fact, we were in a period at that time where the administration was advancing it's policy proposals not as part of a periodic review of the higher education authorities, but rather as an ongoing annual process as part of the annual budget request. significant budget -- significant program policy proposals, changes,
modifications being proposed through the annual budget process. and again the -- that as well had a tendency to shift that focus for policy development consciously or not towards the legislative branch. i think that was perhaps culminated in 1986 where basically administration sat out that re-authorization. we in those days, again, we were advancing policy proposals annually through the budget process. we had already -- the department had already said pretty much all it needed to say in the several years leading up to re-authorization in 1986. basically the administration sat it out. of course interest groups are very important in advancing -- at least from the executive's point of view, executive branch point of view in advancing policy proposals. we were at the department always
interested in getting the traditional higher education advocates, the one dupont crowd as we affectionately referred to them. well as another significant advocacy group which they themselves referred to themselves as team fell. basically the lenders, guarantee agencies, secondary markets, loan servicers, all of the actors within the federal family education loan program. again with very common interests and advocating both at the -- to the administration as well as policies that were advantageous to them and their constituents. student loan borrowers. not so much a player but maybe
sort of the pell grant program is more recently has become much more important as we have tended to focus on maximum grants in the pell grant program. focus on sufficient resources to take care of the periodic funding shortfalls that we experience in the program. less about what the program is doing. more about making sure that the program has sufficient resources to do whatever it is that it is doing. so the -- again has really come certainly in the past dozen years or so to really sort of dominate the student loan policy discussion. resource levels for the pell grant program, both broadly, the program as a whole, budget authority, as well as maintaining and increasing at a
minimum maintaining and often increasing the maximum grant in the program. now, how -- most of these, with apologies to scott adams and dilbert, change is good, but you go first, the -- what i have tried to do in my chapter of the book is to talk about how you might get things accomplished. a lot of the papers that we have here talk about what needs to be accomplished. i'm hopeful that maybe with a couple of examples from my experience that folks will be able to recognize when the conditions, when the environment, is conducive for modification, for reform, for change, and then take advantage of those kinds of opportunities. so there have been several in
the past window of opportunity with the expansion of the direct loan program. i recall that the george h.w. bush administration was very supportive of a direct loan program. in fact we had a pilot in the 1992 amendments that provided for, i think, up to 4% of loan volume in -- through a direct lending kind of environment. e new administration in 1993 took advantage of the coincidence of three separate events. one was the change in budget scoring to the federal credit reform act where basically you just had to put on the books the value of the subsidies, not the entire principal amount. in the older days if the government wanted to lend $100 they had to find budget authority for $100.
even if it was going to be repaid with interest. under the current act you just account for the subsidies. therefore direct lending, guaranteed lending equal budgetary footing. he administration -- candidate clinton was talking about national service. we should not have a circumstance where salaries determine your post school, post college employment options. so there are contingent loans. but we had a pilot program back in 1986 for income continent loans where we learned one thing, which was people were reluctant to tell you what their incomes are. it called for an independent third party verification of income, i.r.s. information. a whole lot easier to do that when you have one lender, federal government, as opposed to thousands of lenders in the fell program. that's two.
item number three was recognition that deficits were becoming a concern and a properly structured direct loan program could produce revenues that therefore could be used to reduce the deficit. in fact, with the student loan reform act, it may not have the numbers right, but roughly $6 billion in savings, i think we gave $2 billion to deficit reduction and $4 billion to students in terms of reduced fees and interest rates. presidential leadership is -- if you want to get something done, pretty much get your guy elected. and go to work. the tax credits for higher education, hope in lifetime learning, in the second part of the second term of the clinton administration, i think of this as a new thing. my friend, david, reminds me i think back in 1913 when the income tax -- when the constitution was amended there
was a push for tuition tax credits. >> going way too far. >> ok. 1970's. at any rate leadership by the administration a very successful in pushing through a new to me program of higher education tuition tax credits. quick lesson from the past, back in 1992, amendments, again i mentioned we sat out, the department sat out the 1996 amendments. the secretary was reportedly embarrassed by that and wanted to have the first proposal up to the hill in time for the 1991 amendments. and in fact that happened. we did have a -- an internal process set up of a number of work groups and it kind of a bubble up approach to making recommendations to senior political and career officers that ultimately made its way
into a fully -- what i call a fully formed legislative proposal to re-authorize the higher education act in 1992. in fact, the department did have the first proposal up there in 1991. i mentioned already the various advocacy groups and how they can be helpful. more recently again the budget process has the means to advance policies, most particularly budget reconciliation bills to advance proposals, especially through the latter half of the 2000s, to increase the value of the pell grant maximum, to also create a couple of few grant programs, academic competitiveness, national smart grants that never really took off. and -- again part of that being contell aps, the
playive ongoing process associated with re-authorizations but rather a kind of what can we do now within the resource base that we have available today. so that was again in the conch text -- in the context of the pell grant maximum award and how that largely in recent years been the focus of what we generally call student aid policy. my time is up. >> thank you both. it's great to have you -- two wise people with experience in student policy. we have two very different papers this year from two very different people, but both are focused on the challenge of implementing effective student aid policies.
in the past and in the future. it's actually a little bit depressing. you read both these papers we are all working so hard on this for such a long time, where are we? what are we going to do? fundamentally what they seem to be saying is that we have a political environment issue and it's not just today's obvious difficult political environment but the political environment is always difficult. but also we have a lack of solid evidence about what will really work. we have unbelievable attachment to the status quo. that attachment to the status quo is the thing that they both sound and i think is a really important one. dan is more focused on recently history and hoping we can learn from the lessons, lessons from the past. david is focused on both the dearth of reliable evidence about policies that will work and on the failure to -- the policy rule to pay attention to the evidence that does exist. so this is sort of depressing
like we haven't figured out ow how to do this and i am -- how to do this and i'm not sure they give us enough in terms of how we should move forward. clearly what we need to do is figure out how to overcome these problems and i would like to see more suggestions about how to do that. that's not necessarily their purpose. dan says his purpose is to explore the different groups and interests involved in making student aid policy and the political challenges. and i think the point that it's really difficult to get rid of anything so we just keep adding things and we keep having whatever -- whether it works or not because we are not sure, we keep adding new things, i think the issue of the importance of maintaining the maximum pell grant -- this is a really important thing for all of us to grapple with. that in the interest of this one political number, this is what we focus on and that's the same with the student loan interest rates. of course it's not really in the interest of students. and i think that the advocacy
community has to think a lot about this. i know that personally as i get involved in projects that are designed to put forth ideas for long-term reform and not what's going to happen tomorrow, the number of people who just want to know who is going to lose a dollar. yes, somebody's going to lose a dollar and sometimes it's actually better because not every dollar is well spent. people don't really want to know that. if you look at the history of advocacy positions, i think it's important for us to keep thinking about that. if you remember back to the advocacy community not being in favor of giving the money to students in the first place, and now start suggesting we take away the pell grant program and give the money directly to institutions, we see something very different. i do think i'm more optimistic about what we have been doing. i think the recent projects funded by the gates foundation are an attempt to shake the established community and get them to say something other than
we need more money. i do think that people are starting to question different kinds of policy reforms. dan mention add couple. i think bob's success in getting the payment plan implemented is an important example how we had research and we had movement in the policy community. we had history. we now have a really important program there. one answer to how we could get better policies might be better evidence about what works. and that's what's driving david crazy. one of the things i know drives him crazy but this one -- that there is not much evidence out there. i think, though, that there is more evidence than he suggests and i think that maybe there is not quite so much blame to go around. i mean i think, yes, researchers could do different things and policymakers could do different things. but researchers know the important question is how these policies change behavior, and i
think a lot of research has looked at those questions. i'm not sure we need to ask the academic researchers to be the people who translate, i'm an economist and i know you don't really want most of my colleagues in the profession to be the voice to the public. so we have -- each of us has a different role. i spend a lot of time trying to bridge that gap and we have to think how we work together to do those things. one of the very important contributions that david makes is focus on different kinds of research. i do think -- we need randomized trials. we need to have really solid evidence about causation, but we are not going to do these experiments and randomly assign some people not to get pell grants. we are not going to do that and shouldn't. moreover when we do these trials, we fiend out how a very specific policy works in a very specific environment, specific time, with a specific population. and we are not going to be able to generalize that unless we do more broad thinking. david is absolutely right we need to think more broadly about
the kind of research that will be helpful and how to move forward even if we don't have definitive proof, we still have to have solid an analytical evidence. i do think there is some things we are doing right that deserve more credit. for example we all know it would be better if more low-income students went to more selective colleges with more resources, but in fact many colleges are doing a lot to try to attract those students. we have much bigger problems than the problems that colleges and students and stuned aid can solve. we need to think more broadly about all these issues rather than just saying it's what the institutions are doing wrong. e also have been looking a lot at the -- bob and i, i mentioned you twice now, have been working a lot through the gates foundation on projects on behavioral economics and what we can add to our understanding about student aid, and college access and success, to looking at how students and families respond to things. so we do know a lot about that. we have to incorporate that into
our discussions. i think really both of these papers give us a lot to think about. but i think that we are moving for in a positive direction than i think maybe they would suggest. i really want to know how to move forward. part of how we can move forward is what they can tell us. and part is how people in this room can help us to think about how we can stop thinking that every dollar for our student is good and every dollar taken away from a student is bad and think more fundamentally about policies that work and will solve the problems that we are all interested in solving. thank you. >> i'll start by saying that i think that the students of the united states we are lucky to have dan spend so many years in federal government because he was wise and thoughtful and he had a memory like nobody i have
ever met to remember what happened the time before and the time before and the time before. i think taste paper shows the kind of expertise he took to his job and i think he did a great job of higher ed policy and the politicization of it. i have worked at community colleges, elite institutions, proprietary institutions, and on the hill, at the white house, two federal agencies. i guess the conclusion i have come to is if you think the politics of capitol hill will ugly, you haven't worked in higher ed, nothing is uglier than the politics of higher ed. before we start slinging it at the hill, i say we need to take a pretty hard look at ourselves because i think the politics we bring to this conversation -- a lot of this conversation is driven by elite institution that is want to maintain their status, their lion's share of the funding, their selectivity, and their ability to attract resources toward middle income and upper income students.
and i think danny made that point in his paper. it's true. we have seen a shift in higher ed policies since the 1960's where more and more dollars are being directed to middle income and lower upper income students so that they can have choice. so we have for upper income students a policy that drives choice. we want to be able to give you the loan money you need or your parents, the plus loan money they need to pick the college of your dreams, what we still hear at the other end for low-income students is, well, you know, for you community college is a great opportunity. i spent 13 years at a community college. i think they are fabulous opportunities. i loved my 13 years at a community college. i highly recommend them. but they are not the only answer for everybody. they certainly are not the only answer for low-income students. so i think that low-income students should have just as much opportunity to choose the institution that's right for them as upper income students
have. so i think we have two distinct policies and then the other -- on the other hand, everybody and their brother asks community colleges to do everything. then underresources them to do those things. community colleges have to do everything from work force development to teacher professional development to remedial ed, yet i'd like to see a day when they get $90,000 per student in the way princeton did . i think there is a lot of politics in this conversation that have nothing to do with eople on capitol hill. i guess maybe i'm the skunk at the garden party here, i don't think our financial aid policies have been a failure. i think they have been a guy nor must success. -- ginormous. how many of you could not have gone to college without pell grants or loans? i'm one of those. i suspect there are others. the growth of the pell program at $38 billion is evidence that
it's working. the fact that 50% of the students receiving pell grants are nontraditional students is evidence it's working. those students wouldn't have dreamed of going to college 20 or 30 years ago. the policy is driving access. there is no doubt about that. now, why is the policy not changing behavior at middle school and high school level? because students in middle school and high school have no idea how much money will be theirs for the taking when the time comes, nor do they know how much the institution that they like is going to cost, more do they have any clue whether or not they'll get into the institution of their choice, which includes the local state college which when i went to school in the 1980's had the fog and mirror test. many, many public institutions basically said if you live in the state and you're breathing get to come here. now those same schools have a 3.8 g.p.a. requirement, which means you have students whose parents have saved money thinking they are going to go to the local state college, the kid
can't get in, and so now they are paying out of state tuition at another state school that's no better or worse. we have a lot of complexity. i do think we have accomplished access. we are never going to accomplish behavior changes until we can give people predictibility about how much money they are going to get. not just in middle school but the day they start college. as danny talks about, the politics of giving people predictibility are enormous because the cost is enormous. you give somebody an opportunity -- you tell somebody how much in the eighth grade they are going to get five years from now, and their income could shift such they aren't eligible for that much. it could cost you a lot to give people information in advance. but on the other hand maybe if you gave people that information they would be more dedicated about being prepared for college and get through more quickly. similarly, if at the beginning of college you were able to say to a student, you got six years.
you got $30,000 in a loan account. you got $30,000 in grants. have at it and if you don't finish in five years, you got to start all over. you got to apply all over again. are you going to be eligible. i think if we gave people up front information about how much they had to work with, and they knew it was going to be there every year as long as they finished in five years or six years, whatever time frame, i think we would motivate certain behaviors. right now we have a system where nobody can predict from one year to the next. while it's true that we continue to just tweak the federal student aid system instead of reforming it, part that have is, good luck if you are an institution trying to figure out how to package students when there is the constant sea change. or good luck being that eighth grader trying to predict what's in the future if every three years you have a constant change in the program. if what we want to drive is behavior at middle school and high school, we have to eat the cost of being able to tell people very early on how much money is available to them. in terms of research, i don't
think we have any evidence to work with because right now whether it's b.p.s. or ipeds, you are only looking at students who graduate in a six-year time frame. and in iped you are looking at first time full-time. time is the enemy. that's 25% of the students in the state system right now. we don't have any data. if we know that it takes the average traditional full-time student five years to complete a bachelors, why would we not think it's going to take 10 for a nontraditional student who goes part-time? why do we not follow students as they transfer from onele to next? i know at community colleges for example have a much higher success rate that 11% or 13% or whatever the latest figure because they transfer students. they transfer students sometimes before their students graduate and earn an associates degree, and that is a success story if they get a bachelor's. yet we don't track that. if we are really going to look at data, we got to look at all of the students. we got to track them for a
longer period of time. we have to look at things beyond the first job. i think what we used to say is higher ed is about building communities, improving families, improving personal health. improving the fact -- reality that the next generation's more likely to go to college. people with a college education are more civically engaged. we have public loan forgiveness to tell rich kids you can work in a low-wage job because we know it's good for the community. and look at poor kids and say you better get a job with a good wage. i'll say something that will make people squirm, i think the biggest mistake we made in student aid polcy, we allowed institutions participating in the program to be selective. i think if we really want to level the playing field and we really want to look at who is best, we got to look at every institution, if you want to participate in title 4, you have to be open enrollment, admit by lottery, take who you get, and produce great outcomes, because, for selective institutions, if you are so good then stop taking kids with perfect s.a.t.'s and
g.p.a.'s and cherry picking the few, 10 low-income students you take. take anybody who will cross your throshe hold and improve them. then we can -- threshold and improve them. then we can have a conversation about a level playing field. >> what a great panel. i'm going to pose one question just so that we can allow our authors to respond just a tiny bit. i want to ask you-all, it seems to me it would be good to get on the table a definition in your mind and in 30 seconds, i was going to ask you in 140 characters but i don't think -- ter is your speed, >> that's because we are old. >> what does success look like? if the program was working, how would we know? who wants to start? >> can you push the button
please. > i'll push my button. how would we know this program works? we have or these sets of programs work. we have very unequal college going rates. we should be able to see them change, and they should have changed more. we have very unevan institutions -- institutional performance, partly it's the goals, a lot is the underresourcing. and we should ask whether as propose answer the unequal performance has been exaser brown-waited by the way we funded we the federal government has funded this enterprise. i would see changes when i went
to my sorry about this, i went to my 50th high school reuneon last year and i went to the high brarery where a bunch of seniors were having pir pictures taken for the year -- pictures were taken for the yearbook. i went to five young women who re getting appropriately beautiful for their high school pictures as if they would be ever seen, but -- i asked them because i'm a father of this, i asked them, any of you know about the pell program? one student did. had heard the name. these are seniors in a high school where a fair number of kids go to school, go to college. one of them knew about the program and was quite adept at describing it as a loan. the other five had no idea what
it existed. to the extent that this money is uncertain, unknown, and terribly complex in its distribution and i'm an l renewal, operational person. i ran local agencies. i know it doesn't work. i don't need more evidence. and i think we could do -- i think we could do, my friend sandy described me as depressing and driven crazy, but the anti-depressents are working -- antidepressants are working so it's only the other psychotic event, but excuse me but gosh darn it, this program with its current resources, this set of programs, ought to be four times as effective in changing behaviors.
>> i just want to quickly summarize i hear you say people should be aware of it. there should be less inequality in outcomes, and less variation in results across institutions. does anybody want to add to the list or disagree? >> i just think that it's not that it works or doesn't work. we have to stop saying that the pell grant program working means that we have no inequality in educational opportunity in our society. the pell grant program is not going to solve all of our problems. it can't be expected to. and we have to look at whether it works in terms of whether it is improving college access, college affordability, completion, not whether we still live in an unequal soinl because we do. -- society because we do. >> we are talking about change. nybody else? >> one of the measures that we had talked about over the years back in the department is that
with respect to showing the effectiveness or success of the pell grant program is that you look at the outcomes, various educational, other outcomes for lower income pell aided student compared to those same outcomes for middle and slightly moderate upper income nonrecipients. be those outcomes tend to similar, then you can make a pretty strong case that your pell grant program is successful. >> i think that approach just introduces too many variables. i think the way you know your pell program works you look at a group of low-income students who had a pell grant and went to school for a year and look at a similarly matched comparison group that had zero college and over the course of 10, 15, 20 years you look at their total earnings, financial
independence, outcomes with their kids, blah, blah, blah. you could do a matched comparison study. again i do think the program has worked. could it be better? of course. i think the other thing that happens is pell has become a social service program not just a higher ed program. when you have low-income students who are now using loans to buy groceries and pay the rent because they are a single mother and they have to go to school and raise kids, people are using students loans to pay for what social service agencies should be doing. maybe we can't -- politically it's impossible to have two congressional committees work together, oh, my god, maybe there are other social service benefits that should be derived by students who are getting a pell grant. if you are getting a pell grant and work and in school, should you get different kinds of housing benefits or childcare benefits or independence card benefits? i do think there is conflation between social service needs and higher ed needs and that all gets completely jumbled up.
what i'd love to see as we move forward with data, and the department knows how to do this, they did it in 1994, anybody who knows me, they are sick of hearing me say this word, risk adjusted metrics. the department knows how to do this. where you adjust the outcomes based on the inputs. for compasm, the department showed if somebody is a single mom and they grad -- if a group of single moms graduated at the rate of 49%, that's the equivalent of a 70% graduation rate. they did single varied analysis. what did you did multivaried? you look at a student that has four different risk factors. should we at least not look at those students' risk factors or profile and then sort of give considered as read to the that stinet and institution where credit is do. once we start weighting this data based on the inputs of student risk, as well as the per capita expenditure by an institution, including subsidies, cash, loans, pell,
all in so in a you are now it -- so that you are now standardizing the rate plus student risk, then we can look and see whether or not the programs have been effective. >> thank you very much. i just as a professor i can't leave that hanging and say there is information out there on this risk adjusted metrics. if you go to the h.c.m. strategist website. they have a nice set of papers. if you are interested in connecting social service benefits to financial aid, look at the completionish niff and single stop u.s.a. now i open it up for questions. some of you know i'm working on a project with single stop u.s.a. questions? comments? no, questions. i'm going to follow andrew kelly's rule. you have to ask a question whether the first couple of words when you open your mouth. otherwise i'm supposed to stop you. and you should identify yourself. thank you.
>> my name is mike with america's future foundation. we were talking about what the federal government and we should be taking towards reforming this. what approach should we suggest speffingsly to the i.n.s. tuesdays of higher ed how they should reform from their side? we have seen two different behaviors on the part of institutions. both have been driven by a focus on outcomes and completion. i think they have both driven to increase costs. i think that institutions are driven by the outcome agenda and that man fests differently. i think that selective elite institutions they want to be -- they want to have a 98% rate instead of 97%. so they are driving their policy and their dollars toward more and more capable students.
they are trying to be more and more selective. and they do it by spending money on things like dorms and research facilities and gyms and travel abroad and all these other things. i think we may look at selective institutions and say, you know what, maybe you should not be so selective. i know that's crazy, right? that's a naive thing to say, but i think when we look at elite institutions they all have to join hands and sing kumbayah, the arms race is over. we are going to stop investing there. i think at the opposite extreme where you have open enrollment institutions, they are spending more and more dollars, layering service upon service upon service upon service to try to get their completion rates up. while i think those services are great, a lot of the students who should partake in them are working extra hours to pay the cost and can't use the services. i think at both ends we have to have institutions that maybe
look more carefully at their population of student and goals, and adjust their expenditures to make sure that they are spending money wisely. which means selective institution vs. to give up on selectionivity. and open enrollment has to do a better job of finding out which intervention is important and be where they invest their dollars. >> david? >> building off of dianne's -- dye ann's response, i think -- diane's response, i think the federal government has a potential role in regulation and a series of incentives. to get institutional behavior to change. if we want, selective schools to be more open, aim not sure we would get 100% open, but we might say in order to participate in title 4, and
that's both loans and grants and everything else, you have to open up a certain percent of your slots for a random admission and it's random admission of pell eligible kids. with regard to focusing the community colleges on performance, what strategy works, i think we need to do research on what works, but we need to in the aid programs provide incentives to those institutions, both regular and financial institutions to change their performance. i don't think we can tell them what to implement any more than we can tell the selective institutions that their selectivity will be totally ended. ' influence if you look at grants, tax expenditures, and loans, loans
which flow through parents and kids and end up -- students, not kids, end up in the institutions, the feds have direct influence over roughly 70% of the dollars flowing into the education side of this sector. they influence that many dollars' share of the postsecondary or higher education costs. we ought to demand things as federal taxpayers, we ought to demand things in terms of institutional performance changes. and that's why we went the direction of student aid in the late 1960's and early 1970's because we didn't want to just give the institutions money to spend on what they knew was the right thing to do. because we knew what they knew to be true. so we started this route and now we should put some teeth in it.
>> i have to put in a word about selective institutions here. i mean so why do we care about selective institutions? because of the opportunities that they provide to students and we do want to encourage them and provide incentives for them to provide these opportunities to a broader group of people on the socioeconomic spectrum. the justice department is not helping that effort at this moment. but the idea that what we want is to assign students randomly to institutions, then we will lose what it is that we are trying to give more people access to. i think we have to have this conversation in a little bit more nuanced way. there is one thing to be -- it's one thing to be elitist in the sense of not allowing people who weren't born into privilege into this world, and it's another thing to say -- we don't want random assignment to the nba and shouldn't have random assignment to higher education institutions, either. we have to open them up more and work on the justice department.
>> i think i'm going to let them continue to go at this for a minute. david has a response. >> i have a letter, paper that i om wrote when she was, think, the eighth or ninth grade, my mom who arrived here from russia on her own when she was 11. she was in the eighth or ninth grade and she wrote a paper and he talked about how in america the teachers seemed interested in teaching young women, this didn't go on in russia. and they seemed interested in teaching jews. that didn't go on in russia. and they actually thought that my mother coming here at age 11 could succeed. she went on to get her master's degree at the university of michigan. i think we need to run this
system toward responding to those possibilities. perhaps not so much for russian jews anymore, but there is a whole lot of other people. >> i think something sandy said is really telling. what sandy said is we can't have random assignment to these elite institutions because we would destroy the very thing we want. giving more student access to these highly successful elite institutions. that's telling. in other words, if you are not selective -- that's as much as saying the only reason elite institutions are elite is because they are highly selective. then on the other hand, open enrollment institutions they aren't randomized -- they are random assignment. anybody walks in the door and anybody has a chance of getting an education. again, if these elite ibs constitutions -- institutions are so great, why does it take a selective enrollment policy to be so great. my gosh, aren't they the ones more than anybody who should be able to take students by random
assignment and turn out these great outcomes they want to hold everybody else to they achieve through selection policies? yeah. i'm all for random control trials. i agree, maybe we can't tell selective institutions 100%. have at it. 50%, let's say 50% of their enrollment has to be by lottery. let's see how that goes. >> i think we probably -- unless sandy has anything she wants to add. let's -- over here. a follow-up on an earlier comment about institutional behavior and also the need for research on multiple fronts. many of you said earlier we have this fix as, i don't think many would disagree, on pell and the pell question and sometimes with the loan question. institutional behavior is not just driven by title 4--- had
aid. i fear often we get focused not just pell by title 4 a. it's -- title 4 aid. many people who work on the hill remember the a.a.u. conversations which were privately you know, we are telling you we care about pell but we really -- at the end of the day it's n.i.h. we care about. don't cut my n.i.h. funding. the question for the research is, do we need to also broaden that question of all the various funding from the feds and how that informs or changes behavior at the institutional level? it's not just title 4. massive amounts for some of these institutions hidden some of it there n.i.h., lot through indirect costs coming through various, all fungible. curious on your comments. >> diane. >> when i worked on the hill i worked on the house science committee i think we had similar conversations with, elite
institutions. i worked for elite institutions i have been on the other side of that. absolutely a dollar to pell is one not to n.i.h. or science funding. if you are an elite institution you get far more dollars and 60% sin direct cost rate than on the pell dollar. i think you are right. institutional behaviors are driven by many, many more things than title 4. i would say one of the things driving institutional behavior right now other than u.s. news is everybody wants to be a research university. and there's tremendous cost in that. some of the cost is born by undergraduates who now don't have faculty in the classroom because they have released time. it's far bigger than title 4. >> i don't disagree that it's bigger than title 4. but griffin the -- given the amount of money the federal government influences and pays inside of title 4, we ought to explore and understand whether it can affect some of the
behaviors, whether the institutional change can affect some of the behaviors that influence the success of title 4. don't think any research answers all of the problems. if you are an experimental physicist, as i was, you do a project to understand a particular phenomenon and see if you can understand it. and if you can influence it in an experiment. you know that cosmology, you dark at cosmology and matter and astrophysics matter, but that doesn't mean you have to broaden your focus so much that you don't have anything as a result.
>> another question. >> my name is tomorrow, recent graduate from san diego state university. i made it out here as an intern for barbara boxer. we talked a lot about how we don't have enough research in data to fully understand the impacts of the program like pell or federal student loans. my question is how can -- what kind of policies can we make that would encourage that kind of research and target the areas we need? > i think when you -- when you're contemplating sort of the research positions with respect o title 4, you quickly devolve into questions of where are the data? in recent years we at the
department have been able to address that somewhat with the various student specific cross-sectional longitudinal studies. nipsis, those studies, and going back a few years earlier, the high school and beyond from 1980, national longitudinal servais of 1972 high school graduates -- survey of 1972 high school graduates. at the department we loved the studies but they take so long and they are so expensive. within the agency and in particular the statistical branch, the resources go to the k-12 side. we used to do nipcis every three years, now it's four. because we don't have the money. we had a very interesting proposal several years ago in
the ipeds context of the student record system. if you think about ipeds it's a collection of student level data but the collector is out at the state or institution and it's funneled into the department. the notion about the student unit record was, you have all those unit records out there, why not give them to the department and we'll asellble them in a fashion that would allow us to more accurately assess graduation rates, completion rates, that kind of thing. well, people got excited about privacy and confidentiality and big brother and -- so we can't do that kind of stuff. we are specifically prohibited now in the statute from doing that. o again you are relegated to the -- in terms of national data availability, basically what the
department does through the, as we say, through the periodic surveys and then the school level collections that's known as ipeds. then whatever other sort of localized studies, experiments, things that mdrc has done, that's what you have. and now i think there is some good news coming forward. we talked -- i just talked about the nces side, stigs side, research -- statistician side of the department. what about the student aid side? we know lots of things about people get pell grants. we know lots of things about people who get student loans. we know lots of things about people who apply for student aid. their income, assets, family circumstances. one of the things we have not known about our pell grant and student loan recipients is what
happened to them after they ceased being recipients? that's the record we have administratively in the program office is for people who are recipients. i guess it was last year that the department announced that finally 40 years later they would begin to collect outcome information on student aid recipients. completion information. graduation information. that kind of stuff. looking for several years down the road we will have a better sense through basically census data, not survey data, of outcome information for aid recipients and be able to couple that with all of the input information of what was the income and family circumstances of those individuals at the time they began their sort of student aid odyssey. >> i'm going to make one comment
and pass it on to the discussion, it's beyond the data, right. it's also the resources for doing the research. and i will just say, and put myself out there, that the institute for education sciences recently had their competition for last year's research grants. on the postsecondary side i submitted an application for a randomized experiment of need-based financial aid to replicate a study i have done at wisconsin. it was a $3 million application. it was soared high enough to get funding. it was sequestered. it was one of the 16 applications, $3 million, that was awarded high enough and turned down for funding because they say they don't have enough resources. the resource side on the research end is significant. >> i think there is another way to skin the cat. one thing is the department has the authority -- one of the reasons you can't do great research is because the requirements of title 4 kind of
box you in as to how much money you can get students and what requirements you have to meet. the department does have authority to give institutions sort of dispensation from typical title 4 requirements and allow them to use other kinds of standards. the department has the authority, they haven't used that authority well, i think -- there were experiments that went on for 10 years, no learning from it. more recently the department has decided which ideas they think is a good identify dean and will only fund those. if we had an honest call for proposals through the authority -- experimental sites. if we allowed institutions to come in through experimental sites, hold them accountable, say here's how you are going to be held accountable and how we want to design thecies terges could you get data. the other thing is this, i know researchers always want to manipulate a variable and look in the few tumplete one of the things nobody has done and i think we should do is look at people who graduated who people
the odds. there are a whole bunch of us out here to beat the odds. talk to us and figure out, how did you beat the odds? what was it? the program? money? person? the institution? because i think we can, we have enough people who have been through the system now who are far enough along in life that you could do a retrospective analysis to see what factors seem to be the most critical in determining outcomes. i think the other thing that nobody ever talks about is, we are not talking about building a car here. we are talking about human beings. and human beings are highly variable. people bring their own sets of issues and problems and assumptions and needs to college and i don't know that we can ever standardize for that because people are people. -- did her of a kid really dumb things. sometimes it works out really for them. >> sandy?
>> i don't think the people who are saying we need more focus on research saying we don't have enough nudge to make we significance -- knowledge to make decisions, i think we don't have enough knowledge to make decisions likely to improve the performance of thecies tefment we can make decisions like lots of things we decide on every day without any empirical knowledge. if we want to. i think it's sorry, sandy, crazy to do that, but i think crazily anyway. with regard -- dan mention we'd don't have enough money so we are going to do it every four years. we may not have enough money to run the same level of detail, the same size sample every three years. but perhaps we should rethink
ipcis so there should be a small scale survey run annually that generates data quickly and like the census every five years there is a big scale. we try, and this is a problem with the part of the department that looks at educational statistics, we try to have a degree of confidence and certainty which is admirable if we had the money but it's not if we need to make better decisions tomorrow. we could do otherwise. >> i want to note since we do have people from nces is some of the changes you are talking about are happening already. which is great. >> we need all of the above, but we also need to do better with the research that we have. and we live in a world where what happens is somebody does a study. sometimes a good study, sometimes a terrible study, then they put out a press release.
and put a title on it that says, study finds that -- whatever outrageous finding it was. and/or whatever jumps out. that's all anybody reads. then we have the common wisdom we now know that x. nobody knows under what circumstances or methodology was or anything. we need to do more synthesis. if there are seven good studies of the same issue out there, we have to find a way to make sure that we pull all this together in a way that will help translate what we do know. help us understand what we know. it's a real waste just to do all these mixed quality studies. >> thank you. shout out to the what works clearing-house and new adventure in postsecondary education. i think -- we need to wrap up, unfortunately. i'm sure this conversation will continue. hank you to the first panel. we are going to be taking a brief break of about 15 minutes.
be back in your seats by 10:44, please. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> requests for recorded votes will be postponed until 6:30 eastern. the mean work for the week focusing on two bills dialing with offshore oil and gas drilling. live coverage of the house here on c-span.
the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. eternal god we give you thanks for giving us another day. guide the members of the people's house with a spirit of understanding which will lead them ultimately to eternal wisdom. since we live in a world of human failure and broken promises, may they be tolerant
of the faults of others because they are so aware of their own unfaithfulness. all of us are yet to realize our own full potential as being truly the free children of god. bless all with a quiet respect for the diversity of opinions. through honest dialogue and contemplative listening, may your servants gathered in this assembly search all the avenues open to them to meet today's challenges of integrity and justice. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approve the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentlelady from new york,
ms. slaughter. ms. slaughter: will everyone rise and join me in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain up to 15 requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? without objection. mr. willson: house republicans are focused on solutions to give our economy the boost it needs to fully recover and help put americans back to work. our nation has an abundance of energy resources that would create jobs, promote energy independence and lower prices at the pump. today the president will once again abandon his claim to support an all of the above energy stance and unveil a new plan focused on waging a war on coal with big government
regulations destroying jobs. mr. wilson: in contrast, the house republicans will have the best interest of american families at heart when we vote on two key pieces of legislation included in our all of the above energy plan, increasing our offshore production introduced by congressman doc hastings, and lifting the moratorium on drilling, are necessary to provide a more secure future. god bless our troops and we will 9/11.forget congratulations to former secretary of state and his wife for the birth of their son on thursday. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? bland passed away,
he was a blues musician. he joined a group of giants including b.b. king he worked for b.b. king and junior parker, and then he went on his own way and became one of the greatest blues sippingers of all time. he had top 100 hits almost every year for 40 years. his songs were covered by the grateful dead, the band, van morrison, influenced otis redding, wilson picket and others. he's been in every hall of fame you can think of, including the rock and roll hall of fame. he served the army from 1952 to 1954. he's survived by his wife, his son, his daughter, four grandchildren, and millions of disks and c.d.'s which el people
will love forever. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from north carolina seek reck nix? ms. foxx: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. foxx: allow me to quote from one of poth because moo -- president obama's climate change experts, the one thing the president needs to do is shut down coal plants -- plants. a war on coal is exactly what's needed. where are the obama administration's priorities? not on job, not on affordable injury. president obama's war on coal is already a threat to thousands of american jobs. many in my home state of north carolina where 17 coal units are being shut down in part because of e.p.a. policies. americans want energy independence, more affordable gas, and jobs. the keystone pipeline, coal and coal-fired plants have jobs to offer and can play a role in
bringing our country closer to energy independence. the president and his regulators should be less invested in declaring a war on american coal and more involved in supporting american energy producers and the jobs they already provide. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from new york seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. slaughter: i rise today in strong opposition to the majority's proposal to slash funding for the nation's lead poisoning prevention efforts. at a time when we should be working to eradicate lead poisoning, the proposal cuts funding to the office of healthy home and hazard control by 60%. we need to be focused more on our efforts to ensure children live, pli, and learn in healthy
environments free of lead hazard. the numb of children in the united states suffering lead poisoning remains unacceptably high. a recent report found one in every 38 children has dangerous blood levels. that leads to cognitive and behavioral problems, a loss of i.q. points a lifetime of adverse health effects. it is estimated that lead exposure costs the nation more than $50 billion in lifetime productivity losses. over the past two decades, h.u.d.'s office of healthy homes and lead hazard control has successfully treated 168,000 units for lead hazards and improved lead safety. this is no time to back track. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i rise to ask unanimous con to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one
minute. . barton: -- >> we're six months and six days away from the health care takeover. last month, gallup released a survey of business owners. almost half of small business owners reported they have frozen hiring because of the affordable care act. another 20% said they had to lay off workers because of this law. so that's one out of every five small businesses laying off people because the legislation the administration forced on hardworking americans. mr. burgess: that's a staggering amount of difficulty people have to suffer because of the administration's shortsighted policy. the president and his allies were under the faulty impression that educating people about the affordable care act will make it popular and make it work. the truth is, people are already finding out far too much about this law as it costs them and
their family members jobs. we have to continue highlighting the destructive parts of this law before it destroys an already weak economy. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> madam speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 1613, the outer continental shelf hydrocarbon agreement authorization act. over three years have passed since president obama and then-president calderon agreed on the need to finalize a transboundary hydrocarbons agreement which now needs to be approvedly bicongress this will establish a cooperative process for managing the gulf of mexico o promote joint utilization of reservoirs. mr. cuellar -- mr. cuellar: this is set to be enacted and will
allow oil and natural gas production on 1.5 million acres previously offlimits because of border issues. the -- we are now waiting on congress to act. it's good for the united states and it's good for our relationship with the republic of mexico. and it's good for economic growth and good for environmental protection. this agreement would allow the american industry to work directly with mexico to institute cutting edge technologies. i ask congress to approve this and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> after four years with unemployment at or above 7.5%, it's no wonder the american people do not have faith in this administration's ability to lead. of the nine counties i represent
in north carolina, seven have unemployment rates above the national average and in several of those county the unemployment rate is above 10%. madam speaker, north carolinians, like all americans, deserve better. mr. holding: we need to seize opportunities for economic growth and job creation and one of those focuses should be energy independence. more domestic production would not only increase our country's competitiveness in the energy field but would create jobs, madam speaker. it would also lower prices at the pump for american families who should not have to worry about busting their budgets to fill their gas tanks. unfortunately, the president's energy plan will only make american energy more expense i and hinder job growth. madam speaker, the american people are focused on jobs and the economy and this administration needs to do the same. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to
address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. this xander: 2/3 want approve the senate bill ignores them. most americans want to stop illegal -- want th: most americans to stop illegal immigration, the senate bill ignores them. most americans feel it will be a drain on the budget, the senate bill ignores them. most don't want to increase immigration beyond the one million aloud every year, the senate doubles that numberful those considering the senate bill should stop, look, and listen to the american people. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i ask nam consent to address the house for one minute.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> our economy continues to struggle, nearly 10 million of our fellow americans remain out of work. why, then, does the president still insist on standing in the way of creating new jobs by expanding america's energy sector using all of our valuable resources, water, wind, solar, gas, and oil. an all of the above energy strategy is what america needs to grow our economy, to create real american jobs and strengthen our national security. mr. fitzpatrick: what we don't need is government regulation and other interference from washington and it looks like that is all this administration is prepared to offer. house republicans have a plan to make the most of all of america's energy resources. we already passed legislation to approve the keystone x.l. pipeline and this week our offshore energy and jobs act is another part of that plan.
it's a commonsense solution and it's what the american people the serve. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and rhett heth -- and rest revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise to address the mounting challenges facing our college fuent. with student loan debt larger than credit card debt in our nation, students are taking on significant debt to -- burden to realize their dream that burden may grow as interest rates are set to go up on the loans students hold increasing the costs of college in our country. congress must act and the house already has. the house proactively took action to ensure american college students and their families have the nation's support in pursuing their collegiate aspirations. in passing the smarter solutions for students act, the house would keep rates low for college students and create a permanent solution to this annual problem
getting congress out of the business of setting interest rates. i hope congress will take up the smarter solutions for students act so they too have a chance to realize the american dream. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady seek recognition? . >> as i stand before you president obama is down the street at this moment outlining his proposal to tackle climate change. with the centerpiece of his plan aimed at attacking the backbone of affordable energy in america. while he will not explicitly say it, this is the next step in this administration's war on coal. they have been waging for the past five years and which will not stop until all coal-fired power plants in this country have been shut down by the e.p.a. i on the other hand believe that producing affordable energy and being environmentally sound are not mutually exclusive, and i
truly support an all-of-the-above policy that utilizing renewable and clean technology without eliminating our most reliable source of energy. mrs. wagner: instead, the president's current course of action is a direct attack on the middle class, who are affected more by rising energy costs, all under the deception of pursuing climate change. mr. speaker, i strongly suggest that the president consider the american people first when making these decisions on our country's energy policy. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-afflet of rule 1, charity declares
coming up at 2:30 eastern, members of the congressional black caucus and the hispanic will ian-pacific caucuses discuss it. until then we'll hear from other naacp and civil rights activists. we'll show you as much of this as we can until our live coverage with members of the ongressional black caucus. >> good morning to everyone. good morning to all of our friends and supporters, especially those who have -- l.d.f. and barbara and everyone who has been very supportive and all the work that's gone into getting us to this point representing our local units across the country. my name is charles white, i serve as national field director for the naacp. come this morning yet
affirming and -- its belief in section five. we heard, you know, in the court not saying much but gave us, i think, the juice and what we continue to need in section five, preclearance is important. we believe that the advocacy work we have working with members of congress on the re-authorization of the voting rights act is the same kind of advocacy work our units across the field will play in making sure the formula in section four is one that is just and fair but represents the people and jurisdictions that are covers. again, we thank all those who have worked hard with us, worked hard on behalf of many people across this country who come from the jurisdiction in which we talk about. they are our members, they are our loyal supporters. today i think is a -- yet a victory moment for us. it still marks that there's a
lot of work to be done. i'm going to turn to our friends from l.d.f. who has been with us, leading on the litigation part of this part of the lawsuit and i'm going to to come forward. >> my name is cheryl eiffel, i'm president of the naacp legal defense fund. the naacp legal defense fund is one of the nation's civil rights law organizations. we have worked on voting rights issues since the voting rights act was enacted and in fact even before and we are part of the team that litigated the shelby county case. we argued the case on february 27 before the supreme court, we represent black voters in shelby county, alabama. it gos without saying that we are deeply disappointed by the court's decision today. make no mistake about what has
happened, the court has decided that it stands in a better position than congress to determine how to protect voting discrimination. the 15th amendment to the constitution makes clear that it is congress that has that power and in 2006, when the voting rights act was up for re-authorization, congress exercised that power responsibly and in a bipartisan manner. over nine months, they held hearings, they accumulated 15,000 pages of testimony they looked at all of the evidence involving voter discrim nation and the jures -- in the jurisdictions covered by section five and they determined that the same coverage formula used for section five needed to be extended. now the supreme court has said that that coverage formula is unconstitutional. we believe that congress is in a better position than the supreme court to determine how voting discrimination plays out in this country. we're disappointed, but now the ball is in congress' court. we should be turning our
attention and our cameras across the street because it's now congress' time to do what it has done so many times in the past, come together, republicans and democrats, to re-authorize, to enact, or to amend the voting rights act to ensure the protection of minority voters in this country. this is a critical issue of democracy. this speaks to the very core of american values. this decision by the court today is a game-changer and leaves virtually unprotected minority voters in communities all over this country. i hope that when you're reporting on this case, you will remember that your focus and your attention should not be on washington. your focus and your attention should be on the town council and the school board district and the county commission district and the water district and the utility district, all over this country, particularly in the south. where minority voters struggle to have their voice heard and to be able to participate equally in the political
process. this is a critical tai for democratic participation in america. we will not soft soap it. this is a real threat. but we believe strongly that congress can fix it. the supreme court in its decision has said that congress can fix it. and we demand that congress get to work, come together, find a formula that will respond to the supreme court's concerns but will ensure that minority voters in this country continue to have their voting rights protected and continue to be able to participate equally and fully in the political process. >> there are two truths that flowed today from the supreme court decision striking the coverage provision of the voting rights act. the first is a substantial act of -- this was a substantial act of judicial activism and overreach. the court today departed from its own precedents over four decades, four times this supreme court has upheld section five as constitutional and upheld the provision that
covers the jurisdictions covered by section five as constitutional. the second truth is this, that there are now millions of minority voters in those places across this country covered by section five of the voting rights act which are vulnerable to the types of adaptive and intense and pervasive voting discrimination that section five has protected them from for more than 48 years. the good news is this. as we are providing these remarks, we are facing the nation's capitol, which houses members of congress. in 2006, congress in an overwhelmingly bipartisan effort, 98-0 in the senate, 390-33 in the congress, voted together to re-authorize the voting rights act for another 25 years. it is the judgment of congress to re-authorize section five of which ing rights act should control not the overreach of the supreme court today. we call on congress if there is any moment it is now that the
country can unify around protecting the voting rights of those who have been made most vulnerable by the efforts to discriminate against them in the voting effort. congress must take this seriously, seize this opportunity together in a bipartisan way seek to re-enact a measure that will protect the voting rights of those voters who have been vulnerable since 1965 when the voting rights act was first passed. >> my name is ryan higgins, i'm director of the political participation group of the naacp legal defense fund. we are a simple organization from the naacp. the naacp legal defense fund was founded by justice thurgood marshall, we have worked closely with the naacp but we have since our founding worked with a separate board and are a completely separate
organization. >> i am barbara arnwine. i am here today to speak to this decision. i want to say two things straight up about the decision. one is that it is deeply disturbing because it undermines and put ours democracy at risk. nothing is more important than ensuring that every single voter is free from racial discrimination and ethnic discrimination in the exercise of their vote. today's decision severely undermines the legal protections that have been vital for more than almost five voters of protecting all nationalities. i also want to say the second problem is that this decision is a betrayal of the american people. that there is nothing more critical than making sure that the highest court of our land gets it right when it comes to
what is the appropriate coverage for protecting american people. by striking down section 4 of the voting rights act, by saying that the coverage formula is outdated, the court has in essence misstepped in tremendous proportions by making that decision when the congress had 15,000 pages of records that it generated, 1-plus hearings, what else could they have done? they looked at these states that were covered, they looked at the fact that over 80% of all lawsuits involving voting rights have been generated from these states, they looked at the facts that these states accounted for over -- more than 2,000-plus findings by the department of justice in court that there had been racial iolations and their proposed
practices and procedures stop by this act this great preventive stop sign that is section 5 now has lost one of its arms. so what we have done today is to -- is we have to go forward. we will of course go to congress, we will ask congress do everything that it can to come up with a new coverage formula, we will also have to renew our efforts in the states because what we have seen of all these new voter suppression laws that have come out in the last couple of years, really makes it imperative for there to be a great coverage formula to stop these states from the misdeeds that have plagued our democracy for the last number of years. so i say today to our nation that the fight goes on. i say to to our nation that we have to unite like never before. to preserve our democracy. and i implore everyone to
become active in calling upon their congress people to pass a new coverage formula. this court must look to the future. this court must protect every single voter. thank you. >> thank you very much. i want to say again on behalf of the naacp, the naacp legal defense fund, and also the lawyers committee, we will be calling on all of our units, naacp units across the country, to be on lookout and be on watch for jurisdictions who will try to implement any kind of electoral changes in this interim. with our partners, we will be setting up a national hotline to receive complaints or reports of jurisdiction who will try to take advantage of this interim period. again, the naacp, the naacp legal defense fund, the lawyers' committee, we will be vigilant even during this interim period and we will be
asking our units, our local units across the country. again, i thank all of you today. if there are specific questions you may have for our partners, i ask that you ask those now. >> can you talk about what would make you think that congress could fix this given the nature of congress? >> congress has been dysfunctional before. thank you, sir. thank you. congress has been dysfunctional before. this is not the first time. we should remember we're talking about the voting rights act of 1965. congress was not a model of unity at that time. nor was it over the last several re-authorizations of the voting rights act. but we should remember that every time that the voting rights act has been re-authorized it's been signed by president reagan b it was signed by president bush, that this is a piece of legislation that we recognize goes to the core of our democracy. that's why i think it's so important that we recognize
that what -- that we recognize what has happened today. because what has happened today is the ball has been thrown not only in congress' court but in our court. because the reality is the only way congress will act is if we call if we march, if we pressure, if we make clear that we do not intend to go backwards on voting. some of the people standing behind me today, people with seens and our interns at the naacp legal defense fund weren't even born when the voting rights act was enacted. they have live their whole lives with these protections. they have the settled expectation that they're going to participate in a democracy that proects -- protects all voters. >> you can see the rest of this at c-span doimpling now live for more reaction on today's supreme court decision on the voting rights act with members of the congressional black caucus. >> this is a day that will go down in he the history of this country as one of the worst days for civil rights an civil discourse in this cupry's history. i am marcia fudge, the chair of
the congressional black caucus. i was hopeful that today would bring better news but the decision that came down today is certainly one that has disappointed us all. i would like to begin by having our assistant democratic leader, jim clyburn, give us a few words. mr. clyburn? >> thank you very much, madam chair. colleagues. sensed r years ago, i the supreme court sort of gave us an indication that today's result could be what it is. i don't remember the case, the -- i remember the case, the court seemed to signal at that me, that the kind of history that we used in 2008 when we re-authorized the voting rights
act, they considered to be outdated. and that something needed to be one to update the formula we used. now we in the congress did a study, to my memory serves, it was 15,000 page study. d the vote in the senate was 98-0. the vote in the house, i believe, was 390-33. and we decided that enough evidence was there in front of us to require a re-authorization of the voting rights act. that was just 2008. now, if we were to look, in my opinion, if we were to look at
the reason that the supreme our gave in talking about failure to take into account the progress that had been made, i believe the best way to take into account the progress that's being made in this country on any subject is to look at the actions as well as the debate that is undertaken by those who are elected every two years, and in some instances six, but the house is re-elected every two year. wore still very close to the people. we then issued our opinion. but we saw, when this case was being discussed, justice scalia seemingly wanting to eninject himself in the -- and the court into this, saying to the effect
that the congress seemed not to be able to get it right. i think this is a very sad day but let me conclude by saying this. if we were to accept the supreme court's reasoning that we didn't take into account the progress that's been made, i want all of us to remember that just after n we had emancipation proclamation, been this way for two years, people of color were elected to legislatures all over the south. in south carolina, 2/3 of the south carolina general assembly was african-american. -- and 0 and 18 0, 1880, the same assessment
should have been made, look at the progress we have made. then in 1890's, you started getting legislative actions and we started getting a united states supreme court decision, plessy v. ferguson, which started us down the road and then by 1900 there were no african-americans left. so what i'm saying here today is, i can envision that the beginning of next legislative session, a lot of states, including my own state, will be taking a look and probably will be having some redistricting, not just for congressional seats but also legislative seats, because we found out in the texas case that it's not beyond some of our friends to have special lennell slative sessions and special
redistricting in the interim of the 10-year period, that was done in texas several years ago, and i can envision this supreme court decision leading to that for next year as well. it's a sad day. i would hope that the congress would step in and in the bipartisan manner in -- and i might add in the house there were more republicans than democrats than voted for the re-authorization in 2008. i would hope that kind of bipartisanship could take place at this time. with that, i am pleased to yield to the chair of the congressional asian pacific american caucus, ms. judy chu. >> as chair of the congressional asian pacific american caucus, i joan my colleagues of the tricaucus in condemning today's supreme court decision as a setback for
all americans. it is with a heavy heart we see this erosion of the voting rights act that ensures the promise of democracy for each and every citizen. the 14th amendment equal -- provided equal protection for all of us under the law this e15th amendment made the right to vote color blind. both were undercut by poll taxes, literacy tests and voter intimidation. but it was the voting rights act that put an end to all of that it ensured an impartial review of new voting laws for regions that have a history of discrimination at that ballot tox box. when that section was renewed in 2006 it passed by bipartisan vote of 390-33 in the house and the unanimous vote in the senate and was signed into law by george w. bush. despite this overwhelming bipartisan support, today the supreme court struck down one
of the key commonets of the voting rights act on the ground that it's outdated. while the asian american community knows all too well how easily the right to vote can be taken from a group that is not protected. when congress passed the inese exclusion act of 1892, it prevented any chinese citizen from becoming a naturalized citizen and it stood in effect for 60 long years. we are now only at the present time overcoming the scars of disenfranchisement and that's why we know all too well how precious the right to vote is. passing the voting rights act was the right thing to do in 196 -- in 1965. renewing it was the right thing to d in 2006. updating the formula to ensure the protections remain intact for the american people is the right thing to do now.
i urge every member of congress, regardless of party, to join us in ensuring that the voting rights act remains the pillar of our democracy that it as been since its inception. >> it is just truly mind-boggling to me today that we have the highest court in the land that can't really make the kind of decision that this country deserves. they want to have their cake and eat it too. they recognize that discrimination and racism still exist in this country yet they would strike down the very -- parts of the very law that have changed what they say has made this country better. it is disconcerting at best to know that just in 2012, there were 22 laws and two executive actions restricting voting rights in 17 states across this country. even worse, there were 176 restrictive bills filed in 41 states. and they say that things need to be cheaged, yes, they need to be changed.
they should not have struck down section four, they should have expanded it. i would ask that my colleagues from texas -- my colleague from texas, mr. pete gallego, please join us. >> hello, i'm pete gallego, the congressman from the 23rd district in southwest texas, member of the congressional hispanic caucus and vice chair of the caucus' task forced on civil rights. s that sad day for the democratic possess. the disenfranchisement of voters based on race and ethnicity still happens. in the 23rd district of texas, which i represent, a federal the map d that drawers deliberately weakened the voting strength of hispanic voters.
they made the 23rd a voting district in neam only. latinos with high voting turnout were taken out of the district and replaced with latinos with a low history of voter turnout, in essence, gaming the system. that was the safeguard to latino voters. today we see the communities of color, communities of interest have always had a referee. they've had someone who will call a foul ball a foul ball. and today that opportunity to go to that referee or go to that um peer has been stricken by the court. 15 million latinos across the country are safe guarded by the preclearance provisions of the voting rights act. the preclearance provisions protect voters in arizona, texas, portions of california, new york, and more. 32%, nearly a third of latinos in the united states, live in jurisdictions that are covered by preclearance.
in 2012, the preclearance po visions fought texas from -- blocked texas from enacting a discriminatory map and a law that would have disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of texas voters, mainly latinos, african-americans and asians. let me say one thick, the voting rights act, it's not about political parties and it's not about politicians and it's not about candidates. it's about the opportunity to give voters a chance to elect the candidate of their choice. someone who will allow their voices to be heard in a district where their vote will count. today, the supreme court has turned its back on those voters who are disenfranchised. they've gotten rid of that umpire. that referee who, whether it was a democratic justice department or a republican justice department, who through
the years has served as that umpire, that referee, that decision has essentially taken away that safeguard in states with histories of discrimination. i urge my colleague on both sides of the aisle to develop a system to take the voting rights of americans into account and protect them and safeguard them as one of the most basic and fundamental rights of any american. thank you so much for being here. >> for those of you who may not be aware, since 19 2, approximately 2,400 discriminatory voting changes have been blocked as a result of section 5 objections. and today work this decision, the supreme court chose not to acknowledge any of that information, nor the success or the effect section 4 or 5 has had on our democracy. we have been joined by our whip, mr. hoyer. >> thank you very much,
congresswoman fudge, the chairman of the congressional black caucus. i join members of the asian pacific caucus, members of the hispanic caucus, but this is about all americans. not just particular americans. particular americans are protected. but in a real sense it's about all of us and the kind of country we are and want to be. today's ruling is a disappointing blow to voting rights in america. and will have a real impact on voters. in 2006, congress in which i serve re-authorized the voting rights act in a bipartisan fashion and under a republican president. significantly bipartisan support. overwhelming. there was a broad consensus then, as i believe there still is today, that sections 4 and 5
of the voting rights act were both responsible and necessary answers to the lingering problems of discrimination at the ballot box. if anybody thinks there are not continuing efforts to make voting more difficult for some people, they haven't been reading the papers, listening to the radio, watching television, or, frankly, listening to what's going on in america. america -- in america, no state or local authority should be able to make it easier for some people to vote and harder for others. in america, nobody should have to march for their most fundamental right, the right to vote. john lewis, an extraordinary american, beaten bloody, almost died, marching for voting
rights. march 7, 1965. here we are some 60 years later, 50 years later. almost. and the supreme court says the problem no longer exists. the formula needs to be reworked. we marched across the edmund pettus bridge 10 times together to memorialize how much work it took to get the voting rights act passed and that highlights its relevance to this day. the first time john marched he nearly lost his life, as i said. american responded. that's not what they thought america was about. the ballot is the instrument by which our repub elect is sustained and congress has a duty to protect ballot access and exup and down opportunities for all eligible americans to
vote and have their votes counted accurately. today's ruling is a setback. but congress still has a mandate and a responsibility under the 15th amendment to the constitution to secure and protect the franchise for all americans. let me quote quote that provision of our constitution. the right of citizens of the united states to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the united states or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. frankly in 1965 and subsequent authorizations, congress took
that responsibility very seriously. jim s i said, with sensenbrenner as chairman of the judiciary committee, overwhelmingly passed the 2006 re-authorization. after thousands of pages of testimony and findings which the supreme court in a 5-4 decision has essentially set aside. 113th congress must make addressing today's unfortunate decision a top priority. and that's why democrats and republicans, as we did in 2006, ought to come together to begin a process that ensures political jurisdiction where the history of discrimination cannot impose new barriers to ballot access. i came in when pete was talking, he talked about the
significance for a lot of the people he represents and i suggest at the begin, all the people that he represents. so i'm looking forward to joining with those on this platform and those in congress on both sides of the aisle to make us sure that america is what we say it is a land for all with opportunity for all and protection for all to cast their ballot. now it's my prive lem to yield to my friend, the assistant leader, he's already spoken? i yield to marcia fudge, who knows what's going on. >> thank you. we will now be joined by the co-chairs of the civil rights task force of the congressional black caucus. in this order, representative john conyers and representative john -- >> when i first came to congress i went immediately to
the speaker of the house, john mccormack and asked to go on the judiciary committee and the reason that he -- as he and i both knew was the civil rights act that was so important. t today, citizens united has een eclipsed by the decision n the united states vs. shelby us older, this case takes ack to a civil rights act of 1866 which didn't give african-americans the right to vote. hen we went into 1869 when the 15th amendment did give african-americans the right to ote.
then with the 24th amendment, poll taxes were outlawed in 1964. and then in 1965, president lyndon johnson signed the voting rights act into law, permanently barring barriers to political participation by racial and ethnic minorities, prohibiting any election practices that denied the right to vote, and requiring jurisdictions with a history of discrimination in voting to get federal approval before the changes in election laws can take effect. what the supreme court has done with the ruling that was issued obliterate go is to that collection of
jurisdictions that were under review. signed oting rights act by lyndon baines johnson in nixon, n by president president ford, president reagan, and president bush have all signed them. d this is what makes the bipartisanship of where we dust ourselves off and start all over again become so important. we can rise to this challenge, we don't have any alternative. and it is up to us to see that in as y this meaningful, as fair a manner as
possible. there were members on the supreme court that wanted to take out section 5 while we were at it, and i can't remember who it was that restrained that from coming in too but our job is big enough as it is. this is a day from which we ill be planning, strategizing, working with both bodies of the legislature, and of course everyone in every party to get this right. it's been done before. we faced challenges like these. but the voting rights act must be continued. i haven't heard anybody say yet that we don't need it.
obviously the record is replete with those that have been challenged or actions taken that have prevented it from happening. and so i join these members of which we are only a small number but i think that we're up to the task. we've got to be up to the task. this may be the most important civil rights action that we ake. >> thank you, madam chair. today the supreme court stuck a dagger in the heart of the voting rights act of 1965. they're saying, in effect, that he'sry cannot repeat itself but i say come and walk in my shoes.
as justice ginsburg described in her dissent, the history is relevant because voting rights have been given in this country and they have been taken away. after the civil war, slaves were given the right to vote by constitutional amendment. they were elected to congress and served in this body. after a few short years later, those rights were nullified. in one of the worst, most rutal periods of discrimination followed those digs. took exactly 100 years from 1865 to 1965 to get those rights back. the nation turned a blind eye to legalized seggeags and racial discrimination for 100 years. it took organizing people who
eared for their lives, it took standing in unmoving lines. it took people struggling and dying for the right to vote. just 49 years ago, three young june 1, knew on nick and goodman, james went out to investigate an african-american church that was burning. a church that had been used for voter registration workshops. they were detained by the sheriff, later taken to jail, taken out of jail, beaten, hot, and killed by the klan. we don't want to go back, we
want to go forward. the only thing i did, a few short years ago, i gave a little blood on that bridge, but others, brothers and sisters of mean and other people in the struggle gave their very lives. the record congress produced demonstrated the clear need for voting rights protection in our country. even the court did not deny that discrimination still exists. the american people should use the 50th anniversary of the march on washington and other opportunities to say, we still need voting rights protection in our country. they must compel each and every member of congress to act in a bipartisan fashion, to fix or repair what the supreme court
broke. we must do it. we must do it now. before another national election takes place. it is our calling. it is our mission. it is our mandate. and we have an obligation to act. > thank you, we're going to be joined by terri sewell from alabama, hank johnson from georgia and steve cohen from tennessee. >> thank you, madam chair. this is indeed a sad day for our nation, but it's especially a sad day for my home state of alabama. as a native of selma, alabama, and as a member of the currently represents the civil rights district of alabama, i can tell you that i know that the injustices suffered on that bridge, the he had monday
pettis bridge on bloody sunday, 1965, has not been fully vindicated. i think it's ironic that the very state that caused us to get the voting rights act is now being used by our supreme court to dismantle that very -- that very law. but i think that as long as there are facts like the facts in the shelby county case, which so clearly demonstrate that there's so much work to be done, the fact of the matter is that without preclearance, clara, the county of shelby, redrew the lines such that an african-american city councilmember would lose and the discriminatory effect was that he lost. he lost that election. this wasn't in 1965. this wasn't in 1970 or 1980. this was in my lifetime.
this was but a few years ago. i think it's unacceptable, and as long as there are voters whose rights need to be protected, there is a need for the voting rights act. now, we in congress have an opportunity, an opportunity to develop another coverage formula, but i can tell you that whatever coverage formula that is developed, i can't imagine that my state, alabama, would not continue to fall under it. it's disheartening for me because i know that so much progress has taken place, but the unfortunate reality is there's still so much work to be done. i look forward to joining with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get that work done of section ffects
5 will continue to be available. i would have never thought that i, a beneficiary of the civil rights movement, would be on a stage today with john lewis, steny hoyer, jim clyburn and so many of my colleagues fighting still for the protections of the fundamental right to vote. the right to vote is sacred, and we who are in congress, republican and democrat, should be fighting for that right, not looking to restrict it. and the very fact that in this past election we had 38 states, including alabama, that had voter i.d. laws, looking to restrict people's right to vote. we have to stand up. we have to stand up. and i look forward to joining my colleagues in standing up for the voting rights act of 1965 and for the protections of
minority rights. >> good afternoon, everyone. today an active u.s. supreme court cynically legislating from the bench jim crow-style engaged in historic overreach, ignoring their own precedence and disregarding clear and convincing evidence of ongoing discrimination at the polls. call for strong, swift action by the congress is now front and center. i will work with all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that all voters have their precious right to vote protected from state and local enfringement. in 2006 during the last renewal of the landmark voting rights
act, congress conducted more than 21 hearings with nearly 00 witnesses and amassed a 15,000-page record developments ongoing discrimination against minority voters. this is occurring, ladies and gentlemen, not only in states with a history of discrimination, the 2012 elections saw voter suppression taken to an entirely new and despicable level. during that election cycle, we saw an uptick in attempts to disenfranchise voters in many jurisdictions around the country that were not covered under the voting rights act. the voting rights act is as necessary today as it was almost 50 years ago. congress must act quickly to
strengthen our protections of this fundamental right. thank you. >> thank you. i just wanted to join my colleagues here today. they have all spoken and covered the territory, particularly my friend, ngressman conyers, this in conjust with citizens united this is the second attempt by the u.s. supreme court to destroy democracy as we know it in our country. when you put this money into politics it diminishes people's votes and the wealthy have more votes because dollars have power. and we should have redistricting that is not political, that's not covered by state legislatures and politicians and that's what we've seen over the years. there is a bill that john tanner had, heath shuler had, that would have nonpartisan judicial groups to redistrict
which is what we should have. mr. clyburn mentioned this is probably going to affect states that will try to go and redistrict like texas has and i fear that will happen. my home is shelby county, tennessee. in each of the last two elections we've had at a minimum misfeasance and many people think malfeasance and that is to thwart the population, the majority, which is african-americans. it's been a risk in this country and the republican party has admitted, the reason having voter i.d. laws is to suppress votes. for the supreme court to admit discrimination but then throw this out and ask us in the judiciary committee to come to a resolution that promotes civil rights, it's a bad day for america. thank you. > thank all of you for coming. we have been joined by emanuel cleaver from missouri.
>> this will be short. the fact that the supreme court did the wrong thing should inspire congress to do the right thing. in august we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. please understand this. this time it will not just be predominantly black. this time we will have the rainbow of this coalition here in congress. this time we will have republicans, democrats and the ons and daughters of the dixicrats. people who are for right will come here to washington because what was done today is wrong and the people of this country, the good and decent people of this country need to speak out. >> mr. veasey from texas. >> thank you, madam chairwoman. let me make it clear. i know that the supreme court
has said there is no need for the voting rights act, is basically what they summed up. what i would say is look at texas. i represent fort worth, arlington and dallas. and two republican judges -- it was a three-judge panel, because texas wanted to bypass the justice department to get our maps precleared and to pass a discriminatory voter i.d. law. the majority of the court on this republican-dominated panel said that the discrimination that happened in texas redistricting and voter i.d. was blatantly discriminatory. and that's enough said. if they had taken the texas case and rolled it in with the shelby case, it's hard to believe they could have reasonably came up with the same conclusion. i want to echo what my colleagues have said. this is a very sad day in america because we have taken a step backwards as it relates to civil rights and as it relates to justice in this country. like we have overcome bad supreme court decisions in the
past, we can have congress balance this out. and so now is the time for us to act and do the right thing and restore equality and justice for all americans. thank you. >> again, thank you for coming. i think that all of us today understand there are two americas. whether you can agree with the policies of our country or not, we live in one america that goes outside of our borders and says we are going to fight and defend democracy. we're going to do for others what they will not do for us in our own country. and today we have a supreme court who will not fight for the rights and the democracy of the people who live within our borders. with that we will take any uestions you might have. >> the gridlock that's taken congress right now and how close this issue is, how do you have confidence that congress will address section 4 of the voting rights act within the next year?
>> i still believe in america. i believe that we will all get together and do what is right. this has been historically something we have done in a bipartisan way, and i certainly believe and hope we will continue to do it that way. and anyone can respond. >> i have a question and perhaps representative lewis is the best to answer it. a couple hours ago i asked congressman jeff session -- senator sessions of alabama, section 5 was upheld. he said i don't think shelby county -- shelby county has never had a history of denying votes and to my knowledge not now. do you think the denial of these issues might play in the opposition to a legislative path forward? if so, is there anything that the administration can do outside of congress given that again the principle is constitutional but the formula is not, to try to continue to uphold some of these measures? >> i'm going to let my colleague from alabama speak to the specifics of it. let me just say this.
to the senator whom i respect greatly. you can have your own opinion, as they say, but you can't have your own facts. and the fact is that shelby county in fact has had a history of discrimination. and certainly i would say that if what they want us to do is march again we are up to the task. i certainly do believe that the president and the white house and every person of good will in this country have an obligation to do their part to see that this is corrected. >> well, i just have to say with all due respect to my senator whom i respect a lot, the reality is that the shelby county case was an overt example of racial discrimination. the reality is that in the city council, this was an indumbent black elected official who was redistrict out of his seat and he lost re-election. so with all due respect, i
think while much progress has happened in our state and i'm proud of the progress that we've made in our state, i think this case, this very case eye roncally is -- eye roncally is a bad -- ironically is a bad case to have nullify section 5. look, those of us who love the state of alabama, like i, we have to claim our painful past for what it was. it was because of our painful past that we had a civil rights movement, a voting rights movement which ultimately led to a global human rights movement. but the reality is progress has been made but decisions like today have eroded those progress by -- progress and set us back. so i look forward and i'm sure that many in the state of alabama look forward to getting the protections, the full protections of the voting rights act.
>> i was born in alabama. i lived in alabama most of my young life. i saw the signs that said white waiting, the clerk will designate waiting. white men, the clerk will designate men. white women, the clerk will designate women. in alabama, the same year that president barack obama was born, white people and black people couldn't sit together in a bus station and ride together in a taxi cap cab. we had to change that. i stood with those people in the lines in selma, alabama. people had to go through a set of steps, go through double doors and get a so-called literacy test. teachers, college professors, lawyers and doctors. and they were told they could not read or write well enough. they failed the so-called literacy test and they could not register the right to act until the voting rights act was
passed in 1965. we made progress, yes, but we are not there yet. it is still needed today in alabama and throughout the 11 states of the confederacy and other parts of our country. >> knowing that the supreme court was looking for a rewrite of the formula in the 2009 case that they sought, why not take the opportunity to address this year when democrats controlled congress? >> i don't know. i wasn't in charge. maybe i can give it to somebody else who was. what i can say to you is congress doesn't always act unless it is forced to. that has been my experience, and i've only been here five years. maybe now that we're forced to we will act now. but let me also say to you i think all of us have some type of a moral compass we know when something is right that it should prevail, and i believe that to put in place whatever is necessary to make sure that people have the right and the opportunity to vote without
some form of discrimination or some way to block them is right. and so i believe we will do the right thing at some point. if someone else wants to respond, feel free. >> only thing i can say, madam chair, after martin luther king martin luther king -- martin luther king jr. received the nobel peace prize in 1964, he came back to america, had a meeting with president lyndon johnson at the white house, and told the president that we need a voting rights act. and dr. king said, mr. president, we need a voting rights act. and the president said, we don't have the votes in the congress to get a voting rights act passed. i just signed the civil rights act. then president johnson said, make me do it. make me do it. and that's what the american people must make us do it. and we will do it. >> the other thing, history is one thing. to look back and try to decide why something wasn't done, who knows. why wasn't immigration done when george w. bush was
president? why don't we do a lot of things? we do them, as my colleague said, because we are now forced to do it. and, you know, some of us say it's a dysfunctional body and to some people say it may be. we do things when it is necessary to be done. now is the time to take care of voting rights. yes. >> chief justice john roberts focused on the fact that he said part of the six southern states have a higher percentage of black voter registration than white and there are, he said, no voting tests, no polls tests at this point. would any of you agree -- clearly you do not believe it's unconstitutional but do you believe that the formula could have some kind of update and how could you update it? >> i think ohio should be included. i absolutely think it should be updated. and i think it's going to be a decision that we made collectively how it should be
updated. i do believe it should not be restricted, it should be expanded. i think that chairwoman fudge is correct. if you look at the activities that were taken by, i believe, 38 states and the actions that 38 states took in the runup to the 2012 elections, there are records that have been developed. most of us have very familiar of the voting records of pennsylvania and i'm familiar with the activities taken by the secretary of state in ohio. let's look at their language and the record we will develop this time, we'll bring their words into this record. we didn't have their words in 2006. we got them now. so the intent to turn the clock back is very, very clear.
think that there are counties in pennsylvania and in ohio that would probably come under any new formula we develop. so i'm not arguing with the fact that this may need to be tweaked. there may be some jurisdictions that because of their recent actions that maybe they reach a point of exclusion from the law. now, remember, in this law currently in existence there is a process by which you can opt out. so if shelby county has such a pristine record, then why didn't it present that pristine record and request for brought out from under the law?
that's what the intent here. the intent here is national movement to find a way to gut the voting rights act. so i think we ought to go look at these jurisdictions and look at the opt out provisions in the law and may be -- there may be a county somewhere in the corner of alabama that may be able to opt out of the law. though i doubt it. >> again, we thank you. i think our friend pete said it best. this is not a democrat or republican issue. this is an american issue. we believe that every single person in this country has the constitutional right to have their voices heard. we have our voices heard through our vote. i thank you here for coming and i thank my colleagues. >> thank you, madam chair. >> thank you. [captioning performed by
national captioning institute] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2013] >> we'll continue to get today's reaction and you can see the ruling, including attorney general eric holder and civil rights group at our website, c-span.org. recap, the high court declared unconstitutional a provision of the 1965 voting rights act that determines which states and localities must get washington's approval for proposed election changes. the justices said congress, which renewed the key civil rights law in 2006, relied on 40-year-old data that does not reflect the changes in u.s. society. the court and its majority opinion said the congress needs to redraft another formula
based on current conditions. the requirement applies to nine states and certain counties in a handful of states around the country. now you'll lear lawyers argue the case before the supreme court. they heard the argument in late february. it's an hour and 15 minutes. >> we'll hear argument first this morning in case 1296 shelby county vs. holder. >> mr. chief justice and may it please the court, almost four years ago eight justices of the court agreed the 2005, 25-year extension of voting rights act section 5 preclearance obligation uniquely applicable to jurisdictions reached by section 4-b antiquated coverage formula raised a serious constitutional question. those justices recognized that the record before the congress
in 2005 made it unmistakable that the south had changed. they questioned whether current remedial needs justified the extraordinary federalism and cost burdens of preclearance. >> may i ask you a question? assuming i accept your premise and there's some question about that that some portions of the south have changed. hasn't. ty pretty much in the period we're talking about, it has many more discriminating -- 240 discriminatory voting laws that s blocked by section 5 objections. there were enormous remedy by section 2 litigation. you may be the wrong party bringing this. >> this is an onface challenge, and i might say, justice soto sotomayor --
>> why would we vote for a county of what caused the passage of this law to start with? >> i don't agree with your premises. let me say, number one, when i said the south has changed that's the statement made by the eight justices in the northwest austin case. >> congress said that too. nobody -- there isn't anybody on any side of this issue who doesn't admit that huge rogress has been made. line with justice sotomayor's question, in d.c. court of appeals, the dissenting judge there, judge williams, said, if this case were about three states -- mississippi, louisiana and alabama -- those states have
the worst record. and application of section 5 to them might be ok. >> justice ginsburg, judge williams said as he assessed various measures in the record, he thought those states might be distinguished. he did not say and he didn't reach the question whether those states should be subject to preclearance. in other words, whether on an absolute basis there was sufficient record to subject them. >> the thing about this state you're representing, it's about a quarter black, but alabama has no black statewide elected officials. if congress were to write a formula that looked to the number of successful section 2 suits per million residents, alabama would be the number one state on the list. if you factor in unpun lished section 2 suits, alabama would be the number two state on the list. if you used the number of section 5 enforcement actions,
alabama again would be the number two state on the list. i mean, you're objecting to a formula, but under any formula that congress could devise, it would capture alabama. >> if i might respond, because i think justice sotomayor had a similar question, why should this be approached onface? going back to all of the cases that addressed the voting rights act preclearance and the formula, they've all been addressed to determine the validity of imposing preclearance on the circumstances then prevailing and the formula because shelby county is covered not by an independent determination of congress with respect to shelby county but because it falls within the formula as part of the state of alabama. so i don't think that there's any reluctance -- >> but challenges are generally disfavored in our law, and so the question becomes, why do we strike down a formula, as
said, which under any circumstance the record shows the remedy would be proportional, rational, the application to alabama would happen? >> there are two separate questions. one is whether the formula needs to be addressed. in northwest austin, this court addressed the formula. the circumstances there were of very small jurisdiction, as the court said, approaching a very big question. id the same in the city of rome. it did the same in katzenbach. so the formula itself is the reason why shelby county encounters the burdens and it is the reason why the court needs to -- in katzenbach, didn't it do what you're asking us to do which is look at all the other states and counties. it basically concentrated on the record of the two litigants
case. and that extrapolated more broadly. >> i don't think -- >> you're asking us to do something just to ignore your record and look at everybody else's. >> i don't think that's a fair reading of katzenbach. in katzenbach, what the court did to see if the formula was practiced in theory. what the court said, what we don't have evidence on every jurisdiction that's reached by the formula, that by devising two criteria which were predictive where discrimination might lie the congress could sweep in jurisdictions as to which it had no specific findings. so we're not here to parse the jurisdictions. we're here to challenge this formula because in and of itself is speaks to old data, it isn't -- to the kinds of discrimination that congress is focusing on and it is an inappropriate vehicle to sort out the sovereignty of
individual states. i could tell you that in alabama the number of legislators in the alabama legislature are proportionate to the number of black voters. there's a very high registration and turnout of black voters in alabama. but i don't think that really addresses the issue of the rationality in theory and practice in the formula. if congress wants to write another statute, another hypothetical statute, that would present a different case. but we're here facing a county, a state that are swept in by a formula that is neither rational in theory nor in practice. that's the hope. >> i suppose the thrust of the question so far has been, if you would be covered under any formula that most likely would be drawn, why are you injured under this one? >> well, we don't agree that we would be covered under any formula. >> but that's the hypothesis of the question. if you could be covered -- most
suggested formula for this kind of -- why are you injured by this one? i think that's the thrust of the question. >> well, i think if congress has the power to look at jurisdictions like shelby county individually and without regard to how they stand against other state -- other counties, other states -- in other words, what's the discrimination here among the jurisdictions and after thoroughly considering each and every one comes up with a list and says this list greatly troubles us, that might present a vehicle for saying this is a way to sort out the covered jurisdictions. >> suppose congress passed a law that said everyone whose last name begins with a shall pay a special tax of $1,000 a year and let's say that tax is challenged by somebody whose
last name begins with a, would it be a defense to that challenge that for some reason this particular person really should pay a $1,000 penalty that people with a different last name do not pay? >> no. because that would invent another statute. this is if somebody might invent another statute that has a formula that's rational. >> if someone is acquitted of a federal crime, would it -- would the prosecution be able to say, ok, he didn't commit this crime but congress could have enacted another statute which he would have violated in this case, of course you wouldn't listen to that, would you? >> no. >> the hypotheticals starts from a predicate that the application has no basis in any record. but there's no question that alabama was rightly included in the original voting rights act.
there's no challenge to the re-authorization act. the only question is whether a formula should be applied today. and the point is that the record is replete with evidence to show that you should. >> well -- >> it's not like there's some made up reason for why the $1,000 is being applied to you or why a different crime is going to be charged against you. there is a real record as to what alabama has done to earn its place on the list. >> justice sotomayor, with all due respect, the question whether alabama was properly placed under the act in 1964, t was answered in katzenbach because it was in practice. there is no independent determination by the congress that alabama singly should be covered. congress has readopted the formula and it is the formula that covers alabama and thus -- >> another reason for the formula.
of course, part of the formula looks back to what happened in 1965. it says, are you a jurisdiction that did engage in testing and had low turnout -- low registration? that isn't true of alabama today. >> that's correct. >> so when congress in fact re-enacted this in 2005, it knew what it was doing was picking out alabama. it understood it was picking out alabama. even though the -- even though they're not engaging in that particular thing. but the underlying evil is the discrimination. so the closest analogy i could think of is imagine a state has a plant disease, and in 1965 you can recognize the presence of that disease which is hard to find by a certain kind of surface movement or plant growing up. now, it's evolved so by now
when we use that same formula, all we're doing is picking out that state but we know one thing. the disease is still there in the state. because this is a question of renewing a statute that in fact has worked, and so the question i guess, is it rational to pick out at least some of those states and to go back to justice sotomayor's question, as long as it's rational in at least some instances directly to pick out those states, at least one or two of them, then doesn't the statute survive a facial challenge? that's the question. >> thank you. justice breyer, a couple things. in northwest austin, current needs have to generate current burden so what happened in 1965 in alabama that alabama itself
said was a disgrace doesn't justify a current -- >> this is then the question. does it justify? this isn't a question of rewriting the statute. this is a question of renewing a statute that by and large has worked. and if you have a statute that sunsets, you might say, i don't want it to sunset if it's worked as long as the problem is still there to some degree, that's the question of rationality, isn't that what happened? >> if you base it on the findings of 1965, i could take the decision in the city of rome which follows along that line, we had a huge problem at the first passage of the voting rights act and the court was -- congress' decision that had not yet been cured. so when i look at those statistics today and look at what alabama has in terms of black registration and turnout, there's no resemblance. we're dealing with a completely changed situation to which you apply --
>> mr. rein, you keep emphasizing over and over again in your brief registration and you said it a couple times this morning. congress was well aware that registration was no longer the problem. this legislative record is replete with what they call second generation devices. congress said upfront, we know that the registration is fine. that is no longer the problem. but the discrimination continues in other forms. >> let me speak to that because i think that that highlights one of the weaknesses here. on one hand justice breyer's questioning, congress could continue based on what it found in 1965 and renew, and i think your question shows it's a very different situation. congress is not continuing its efforts initiated in 1975 to -- >> the reason section 5 was created was because states were moving faster than litigation
permitted to catch the new forms of discriminatory practices that were being developed. as the court struck down one form, the states would find another. d basically justice ginsburg called it secondary, i don't know that one is secondary or primary, discrimination is discrimination. and what congress said is it continues, not in terms of voter numbers but in terms of examples of other ways to disenfranchise voters like moving a voting booth from a convenient location for all voters to a place that historically has been known for discrimination. i think that's an example taken from one of the section 2 and 5 cases from alabama. i mean, i don't know what the
difference is that this court or some may think that secondary is not important. but the form of discrimination is discrimination that congress has found it to be so. >> when congress is addressing a new evil it needs then, and assuming it can find this evil, to a level justifying the -- >> but that's not what is said in section 5. if says we can't keep up in the way states are doing. >> i think we're dealing with a few different questions. one is, was that kind of remedy -- unusual remedy never before and never after invoked by the congress putting states into a prior restraint in the exercise of their core sovereign functions, was that justified? and in katzenbach the court said we're confronting an emergency in this country, we're confronting people who will not honor the 15th amendment and who will use -- >> and in 19 -- excuse me -- 2006, congress went back to the problem, developed a very substantial record of
15,000-page legislative record, talked about what problems had been solved, talked about what problems had yet to be solved and decided that although the problem had changed, the problem was still evident enough that the act should continue. it's hard to see how congress could have developed a better and more thorough legislative record than it did, mr. rein. >> i'm not questioning whether congress did it best. the question is whether congress found to invoke this -- >> indeed congress must have found that the situation was even clearer and the violations even more evident than originally because originally the vote in the senate, for ample, is something like 79-18. and in the 2006 extension it was 98-0. it must have been even clearer in 2006 that these states were
violating the constitution. do you think that's true? >> no. >> well, that's -- justice scalia, it was clear to 98 senators, including every senator from a covered state who decided there was a continuing need for this piece of legislation. >> or decided perhaps they better not vote against it, that there's nothing, there's -- none of their interests in voting against it. >> i don't know what they're thinking exactly, but it seems to me one might reasonably think this. it's an old disease. it's gotten a lot better, a lot better, but it's still there. so if you had a remedy that really helped it work, that wasn't totally over, wouldn't you keep that remedy? or would you not at least say that a person who wants to keep that remedy, which has worked for that old disease which is not yet dead, let's keep it going, is that an irrational
decision? >> that is a hypothetical that doesn't address what happened because what happened is the old disease, limiting people's right to register and vote -- >> sorry. old disease is discrimination under the 15th amendment which is abridging a person's right to vote because of color or race. >> the focus of the congress in 1965 d in katzenbach in was on voting and registration -- >> it had already evolved the way from that or started to. >> i beg your pardon, but i think, justice sotomayor, they never decided the 15th amendment governs vote -- the original enactment was under the 15th amendment. >> well, the 15th amendment says denial or abridgement. what would abridgement mean except for delusion? >> well it might mean, i let you vote in one election but
not another. for example, separate primaries rules -- primary rules from election rules. i think delusion is a different concept. we are not saying that dilution is not covered by the 14th amendment. i was responding by justice breyer, that old disease is cured. if you want to label disease and generalize it, you can say the new disease is still a disease. i think that's not what happened. >> some of the questions up to this point i think motheror what the government said toward the end of this brief, it's rather proud of this reverse engineering. we really knew it was some specific states we were interested in and so we used these old categories to cover that state. is that a methodology that in your view is appropriate under -- est of congrunes congrewans and proportionality? >> i do not accept it was, quote, reversed engineered.
i think it was justice breyer said continued because it was there. if you look at what was done and was approved in 1964, what congress said here are the problem areas that we detect, we've examined them in detail, we've identified the characteristics that would say, yes, that's where the discrimination is, they're using a tester device. it is below the national average, that spells it out and we have relief valve in the then,isting bailout so it was all very rational. here you have to say, is the finding with respect to every state, alaska, arizona, the covered jurisdictions in new york city, is the designation of them congruent to the problem that you detect in each one? even assuming, and we don't accept that even of these problems have the extraordinary relief, what's the congress and what's the proportionality of this remedy to a violation you
detect state by state? so merely saying it's reversed engineered says congress really thought about it and we made up a list in our heads and, geez whiz, this old formula miraculously covered the list. there's no record that happened. >> counsel -- >> suppose there were and those spas the rationale because that's what i got from the government's brief and what i'm getting from some on the bench, what's wrong with that? >> if there was a record sufficient for each of those states to sacrifice their inherent core power to preclearance, to prior prestraint, i think you certainly could argue, well, how congress described them as long as it's rational might work, but i don't think we have that record here. >> and i don't know why you go that far. i don't know why under the adequate footing doctrine it would be proper to single out states by name.
and if that in effect what's being done that seems to me equally improper but you don't seem to make that argument. >> i find it extraordinary that congress can pick out. we want to hit these eight states. doesn't matter what formula we use. as long as we hit the eight states that's good enough and that makes it constitutional. i doubt that's true. >> i agree with that. what i was saying is -- >> why does congress have to fix any problem? >> i'd like to hear the answer to the question. >> the answer, justice kennedy, congress can't arbitrarily pick out states. congress has to treat seach state with equal dignity. it has to examine all states. the teachings of katzenbach, when congress does that examination, it can devise a formula even if it understands that that formula will not apply across all 50 states. >> well, the formula -- >> so katzenbach, in terms of picking out states and say i'm
going to look at you and i'm going to look at you, no, that doesn't protect the dignity of each state. >> mr. ryan, under that formula -- mr. rein, under that formula, 25% of the nation's total population, they account for 56% of all successful published section 2 lawsuits. if you do that on a per capita basis, the successful section 2 lawsuits, four times higher in covered jurisdictions than in noncovered jurisdictions. so the formula -- you can, you know, say maybe this restriction should be covered, maybe this one should be covered. the formula seems to be working pretty well in terms of going after the actual violations on the ground and who's committing them. >> there are -- there are two fall is is -- fallacies, justice kagan, in that statement. number one is treating the covered jurisdictions of let us treat them. as judge williams did in his
dissent, if you look at them one by one looking at their dignity -- >> all formulas are underinclusive and all formulas are overinclusive. it seems to work pretty well in fargetting the places -- targeting the places where there are more successful section 2 lawsuits, where there are more violations on the ground that's been adjudicated. >> if you look at the analysis state by state done by judge williams that isn't true. congress has picked out some states that fall at the top and some do not. there are states like illinois, tennessee, and i don't think they deserve preclearance, that clearly have comparable records. second, dividing by population may make it look better, but it is irrational, it is not irrational when we object to it but vote in the brief of the harris respondent they believe it's irrational because it makes delaware look worse on the list of the primary violators. it's not a useful metric.
it may make a nice number but there's no justification for that number. >> it happens not to be the method that congress selected. >> correct. >> you could say they used a rationale that works. just because they pick some other rationale which happens to produce this result doesn't seem to me very persuasive. >> your time is up. >> thank you. >> about ready to expire for the rebuttal period. i do have this question. can you tell me, it seems to me that the government can very easily bring a section 2 suit and as part of that ask for bail in section 3, are those expensive, time-consuming suits? do we have anything in the record that tells us or in the bar's experience that you can tell us? >> it's an effective remedy. number one, it is effective. there are preliminary injunctions. it depends on the kind of dispute you have. some of them are very complex and it would be complex if
somebody brought a -- if a state brought a section 5 challenge in a 3 court saying a judge denied me preclearance. it's the complexity of the question, not the nature of section 2. might i say, if you look at the voting rights act, one thing that really stands out is you're up against states with enfrenched discriminatory practices in their law. the remedy congress put in place for those states was section 2. and all across the country, talk about equal sovereignty, if there's a problem in ohio, the remedy is section 2. so if congress thought that section 2 was an inadequate remedy it could look at the specifics of section 2 and say maybe we ought to put timetables in there or modify it but that's not what happened. they re-enacted section 2 just as it stood. i think section 2 covers even more broadly because it deals with results and which of course has broader effect. it's an effective remedy.
i think given the record, given the history, the right thing to do is go forward under section 2 and remove the stigma of prior restraint and preclearance from the states and the unequal application based on data that has no etter history than 1972. because in, i remind something was said about equal footing. in katzenbach, the doctrine of the equality of the states invoked by south carolina does not bar this approach. for that doctrine applies only to the terms upon which states are admitted to the union and not to the remedies for local evils which have subsequently appeared. that's what -- has the court changed that interpretation? >> i think that referred --
familiar with that statement. it referred to the fact once you use a formula you're not -- you're selecting out. the court felt the formula was rational in theory and practice and therefore it didn't on its face remove the equality of the states. they were all assessed under the same two criteria. some passed. some did not. but i think that that really doesn't mask the need for equal treatment of the sovereign states. >> i'm going to have a hard time with that because you can't be suggesting that the government sees a problem in one or more states and decides it's going to do something for them and not for others. like emergency relief and that that somehow violates the equal footing doctrine. can't street states the same because their problems are different, their populations are different, their needs are different. everything is different about the states. >> i think when congress uses the powers delegated under
article 1 section 8 it has substantial latitude in how it exercises the power. we're talking about remedial power here. we're talking about overriding powers that are reserved to the states to correct abuse. when congress does that it has to treat them equally. >> you tell me what you think is left of the rational means test in katzenbach and the city of rome? do you think the city now controls both 14 -- the 14th and the 15th amendment on how we look at any case there arises? >> justice sotomayor, i think that the two tests have a lot in common because in city of bernie, the katzenbach was a model of asking the questions that congress asked us to address. number one, how does this remedy meet findings of constitutional violation?
got to ask that question. they asked that question in katzenbach. what's the relation between the two? and i think you have to ask the question, all right, is this killing a fly with a sledgehammer a fair question because when you start to invade core functions of the state i think a great deal of caution and care is required. so i think that the rational basis test, call it test, still is for delegated powers. here on the one hand the solicitor demands under the 14th and 15th amendment, if something violates the 14th it violates the 15th. and the court's precedence under the 14th amendment, the city of bernie and tests apply. the courts have applied it. i don't think we would need to get that far because we believe if you examine it under mccullough, just as they did in katzenbach, they would --
>> if you don't have any more questions. >> we'll give are you the five minutes and a commensurate increase in the general's time. general verrilli. >> thank you chief justices and may it please the court. everyone acknowledges, at the trigser, this court in northwest austin, that the voting rights act made a huge difference in transforming the culture of blatantly vote suppression. section 5 preclearance was the principle engine of that progress and it's always been true that only a tiny fraction of submissions under section 5 result in objections. so that progress under section 5 that follows from that has been as a result of the deterrence and the constraint section 5 imposes on states and subjurisdictions and not on the actual enforcement by means of objection. when congress faced the question whether to re-authorize section 5 in 2006, it had to decide whether the --
whether it could be confident that the attitudes and behaviors in covered jurisdictions had changed enough that that very effective constraint and deterrence could be confidently removed. and congress had, as justice kagan identified earlier, a very substantial record of continuing need before it. >> let me ask you a little bit about that record. do you know how many submissions were for preclearance to the attorney general in 2005? >> i don't know the precise number but many thousands, that's true. >> 3,700. do you know how many objections? >> there was one in that year. >> one out of 3,700. >> mr. chief justice, that is why i made the point a minute ago that the key way in which section 5, it has to be a case. everyone agrees that the significant progress that we've made is principally because of section 5 of the voting rights act. it's always been true that only a tiny fraction of submissions result in objections.
>> that will always be true forever into the future. you could always say, oh, there has been improvement but the only reason there has been improvement are these extraordinary procedures in a deny the states sovereign powers which the constitution preserves to them. so since the only reason it's improved is because of these procedures, we must continue those procedures in perpetuity. is that the argument you're making? >> that's not the argument. >> i think that's the argument you were making. >> it is not. congress relied on far more than just the deterrent effect. there was a substantial record based on the number of objections, the type of objections, the findings of -- >> that's a different argument. >> fine, butter in' related. >> just to get -- >> fine, but they're related. >> do you know the worst state white turnout to african-american turnout? >> i do not. >> massachusetts. do you know who has the best where african-american turnout actually exceeds white turnout?
mississippi. >> yes, mr. chief justice. but congress recognized that expressly in the findings when it re-authorized the act in 2006. it said that the first generation problems had been largely dealt with but -- >> which state has the greatest disparity in registration between white and african-american? >> i do not -- >> massachusetts. third is mississippi where, again, the african-american registration rate is higher than the white registration rate. >> the choice congress faced -- congress wasn't riding on a blank slate in 2006, mr. chief justice. it faced a choice, and the choice was whether the conditions were such that it could confidently conclude that this deterrence and this constraint was no longer needed. and in view of the record of continuing need and in view of that history which we acknowledge is not sufficient on its own to justify re-enactment, but it's certainly relevant to what congress made because congress
made a cautious choice in 2006 to keep the constraint and do keep the deterrence in place. >> there's no -- >> counsel, in the re-authorization -- >> justice aleta. >> there's no question that the did good. ts act when congress decided to re-authorize it in 2006, why wasn't it incumbent on congress congruance to make a new determination of coverage? maybe the whole country should be covered. maybe certain parts of the country should be covered based n a formula that is grounded in up-to-date statistics. hy wasn't that required by the congruance and proportionality standards? suppose in 1965 they based the
formula on voting statistics from 1919, 46 years earlier, do you think katzenbach would have come out the same way? >> no. it's different what congress did in 2006 than 1965. the congress in 2006 was not writing on a clean slate. the judgment had been made what the coverage formula ought to be in 1965. this court upheld it four separate times over the years and it seems to me the question before congress under congruance or proportionality, whatever the test is, under the formula in northwest austin, is whether the judgment to restain that geographic coverage congress was trying to target and congress did have before it very significant evidence about disproportionate results in section 2 litigation in covered jurisdictions and that we submit is a substantial basis for congress to have made the judgment that the coverage formula should be kept in place particularly given it does have
bail-in mechanism and bailout mechanism. >> that is reverse engineering you seem so proud of. it seems to me that obscures the real purpose of the statute. if congress is going to single out separate states it should do it by name. if not it should use and congress just didn't have the time or the energy. >> i think the formula was rational and effective in 1965. the court upheld it then. it upheld it three more times after that. >> well, the marshall plan was very good, too. the morale act, the northwest ordinance, but times change. >> the question is whether times have changed enough and whether the differential between the coverage of jurisdictions and the rest of the country had changed enough that congress could confidently make the judgment that this was no longer
eeded. >> could you respond to the question justice kennedy asked earlier, why wasn't section two enough? e government could bring section two claims. why isn't -- [inaudible] you heard the question so -- >> yes. the espect to -- he made point that section two litigation wasn't an effective substitute for section five. because what section five does is shift the burden of inergsia. i think it's self-evident that section two cannot do the work of section five. take one example. polling place changes. that in fact is the most frequent type of section five submission. polling place changes. now, changes in the polling places at the last minute before an election can be a source of
great mischief. closing polling places, moving them to inconvenient locations, etc. what section five does is require those kind of changes to be precleared and on a 06-day calendar which prevents that kind of mischief. and there's no way in the world you can use section two to effectively police -- >> i do think the evidence is very are very clear that individual suites under section two-type litigation were just insufficient and section five was utterly necessary in 1965. no doubt about that. >> i think it remains -- >> with a modern understanding of the dangers of polling place changes, with perspective injections, with preliminary in-- injections, and with the fact that the government itself can commence these suites, is not clear to me that there's that much difference in a section two suite now. i may be wrong about that. i don't have statistics. >> i don't really think that
that conclusion follows. i think there are thousands and thousands of these under the radar screen changes to polling places and registration techniques, etc. and in most of those i submit, your honor, the cost-benefit ratio is going to be -- the cost of the litigation, which is one of the reasons why it was said section five was necessary, even with respect to the big ticket items, the big redistrictings, i extremelye suites are expensive and they typically result in after-the-fact litigation. it's true that there could be a preliminary injunction, but i really think the argument that section two is a satisfactory incomplete substitute for section five rests entirely on their ability to demonstrate that preliminary injunction -- injunctions can do comparable work to what section five does. they haven't made any effort to do that and while i don't have statistics for you, i can tell that you the civil rights division tells me that it's
their understanding that in fewer than one quarter of ultimately successful section two suits was a preliminary injunction issued. so i don't think there's a basis, certainly given the weighty question before this court of the constitutionality of this law, to the extent the argument is that section two is a valid substitute for section five, i just don't think that the petitioners have given the court anything that allows the court to reach that conclusion. and of course -- >> can you tell us how many attorneys and how many staff and justice department are involved in the preclearance process? five or 15? >> it's a very substantial number. >> what's that mean? >> it means i don't know an exact number. [laughter] >> hundreds snrks dozens? what? >> i think it's dozens. and so it's a substantial number. it is true in theory that those people could be used to bring section two litigation but that doesn't answer the mail because you're never going to get all
these thousands of under-the-radar changes and you're still going to be in the position where the question will be whether preliminary injunctions are available to do the job. there's no evidence that that's true. and i'll point out, there's a certain irony in the argument that what the petitioner wants is to substitute section two litigation of that kind for the section five process which is much more efficient and much more -- much speedier, much more efficient, much more cost effective. >> why should it apply everywhere in the country? >> i think congress made a reasonable judgment that the problem -- that in 2006, that its prior judgments, that there was more of a risk in the coverage jurisdiction, continued to be validated -- >> do you think that the record in 2006 supports the proposition that, let's just take the question of changing the location of polling places. that's a bigger problem in virginia than in tennessee. or it's a bigger problem in arizona than nevada. or in the bronx as opposed to
brooklyn. >> i think the combination of the history, which i concede is not depositive, but is relevant because it suggests caution is in order and that's a reasonable judgment on part of congress. the combination that have that there the fact is a very significant disproportion in successful section two results in the covered jurisdictions as compared to the rest of the country, that congress was justified in conclusioning that -- concluding that there was reason to think that there continued to be a serious enough differential problem -- >> the statistics that i have in let's sayw that the foomb years prior to re-authorization, the gap between section two suits in the covered and noncovered jurisdiction, narrowed and was einventionly eliminated. do you disagree with that? >> you have to look at it, congress appropriately looked at it in a broader time frame. and it made judgments and i
think actually the right way to look at it is not just the population judgment at that mr. ryan was critical of. the fact is, and i think this is in the cat's am cuss brief, that the coveraged jurisdictions contain only 14% of the subjurisdictions in the nation. so 14% of the subinjures kixes -- subjurisdiction notice nation are generating 81% of the successful general -- >> is it true that citizens in the south are more racist than citizens in the north? >> it is not. i do not know the answer to that but i think it was reasonable -- you said it is not and you don't know the answer to it. >> it is not our submission as an objective matter. i don't know the answer to that question. but what i do know is that congress had before it evidence that there was a continuing need based on section five objections, based on the purpose-based character of those objections, based on the section two rate, based on the persistence of polarized voting and based on a gigantic wealth
of jurisdiction specific that -- to maintain the deterrent preclearance process in the covered jurisdictions. and not impose it on everyone else. >> and that's right. given the differential in section two litigation. >> so what is your answer? i just want to be sure i hear your answer to an allegation, argument, an excellent argument, that's been made or at least as i've picked up. and that is that, yes, the problem was terrible. it has gotten a lot better. it is not to some degree cured. all right? i think there's a kind of common ground. now, then the question is, well, what about this statute that has a certain formula? one response is, yes it has a formula that no longer has tremendous relevance in terms of its character statistic, that isly the are a -- characteristic, that is literacy test, but it still picked out nine states.
so far you're with me. so it was rational when you continued a bill and you don't sunset it. you just keep it going. you're not held to quite the same criteria fazz you're righting it in the first place. but it does treat states all the same that are somewhat different. one response to that is, well, this is the 15th amendment, a special amendment. added by -- maybe you're right. then let's proceed state by state. let's look at it state by state. that's what we normally do. not as a plot. all right, now i don't know how satisfactory that answer is. i want to know what your response is as to whether we should -- if he's right, if he's right, that there is an irrationality involved if you were writing it today, in treats state a, which is not to discriminate, if that's true, do
we respond state by state or is this a matter we should consider not as applied but on its face? i just want to hear what you think about that. >> let me give two responses, justice breyer. the first is one that focuses on the practical operation of the law. and the consequences that flow from it. i do not think that shelby county or alabama ought to be able to bring a successful racial challenge against this law on the basis that it ought not to have covered arizona or alaska. the statute has bailout mechanism, those jurisdictions can try to avail themselves of it and if they do and it doesn't work, then they may very well have a challenge they can bring to the law. but that doesn't justify, given the structure of the law and that there is a tailoring mechanism in it, it doesn't
justify -- >> i don't understand the distinction between facial and as applied when you're talking about a formula. as applied to shelby county, they are covered because of the formula. so they're challenging the formula as applied to them. and we've heard some discussion, i'm not even sure what your position is on the form lafment is the formula congruent and proportional today? or do you have this reverse engineering argument? >> congress' decision in 2006 to re-enact the geographic coverage was congruent and proportional -- >> to the problem or was the formula congruent and proportional? >> the court has upheld the formula in four different applications so the court has found four different times that the formula was congruent or proportional and the same kind of problems that mr. ryan's identifying now were true even back -- [inaudible] because the devices were eliminated by the
statute. so no jurisdiction could have testing devices and the city said the registration pumps had been -- [inaudible] by then but there were diver additional kinds of problems that the assent of these second-generation problems, true even in the city of rome. we submit that it's still true now that. congress wasn't writing on a blank slate in 2006. congress was making a judgment about whether this formula, which had everyone -- in fact, mr. ryan's case depends on the proposition that section five was a big success. >> maybe it was made in that judgment but that's a problem that i have. this court doesn't like to get involved in racial questions such as this one. it's something that can be left to congress. the problem here, however, is suggested by the comment i made earlier that the initial enactment of this legislation in
a time when the need for it was so much more abundantly clear was in the senate, it was double digits against it and that was only a five-year term. then it was reenacted five years later. again for a five-year term. double digits against it in the senate. then it was re-enacted for seven years. single digits against it. .hen enacted for 25 years eight senate votes against it. and this last enactment, not a single vote in the senate against it. and the house is pretty much the same. now, i don't think that's attributable to the fact that it is so much clearer now that we need this. i think it is attributed very likely to a phenomenon that is called -- called perpetuation of racial entitlement.
it's been written about. whenever a society adopts a racial entitlement, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political process. i don't think there is anything to be gained by any senator to vote against continuation of this act. and i am fairly confident it will be re-enact in perpetuity unless a court can say it does not comport with the constitution. you have to show when you're treating different states differently that there's a good reason for it. that's the concern that those of us who have some questions about this statute have. it's a concern that this is not the kind of question you can leave to congress. there are certain districts in the house that are black districts by law just about now. and even the virginia senators,
they have no interest in voting against this. the state government is not their government. and they're going to lose votes if they do not re-enact the voting rights act. even the name of it is wonderful, the voting rights act. who is going to vote against that in the future? >> you have an extra five minutes. >> thank you. [laughter] i may need it for that question. >> there are a number of things to say. first, we are talking about the enforcement power that the constitution gives to the congress. make these judgments to ensure protection of fundamental rights. so this is a situation in which congress is given a power which is expressly given to it to act upon the states in their sovereign capacity. and it cannot have been lost on the framers of the 14th and 15th amendments. that the power congress was conferring on them was likely to be exercised in a differential
manner because it was distribute power was conferred to deal with the problems in the former states of the confederacy. so with respect to the constitutional grant of power, we do think it is a grant of power to congress to make these judgments. now of course it's subject to review by this court under the standard of northwest austin which we agree is an appropriate standard. but that's the first point. the second point is i do say with all due respect, i think it would be extraordinary to look behind the judgment of congress as expressed in the statutory findings and evaluate the judgment of congress on the basis of that sort of motive analysis as opposed to -- >> look behind it -- [inaudible] i'm not talking about dismissing. it i'm talking about looking at it to see whether it makes any sense. but i do think that the deference that congress has owed a city, like was said, much deference, that deference is appropriate because of the
nature of the power that's been conferred here and because frankly of the superior institutional competence of congress to make these kinds of judgments. these are judgments that assess social convictions. these are predictive judgments about human behavior. and the predictive judgments about social conditions and human behavior, about something that the people in the congress know the most about. which is voting and the political process. and i would also say i understand your point about entrenchment, but certainly with respect to the senate, you just can't say that it's in everybody's interest. that the enforcement of section five is going to make it he's area for some of those senators to win and it's going to make it harder for some of those senators to win. yet they voted unanimously in favor of it. >> do you think the preclearance device could be enacted for the entire united states? >> i don't think there's a record that would substantiate that but do i think congress would -- >> and that is because there is a federalism interest in each state being responsible to ensure that it has a political
system that acts in a democratic and a civil and a decent and a proper and a constitutional way. >> we agree with that. we respect that. we acknowledge that northwest -- >> but if alabama wants to have monuments to the heroes of the civil right it's movement, if it wants to acknowledge the wrongs of its past, is it better off doing that if it's an owned independent sovereign or under the trusteeship of the united states government? >> of course it would be better in the former situation. but with all due respect, your honor, everyone grease that it was -- agrees that it was appropriate for congress to have exercised this expressed constitutional authority when it did in 1965 and everybody agrees that it was the exercise that have authority that brought about a situation where we can now argue about whether it's still necessary and the point i think is a fundamental importance here, that history remains relevant. what congress did was make a cautious choice in 2006.
that given the record before it and given the history, the more prudent course was to maintain the deterrent and constraining effect of section five, even given the federalism cost because after all, what it protects is a right of fundamental importance, that the constitution gives congress the express authority to protect through appropriate legislation. >> before your time expire, i would like to make sure i understand your position on this as applied versus facial issue. is it your position that this would be a different case if it were brought by, let's say, a county in alaska as opposed to shelby county, alabama? >> no. let me just try to articulate clearly what our position is. they've brought a facial challenge. we recognize that it's a facial challenge. we're defending it as a facial challenge. but our point is that the facial
challenge can't succeed because they are able to point out that there may be some other jurisdictions that ought not to be appropriately covered and that's especially true because there is a tailoring mechanism in the statute and if the tailoring mechanism doesn't work, then jurisdictions that couldn't make such a claim may well have an as-applied challenge. that's how we feel. >> thank you, general. >> mr. chief justice and may it please the court, the extensive record illustrates two essential points about the nature and continuing aspects of voting description in the affected areas. the first speaks to the question of whether section two is adequate standing alone. as our brief demonstrates, in alabama and in many of the covered jurisdictions, section two victories often need section five to realize the benefits of
the ruling in the section two case. that is to say that these measures act in tandem to protect minority communities and we've seen it in a number of cases. >> that's true in every state, isn't it? >> i don't think anybody's contesting that it's more effective if you use section five. >> it's beyond the issue -- >> why just in these states? that's it. >> fair enough. it's beyond a question of being true in anyplace. our brief shows that specifically in the covered jurisdictions there is a pattern, a demonstrated pattern of section two and five being used in tandem whereas in other jurisdictions most of the section two cases are one off examples. we point to a whole number of examples. take, for example, selma, alabama. selma, alabama, in the 1990's, not in the 1960's, but in the 1990's had a series of objections in section two activity and observers, all that were necessary, to continue to give effect to the minority incloogs principle that section five was passed to vindicate in
1965. >> but a section two case can in effect have an order for bail, correct me if i'm wrong, under section three, then you basically have a mini, something that replicates section five. >> the bail-in is available. it's available if there's an actual finding of a constitutional violation. it has been used in a number of circumstances. the united states brief has an appendix that points to those. one was in new york. but it's quite clear that the pattern in the cover jurisdictions is such that the repetitive nature of description in those places, take, for example, the case. after this court ruled that the redistricting plan after the 2000 round redistricting bother the mark of intentional description, in the remedial election, the state of texas tried to shorten and constrain the early voting period for purposes of denying the latino community of the opportunity to have the benefits of the ruling. what we've seen in section two cases is that the benefits of description vest in incumbents
who would not be there but for the discriminatory plan. and congress and specifically in the house report, i believe it's pages 57, found that section two continues to be an inadequate remedy to address the problem of these successive violations. another example that makes this point very clearly is in the 1990's in mississippi. there was an important section two case brought finally after 100 years to break down the dual registration system that had discriminatory purposes. when mississippi went to implement the national voter rental administration act, it tried to bring back dual registration and it was section five enforcement action that was able to knock it down. >> do you agree with the reverse engineering argument that the united states has made today? >> i would frame it slightly differently, chief justice roberts. my understand is history bears some importance in the context of the re-authorization. but that congress in none of the re-authorizations stopped with
the historical backward look. it takes cognizance of the experience but it also looks to see what the experience has been on the ground. and what congress found in 2006 was there was a surprisingly high number of continuing objections under the 1982 re-authorization period. >> the guess the question is whether or not that disparity is sufficient to justify the differential treatment under section five. once you take away the formula, if you think it has to be reverse engineered, and not simply justified on its own, then it seems to me you have a much harder test to justify the differential treatment under section five. >> this court said it needs to be suchly related. and i think -- sufficiently related. and i think there are two principle sources of evidence. >> we also said congruent and proportional. >> indeed, indeed. i don't understand those things to be unrelated. i think that they're part of the same test, same evaluated mechanism. the idea is, is congress -- the
first he can question -- the first question is, is congress remedying something or is it creating a new right? that's what bernie is getting to. is congress trying to do an end-around, a backdoorway to expand the constitution? we know in this area, congress is trying to implement the 15th amendment and the history tells us something about that. but specifically to the question -- >> the 15th amendment is limited to intentional description. and of course the preclearance requirement is not so limited. right? >> that's correct. but this court's cases have held that congress in proper exercise in its remedial powers can reach beyond the core of the intentional description with prophylactic effect, when they have demonstrated that a substantial problem exists. the two things that speak to this issue about the disparity in coverage and continuing to cover these jurisdictions, there are two major inputs. the first is the section five activity. the section five activity shows that the problem persists, it's a range of different obstacles
and section five was passed to reach the next discriminatory thing. >> the section five activity may show that there's a problem in the jurisdictions covered by section five but it says nothing about the presence or absence of similar problems in noncovered jurisdictions, isn't that right? >> absolutely. so i come to my second category. the second category of course is the piece of the voting rights act that has national application. section two, and what the evidence in this case shows, and it was before congress, is that the concentration of section two successes in the covered jurisdictions is substantially more. it was four times more, adjusting for population da at it. the fact of the matter is there's another piece of evidence in the record in this case where it looks at all of the section two cases and what it shows is the directional sense that the study pointed to dramatically understates the disparity under section two. and so he found that 81% -- >> all of the noncovered states are worse in that regard? than the nine covered states, is
that correct? >> -- >> every one of them is worse? >> it's a fair question. and i was speaking to the aggregate -- >> not just a fair one. it's a crucial question. congress has selected these nine states. now, is there some good reason for selecting these nine? >> what we see in the evidence is that of the top eight states with section -- favorable section two outcomes, seven of them are the covered jurisdictions. eight were bail in under the mechanism that can bring in some jurisdictions that have special problems in voting. and so we think that that points to the fact that this is now static statute, it's a statute that -- >> but his point, i think the point is this, if you draw a red line around the states that are in, at least some of those states have a better record than some of the states that are out. so in 1965, well, we have history. we have 200 years of slavery.
we have 80 years or so of legal segregation. we've had 41 years of this statute. and this statute has helped. a lot. so therefore congress in 2005 looks back and says, don't change horses in the middle of the stream. because we still have a ways to go. now, the question is, is it rational to do that? and people could differ on that and one thing to say is, of course this is aimed at states. what do you think the civil war was about? of course it was aimed at treating some states differently than others. and at some point that historical and practical sunset-no sunset, renew-what- worked-type justification runs out and the question i think is has it run out now?
now, you tell me when does it run out? what is the standard for when it runs out? never? that's something you've heard people worried about. does it never run out? or does it run out but not yet? or do we have a clear case wherality least it doesn't run out -- where at least it doesn't run out now? i'd like to hear what the rest you have to say. >> i think what the evidence shows before congress is that it hasn't run out yet. the whole purpose of this act is that we make progress and congress recognized the progress that we made and for example they took away the examiner provision which was dubbed as the registration problem. in terms of when we're there, i think it will be some point in the future. our great hope is that by the end of this authorization, we won't be there. there's an overlook provision that says in 15 years, which is now nine years from which are stand here today, before you, congress should go back and look and and see, is it still necessary? so we dwonet think this need to be there in perpetuity.
but based on the record and a 2011 case in which a federal judge in alabama cited this court's opinion in northwest austin, there were legislators that fit today that were caught on tape referring to african-american voters as itsly the ralts, their peers were -- itsly the rates, their peer -- illiterate.e -- the trained effort to deny african-american voters is part of alabama's history to this very day. >> have there been episodes, egregious episodes of the kind you're talking about in states that are not covered? >> absolutely. >> then it doesn't seem to help you make the point that the differential treatment between covered and noncovered continues to be justified. >> there's a great weight of evidence, i think it's fair to -- at some level you have to look piece by piece, state by statement but you also have to step back and look at the great mow sake. this statute is in part about
our march through history, to keep promises that our constitution says for too long were unmet. this congress have been taken these promises seriously. in light of the substantial evidence. it is reasonable for congress to make the decision that we need to stay the course so that we can turn the corner. to be fair, this statute cannot go on forever. but our experience teaches that six amendments to the constitution have had to be passed to ensure safeguards for the right to vote and there are many federal laws, they protect uniformed voters, some protect eligible voters who have not had the opportunity yet to register. but together these protections are important and because our right to vote is what our united states constitution is all about. >> thank you, counsel. r. ryan, five minutes. >> thank you. >> i think that the right to vote is a racial entitlement? in section five?
>> the 15th amendment protects the right for all to vote. >> i asked a different question. do you think section five was voted for because it was a racial entitlement? >> do you think there was no basis -- >> congress was reacting in 1964 to a problem of race description which it thought was prevalent in certain jurisdictions. so that to that ex tent, as the intervener said, yes, it was intended to protect those who had been discriminated against. if i might say, i think that -- >> do you think that racial description in voting has ended? that there is none anywhere? >> i think that the world is not perfect, no one -- we are not arguing perfectability. we're saying there's no evidence that the jurisdictions that have been called out by the formula are the places which are uniquely subject. >> but shall we -- are there some statistics that alabama hasn't but there are others that are very compelling that it has.
why should we make the judgment and not congress? about the types and forms of description and the need to remedy them? >> may i answer that? number one, we're not looking at alabama in isolation. we're looking at alabama relative to other sovereign states. and to justice kennedy's point, the question is as alabama, even in isolation, and those other states, reach the point where they ought to be given a chance, subject to section two, subject to cases brought directly under the 15th amendment, to exercise their -- >> how many other states have 240 successful section two and section five -- again, we -- we're not here to try alabama or massachusetts or any other state. the question is the have a lilledity -- the validity of the form lafment that's what brings alabama in. if you look at alabama, it has a umber of legislators -- plaque
legislators proportion at to the -- black legislators proportion to the black population of alabama. i think that justice breyer's on a somewhat different wave length which, isn't this a mere continuation? shouldn't the fact that we had it before mean well, we should just try it more until somebody is satisfied that the problem is cured? >> you renew what's in the past. where it worked as long as the problem isn't solved. i think the problem to which the voting rights act was addressed is solved. you look at the registration, you look at the voting, that problem is solved on an absolute, as well as a relative basis. that's like saying if i detect that there's a disease afoot in the population in 1965, i have a treatment, a radical treatment that they helped cure that disease, when it comes to 2005 and i see a new disease or i think the old disease is gone, there's a new one, why not apply the old treatment? >> you said the problem has been
solved. but who gets to make that judgment really? is it you? is it the court? or is it congress? >> it's certainly not me. [laughter] >> that's a good answer. i was hoping you'd say that. [laughter] >> but i think the question is congress can examine it, congress makes a record, it is up to the court to determine whether the problem indeed has been solved and whether the new problem -- >> that's a big new power that you're giving us, that we have the power now to decide whether racial description has been solved. i do not think that that's within -- >> i did not claim that. what i said was based on the record made by the congress, you have the power and certainly it was recognized in there, to determine whether that record justifies the description -- >> there is this difference which i think is a key difference. you refer to the problem as the problem identified by the tool for picking out the states. which was literacy tests, etc.
but i suspect the problem was the denial or abridgement by a state of the right to vote. on the basis of race and color. and that test was a way of picking out places where that problem existed. now, if my version of the problem is the problem, it's certainly not solved. if your version of the problem, literacy tests, is the problem, well, you have a much stronger case. so how in your opinion do we decide what was the problem that congress was addressing? in the voting rights act? >> i think you look at the evidence within the four corners of the voting rights act. it responds to limited registration and voting. and the use of devices. the devices are gone. that problem has been resolved by the congress definitively. so it can't be the basis of further litigation -- further legislation. i think what we're talking about here is that congress looks and
says, but we did solve that problem, as everyone agrees it has been very effective, section fives has done its work. people are registering voting and senators who see that a very large group in the population has politically wedged themselves to -- wedded themselves to section five are not going to vote against it. it will do them no good. i think that evidence, that everybody votes for it, would suggest some of the efficacy of section five. you have a different constituency from the constituency you had in 1964. but coming to the point, then if you think there is description, you have to examine that nationwide. they didn't look at some of the problems of delusion in the light because they would have found them all over the place in 1965 but they weren't responding to that. they were responding to an acute situation where people could not register and vote. it was intentional denial of the rights under the 15th amendment. >> thank you, counsel. >> counsel, the case is
submitted 789. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> the court decided the formula used by congress in determining which states require that approval needs to be updated. if you missed any of the oral argument, we have it on monday, july 1, at 10:00 p.m. eastern ere on c-span. and the supreme court's expected to hand down other big decisions tomorrow. including one on same-sex marriage. and saturday, we'll have live remarks from chief justice john roberts as he talks about his life and career on the high court. and before his comments, we'll bring you a panel discussion with former solicitor general theodore olson and former "new york times" supreme court correspondent linda greenhouse. they'll discuss the supreme court's twelve term and what cases to look out for in the
fall. it all starts live saturday and 9:00 a.m. eastern here on -span. >> there are about 1,400 monuments and markers on this battlefield. as the men who fought in this battle are getting older, they want to make sure what they did here is remembered. and they're going to do that by building monuments. and monday -- in modern times we have other ways of commemorating things like that. back in those days, that's how they commemorated the service here. this is monument to the soldiers. onuments to the leaders. these monuments really help us interrupt the story. most of the monuments are union monuments. the battle's going to be a union victory. we're in a northern state. the war's going to be a union victory and by the time the war ends there's not a lot of money in the south to build monuments,
>> the house readjourns in about 230 minutes when the chamber begins legislative work for the day on several infrastructure naming bills. votes in -- votes and general speeches happen at 6:30 eastern. later this week we're going to offshore oil and gas drilling bills, including one drilling with drilling along the u.s.-mexico maritime boundary in the gulf of mexico. live coverage of the house when members gavel back in at 5:00 eastern. earlier today, senate republican leaders briefed reporters at the capitol following the party lunch meeting. they discussed immigration legislation which they plan to complete work on this week. we also heard about climate change issues and the supreme court's ruling on the voting rights act. this is 10 minutes. >> could be best described as announcing a war on coal. in fact, that was the exact terminology used by one of the president's advicers -- advisors
in putting together the speech that he's making today. the war on coal is more than just an impact on this particular form of energy. it also has a huge impact on manufacturing. in my state, for example, we have very low utility rates. largely because of the coal that we produce relatively close to the utilities. it is the way in which we are allowed to be competitive. so the war on coal impacts my state in two ways. it creates a depression in central april lashea that is west virginia and eastern kentucky, and since we have a number of automobile plants and a lot of auto supply plants in our state, it drives the cost of production of parts and vehicles up. so this is a huge step in the wrong direction. particularly in the middle of the most tepid recovery after a deep recession in anyone's
memory. >> reportedly the president's announcing his latest attacks on energy producers which is passed along directly to consumers at a time when they can least afford it. i wish the president would look at the good news in america, which is the fact that we are producing more natural gas, more domestic energy here at home and our carbon emissions are decreasing dramatically. in large part because the greater use of natural gas. yet the president and his administration continues to burden and overregulate the domestic -- the production of domestic energy in ways that disadvantage the american consumer and hurt jobs. in texas one reason we've been doing better than the rest of the country is because we have three distinct regions where we're raising or developing oil and natural gas that's creating a lot of jobs, a lot of -- helping the economy grow and
making it a place where people want to come work and raise their family. the president could learn a lot of lessons from that instead of burdening and taxing america's energy producers and having that passed on to consumers. he needs to take his foot off the neck of the energy producers and job creators and allow this important sector of our economy to prosper. >> this week is the one-year anniversary since the supreme court upheld the obamacare tax and what have we seen since that time? we've seen premiums go up, we've seen hours worked go down and we've seen tame-home pay be reduced for many americans. and the president's credibility gap is growing with the american people when it comes to the economy. and as my colleague said today, he's announcing yet a new national energy tax which is going to hit people on fixed incomes and senior citizens the most. those are the people who are going to be the most vulnerable
and most affected by the president's new national energy tax. and so i think the question that needs to be asked is, are the senate democrats going to go along with the president's new national energy tax? and what it's going to do to jobs and the deme this country? because when you combine the impact with higher premiums and reduced take-home pay of the obamacare legislation with the energy tax, it is a one-two gut purge to the american economy -- punch to the american economy and to jobs. >> the president's energy tax is going to be a direct hit to american jobs and the american economy. it's an attack on affordable energy and an attack on coal as the most available, affordable, reliable and secure source of energy there is. additionally it sounds and has been reported that the president is talking about the keystone x.l. pipeline and putting conditions on it. that essentially is surrendering our opportunity to put more americans to work.
and i'm looking forward to putting the senate on record and seeing where democrats stand on the president's plans that he's coming out with today. do they support hardworking americans and affordable energy or do they support the agenda of this president? i also have significant concerns about jena mccarthy who is the president's nominee to be head of the environmental protection agency. she has recently reported to the senate that the things the president's talking about today are things she's known nothing about. so either she is ignorant of what's going on at e.p.a., a place where she's been assistant director for the last four years, or she is arrogant and wants the senate not to know what she really knows. either way, i think this tarnishes her chances of being approved by the senate. chances -- tarnishes her nomination. i think the american people need somebody at the e.p.a. that they can trust to be honest with them. >> well, if there's a simpler
economic formula than more american energy equals more american jobs, i don't know what it is. and a corelary to that would be more expensive energy equals less american jobs. the president's talking about the kinds of things that the senate, when the senate was a democratic senate there was a democratic house, they passed the cap and trade bill on the house side, democrats in the senate wouldn't even bring it to the floor because it was going to increase energy costs in our country. my state's about 82% dependent on coal. the president just a few months ago was for all of the above. now he appears to be only for a littler slice of the above. i heard one of his supporters saying yesterday that these policies would force people to conserve energy. well, as senator thune said, last people to get the senior citizens, people on a fixed income, people who are struggling at bottom of the economy are the last people to get the energy-efficient
refrigerator, the last people to get the new windows, the last people to get more insulation. pooth the people that are most impacted by energy policies that drive their individual cost up, and they're also the most likely to be impacted by energy policies that make it harder to get a job. these are -- this is the wrong direction for the country at the time. we're doing better, not worse, yest using the energy we have. all of the metrics that you measure, air quality by, are much better than they were at a country that really could take advantage of an all-of-the-above strategy, instead of focusing on what we don't have. let's focus on what we have and figure out how to make the most out of that to create opportunity. is your opinion that the stop-gap here, the house of representatives, which
might view this very solidly or might not be able to do anything at all? >> i think it is correct that we're moving toward completion of the immigration bill this week. i hope the house will be able to pass a companion measure and will have a conference. and deal with an issue of this magnitude and the way that we should. so i look forward to seeing what the house can do and hopefully we'll be able to get to a product, a conference report, here later in the year that the house and senate can express themselves on. >> [inaudible] >> yep. >> your reaction to the route ruling on the voting rights act. >> i haven't read it yet. obviously it's an important bill that passed back in the 1960's at a time when we had a very different america than we have today. my state is not covered by the voting rights act. maybe others who want to comment on it.
at this point i think i'm just going to have to read it first. but i would say i do think america is very different today rom what it was in the 1960's. >> [inaudible] -- reach an agreement on further amendments -- [inaudible] >> yeah, you're asking me a process question. i simply don't know the answer. i do think we're moving toward completion of the bill. it won't surprise to you know that in a minority we'd rather have more amendments rather than fewer and we're still hoping to get additional amendments. whether we do or don't it looks to me like the bill is headed toward completion later this week. hanks. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> right after republican leaders finished, harry reid
held his own briefing. he also discussed immigration policy and the supreme court's ruling on the voting rights act. this is 10 minutes. >> ok, everyone. sorry you had to wait for me. we're working our way through immigration. we are going to wrap up immigration either thursday or friday. the only question now is whether we can come up with a list of amendments. and i think both sides want to do that. but having said that, i don't know if we can do it. i want to do everything i can to maximize the number of votes we get on the bill. and i want to make sure that everyone feels it's a fair process. my concern, i was written a
letter that said we need more amendments from the same people who stopped us from having amendments the first couple weeks of this legislation. o, on the other issue, student loans. met with republican senators along with the chairman of the committee to see if there's some way we can bridge the gap. there's been progress made, excuse me, but the issue is this. the republicans want deficit reduction. we don't think there should be deficit reduction based on the backs of these young men and women who are trying to go to college. we feel there should be a cap. and the republicans won't give us a cap. but we -- it seems we should be able to get something done. but as some of you know, i got a letter addressed to me and senator mcconnell from all the student groups, not students, but the groups that support them
. the american federation of teachers and lots of other organizations. nonorganized labor. and they say that all the proposals they've seen, it will raise the rate above 6.8%. they don't want 6.8%. they want 3.4%. but they're con vinced -- ey're convinced distribute republican proposal from the house, republican proposal from in just e all call for a few short years the rates being far above 6.8%. it's all based on interest rates. as you know, they're going up, not down. [inaudible]
>> pardon me, everybody. what was the question? >> you said you want to maximize e vote -- [inaudible] -- the senate to provide bipartisan vote. but we've seen problems with them the past couple of years le to -- [inaudible] >> how about one of my favorites -- i'm sorry.t on main street, whatever we called it, to make sure that my little strip malls in nevada, those little businesses don't get ripped off by people on the internet. sales tax. on the internet.
>> [inaudible] >> and everybody supports that. except republicans in the house. i'm going to try to get as many votes as i can. i think that always helps but we've had some examples in the past. on the one i just mentioned, on the online sales tax, we got 69 votes on that one. >> the republican leadership is all going to vote against the immigration bill at the end of this week. what do you think that says about what john boehner's going to do in the house on immigration reform? >> you're asking me? don't -- the speaker's said within a period of a little over 24 hours, we're going to pass immigration but we're going to have to have democrat votes to do it. as soon as his crazies heard that, i guess they talked to him and the next day he came back and said, i will only pass it if i have a majority of the
majority. sos the point, is i'm not sure that he or anyone else in the republican leadership in the house really know what they're doing. >> senator corner just predicted to us that you would have new more amendments on the bill. is he right? >> here's where we are. the observation is that senator cornyn just said there would be no more votes on amendments. remember, i can't have more amendments unless i have all 100 senators degree. so if cornyn stays where he is, we're going to have more amendments. >> your reaction to the voting rights act. can you discuss a little bit. and do you think congress is capable of taking any action on this subject? >> chairman leahy said in the caucus just now and you can ask him, i don't like to speak for others, he said that next month
he's going to have -- he will hold hearings on this. there's general displeasure and that's an understatement in micah cuss about what the supreme court did -- in my caucus about what the supreme court did. especially in light what have happened this last election cyclele, with republicans doing everything they could to suppress voting. bill nelson reminded us in miami, florida, they waited as long as seven hours to vote, waited in line. all over the country they did everything they could to tamp down the people that came to vote. and so this is a dark day for the supreme court. but it's been pretty cloudy over there for quite some time now. >> do you think that what you do in the senate -- [inaudible] were the subject of this provision -- >> senator leahy is going to have wide-ranging hearings on this. and you have to ask him what he means by that. but he's going to make sure that
we do what the supreme court directed and we give them the areas where -- they didn't strike section five, only section fibe four. as i understand section four, that imnumerates where they have o toe the mark, so to speak. >> [inaudible] >> you're very quiet, soft-spoken. almost every time i give you a question. i'm glad to do that. go ahead. that shows you don't have to be ude to be noticed around here. >> without a unanimous consent agreement, there's no way to keep the student loan rates from going up. at this point. >> without legislation, that's right. yep. a [inaudible] -- been kind of debate and you're kind of left
to take care of it. >> the president -- no matter where he's been, he's always been available. so that's no problem. air force one, you know, is a very easy for him to call and we can call him if it's important enough. thank you, everybody. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> the house is coming back in in a few minutes. we talk to roorp about the immigration bill -- we talk to a reporter about immigration on this morning's "washington journal." host: thank yous for talking with us this morning. the headline in your story, immigration reform passes a key senate test in a 67-27 vote. why is this a key test? caller: because the amendment, the so-called border surge amendment, which will add $38 billion for border security
spending, was arranged so it was wove noon the entire bill. the entire -- woven into the entire bill. the entire amendment was 1,200 pages long. so if you're voting for this amendment, you're pretty much voting for the bill. and if you voted for the amendment last night, it's going to be pretty tough to vote against final passage later this week. so, the people who voted for voted oposal pretty much for the bill. so we have a pretty solid road map of how the yes votes are going to play out. host: and corker-hoeven, two of those names -- >> "washington journal" airs every morning live at 7:00 a.m. eastern. the house is coming back in now to debate several infrastructure bills. any requests for recorded votes will be postponed until 6:30. objection under clause 6 of rule 20. record votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> i move to suspe