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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Interviews With Congressman Tom DeLay, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi; Patriot Act Debate; Army Reserve in Crisis?
Aired January 21, 2004 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, President Bush is in Arizona, a key state in his reelection campaign, a front-line state in the battle to stop illegal immigration. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are our guests.
In "Broken Borders," two leading senators today propose a bipartisan plan to reform this country's immigration laws and stop illegal aliens.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MINORITY LEADER: This is a comprehensive, bipartisan approach that begins to acknowledge the complicated, extraordinary, challenges we face.
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DOBBS: In "Face-Off" tonight, President Bush wants Congress to renew the controversial Patriot Act. I'll be joined by a top official of the U.S. Justice Department and the president of the American Civil Liberties Union.
The head of the Army Reserve says his force is facing a crisis because of the strain of fighting the war in Iraq and the war on terror around the world. Our senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre, reports.
"Exporting America." American corporate executives today spent hundreds of dollars each to learn how to shift American jobs out of this country. Peter Viles reports.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT for Wednesday, January 21. Here now, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening.
Tonight, President Bush is in Arizona taking his State of the Union message directly to the voters. One of the key issues for Arizona and other border states is the president's plan to reform this country's immigration laws.
Kathleen Koch reports from the White House -- Kathleen.
KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, it's a White House tradition. The day after the State of the Union, the president hits the road to see if what he pitched to Congress has appeal beyond the Beltway.
Well, the president's State of the Union address last night very much a laundry list of the administration's accomplishments, a few new initiatives, tax incentives to help cover health care costs, programs to help former prison inmates. In both Ohio and Arizona, the president is talking with students about the new job training grants that he proposed last night for community colleges.
Mr. Bush insists, such programs can help states like Ohio, where drops in the manufacturing sector have sent unemployment up nearly two points since the president took office.
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GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These are some of the ways to make sure the manufacturing activity of this state remains strong. But the truth of the matter is, there is job growth in other sectors. And, therefore, we better have a system which is able to be flexible enough to help people who want to work find a job, to match willing worker with willing employer. And that's what we're here to talk about.
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KOCH: However, in Ohio, the president was greeted by some 50 very angry protesters chanting, carrying signs. They say that Ohio has not felt any economic improvement, no benefits of what the president says is at least an improving economy.
They charged the president with pushing tax cuts and programs the favor the rich, while ignoring or underfunding programs of the poor. Democrats on the campaign trail were equally unimpressed, saying that Mr. Bush's State of the Union speech had basically nothing new to offer -- back to you, Lou.
DOBBS: Kathleen, thank you very much -- Kathleen Koch reporting from the White House.
Most Americans who watched the president's State of the Union address reacted well to it. A CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll found 45 percent of those surveyed say they had a positive reaction, 31 percent a somewhat positive reaction; 23 percent had a negative response; 70 percent of those surveyed said the president's policies will move the country in the right direction. That's up from 60 percent in a poll taken before the speech.
In his State of the Union address, the president called upon Congress to support his plan for a temporary worker program to enable illegal aliens to stay in this country. Today, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and Republican Senator Chuck Hagel proposed their own immigration reform plan. The senators want illegal aliens to earn the right to stay in this country through work.
Kitty Pilgrim reports.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and Senator Chuck Hagel say national security is at risk with no clear records on 10 million illegal aliens in the country.
DASCHLE: Our bill increases national security by bringing immigrants out of the shadows, strengthening our ability to track individuals entering our borders, and providing designated funding for border security.
PILGRIM: This bill wants to identify who is here, track foreign workers who are already here and increase funds for border security. The proposal comes a few weeks after President Bush proposed a guest worker program. Last night, the president included immigration in his State of the Union speech.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tonight, I also ask you to reform our immigration laws, so they reflect our values and benefit our economy.
PILGRIM: Senator Chuck Hagel gave the president credit for raising the complicated immigration issue and said his bill includes specifics.
SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R), NEBRASKA: We can tighten and bring some common sense to a patchwork of immigration law today that makes no sense.
PILGRIM: The two senators want to stop what they call a black market labor force in this country and punish employers who break immigration laws.
The new legislation also gives illegal immigrants who are already here and who play by the rules a chance to stay and become -- quote -- "a stakeholder." Immigrants must have background and security checks, lived in the United States for five years, worked in the United States four years, with one of those years after the bill is passed. They must have paid federal taxes, have knowledge of English, and pay a $1,000 fine and application fees.
PILGRIM: Senator Hagel said no immigration proposal so far is perfect and predicted this version maybe even wouldn't pass. But he said it does go into specifics, beyond what the president has proposed -- Lou.
DOBBS: Well, Senator Hagel and Senator Daschle are taking an important step forward in this national dialogue. And that plan, with an emphasis on border security, is certainly a step in the right direction.
Kitty, thank you very much -- Kitty Pilgrim.
Democrats campaigning to replace President Bush did not focus on immigration today. Instead, they criticized other parts of the State of the Union address, particularly his comments on the economy. The latest tracking polls in New Hampshire show John Kerry and Howard Dean are now in a statistical dead heat.
Bob Franken reports from Manchester, New Hampshire -- Bob.
BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, we seem to be seeing evidence of the so-called Iowa bounce. That, of course, is something that would benefit John Kerry.
John Kerry surprised everybody in Iowa. It means he's attracting more money. As you pointed out, the tracking polls have showed him moving up now into a tie for first place. Meanwhile, the person who was the favorite is doing everything he can to avoid being caught in a downward spiral.
FRANKEN (voice-over): Howard Dean is trying to regain equilibrium after his bad fall, trying to obliterate the failure in Iowa with success here in New Hampshire.
HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are going to win in New Hampshire. And it's because of you. And I really think so.
FRANKEN: The sometimes correct experts believe Dean better win in New Hampshire. It would certainly cause serious harm if he squanders another lead in the polls, particularly since he's from neighboring Vermont, where he retreated after just one campaign event. As for John Edwards, his goal is to grind out another surprise, like the one he pulled off in Iowa. He's sticking to his power of positive campaigning message.
SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And we've seen, over the course of the last year, particularly over the course of the last few weeks, this message resonate and catch fire in Iowa, here in New Hampshire.
FRANKEN: What's different here from Iowa is the cast of characters. While Gephardt is out, Lieberman is in. And so is Wesley Clark. It's here where the general is making his first stand, here where he shows whether his decent start results in a decent finish next week.
WESLEY CLARK (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've done the leadership at the highest levels of government. I worked with heads of states, and members of governments. I did national security affairs, negotiated agreements. I'm from the south. My mother was a secretary, and I'm going to run well across this country.
FRANKEN: And Joe Lieberman? So far he's way down in the pack even though he's literally made New Hampshire his home away from home. He's making the argument that he is the candidate best suited to take on the incumbent president.
SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D-CT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm running on my record. That's why I say I'm the Democrat that the Republicans don't want to run against for president.
FRANKEN: Well, the Democrats are deciding which one they want to run. And it's really volatile here, Lou. Fully one-third of New Hampshire's likely voters say that they very well could change their mind. So, don't be surprised if you're surprised -- Lou.
DOBBS: Oh, we would never be surprised in a primary season.
Bob, Senator John Edwards, who did so well in the Iowa caucuses, how does he look right now in New Hampshire?
FRANKEN: The polls don't show him looking that he's very strong. But, of course, he would say that was the case in Iowa. But, really, all he has to do here, as Woody Allen said, is show up.
As long as he does fairly well here, that would be enough for him to go to what is going to be his home stomping grounds in the Carolinas and the primaries that come up after that.
DOBBS: Bob, thank you very much -- Bob Franken reporting from New Manchester, Hampshire.
Still ahead, "Face-Off." The president wants Congress to renew parts of the highly controversial Patriot Act. I'll be joined by a top Justice Department official and the head of the ACLU, who wants that law to be narrowed considerably.
In "Exporting America," corporate executives are so eager to ship many American jobs overseas that, incredibly, they are spending a lot of money to learn how to do it.
And the crisis facing the Army Reserve and National Guard. A top general says the Pentagon must take action now to stop a huge exodus of our troops.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: The head of the U.S. Army Reserve says his force is facing a potential crisis over its ability to retain troops.
Lieutenant General James Helmly says the Reserve must take action now to prevent a huge exodus after troops return from Iraq. The general wants to limit the call-up of reservists to once every four or five years.
Our senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre, reports.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the TV ads, reserve duty sounds like a part-time job.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD)
NARRATOR: It happens on weekends in towns and cities across the city. Men and women go off to train as soldiers, then come back home to their families.
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MCINTYRE: Reality couldn't be more different. For example, two reservists were burned to death earlier this month when their fuel truck was attacked in Iraq. For many reservists now in Iraq, the advertised one weekend a month and two weeks a year has stretched into a year or more of deadly combat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't join the military full-time because I didn't want to be a full-time soldier.
MCINTYRE: At the National Guard Armory in Washington, so-called weekend warriors say it's not what they signed up for.
SGT. HYOJIN CHO, ARMY NATIONAL GUARD: You have your family. And then you still have school. That's the whole point of being a part- time soldier.
MCINTYRE: This week, the head of the Army Reserves, Lieutenant General James Helmly, admitted some soldiers have a right to be angry. "We have not, in the Army Reserve," he said, "applied the positive leadership necessary to entice them to feel wanted, respected, admired."
MCINTYRE: General Helmly is proposing that reservists be told right up front that they will be on the hook for deployments of six, nine, or even 12 months, but that they would only be suggest to call once every four or five years, barring a real emergency.
Today on Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld insisted that the real answer is what he calls rebalancing the forces, putting more jobs, like military police and civil affairs, into the active-duty forces to relieve the stress on the reserves. And, again, today, Rumsfeld insisted that the U.S. military doesn't need to be any bigger. It just needs to be better organized -- Lou.
DOBBS: Well, I guess, at this point, what we could say definitively, is, good for General Helmly.
Jamie, thank you very much.
General Helmly's comments suggest the Pentagon is finally taking action to address concerns about the management of the Reserve and the National Guard. Those concerns became apparent early on in the war in Iraq, when reservists and National Guardsmen began complaining about the shortage of key equipment and the lengths of their deployments.
Lisa Sylvester reports.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lynn Brinker's husband is a reservist who just completed back-to-back deployments. One of the hardest parts was the uncertainty.
LYNN BRINKER, WIFE OF ARMY RESERVIST: For an entire year, we didn't know, was he going to be gone two years? Is he going to be back? We never knew what was going to happen.
SYLVESTER: Reserve and Guard units were used to being away from home at most six months. Now they're being deployed for up to a year and a half.
But that's only one factor driving these so-called weekend warriors to reconsider their time in the military. They receive a smaller housing allowance and differential pay than their active-duty counterparts. And they are often stuck with equipment hand-me-downs.
MICHAEL CLINE, ENLISTED ASSN. OF THE NATIONAL GUARD: Instead of being one total Army or the Army of one, we have the Army of one, and then we got its two little brothers over here called the Army Reserve and the National Guard.
SYLVESTER: It took the downing of a National Guard Chinook helicopter last November to draw attention to the problem. At the time, most of the helicopters used by the active Army had updated anti-missile equipment. But most of the Guard choppers did not. The Army National Guard gets only about 10 percent of the regular Army's budget.
The Guard is short nearly 11,000 Humvees, nearly 20,000 radios, 156,000 night-vision goggles, and 148 Black Hawk helicopters, all required to meet modernization requirements.
SUSAN LUKAS, RESERVE OFFICER ASSOCIATION: The problem is, is when they are out there and they are over in the desert and they are exposed to the same bullet as the active-duty person, the problem is, is that there are real differences between how those two are treated. And that is what is discouraging for the Reserve and Guard.
SYLVESTER: Many reservists and Guardsmen complain, even as they are serving their country, they are being treated as second-class citizens by the Pentagon.
SYLVESTER: Some states are not waiting for the Pentagon. Two lawmakers in Ohio are asking their state legislature for $500,000 to buy body armor for their Reserve troops. In Missouri, an Army Reserve unit asked a local steel company to make extra armor for their Humvees. But it's not clear if the Pentagon will let them get their own homemade protection -- Lou.
DOBBS: Lisa, thank you. As you point out, the story is compounded, equipment shortages for the Guard and the reserves, medical care including, as you point out, body armor. Lisa Sylvester, thank you very much.
Another sign today of the incredible strain on our reserves and National Guard. The U.S. military academy at West Point is replacing National Guardsmen on security duties with private -- yes, that's right -- private security guards. The private guards will not be as heavily armed as the soldiers they replace. They will be armed only with pistols and shotguns.
The Army says the decision will free National Guardsmen for other missions. National Guardsmen still guard the Air Force Academy in Colorado, however, along with active-duty Air Force personnel. And members of the U.S. Marine Corps are responsible for security at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Coming up next, the president's State of the Union address inspired cheers from Republican and jeers and silence from many Democrats. We'll have more on that split reaction. I'll be talking with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
And "Exporting America." Companies shipping American jobs to cheaper foreign labor markets, well, now they are helping other companies do the same and making a buck in the process. We'll have that story and a great deal more straight ahead.
DOBBS: Tonight, a story that we perhaps wouldn't believe if we hadn't been there ourselves. Here in New York City today, corporate executives were paying $500 apiece for advice on how to export American jobs to cheap overseas labor market.
Peter Viles was there and has the report for us.
PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At a Manhattan hotel, the sign said it all outside: Be American. Buy American.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep American jobs in America.
VILES: A protest against offshore outsourcing.
JIM FLOOD, BOVANO INDUSTRIES: I'm mad as hell. I'm angry at what is going on here. And it's time to stand up and be counted.
MARCUS MUNCY, AMERICAN ENGINEERING ASSOCIATION: We're killing ourselves in this country. And cheaper products and services are not going to be enough to make up for the fact that we don't have jobs.
FRED TEDESCO, MAD IN THE USA: We're swapping jobs and reducing the income of Americans. That's not good for us and they are taking advantage of that. And I don't think that's right. And I don't think that's American. VILES: And inside the hotel, the signs celebrated offshore outsourcing. The consulting firm Covance is bragging, "We pioneered the transparent offshore outsourcing model." Executives paid $500 and up to drink coffee, network, and learn about emerging labor markets such as Russia, the Philippines and Vietnam. We asked one of the participants, but what about those workers outside? They say this trend is killing the American economy.
DAVID TAPPER, IDC: I don't think it's killing us. I think it is definitely impacting jobs. I don't -- I myself haven't seen the solid statistics of exactly which the numbers are. At an impact level, I don't think it has reached yet the level of, is that dramatic and cataclysmic that it is going to shift our economic balance.
VILES: The co-sponsor of the event told us he understood why the event had drawn protesters.
ATUL VASHISTHA, CEO, NEOIT: In the short term, this is a painful process. No question about it. And so that's why I see their point. But in the medium to long term, you will create more jobs on the services side of the economy.
VILES: So we asked him where all those new jobs will be. He cited global business management, which, among other things, is managing all the jobs that you outsource.
VILES: And we were particularly interested in a seminar that asked -- quote -- "Is Offshore Sourcing Unpatriotic?" We thought that was very interesting. But in a very strange interpretation of patriotism, that seminar was closed to the news media -- Lou.
DOBBS: So we don't know the answer, at least from their...
VILES: I have a pretty good feeling what this group -- how they answered the question in this group.
DOBBS: I'm afraid you're right.
Pete, thanks -- Peter Viles.
Well, President Bush last night did not talk about the shipment of American jobs to cheap foreign labor markets in his address to Congress. But members of Congress are talking about the issue and taking notice.
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SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: You have CNN here with Lou Dobbs talking all the time about the exporting of American jobs. And he really didn't address it at all, except to say, now we're not only going to export them; we're going to have people come in here and take them away.
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: Just last week, if you watched the cable channels, you saw Lou Dobbs talking about exporting America. And, frankly, that's a sad reality today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: And to their credit, some of the Democratic candidates are beginning to address the issue. Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry is calling for tax incentives for corporations that keep jobs in this country.
Taking a look now at some of your thoughts about the president's State of the Union address, Margaret Orand of Irving, Texas: "President Bush's message made me extremely angry, because he never discussed the problem of exporting America or jobs for the middle class. He even claimed his tax cut to the rich generated jobs, which was adding insult to injury."
James of Elk Grove Village, Illinois: "Is the president saying that the high-tech workers must now somehow find enough money to get another degree in a different field? I know, either switch citizenship and become an illegal immigrant or get sent to prison and apply for the soon-to-be-available job training program."
Bob Luchs of Apollo, Pennsylvania: "Lou, if we invest in infrastructure such as roads, bridges and schools, these jobs could not be exported or lost unless we bring in foreigners to do the work. The money spent would stay in this country."
Robin Tauch of Plano, Texas: "I'm an unemployed I.T. who trained my replacement from India five months ago. Last night, I was hoping to hear the president say something that might address my situation. He told me that I must lack the necessary skills to get a job in todays high-tech industry and that the best way to get retrained is to commit a crime and join the 600,000 inmates who he wants to insure find a job."
Ed Murkovich of Virginia City, Nevada: "I liked the president's suggestion that community colleges be used to train future workers. It should be simple. All they need to do is learn a foreign language."
We love hearing from you. E-mail us your thoughts at LouDobbs@CNN.com.
That brings us to tonight's poll. The question is on the proposed immigration reform plans. Do you believe heightened border security should be a part of immigration reform, yes or no? Please cast your vote at CNN.com/Lou. We'll have the results later in the broadcast.
Coming up next, two very different views on the president's address last night. We'll hear from the House majority and minority leaders, Republican Tom DeLay, Democrat Nancy Pelosi.
And our series of special reports, "Overwhelmed America." Tonight, we look at our nation's crumbling infrastructure, roads, bridges, tunnels in desperate need of repair. Voters appear, however unable, unwilling to insist on the situation being fixed. And renewing the Patriot Act one of the president's top priorities. Opponents say it violates civil liberties. We'll hear tonight from the Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties union in "Face-Off."
Please stay with us.
DOBBS: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi last night delivered one of the Democratic rebuttals to the president's State of the Union address. The minority leader joins me now from Washington, D.C.
Good to have you with us.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: Thank you, Lou. My pleasure to be here.
DOBBS: You were critical of the president on the issue of national security.
What would you or the Democrats do differently than the president over the course of better than two years in the war against terror and providing for national security?
PELOSI: What I said last night and what the Democrats have been saying for a long time is that the greatest threat to our national security is the clear and present danger of terrorism.
Democrats -- we know as a country what we must do in that fight. Democrats have some proposals that the Republicans have resisted. First, we must have screening of cargo and of containers coming into our country, 100 percent. Right now, it's about 3 percent. We must have a very heightened security at our nuclear and chemical plants. So far, the administration has resisted the level of security necessary.
We must have 100 percent real-time communication among our first- responders, police, firefighters and others. The technology is there. The resources are not. And, just for another example, we know and can buy up the fissile material, the uranium, etcetera, for making weapons of mass destruction, but the administration has resisted putting resources to that end. It would be much better for our country, of course, to prevent an assault, an attack on one of our cities, than to simply eliminate -- reduce the civil liberties of the American people to avoid a terrorist attack.
DOBBS: The president is already being criticized for raising spending to levels not seen in decades. The expense of the war on terror in providing for homeland security extraordinary. To move from inspecting containers, as you suggest...
DOBBS: From 2 or 3 percent to 100 percent, these are going to be very expensive propositions. Is there the will to put that kind of money behind the effort?
PELOSI: Well, first of all, for screening -- and let me make a distinction between inspection and screening for -- of these containers and cargo -- would cost less than $100 million to do it in the whole country. It's not a big expense. But you have to weigh whatever expense it is against the cost to our community, to our country of the loss of life and if we ever had a nuclear weapon come into a container could cost our economy a trillion dollars. And any other kinds of terrorist attack on a nuclear, chemical plant could cost very, very many lives and an enormous amount of money so this is an investment.
Quite frankly, some of it are investments in infrastructure in our country. Protecting our waterways and our ports, et cetera, which are an investment in America that we should be making, which would produce high paying jobs immediately. would protect the homeland, would be good for the economy, as well as for our security.
DOBBS: Leader Pelosi, neither the president or this Congress, Republicans or Democrats, seem to want to talk about bringing security levels at our borders to a degree that illegal aliens cannot cross our borders, that our borders will be secure against terrorists. Why is that?
PELOSI: Well, I believe that, first of all, some of the principles of immigration policy, about family unification and having a pathway to citizenship in our immigration policy also include more security at our borders. I don't know what the extent to what you want to go on it. We certainly don't want to use the U.S. army to do it, but we certainly should strengthen our border security. I don't know that there's a resistance to that, I guess it's just a question of degree.
DOBBS: And how do you respond to the president's threat -- should there be any attempt in Congress to change Medicare and the prescription drug benefit to an outright veto.
PELOSI: The prescription drug bill that the president and the Republicans put forth is really a hoax on America's seniors. It's a gift to the pharmaceutical companies and the HMOs, consumers come in last. It unravels Medicare and it does not provide a guaranteed defined prescription drug benefit under Medicare.
It prohibits the secretary of HHS from negotiating for lowest cost and for import really practically eliminates the possibility of reimportation of drugs from Canada or other countries where they are less expensive. So affordability issue is diminished in this bill as well as unraveling of Medicare.
It's a bad bill. We have initiative, Senator Daschle and I, to give the secretary of HHS the negotiating power and another one of -- with another one of our colleagues, Chad Edwards of Texas and Ron Emmanuel of Illinois is taking the initiative. We are trying to get it to be a bipartisan initiative to improve importation.
But those are two discreet parts of it though. The fundamental part of the bill, the unraveling of Medicare is something we must overturn. It's a cruel hoax on seniors and I say to them beware of Republicans bearing gifts. This is a Trojan horse.
DOBBS: Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, House minority leader. We thank you for being with us.
PELOSI: Thank you, Lou.
DOBBS: One of the major goals the president did outline for the coming year is also one of the most politically divisive in Congress. The president's push to make those tax cuts permanent. I talked earlier with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and asked him if he believes he can succeed in pushing those tax cuts through the House.
REP. TOM DELAY (R), MAJORITY LEADER: I think the American people are going to react against any notion to block us from continuing that tax relief. Also, the president has made a case and it's fact. The tax relief is -- had a lot to do with improving our economy and as the economy is being improving, we're gaining more revenues for the government. So it helps us in our deficit problem. We are getting more revenue now into the government than if we had not cut taxes.
DOBBS: Well, Mr. Leader, just how much would you have to cut taxes in order to balance the budget?
DELAY: Well, first of all, I think what we need is basic tax reform. The one thing I liked about the president's speech last night is he used three themes that actually define who the Republicans are or who conservatives are. One is exporting democracy and fighting the war on terror. And fighting for freedom. Two, is protecting the American family. Three, is growing this economy and we have been talking about doubling the economy in the next ten or 15 years. If you are going to do that, you're going to have to have a different tax code.
DOBBS: Meanwhile, the family, which you see is the American family, as being one of the fulcrum points of the difference between conservatives and liberals is under tremendous pressure as you know in this country right now. Tremendous debt. The fact is energy prices are soaring. Jobs, two and a half million of them, have been lost. And this economy, despite its vigorous growth is not creating jobs. The American family first needs some redress on those issues, don't you think?
DELAY: Oh, definitely, that's why we want to continue the tax relief on the child tax credit, the -- removing the penalty on marriage, lowering the marginal rates that -- on the American family, those families and many, many millions of families today have investments, lowering capital gains is very important in helping grow the economy, lowering the taxes on dividends. All of these things have a very real impact on the American family and we realize that and we're fighting for them.
DOBBS: And the immigration reform, if you will call it that, that the president has put forward, you support that reform?
DELAY: The president is trying to show leadership here. We have a real immigration problem. We have eight to 12 million illegal immigrants in this country. They are dragging down our public services and taking away jobs in some cases. We have to deal with it. The president is trying to do it. His principles are sound, Lou. No. one, he laid out and it is true, we need to enforce our laws. And we need to tighten down our laws.
Secondly, we need to secure our borders. The president wants to secure our borders and we can do that. And, thirdly, you have to face the reality of the illegal immigrant situation. You can't build the wall high enough or put soldiers down there shoulder to shoulder and keep people from coming over here and feeding themselves and feeding their families.
So what do you do about it? Well, I am in favor of a guest worker program but a very restricted one. First and foremost, you don't reward people that are here illegally. You can apply for the guest worker program from your country of origin. Secondly, you have to prove you got a job, that you can support yourself, you cannot avail yourself of our welfare services. You cannot bring your family here. Those kind of restrictions, I think, can make a guest worker program that allows us to know who is here. And, also, allow us to send them back home.
DOBBS: Is it your sense, Mr. Leader, that we're going to see immigration reform this year? By this Congress?
DELAY: I think it's going to be very difficult. We're going to work on it. We're going to see where we are.
DOBBS: And the exporting of American jobs to cheap overseas labor markets?
DELAY: You know, economies, there are always shifts and jobs and, you know, we didn't -- we don't make carriages anymore. We make automobiles. And the kinds of automobiles are also changing. In the global economy, these kinds of shifts are going to happen and we're going to have to have a trained, educated job labor force to allow us to compete in this global economy. But we're still the greatest economy man has ever seen and we're still the leader of the world. I have no qualms about competing with anybody. We got the best workers in the world and the best entrepreneurs.
DOBBS: It makes you wonder sometimes under those circumstances why employers are choosing to send those jobs away from those workers in this country to those workers in cheaper foreign labor markets, doesn't it?
DELAY: Well, that's true. And if we -- if we can create a better climate than we have now, that allows those employers to keep those workers we ought to be doing that.
DOBBS: Mr. Majority leader, we thank you for being with us.
DELAY: My pleasure, Lou. Always good to be with you.
DOBBS: Well turning now to this country's infrastructure, our roads, our bridges, are simply in disrepair, so much so in fact it's taking a toll on the average American's quality of life now. Yet our lawmakers continue to ignore the issue. And hardworking Americans aren't insisting that those lawmakers fix the problem. Casey Wian has the story from Los Angeles.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Traffic inches along at the intersection of three freeways in rapidly growing Riverside county. It's near constant gridlock. State lawmakers have delayed upgrading dozens of roads like this to spend the money elsewhere, even though nearly three fourths of California highways are in poor or mediocre condition.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is such a bureaucratic maze when you go to building new roads or fixing new roads. It takes almost a decade these days for a new road project to be completed. So a lot of people have simply given up and said, gee, there's nothing we can do about it.
WIAN: Steve believes it will take a large scale crisis, like the collapse of a major bridge, to make road improvements a national priority. Nearly 28 percent of the nation's bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. And traffic congestion costs the U.S. economy more than $67 billion in lost productivity and wasted fuel.
PATRICK NATALE, AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS: For every billion dollars of investment in infrastructure it creates 47,000 jobs. That's an economic impact and just last night we heard the president talk about job creation.
WIAN: But lawmakers and voters doesn't seem concerned. In the '60s and early '70s California spend 15 percent of its budget on infrastructure improvements.
KEITH RICHMAN, CALIF. STATE ASSEMBLY: Since that time we've neglected our necessary infrastructure investment. And in the last decade or so, we invested less than 2 percent of our state's general fund for infrastructure investment and that shows.
WIAN: Two event efforts to set aside state revenue to improve roads have failed. The latest came during last fall's recall election. It lost by 2 to 1, with more than half a million recall voters not even voting on the infrastructure measure.
WIAN: Now, last year federal lawmakers allowed a major highway improvement bill to expire. Several lobbying groups have now started advertising campaigns to urge Congress to pass a new $300 billion plus transportation bill early this year -- Lou.
DOBBS: Casey, thank you. Casey Wian.
And tonight's thought is on what an American bridge should be all about. "A great bridge is a great monument, which should serve to make known the spender and genius of a nation. One should not occupy once-self with efforts to perfect it architecturally for taste is always susceptible to change but to conserve always, in its form and decoration, the character of solidity which is proper." Those words from civil engineer and educator Jean Peronnet.
Just ahead the PATRIOT Act under fire. Critics say it's unconstitutional, supporters say it's time to extend it. Two passionate views, differing views, in tonight's face off coming up next here.
And later, children and antidepressants. The results of a new study about suicide. Stay with us.
DOBBS: A senior Congressmen today, called upon Attorney General, John Ashcroft, to investigate a charity event in Washington that may be linked to an Iranian terrorist group. Congressman Robert Nay of Ohio said, the MEK terrorist group is hiding behind earthquake victims.
The organizers of next Saturday's event say it's a fundraiser for victims of the Bam earthquake in Iran at the end of last month that killed 40,000 people.
Criticism of the military tribunal process, coming from an unusual source tonight, A U.S. Marine Corps. attorney. Major Michael Maury has been assigned to defend one of the terror suspects held at Guantanamo Naval base in Cuby. Maury says the process has been, in his words, created and controlled by those with a vested interest in convictions. None of the 660 prisoners held in Guantanamo have been charged with a crime.
President Bush last night called for renewal of the PATRIOT Act. The ACLU for it's part, called for a restriction on some of the provisions in the act. That brings us to the subject of the night's "Face Off."
And Mark Corallo, who is head of Public Affairs at the Justice Department. He says the PATRIOT Act is one of the most important tools we have in the fight against radical Islamist terrorism.
And on the other side of the issue, Nadine Strossen. She is president of the ACLU. The ACLU simply calls the act unconstitutional, saying many of its provisions go too far.
Thank you both for being here.
NADINE STROSSEN, PRESIDENT ACLU: Nice to be here.
MARK CORALLO, PUBLIC AFFAIRS, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT: Good to be with you, Lou.
DOBBS: Let me begin with you, if I may, Mark. This act is considered to be by the U.S. Justice Department absolutely essential. What has it actually accomplished to this point?
CORALLO: Lou, the PATRIOT Act has given law enforcement and the intelligence community the ability to do something they couldn't do prior to the Patriot Act, they can now talk to each other. They can share information to connect those dots that make it so important for us to be able to prevent terrorist attacks before they happen.
They allow us to intervene at the earliest possible stage by using the law enforcement abilities that we have to go in, press charges and take these people off the streets before they can fulfill their terrorist plot. That's the important point about the PATRIOT Act.
DOBBS: I would ask it this way, how many terrorists has the Justice Department stopped, apprehended, captured or incarcerated, however you want to put it, as a result of the PATRIOT Act?
CORALLO: What I can tell you is this, Lou, while most of that information is classified, what I can tell you is that we have had several very high profile prosecutions, whether it's in Portland, Oregon, Buffalo, New York, Detroit, Seattle, in which we were able to use the information sharing provisions of the PATRIOT Act to gather the information and that enable us to make the case.
In Portland, Oregon, you had people who have pled guilty, they were going to go over to Afghanistan after September 11, to fight our troops. Now, I think it's -- any reasonable person would understand that we need to be able to stop them before they went. And without that information sharing capability, we can't do that.
DOBBS: We have a reasonable person, as you suggest, Mark, sitting right here next to me. Nadine, Mark laws out a very persuasive basis for this. Why would you want to constrain our authorities, our law enforcement authorities, our national security authorities in their following the PATRIOT Act?
STROSSEN: The question answers itself, I certainly do not want to constrain our national security efforts. I want national security for myself and my fellow Americans. But, note that Mark did not answer your excellent question, Lou, which is the very same question that was put to the Justice Department by Congress, by the ACLU and others, namely, document what powers that did not exist before the PATRIOT Act that were added in the PATRIOT Act have actually been necessary. What convictions, what prosecutions, what investigations could not have gone forward under pre-existing power.
In fact, the ability to share information pre-existed the PATRIOT Act. What Mark has not told you, is that those of us who are criticizing portions of the Act, including many Republican members of Congress, are criticizing portions that he has not defended, and that the attorney general said has never even been used, such as the power to search library records. DOBBS: Let me ask you, Nadine, a question in much the same form as I asked Mark, from a different perspective.
STROSSEN: I can guess.
DOBBS: The question is, Congress has oversight of the agencies that Mark represents and other law enforcement officials. There has not been one instance of an abuse found in that oversight process for the Congress.
STROSSEN: First of all, government should demonstrate the necessity of a law that infringing on freedom before we accept it. Why should the government have power to spy on our library records and on our web surfing records and on our health records and financial records, if it doesn't actually need that power.
CORALLO: The government is not spying on the American people. The government is using tools that were authorized by Congress overwhelmingly. Tools that are supported by the American people overwhelmingly to target terrorists.
STROSSEN: We don't know that, Mark.
CORALLO: To say that law enforcement, Nadine, is spying on the American people...
STROSSEN: Has the power to.
CORALLO: I find that offensive.
STROSSEN: I find it offensive, too, as do the many members of Congress that want to repeal it. They do not need the overreaching powers in the PATRIOT Act.
STROSSEN: Not only I but also many members of Congress. Your generalizing, I'm not generalizing, Mark. I'm talking about the half dozen or so provisions that overreach...
DOBBS: May I -- Mark...
STROSSEN: I can name drop conservative Republicans who oppose portions of it.
DOBBS: Both of you, I know we passionate about our national security and protecting this country, and our liberties and freedoms. And both of your work very hard to insure that we enjoy them.
So let me ask it this way. If you had your way, what specific power would you limit within the PATRIOT ACT?
What is the basis we could discuss making this act effective, and also preserves liberties that would satisfy you? STROSSEN: That is a perfect questions. Out of dozens of provisions I would single out less than a dozen which have, in fact, been targeted by bi-partisan reform legislation in Congress. The power that mention that does allow the government to go after any individual and any records pertaining to that individual without any allegation that that person is suspected of terrorism. That's overreaching, John Ashcroft himself said we don't need it. It's chilling ordinary Americans in their use of libraries and bookstores. It's not making us suffer against terrorisms.
DOBBS: Mark you get the last word.
CORALLO: Lou, that's simply untrue. First of all, in order to get business records, including things like library records, we have to convince a federal judge that the investigation is to protect against international terrorism or foreign spying. So, unlike the regular criminal justice system where you have to get a grand jury subpoena for that information, which doesn't require judicial authorization the PATRIOT Act is replete with civil liberties protections. The federal judges are involved and the Congress has full oversight of the progress. That's why it got 98 votes in the Senate. That's why it got 357 votes in the House. That's why most American, the overwhelming majority of Americans know the PATRIOT Act is protecting their lives and liberties.
STROSSEN: I would say, we have seen an extraordinary outpouring across the aisle in Congress and in communities around this country, Lou, from conservative to liberal. Most recently being Los Angeles today that have called for repeal of certain provisions. And by the way not the main ones that Mark is talking about.
DOBBS: Mark, I said you got the last word but I just didn't have it quite staggered right. You do get the last word here.
CORALLO: You know, Lou, I think as the president said yesterday, what we have to keep in mind is the PATRIOT Act does protect lives and liberties. While these provisions are set to sun seat in 2005, the terrorist threat is not going to sunset in 2005. These provisions should have been put in place before September 11 happened. They are vital to our fight now, and we've got to keep them.
DOBBS: Mark Coralla and Nadine Strossen, we thank you both for being here.
STROSSEN: Thank you, Lou.
CORALLA: Thanks so much.
DOBBS: It's a very important issue.
Coming up next, too many flights, too many flight delays. Tonight one of this country's largest airport is taking a radical step to fight this all too familiar problem for travelers. We'll have that story and a great deal more still ahead. Please stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DOBBS: News in brief, antidepressants such as Paxile and Prozac do not raise the risk of suicide in children, according to a new study by U.S. regulators. The study was in response to a British review conducted last year. That review found a higher rate of suicidal thoughts among children who were taking antidepressants.
United Airlines and American will cut a total of 62 flights in and out of Chicago O'Hare International. The cuts are aimed at reducing delays that begin at O'Hare and cause subsequent delays at airports all across the country.
On Wall Street another rally whipping the Dow to its highest close in almost two years. The Dow up 95 points, the Nasdaq down five while the S&P moved up almost 9. Christine Romans with the market -- Christine.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, good evening to you, very strong volume and very strong earnings. In fact it looks like it's going to be the best quarter for earnings since 1993. The banks among the best group they should show earning growth of 42 percent. J.P. Morgan and it reverse Enron's related lose, and Merrill Lynch had a record quarter. The Philadelphia Banking Index hit an all-time high today. Basic materials and technology profits also coming in very strong.
That has the bears in hiding, Lou. The American Association of Individual Investors show only 10 percent of investors are bearish, 66 are bullish. That euphoria has some veterans nervous. When some investors are leaning one way that is a contrary indicating. And of course, Lou, the Dow is up 43 percent since last March. Since then there's has been no 5 percent correction and the experts say you usually have at least one 10 percent move.
DOBBS: Well, it's always interesting to see history proved wrong as well as the experts. Christine thanks a lot. Christine Romans.
Coming up next here, the results of our poll, first updating the list of American companies we confirmed to be exporting jobs to cheap foreign labor markets or employing cheap foreign labors instead of American workers. Tonight's additions include, Avande, Bear Stearns, Pitney Bowes, Ann Rogers. Please continue to send us the names of those companies that you know to be exporting America. And for a complete list please log on to our cnn.com/lou and click on "Exporting American."
We'll continue in just one moment. Please stay with us.
DOBBS: The results now of our poll. The question answered by 94 percent of you, saying heightened border security should be part of immigration reform. Only 6 percent say it should not. That is our show for tonight and we thank you for being with us. Please join us tomorrow. Our guess include Jack Pritchard, former U.S. special envoy for negotiations with North Korea. And Heather McDonald, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. We'll be talking about immigration reform proposals.
For all of us here thanks for being with us tonight. Good night from New York. "ANDERSON COOPER" is next.
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Pelosi; Patriot Act Debate; Army Reserve in Crisis?>