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House Proceeding 05-04-09 on May 4th, 2009 :: 0:23:55 to 0:52:15
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John R. Carter

0:23:46 to 0:24:06( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: mrs. christensen: madam speaker, i rise to take the hour on behalf of the congressional black caucus. first the speaker pro tempore: t firs. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the

John R. Carter

0:23:55 to 0:52:15( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John R. Carter

John R. Carter

0:24:07 to 0:24:27( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: gentleman from texas, mr. carter, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. carter: thank you, madam speaker. i think most people know i spent a little time in the courts of

John R. Carter

0:24:28 to 0:24:48( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: this country and i'm going to tell you, i'm going to start off this conversation by saying aim not a bankruptcy judge nor a bankruptcy litigant. in fact do not claim any expertise whsoever in the area of bankruptcy. but i have some serious concerns that really bother me about some

John R. Carter

0:24:49 to 0:25:09( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: things that are going on. and i would hope at least that the american people have these same concerns because i really believe that the third branch of government, the judiciary, is there as recourse for all zints big and small. i think a fallback position

John R. Carter

0:25:10 to 0:25:30( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: where politics should not interfere, but due process should prevail. and i believe that the protection of the minority interests, whatever we may be be doing, is best protected in the courtsf our country. i look at what's going on tonight and have been trying to

John R. Carter

0:25:31 to 0:25:54( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: figure out, and i'm going to tell you, you're going to hear me ask a lot of questions tonight that i would like someone to give answers to. because i don't understand where things are going. but i'm looking at what's going on with the automobile industry in this country. you know, the big three auto makers in this country have been

John R. Carter

0:25:55 to 0:26:17( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: symbols of corporate greatness for my entire lifetime. we all have a debate about who made the best car, what's the best car ever made, but most americans would argue for some form of g.m. car or ford or chrysler as the best car they

John R. Carter

0:26:18 to 0:26:38( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: ever drove. our grandfathers and our fathers have have worked with these companies and they have been respected and honored across this nation. now these companies are in trouble. at least two of them seem to be in a lot of trouble.

John R. Carter

0:26:39 to 0:27:01( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: chrysler and general motors. and at least it has been indicated to the media that chrysler is going to be seeking recourse in the bankruptcy courts. now, what's interesting, the reason i say it's been indicated, because in the normal course of things what you

John R. Carter

0:27:02 to 0:27:22( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: normally is that the board of directors through its executive officer will have a vote or will discuss the economic situation of the company and will come up with a fact that it's just not viable that they are going to need at least a reorganization and the cancellation of some of their debts to be able to maintain order within e

John R. Carter

0:27:23 to 0:27:43( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: company and be able to be a viable company. but in the case of chrysler the announcement was made by president barack obama to the media in a speech he made announcing chrysler would go into bankruptcy. at least it was-er-it's my

John R. Carter

0:27:44 to 0:28:05( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: personal opinion i don't believe at that time mr. obama held an position in the corporate structure of chrysler to speak on their behalf. other than he is the president of the united states and may have more knowledge than some of the rest of us, but it would be normal for chrysler to make that announcement. but then it be would be normal for the board of directors of

John R. Carter

0:28:06 to 0:28:27( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: chrysler to fire the executives of their company if they are not doing a good job and it would be normal for the board of directors of general motors to do the hiring and firing of executives that they have hired to manage their company, but in march 29 of this year, obama, president obama forced the c.e.o., rick waggonner, of

John R. Carter

0:28:28 to 0:28:53( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: general motors torques resign from his -- motors, to resign from his post. as far as anyone can tell this marks the first time in american history that the united states president has directly intervened in the daily running of an american business. we start with that announcement the c.e.o., mr. waggonner, is fired by the

John R. Carter

0:28:55 to 0:29:16( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: president announces, not the c.e.o. of chrysler, but the president announces the bankruptcy of chrysler. now, this bankruptcy under normal circumstances would go before a bankruptcy judge and we have a set of laws that are established in this country, they are called creditor's

John R. Carter

0:29:17 to 0:29:37( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: rights a that stand in different positions in terms of being repaid on debts depending whether they are secured or unsecured. and we have a battery of laws that makes that determination and the bankruptpcy court doing

John R. Carter

0:29:38 to 0:30:00( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: way more complicated analysis than i just did comes up with who gets paid what and when and ?? where and how and what happens. what assets gets sold, what liabilities get paid either all or part. and these are laws that are on the books that pretty well anybody can see. and they are from time to time

John R. Carter

0:30:01 to 0:30:21( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: changed by the legislative body. but we understand now that the -- from what the newspapers tell us, that the obama administration through president obama have announced the deal that's going to be

John R. Carter

0:30:22 to 0:30:43( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: expect to be rubber-stamped by the bankruptcy court. . that deal is going to the papers, a 55% ownership of chrysler will be earned by the

John R. Carter

0:30:44 to 0:31:04( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: united auto workers. so the laborers of that company will be owning 55% of chrysler. the 35% of chrysler will be owned byify at. a foreign company -- by fiat. a foreign company out of itsly and other places, i'm sure -- italy, i'm sure -and other

John R. Carter

0:31:05 to 0:31:25( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: places, i'm sure. 8% of chrysler will be owned by the unitd states government and 2% of chrysler will be owned by the canadian government. i suppose if we look at who's normally involved in corporate structure, you would have

John R. Carter

0:31:26 to 0:31:46( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: stockholders and preferred stockholders that are probably in there someplace. it looks like to me that they're divested of any interest in this trade. now, let me say that when i say this, this should be something that the court makes a decision

John R. Carter

0:31:47 to 0:32:07( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: on based upon creditors law. but being shoved into the hands of the court with an announcement by the white house saying this is a settlement these people have agreed to and you will do this it this way. i wonder -- do it this way. i wonder who's looking out for the stockholder?

John R. Carter

0:32:08 to 0:32:29( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: i don't own any chrysler stock but if i owned a share of chrysler stock, i would think at one point in time i thought i owned a portion of the chrysler corporation. that i the business. because we can cut through all the mystique of a corporate structure, the mystique that

John R. Carter

0:32:30 to 0:32:50( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: many call the bad guys, the big corporations, bubig corporations are nothing more than a gathering of people who are called shareholders who put their -- invest their hard-earned money into a company, expting that company to be ma -- company to make profits and turn -- return that value to them by an increase in

John R. Carter

0:32:51 to 0:33:12( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: stock price and possibly a dividend. it is americans and others investing in america. that's what a corporation is all about. and whether it's a small corporation that's in round rock, texas, where i come from that maybe has 20 shareholders, or whether it's a gigantic corporation like the chrysler

John R. Carter

0:33:13 to 0:33:34( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: corporation, it probably has, who knows, a million shareholders, those people have invested their money and they have some interest in that business and through their representatives that they put on the board and leapt to the board, they have -- elect to the board, they ha, supposedly have a voice in what's going on and yet if this deal i

John R. Carter

0:33:35 to 0:33:55( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: about, i don't see where these shareholders, whether they be eferred or ordinary stock shareholders, i don't see where they're accommodated at all. you could hear some criticize and say that the feder government is taking over the automobile industry. and of course i'm sure that

John R. Carter

0:33:56 to 0:34:17( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: they would argue, well, certainly not in the case of chrysler. because we're not going to own but 8% of chrysler. yeah, but their agent, the group that donates 99% by the last report of their political donations to the democratic

John R. Carter

0:34:18 to 0:34:38( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: party, the u.a.w., owns controlling interest, 55%. and that is assuming -- there seems to be an assumption that when this is announced by the white house that this ishe deal, even though it seems that some of these profered -- preferred creditors have actually stood up a little bit and

John R. Carter

0:34:39 to 0:35:00( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: you know, we didn't make this deal, but this seems to be that these people are then by the white house called not cooperative or other things. in fact, as reported in the newspapers that they twisted

John R. Carter

0:35:01 to 0:35:22( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: the arms of these preferred creditors to appoint -- to a point where they felt like that they were being threatened and not being able to look out for the interests of their people and of course the finger was pointed to them as the big, rich, preferred creditors, the

John R. Carter

0:35:23 to 0:35:46( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: big, rich bond holders, but in reality, these companies that were making, were stepping up and saying, we're not going to be threatened by the administration, we're going to stand firm because it's not just a couple of great big rich folks, they've got lots of people, including other people's pension funds, that

John R. Carter

0:35:47 to 0:36:07( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: are invested in their hedge funds, their groups, that own this interest. according to thomas laurel global practice head of the financial restructuring and insolvency group at wide and case, they said that the partners was directly threatened by the white house

John R. Carter

0:36:08 to 0:36:29( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: and in essence compelled to withdraw its opposition to the obama-chrysler restructuring full force of the white house press corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight. that statement should concern us all.

John R. Carter

0:36:30 to 0:36:50( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: the white house press corps is supposed to be a press corps that is gathering news and making inquiries, not becoming an arm of the white house or the white house's restructuring fo together to restructure this deal for chrysler. it should concern every american that the white house

John R. Carter

0:36:51 to 0:37:16( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: is threatening the use of those people who sit in those press conferences, supposedly asking the tough questions of the president, they're threatening that they can use them to harm these individual bond holders. these bond holder companies. i think there's something tragically wrong with that. and my -- one of the questions

John R. Carter

0:37:17 to 0:37:37( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: i ask is, where are our courts? in this situation. i mean, the stockholders are being left with their interest basically dissolved. in the chrysler corporation. the bondholders are being threatened by the press corps of the white house. to their detriment.

John R. Carter

0:37:38 to 0:37:59( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: to vote to the detriment of their shareholders, to take possibly 25%, 25 cents or less on the dollar as part of the deal. when there are creditors rights laws that should be looked to by the bankruptcy court and if you're not getting good

John R. Carter

0:38:00 to 0:38:20( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: recourse from the bankruptcy courts, there are other courts you can go to. i am very disappointed that there seems to be some weakness , that the courts are not standing up for what could be, and in my estimation, would be

John R. Carter

0:38:21 to 0:38:45( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: a large body of people, hose defined rights -- rights are being forced away from them by the heavy hand of the white house. and, you know, the white house heavy hand is a dangerous place to be.

John R. Carter

0:38:46 to 0:39:07( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: harry truman seized the nation's steel mills during the korean war in order to avoid a shutdown during a strike. he could have started an injunction but instead he chose to seize based on his powers as commander in chief. he specifically notified congress of the right to

John R. Carter

0:39:08 to 0:39:28( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: reverse oren doers his action but congress chose not to act. supreme court overturned truman's executive order. the legal questions were, has the congress granted the president possession of the property? the answer was no. does the constitution grant the president the power to take possession of the property?

John R. Carter

0:39:29 to 0:39:49( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: and the answer was no. as truman's executive order in compiance with the constitution? and the answer was no. in the opinion written by justice black said all powers of the presidency are contained in the constitution are in subsequent acts of congress granting specific powers to the executive.

John R. Carter

0:39:50 to 0:40:11( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: the contingent that the aggregate power of the constitution and acts of congress create new, more far-reaching powers was rejected by the court. under taft hartly act of 1947, congress has addressed the precise issue of labor strikes and national security and has chosen not to grant the president the right to break a

John R. Carter

0:40:12 to 0:40:32( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: strike. likewise, nowhere in the constitution is executive granted the power -- is granted the right to seize power. and evaluation says youngstown was instrumental in reaffirming that the president cannot legislate, only execute legislation ssed by congress.

John R. Carter

0:40:33 to 0:40:53( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: black wrote the constitution limits his function in the lawmaking process to recommending of laws he thinks wise and the vetoing of laws he thinks bad. the ruling limits the nature of the executive order to carrying out the limitation of laws already established by congress.

John R. Carter

0:40:54 to 0:41:15( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: now i guess a question that we would have in what's going on in the chrysler case and to some ex tent the general motors case which we'll get to in a little while, has congress granted the president the power to take control of the negotiations of a private corporation and of attempt to make a settlement to go befe

John R. Carter

0:41:16 to 0:41:39( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: the bankruptcy court? i would certainly argue that the congress has not given the president that power. nor do i think that the constitution grants president obama the power to take control of the negotiations to be submitted to a bankruptcy court and to threaten those who

John R. Carter

0:41:40 to 0:42:00( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: choose not to enter into these negotiations with abuse by the press corps, the white house press corps, that would harm their business. i don't think the constitution in any way, form or fashion grants that power to the president of the united states. and i think what's going on

John R. Carter

0:42:01 to 0:42:21( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: with the white house and its heavy-handed manipulation of the duties and responsibility of the bankruptcy court is nowhere granted by congress or by the constitution of the united states. and i think american ought to be looking at this. americans ought to be concerned

John R. Carter

0:42:22 to 0:42:42( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: about this. these are prive businesses. owned by private people. who borrowed money from other groups of people. who either are shareholders or lenders in some form or fashion, whose rights are

John R. Carter

0:42:43 to 0:43:03( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: defined blaw. and for the president of the united states and the white house to intervene, to force a settlement to be submitted to the court and then ask the court to basically rubberstarp at that -- rubber stamp that settlement without looking to the protection of these other

John R. Carter

0:43:04 to 0:43:26( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: rights of the other individuals that are involved, to me these raise questions that we need to be asking. because if the government do this to the chrysler corporation and the millions of stockholders that own chrysler corporation, who else could

John R. Carter

0:43:27 to 0:43:47( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: they do it to? that stood in the way of negotiations? and who authorized -- where does the constitution or the congress authorize the president of the united states to heavy-handedly negotiate in this private situation?

John R. Carter

0:43:48 to 0:44:08( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: and where does it authorize the turning over of almost the -- well, it is more than 50% -- 55% of the business to the laborers who in the form of the ownership by their union? and why isn't it kid with

John R. Carter

0:44:09 to 0:44:30( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: prokyo when you look at what that union has done in 2008 -- that union according to reporting at has been done under the open secrets according to open secrets, the u.a.w. gave 99% of its

John R. Carter

0:44:31 to 0:44:52( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: political contributions to the democrats and the -- in the 2008 cycle. why -- you give 99% and you own 5 % of the company -- 55% of the company. is that the way it's supposed to work? shouldn't som ask that question? shouldn't some courageously the gat somewhere stand up for the

John R. Carter

0:44:53 to 0:45:13( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: rights of the stockholder? stand up for the rights of the bondholders? speak out for those preferred creditors? shouldn't soone be going to court and speaking out on these people's behalf? i have real concerns. because i start from the

John R. Carter

0:45:14 to 0:45:34( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: premise that i believe that the third branch of government that i served in for 20 years is there for the protection of all americans. that's what our court system's about. if we are going to politicize and as we look now to a appointment of a w supreme

John R. Carter

0:45:35 to 0:45:57( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: so politicize our court system as to take away the ability for the weaker party to have a voice, through politics, there's something wrong. . i would challenge my colleagues to start thinking about that.

John R. Carter

0:45:58 to 0:46:18( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: at what point in time does the president have to follow the constitution or at least does the congress have to grant him powers before he can do these things? that's just chrysler. now, the g.m. deal yet -- i guess president obama

John R. Carter

0:46:19 to 0:46:39( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: hasn't announced yet that they are going to the bankruptcy court, but they are trying to work out a settlement oh, going back to the chrysler deal, doesn't it bother anyone that the deal we are making is taking control from the sto american stockholders away from

John R. Carter

0:46:40 to 0:47:00( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: the american stockholders, from the board of directors of the labor union, i don't see any indication the labor union is making the assumption of any of these debts, contributing any money to this project.

John R. Carter

0:47:01 to 0:47:21( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: they are just being rewarded for being a labor union. now, where's the logic in that? then, what are they going to do? 35% of that is going to be fiat. i have nothing against fiat. i actually owned one one time. let my lay my cards on the table. it was a neat little yellow

John R. Carter

0:47:22 to 0:47:42( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: convertible and my wife told me i couldn't keep it. but i owned one for a while. and it was fun. and a good car. but now we are basically turning chrysler over to a foreign company. i don't have anything against foreign companies. we are in annternational world. let's get a realityheck here. the president of the united

John R. Carter

0:47:43 to 0:48:03( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: states is putting together a deal to turn chrysler over to a foreign country. and a foreign company. that foreign company, you can bet your boots, one of these days the word chrysler won't be in our vocabulary anymore. and i hope, wish fiat all the

John R. Carter

0:48:04 to 0:48:26( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: best, but realize it will be the fiat company of north america, or at least logic would seem to think so and all this is to make sure that we meet a pledge that the president of the united states made to the u.a.w. that he would protect their benefits and pension.

John R. Carter

0:48:27 to 0:48:47( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: you know, the government didn't protect the benefits and pension of the delta pilots. when delta went bankrupt. why all of a sudden is the government going in to ownership of this company and taking direct direction of this company

John R. Carter

0:48:48 to 0:49:10( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: to make sure that the benefits this labor union rather than another labor union? it's a question we ought to be asking. it's a question some court ought to be looking into. this concerns me. i want to, before i get going any further, i do want to lay

John R. Carter

0:49:11 to 0:49:31( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: the g.m., supposedly g.m. deal that the white house is telling us looks like they are recommending. i read this on the front page of the wall street jaorch. 50% of general motors would be owned by the united states government. 39% of general motors would be owned again by the u.a.w.

John R. Carter

0:49:32 to 0:49:56( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: 10% of the did would be owned by the bondholders at least the bondholders of general motors are going to end up with 10% ownership. and the stockholders are going to do all right, too. they are going to go from at least more than 1%, they are going to go from some percentage of g.m. down to 1%. so if you're the proud owner of

John R. Carter

0:49:57 to 0:50:18( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: g.m. stock, then all the stock that's out there is going to be worth 1% of general motors. one of our members was telling me he owned i forget what he said, 1,000 shares of general motors or something like that. i mean, the deluded price is estimated to be somhere

John R. Carter

0:50:19 to 0:50:39( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: between two cents and a nickel a share. for general motors stock. general motors, that great icon of american industrial might who many pensionunds, teachers retirement funds, and other

John R. Carter

0:50:40 to 0:51:02( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: people invested in because they were like the american flag. they were american industry at its best. and now all those people and all those funds that invested in stock are going to own 1% of a company that they used to own most of the company.

John R. Carter

0:51:03 to 0:51:24( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: and they are going to take the burden, the great burden of the mistakes made by general motors. and i would argue the overwhelming pressure put on by the united autoworkers to maintain at all costs their right of contract.

John R. Carter

0:51:25 to 0:51:46( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: you know, there are written and unwritten contracts, but the contract is sacred in america. uneons certainly stand up for the rights under their contract. but under creditors rights, there are ghts, too. they are created by law. and a person who does something and buys stock or invests in a

John R. Carter

0:51:47 to 0:52:09( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: bond, those people have the right to rely upon the law to protect them. just like a contract. forward in the obama administration the sanctity of contract seems to get of less and less importance. and truthfully that will be terribler for this nation.

John R. Carter

0:52:10 to 0:52:15( Edit History Discussion )

John R. Carter: i am very pleased and blessed to have my friend, my good friend from iowa, steve king, to be

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