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tv   White House and Congressional Relations  CSPAN  April 20, 2014 5:05pm-6:09pm EDT

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to. if it was that or an out right war in which they would likely lose. the scenario that comes before that that is more appealing is that they have some kind of dialogue that leads to a new relationship between the region and the country, especially the eastern region. these are the places they have been having trouble. perhaps they can figure out a way, this is similar to western europe, giving autonomy to scotland within the united togdom, figure out a way give enough power to the easte >> tomorrow, the heritage foundation hosts a series on russian politics and influence, including its intervention in the ukraine and its effect on
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other countries. it will include former cia advisor paul goebel. that begins live monday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. on the next "washington previews michael green president obama's trip to asia this week. then kaiser health news correspondent jay hancock with the top -- with heavy health care industry is responding to the affordable care act. and possible senate action on expired tax credits for energy producers, particularly those involved in renewable fuels. as always, we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. washington journal, live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> i love duke. i am a loyal duke alum. . did not do this to hurt duke
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i did this to try to figure out what happened in a dispassionate way. ofre is a tremendous amount passion about this story, even to this day. all one has to do is go on to amazon and see already that i have amassed 25 one star reviews. ae book is not even been out week, and it is a 600 page book. i am guessing not many of those one star review writers have read this book. was about goldman sachs, and people have passion about goldman sachs, but this is another realm altogether. >> author and duke alum william d cohen looks at the duke lacrosse scandal of 2006. tonight at 8:00 on "q&a." next, a discussion about improving relations between the white house and congress, with former white house chiefs of staff, cabinet secretaries, and former senate majority leader trent lott, art of the
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bipartisan commission on political reform. it is 50 minutes. panel with us today up here on stage. in have detailed biographies your programs, so i am not going to spend a lot of time going over those biographies. i am going to give a one line introduction for each of them. to my immediate left is secretary dan glickman, who cochairs the commission on political reform, the reason we are here. he served as secretary of department of agriculture in the content administration and 18 years in congress. glad to have you. josh bolten served as white house chief of staff in president george w. bush's administration, and served as the director of the office of management and budget in his administration. also was chief of staff in the george w. bush administration, including during 9/11.
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leader trentty lott is the cochair of the commission on political reform. was a senator for many terms from the state of mississippi. and governor john sununu was the governor of new hampshire and later served as white house chief of staff for george h.w. bush. you may notice that matt mccarty, chief of staff for president clinton, was supposed to be here, but is ill and could not join us. that is why he is not with us. the full bios are in your program. for those online, you can google them. we want to invite everyone to join this conversation. if you are physically here, we have a card where you can write a question. there will be people going around the audience. we will hopefully get to one or two of those. we will certainly get to one during the discussion. you can also send an e-mail or tweet. the twitter handle is @
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bpc_bipartisan. policy bipartisan center. we will follow those conversations. we will also be following our audience in real time. let us start with a poll question. if you can put the question on the screen so our audience members can see this, the question is, should congress be thewed to block presidential appointees with whom they disagree politically? we are going to talk about this for a little bit. while we are talking about it, if you want to vote, you can do so. we will come back and see what the audience results are. you can also vote online at bipartisanpolicy.org. , you went through this process to become secretary of agriculture. >> i think congress should be
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block the -- to appointees. that is given to them under the constitution. when i was nominated as secretary of agriculture, i went to see mr. trent lott, the young senator, still handsome and full of hair, who gave me good advice. my personal example -- i am from kansas, but i voted for a timber reform act which limited the cut of timber in alaska. i noticed that my nomination was not going very far. it turned out senator dole the majorityo was leader from my state. he said, senators murkowski and stevens do not like your forrester policy. i am thinking, i do not even have a tree in kansas. for history policy? -- forestry policy? i went to see them. one of them said to me, how would you like it if my policy
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was to eliminate all the planting of wheat in the state of kansas? would you feel like supporting me for secretary of agriculture? i said, i get the point. i went to see bob dole and said, what do i do? he said, just tell them you will be fair, and i will take care of it. he took care of it will stop the point was, they try to block me because they had a reason. but the primary thing that got it through was trust. and you had a senate majority leader who supported me. he was able to persuade them what to do. resident clinton also had close relations on the hill. he should be allowed to block if they want to. in most cases, good judgment will prevail unless you burn bridges beforehand. >> there is a lot of talk about the process. it takes time to get confirmed. there is a lot of information you have to give up on background checks will stop it disturbs people. joshua, in the bush
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administration, you went through it to become omb director. chief of staff, you did not get confirmed for that. that is kind of nice. very good point. how did the process worked in the bush administration? you give towould the current president and congress on how to make it work at her? >> i agree with dan. and a lot of the poll respondents. the congress has the right to block a nominee of the president. and that should not be infringed. but it should be used only in, i think, special circumstances. for trees, i think, would have been a good one. you are still trying to make amends. that seems to me the kind of good reason. things, it is a
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situation in which good judgment has to prevail, and it cannot be date dated by a rule. bosse -- be a senator a senator's objection should be for a substantive and important reason. my own view, having served most of my government career in the executive ranch, is that the president ought to be generally entitled to all of the nominees he wants to have. it requires something special, but there is no way to legislate what that special is which should cause a senator to come out in opposition. i think we have to rely on good judgment of senators. the public should put pressure on their senators to exercise that good judgment. my experience, going through the nomination process to be the budget director, i went around.
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i visited all the important senators, including trent lott. if you are the budget director, theirsually tell you what budget priorities are and how important it is that they be protected. the budget director nominee has to say, absolutely. that is a very important priority. as bob dole advised, i will look at that with open eyes and treat it with full fairness. that is about all the budget nominee ought to have to say. when i went to see senator robert byrd, who at the time was the chair of the appropriations committee, i had been forewarned , and he did not ask me about any particular budget priority. he was so powerful in that process that it did not matter what the budget director thought about what he wanted to have done in the appropriations process.
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he was very concerned -- his key priority was congressional prerogative, especially senate prerogatives. having been forewarned, i brought with me a copy of the constitution. i had a little breast pocket copy i still carry with me. me on theed to quiz constitution and the separation of powers, and made me quote back to him the provision of the constitution that says it is to lays's responsibility taxes and spend money. i think that is actually a good use of the confirmation process, where the senators get to make sure they -- that they have somebody who understands the constitution, who understands the roles of the executive and legislative branches, before they let the person through. >> what was your experience? confirmationthe process to become the secretary
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of transportation under the first president bush. mike josh, i enjoyed a good, educating session with senator byrd, and was reminded about the prerogatives of the senate and the appropriate responsibility the senate has to ratify confirmation and offer wise counsel, which i took. i would say the process for me worked so well that most members did not want to vote for me. the majority leader the senate at the time, george mitchell, did a wonderful job. i was confirmed by a voice vote. had been ait rollcall vote, it would not have been unanimous. the voice vote made it very comfortable for me. i think the president deserves the benefit of the doubt for all denominations submitted. i think the congress should be predisposed to give the president the team they need to
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do the job. i do not think we should restrict speech in the senate. if the senate wants to confirm or oppose a nominee, they should be able to do it for any reason they want, and they should articulate those reasons, knowing they are exercising their constitutional right of free speech, and their constitutional right to have a say in the confirmation process. i do not support restricting that speech or denying the senate to exercise whatever reason they have for opposing the confirmation. i do think they should work to give the president the benefit of the doubt. >> turning to the other side, you got to vote on people through this process. what is your take on this? >> i want to take a moment and say, thank you for being here. i am part of the partisan policy center.
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there is going to be a great institution next door. you might want to understand why, being a conservative republican from mississippi, but one that worked with senator appreciate learn to his legislative skills and what a great guy he was outside the senate chamber. the study, the history, the --servation of the senate this is going to be a great asset for umass, boston, the senate, and america. as senator and majority leader of the senate, i have some particularly strong feelings in this area. the house has certain clear responsibilities under the constitution. so does the senate. the confirmation of nominees is a very important one. i thought treaties were also a
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very important part of our role in the senate. i agree with most of what has been said. had anythingf he in his background that was bad i needed to know about. he said, no. i said, fine. i will vote for you. i do think the president is entitled to the benefit of the doubt, particularly with his cabinet secretaries. i think the confirmation process has gotten too complicated. too much paperwork. it takes too long. and jobshe professions -- i have always voted for cabinet secretaries. i have tried to vote for maybe the president's nominees, even for lower positions. sometimes i did oppose them, but it had to be a very good reason, like i had a particular problem with them. the senior senator from mississippi, senator cochran, always said, if it is a matter of conscience, we have to exercise our right to vote no.
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there is a greater responsibility perhaps when it comes to judicial nominations. i do think there is a process in the senate where you can return a so-called loose lip, say yes or no to somebody -- blue slip and saying yes or no to somebody nominated in your state. judicialn the case of philosophy, it does play a higher role. forng said that, i voted ruth bader ginsburg. i knew i would disagree with her philosophically and on most of her rulings. but she was qualified by andrience and demeanor, therefore i felt i should go ahead and vote for her. i got a bit of criticism from my state about that. member of the supreme court
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i will not mention, i did vote against him because i felt he had a conflict of interest. that is how these things sort of play out. it is important that presidents of either party get their administration in position to do the job they were elected to do. the senate has a clear and important role. it should not be one of just obstruction. >> in the bush administration, you were dealing with a congress in the opposite party. what was your take on the appointment process? >> i agree that the congress and senate in particular should be able to vote up or down. i thank you very much for not introducing me as being on the far left. >> looking out for my fellow republican. is an issue i had to deal with as governor as well. the same process functions in the state. the point i would like to make here is, i really do believe
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that we have allowed the media to let us begin to think that the process of checks and balances is wrong. one of the hardest things for me to learn as governor, and i am an engineer, and i have a genetic commitment to efficiency -- one of the hardest things for me to learn as governor was that the apparent inefficiency in the constitutional process is one of its greatest strengths. and we should not, out of our frustration at times, let people convince us that checks and balances ought to be eroded. it forces a governor or a president who is making appointments or trying to pass policy to sit down and negotiate the work, to lead legislative process, and to make the process so that what comes out of it is more reflective of what the state or the country wants than just one slice of the
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state or the country. i know there is a lot of throwing around of the word i remind youut that is a negative euphemism for checks and balances. checks and balances in the appointment process are extremely, extremely important. opinion, one of the most important sets of structures we have that allow the system to be as good as it is. to see what the audience survey results were for our online poll. should congress be able to block presidential appointees? up on the screen, kind of divided, just like the country. 57% said no and 43% said yes. or had been suggestions of some judicial reforms to try to
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improve the confirmation process, things like time limits before you get an up-and-down vote, or filibuster reform. are there any reforms that stand out that would be good, that would make it work, and that actually could be implemented? >> i would be glad to jump in. i think we have acquired too many of the president's nominees to go through the process. i think there are many more candidates being nominated that you never heard of. they run bureaucracies you barely know the initial cell. initials. the i think many of those do not need to go through a cumbersome confirmation process, and end up being chips to be used politically rather than a reflection of whether that individual was competent to serve in that position. as a result, i think we should nominees with a
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requirement of going to confirmation. but that is hard to give up, because the senate like the prerogative. if i had a magic wand, i would suggest maybe there should be a thousand fewer candidates that have to go through the nomination process to serve bureaucracies that are important for certain aspects of our government, but really do not define the president's performance in office. i think everyone who is nominated by the president, the people should hold the president accountable for their performance if they do not live up to expectations once you get into the job. many, roughly, are there in the executive branch that needs to be confirmed? >> multiple thousands. >> i think it is 3700. >> i agree with what he said. ago,enate, maybe two years under the leadership of i think lamar alexander of tennessee and senator sugar, came up with a list of around 200 that were
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taken off the confirmation list. i think that was a good idea. some of those bureaus may sound like they are not that important, but they can make a lot of difference in the creation of jobs. i think the senate should weigh very carefully the ones on that list. the other thing that absolutely should be done -- the amount of out foru have to fill the judiciary committee, if you out anominee -- you fill separate set of papers for the justice department. you probably have to fill out another set of papers for the white house. the conflicts and the process is to protracted. i think we should streamline and one set of papers should be enough. i have been an advocate of a process that would actually require that some actions be taken by the senate.
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say yes or say no, but say something. do not let them sit there in perpetuity. >> my friend served as the chairman of the corporation for national services, americorps and related agencies. this job does not pay anything, i do not think. he has to go through this confirmation process. mass of paperwork. it is an important job. who were his neighbors? it is a fraternity house. he is, i think, living with some trepidation when the door knocks. it kind of shows you how the process has gotten ridiculous. >> they had pictures. >> we want to invite everybody to engage on social media.
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#engageusa will help us. earlier today, we reached out to ask folks in the internet world questions we ought to ask. james from philadelphia asked the following question. to the former chiefs of staff -- we will let the former legislators talk about this as well -- can you describe your president's relationship with the congressional leadership of both parties? were all sides talking past one another, or was there a more constructive dialogue in private? backstage, one of the observations right now is that the relationship between the white house and congress is not strong. that may be putting it mildly. and that if we had a better relationship, the legislative process might work better. >> i was chief of staff for the first president bush. i may be mistaken, but i think the numbers we have were 175
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republicans and 260 democrats in the house, and 43 republicans and 57 democrats in the senate. a very huge margin of opposition party. a difference was is there was a president that wanted to get things done. you, against that set of odds, this is a president who passed it right your budget, the clean air bill, childcare help the ada, with the negotiating of senator kennedy. about theing ricky interesting questions i had as a senator. the energy deregulation bill. a small welfare package. a president that is willing to be engaged can make all the difference in the world.
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the statistics i find interesting is, in the whole cycle of doing the budget, the chairman of the ways and means committee was a congressman from illinois. thepresident had congressman into the white house 26 times to work out details. if you look back at the logs of the democratic leadership coming into the white house, you will be astounding at how many times senator mitchell and speaker foley and their respective supporting members of congress and the senate came in -- it takes work. legislation,good bipartisanship, comes only when a president leads. it cannot happen from the bottom up. leadership from the president creates cover for his own party to make concessions.
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leadership by the president puts political pressure in a constructive way on the opposing party to come together. we could not have gotten a five-year budget without george bush being willing to spend the political capital, giving up on his no new taxes pledge to get a budget that was important for .he country and to get a set of budgeting rules that in fact produced five years of surplus over the subsequent time. it happens when a president happen,nd it can never there is no way to make it happen, if the president does not lead. years in thex motion picture association. ,y predecessor was jack valenti who was president johnson's dumbest a policy person. thingi told me the first johnson told him when he went to work after the assassination
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calls, one get five from congress, call them first. theny of you have seen that with bryan cranston is on broadway, you see how effective the president can be. hewas micromanaging, but knew the only way to get a process through was to work it very hard. when president clinton asked me to be secretary of agriculture, clinton said to me, your most important job is to work the congress. you know what it is like. you know what they are thinking about. eyes and ears. he was serious about that, and so were his chiefs of staff. >> bill clinton was superb at working congress. he had, as a governor. don't with the legislator.
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reflects bill clinton's commitment to doing something really contrary to the liberal wing of his party. >> he also had the lows, the lowest period of any president , thoseng time relationships on capitol hill, as trent can probably talk about . it made a huge difference to his survival. on the receiving end of communications from bill clinton, i confirm that we stayed in regular contact. he would call at all hours of the day or night. on more than one occasion, after midnight. i always wondered what he was doing up at that time of night. >> he was watching basketball. >> i know he was calling about a situation in central america. not that he was calling after midnight, but he was
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communicating. he was asking for input. i had to preside as majority leader over his impeachment trial. as a former whip who always counted the vote, i knew the votes were never going to be there to remove him from office, but i had a constitutional responsibility to carry out. itthe end of the day, we did in a proper atmosphere. we could come out the other end and get back to work with the country, legislating. i voted for all three articles of impeachment on a friday. he called me about a piece of legislation. never mentioned what had gone on. we move forward. i think it is critical that presidents of oath parties reach out to the congress. would advocate very aggressively they have regular meetings. ronald reagan, when he was had leadership meetings every thursday morning
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at 9:00. most of the time, it was republicans. about once a month, it was bipartisan republican and democrat leadership. we met with the president weekly at 7:00 a.m. i hate a 7:00 breakfast, the point is, he was informing us what was going on. and check the record, the highest approval rating of the congress in history was that three months after 9/11. it went up to like 84%. it has been going down in the tank ever since. critical, i would urge them to have more communication and more meetings than they have now. they have almost none.
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they cannot help each other. it takes give and take. having been in those positions where you have to make decisions, hard-nosed partisanship or you say, my way or the highway, we are not doing anything unless you do it my way -- it will not work in a legislative body. it is part of the democratic process, and we need to honor that. you need to stand by your principles, but you need to be a pragmatist committed to doing the right thing, whether it is on a budget, taxes, energy, or the environment. be able to reserve your position, but also understand what the president needs and what your colleague has to have. when clinton was president, we had control of the congress. we passed a balanced budget. we improve the quality of our military and their pay. a pretty good day's work for a
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divided group. affairs, and the people who work in the legislative affairs office, have expertise in the house and the senate. those personalities play a big role in the personalities the president ends up taking on, and the understanding comes from congress. there is only one former chief of staff who worked in legislative affairs, and that was josh bolten, who had been a staffer on the senate side. i would like to point out the fred mcclures of the world helped to introduce the president to the responsibilities of working in one ofship with article the constitution. what i thinkdy for he intended as a complement. staff whoa chief of provided over some of the worst white house congressional
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relationships in history until the obama administration. served for the first five years of the bush 43 administration. i served for the backend as chief of staff. i had a somewhat different experience. president bush 43 was a leader. he understood the importance of bipartisan cooperation. it was superb after 9/11. staff,dy was chief of there was bipartisan, important legislation on homeland security, on tax reform, on education reform, which he did in partnership with ted kennedy -- very close partnership with ted kennedy on the no child left behind act. and bipartisan medical reform, all in that first term.
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relationships had deteriorated, but there was still warm -- still room to work on immigration reform. bush's close partner on immigration reform was ted kennedy. it was a fantastic partnership. both men knew how to put aside bitter disagreements on other issues to make accommodations on areas where there could be disagreement. but there needs to be give and take at both ends. the situation i think president obama faces today is one in which the leadership of the other party in the congress sees of simply pulling the president down. overcome thatd to short term instinct. going to happen is that willycle of retaliation
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just continue on. they need to put that aside. where they can agree and accommodate, they need to do that. >> the vitriol i see among some republicans to president obama is extraordinary. it makes it difficult for him to want to reach out to the republicans in congress. in the same way, there was similar vitriol by the democrats in congress to president bush. you cannot have it both ways. this hatred, the high intensity polarization, is in large part caused by bad behavior. we have to try to deal with that issue. i do think president obama could reach out more. it is difficult when you see the atmosphere. involved in issues involving global agriculture.
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bolten revolutionize the world. there were programs which save millions of people from dying. of the busht legacy administration. it got bipartisan support. it was a republican president who actually put this and for rimatur on ais imp new way to look at the developing world, especially in africa. >> chris gates, a with the philanthropy for active civic engagement, says, is this , or is it executive branch versus legislative branch? ands this partisan
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ideological, or is it executive branch versus legislative branch? >> all of it. the american people are part of this process. we elect the congress, the senate, and the president. republicans, the senate democrats, and the white house. there is partisanship. the center is very, very narrow now. democrats have moved further to the left. republicans have moved further and further to the right. i never was one that, as i used camp in theon, took middle. i was never a moderate. you have to be prepared to move a little bit to get agreement that is good for the country. it was not easy getting no child
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left behind. but john boehner, no speaker of the house, worked with ted kennedy and president bush and got it done. partisanship in the congress and a divide between the house and the senate. they are like ships passing in the night. the senate acts. the house does not act. there is that component. i have never seen less communication than what i have seen between the president, the white house, and congress. i once suggested to president if het would be helpful would sit down on the south portico and have a drink and talk things over. mormonzed harry reid was and the president did not drink. so that did not work too good. but the blame is all around. there is a solution.
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the solution is for men and women to decide, we are not going to put up with this. toare going to find a way get the ship of state to move forward. chips ing to use the have built up as president to the sure we secure policies, whatever it is. that is what we do not have right now. people who are willing to put their positions on the line and to lead aggressively in a way that gets a result. you have to be able to work with the other side in the ,dministration or the congress or the house or the senate. point wetouched on one ought to talk about a little bit more.
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that is the responsibility of the public. i mentioned that george herbert walker bush worked aggressively a budget passed, and spent his political capital, went on the tax issue and got a budget that was extremely important for america. and what happened? we the people voted him out. often, at an event like this, somebody will stand in the back of the room and raise their hand and ask the question, when are the politicians going to have the guts to make the right hard decisions? question,t that that which is intended to be an indictment of the political figures, is an indictment of us. because why should the right decision in a democracy -- why should the right decisions be hard? right, there should
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be overwhelming support in the public, so the right decision should be easy if the public was doing its job. sometimes we forget, as voters, our own responsibilities. i think that is a part of the system, part of the problem in the system. we have to be a little more willing to reward hard political decisions made for the good of the country, and create a climate in which those hard decisions become easier and easier. >> a few minutes left. our experiences holding these offices, what was maybe your fondest memory? what is your fondest memory of
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your service? >> somebody once asked me -- i have had many jobs. clearly, being a congressman was the greatest job. my fondest memory was when i could do things for people at home, when they had problems. one of the things that gets lost -- this is not a game. -- a lot of people at home do not think we are really in the business of doing that. jobs, money,g our politics, and all sorts of things. our system was meant to not work very well. they wanted a system where it was almost institutionalized gridlock.
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they split the congress from the president. they feared the tyranny of congress. one foot is on the proverbial break and one foot is on the proverbial accelerator at all times. for our system to work, it requires good faith, working together compromise that trent and the other folks engaged in for a long time. get things done and say, i produced results for the people at home, that is the greatest thing you can do. >> it is hard to come up -- i spent all eight years of the bush 43 white house in the white house. i also served in the bush 41 administration. i have had fantastic experiences in all of those. it is hard to pick out a
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favorite experience. it was an enormous privilege to have a chance to serve. very common these days to disparage public service and have people say how awful it is dealing with congress, and so on. we lose sight that public service is a great privilege. as chiefomething that, of staff, andy card reminded the staff almost every day. fact, he created rumors that andy was on his way out when, in the first month, he said, we cannot all expect to be here beyond today. tomorrow you may be gone, so make use of today. battling rumors that andy card was leaving the white house. but he was making a very important point to the white house staff.
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remember what a privilege it is to be where you are. take advantage of it. remember you are a custodian of the position. the one moment that sticks in my memory for this was january 20, 2009. basically, the white house aunties out. it is inauguration day. in the fabulous day recurring cycle of the history of our country. especially if there is a change of parties. 11:59, one bunch is in charge of the apparatus of government, and a minute later, it is somebody completely different. and you feel it when you are in the white house. coming or going, you feel it very, very keenly, just by the physical presence.
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the white house had a couple of days before been bustling and was now almost completely empty. the painters were in. the carpenters were in, redoing it the way the obama folks wanted it. they were going to be showing up in a matter of hours. i wandered down to the oval office to visit with the president for the first time. i said to him, as i said most appreciation of the privilege of serving, to remind myself. he said, it has been the greatest privilege and human being can have. the last exchange i had with president bush in the oval office -- it is something i think all of us ought to keep in mind as we approach public service. >> the constitution is a wonderful document, but it really is an invitation. obligations. it is an invitation to be part of government.
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the most powerful word in the constitution is the first word, we, and it is all inclusive. to accept the invitation or be given the invitation, which i , is that article to is a phenomenal gift and a great privilege. the most rewarding activity as chief of staff was to understand how difficult the job is. presidents do not have the luxury of making easy decisions. if they have made an easy decision, the chief of staff did job.o his or her they may brutally tough decisions. they have to make them with notidence, because you do want a pessimist making the decision. you do want them -- you do not want them to say, i am making a bad decision right now.
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they are brutally tough. they are very, very controversial. it there is an expectation will live up to expectation. i have watched presidents make decisions.ugh there are no tougher decisions than to send young men and women into harms way. there are sacrifices the president would never invite on anyone. it is a brutally tough decision. it was a privilege to witness how those decisions get made. i did not agree with every decision the presidents i served made. i can honestly say i respected how they made the decisions, and i hope comfortable in implementing the decisions they made. >> i had wonderful experiences working for congress. i work for a democrat member of congress for my hometown. he was chairman of the rules
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committee. 16 years in the rules committee. 19 years in the senate will stop -- in the senate. 1990's, when we were on budget ands tax policy -- i remember it was a friday afternoon. he was trying to squeeze me for a little bit more money. i said, we cannot do it. the budget chairman in the -- the chairman said, not another nickel for anything. this is it. -- irks bowls called bowlesls -- erskine called. balance the budget while cutting taxes.
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that is the moment i will always remember the finest. >> there are some gratifications that our intellectual and some that are emotional. one of the things i will always cherish, that understand -- that underscores the privilege of having been chief of staff, was to go to europe with george herbert walker bush in 1989. the soviet was beginning to public -- to crumble. to see the president catalyzing transitionessive into this new sense of freedom, and to see how artfully and deftly he handled this transition so there was no
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backlash on gorbachev, who himself was catalyzing the process -- just to be part of those emotional transitions was really what i consider one of the great privileges of having worked for that person. and -- is not going to end our program this afternoon. we are going to take a brief rate, about 10 minutes. the second panel is going to be moderated by susan page, the washington bureau chief for "usa today." we want to encourage everyone to keep sending comments. we are going to have a 10 minute break. fork this excellent panel their comments and their service. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]
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>> for over 35 years, c-span brings public affairs invents from washington directly to you. and offering complete gavel to gavel coverage of the u.s. house , all as a public service of private industry. we are c-span, created by the cable tv industry 35 years ago, brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. >> cryptology is an ancient art. it goes back to the beginning of human history. we do not quite go back that far. but we do have some interesting artifacts that help people understand how long people have been making and breaking codes and had a need for cryptology.
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talk about the united states, it is important to note that the making and breaking of codes has been part of america even before we gained our independence. one of our most precious artifacts is referred to as the jefferson cipher device. -- it isadvertising very important to note that we do not have any definitive, conclusive evidence that this particular device belongs to thomas jefferson. but there are some interesting facts about it. ans device was found in antique store very close to monticello. it appears to have the ability to cipher french and english. we know jefferson was ambassador to france. probably the most compelling point is, there is a drawing very similar to this in jefferson's private papers. even so, we cannot say for sure the jefferson owned it. what we can say is that this is
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an excellent example of how people use cryptology in the 19th century. >> from the national cryptologic museum, making and breaking secret codes, later today at 6:00 and 10:00 eastern, part of american history tv, this weekend on c-span 3. >> "newsmakers" is pleased to welcome the ceo the of the financial services roundtable. thank you for being here. >> let me introduce you to our two reporters who will be asking questions is weak. danielle douglas and ryan tracey. thank you. the financial services roundtable may not be in everyday term to folks at home. would you explain who the members are? >> about a hundred of the
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nation's financial services companies including asset management, payment, finance companies and the like. we focus on research of policy issues as well as advocacy and community service. >> do you directly lobby? >> we are a lobbying organization. we have about 45 people. we have a lobbying department. that's part of what we do. >> let's start with ryan tracey. >> a wanted to ask you about cyber security which is something you have all been involved in. it has been in the news a lot over the last several weeks. the heartbleed bug was disclosed and things were seen with the passwords have been exposed. one of the things you have been advocating for his legislation on this front and congress is not moving quickly these days. i wanted to ask you about something secretary lew said
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before heartbleed. this was in early december. he talked about the need for the administration to do a better job of information sharing. he even spoke about granting more security clearances to people in the industry who need to know about that kind of thing. how is the government doing on that score? >> somewhat better. we appreciate the attention to the matter. as well as the president previously. but there are additional steps that congress needs to act. the heartbleed bug reminds us that we are interconnected in so many of our economy in activities are dependent upon the internet and it is exposed. and often unknown ways. this was essentially unknown until it was discovered recently. it is being patched as we speak. a grim reminder what could've happened if it was exposed by more nefarious forces.
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on the public policy site, we need a number of things. we need companies have security clearances so as problems arise or they are able to access information and act upon it. if your ceo happens to travel, it is good to have them have a security clearance and be able to weigh into the information sharing. best to weigh in. -- to weigh in. we need better information sharing. you think about the organizations with information about cyber threats, including the nsa the department of , homeland security. the cia. the treasury and more. being able to work with and without fear of legal liability is important. that kind of protection and the things you mentioned is important. frankly, the current laws of not regard need to be upgraded. congress needs to act.
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they are not. >> keeping on the same subject about information sharing, within the or there have been -- within the private sector, there have been concerns raised as well as retailers about information sharing, primarily about proprietary information sharing. after neiman marcus happen, the roundtable was good about working with him there industry groups and trying to find a way to bridge some of the concerns and address that. how are you doing? how are the things in the retailers responding to the need to share some of the information? >> we are fortunate in the financial service sector is more advanced than other sectors. there has been no successful large-scale cyber attack in the financial service tour. some folks have done this. we have a long-standing tradition of information standing with government and peers. there's still more to be done.
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now we need cooperation with other sect or spirit some sectors -- sectors. we are all interconnected. some sectors are not as information sharing. we recently joined to explore these issues and work together to get better information sharing. target was breech. others were breached. they had better data systems. we would not have this problem but if you have better credit cards that we could have mitigated or contained the problem. it does not make sense for people to keep pointing fingers. >> after your industry learns about something like the heartbleed bug, what happens? it was disclosed early in the week that banking regulators sent a notice to bangs sing yet
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banks saying, hey, you have to pay attention to this. that was a few days later. how quickly did you find out about it? can you take us behind the scenes? >> something for dissemination of information in our industry -- it sounds like alphabet soup to the viewers and their eyes glaze over your at it as an industry to government information sharing portal organization. and a lot of it up until now has been small. people taking phone calls, sending out e-mails. but the speed of response required is instant. otherwise you have contagion or expansion. we need to automate the threat information and the responses. they are working on that. they got word of the heart bleed , and thent was spread
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people responded as quickly as they could. there was an exposed bees of internet infrastructure. hackers are on it. they are able to document it. the hackers went off after this as soon as it became public. companies who did not catch it were potentially exposed. >> did the system work well? >> so far. we do not want to be patting ourselves on the back. this is still a work in progress. the patch, the defense, and the fix, but so far, the financial service sector, there does not seem to be a problem because of this issue. >> can we talk about the capital rules? capital ratio -- earlier this week or on tuesday the fed chair said there may be more roles in place to require banks to set aside money to absorb losses. what kind of impact do you think
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this will have on some of your members? >> great question. for c-span viewers, they hear things like capital requirements, leverage ratio, liquidity requirements -- and all of that, combined together represents -- how much cushion should a bank or financial institution have so in the event of a downturn they have reserves in place and they do not become insolvent so they do not have the economic disaster they had in 2008? it is an important question. they should have adequate reserves. it is also finding the right balance. if you have a bank you can get , really great stability by requiring everything in cash and never to any lending. but then that is not a bank. that is a pile of cash. as you begin to accept the notion that some risk needs to be taken so that we have lending and loans for things like buying a home and starting small businesses and all the things people need to do. some of that pile of cash will get distributed out into the economy. how much of that do they need

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