Welcome Congressman David Price, NC-04

On Thursday from 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. we will host Congressman David Price for a live-blog chat. I believe that our first live-blog ever was with Congressman Price. He's very busy in the final weeks of the campaign so I'm delighted he was able to find time to stop by to take some of our questions.

Congressman Price is a favorite of many progressives. He not only votes the way most of us would if we were in his shoes, he was one of the congressmen who took the time to help Larry Kissell in his first campaign back in 2006.

David attended Carolina on a Morehead Scholarship. After earning his degree he continued on to Yale where he earned a Bachelor of Divinity and a Ph.D. in political science. From Yale David went on to Duke where he taught public policy and political science. He was elected to congress in 1986.

From his web site:

David has represented the Triangle area in Congress for nearly 20 years. He now serves on the influential Appropriations Committee and is the Chairman of the subcommittee on Homeland Security. He also serves on the subcommittee for Commerce, Justice & Science; a post that is important for ensuring that our law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to protect our communities and that scientific research is supported by federal policies. And he serves on the subcommittee for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, which provides the Triangle with a seat at the table for issues affecting infrastructure and economic development. He is also the Chairman of the House Democracy Assistance Commission, which he initiated to strengthen parliaments in emerging democracies throughout the world.

In Congress, David has been a strong critic of the Bush Administration's foreign policy. He has introduced legislation to end our military involvement in Iraq and to ensure that private security contractors are held accountable for criminal acts. He has urged the Administration to focus on the pursuit of al Qaeda and other terrorist networks and to work towards a negotiated peace in the Middle East.

You can find out more about his views on many topics by visiting his web site.

Please join me in welcoming David Price.


20 Years

You have been in office for a long time, seen a lot of changes (both good and bad) in DC. What structural changes would you make to Congress (committees, technological, etc) that would improve how Congress operates?

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

No questions here

Just a heartfelt thank you to a great Representative.

Thank you Congressman Price.

Thank you very much for your

Thank you very much for your kind words. We follow this site closely and are glad to join.

Alternative energy

I'm fearful the recent decline in gas prices will cause Congress to take it's eye off the urgent and continuing need to support development of alternative energy sources...and to end the fruitless ethanol(from corn) effort which is simply raising food prices.

I'd like to hear your views on what you think can, should, and will be done in 2009.

Thanks for your representation...

Stan Bozarth

Energy will rightly be one

Energy will rightly be one of the very first items addressed by an Obama Administration and the 111th Congress. While the spiking gas prices made the public more receptive to opening up the issue, we must push forward in ways that go far beyond short-term fixes and address broader problems of petroleum dependence and greenhouse gas emissions. I’m committed to a comprehensive national energy policy that emphasizes efficiency, conservation, and – perhaps most importantly – development of alternative sources. You’re right about the need to move beyond corn-based ethanol to a wider range of biofuels, and we need to encourage the research being done in North Carolina and beyond on this challenge.

I've got a couple,

and I'll try to shape them into questions instead of rants:

On the emerging Democracies issue, how do you feel about the State Department's aggressive advocacy for U.S. corporations and for-profit NGO's abroad, and do you think it's wise to allow "business interests" to play such a prominent role in our foreign policy, especially in nations that are in the infant stages of forming a representative government?

In light of Congressman Miller's dust-up with Governor Palin about the use of corporate-funded "scientific" research to try to block the polar bear's inclusion on the Endangered Species list, and in light of the numerous white papers that are submitted to Congress every year by similar agenda-driven "scholarly" sources, is there any way to either keep this stuff out of public policy debates or at least require some sort of up-front disclaimer detailing who funded the study?

Thanks for taking the time to drop by, sir.

I’m happy to see U.S.

I’m happy to see U.S. business engage in vigorous trade as a result of friendly U.S. relationships abroad. However, too often the tail has wagged the dog and corporate interests have unduly influenced American policy. One familiar example is trade policy, where labor, environmental, and human rights standards in partner countries have been sacrificed for the sake of unimpeded commerce.

Brad Miller has indeed been an effective watchdog for U.S. scientific integrity, and thanks to him we have a much fuller indictment of the Bush Administration’s distortion and abuse of science. We have an example close to home in the disconnect between the research on mercury conducted by the EPA in RTP and the Administration’s inadequate proposed rules on mercury. This simply must be reversed under an Obama Administration, for on numerous challenges confronting us, we simply must understand and base policy on the unvarnished scientific truth.

The ensuing weeks have

The ensuing weeks have reinforced my convictions that emergency legislation was required and that we were well-advised to take time to rewrite the administration’s blank-check proposal to protect taxpayers and homeowners, to avoid rewarding malefactors, to monitor the process step-by-step, etc. We broadened the bill to permit direct capital infusion into banks, as recommended by Paul Krugman and other academic economists, and that turned out to be the first major action taken by us and other countries, as opposed to simply buying up bad assets. But we are not out of the woods by any means. We need to monitor the execution of the program carefully. Having put out the fire (hopefully), we need to expose and punish the arsonists. The next Congress must devote itself, as Barney Frank has promised, to developing regulatory architecture commensurate with the 21st Century marketplace. And we must not equate rescue with recovery: we need (at least) a second stimulus package and concerted attention to infrastructure, education and training, research, promoting the “green economy,” and other components of a long-term strategy for economic growth and the expansion of opportunity.

Thank you

I was not a fan of the bailout bill, but in retrospect have a sense that it was smart to take action. I hope you can deliver on "monitor the execution."

Actually, I hope you can more than monitor it. Maybe you can continue to fine-tune it, amend it. Use the principle of continuous improvement to turn what may be a good start into sustainable success.


Doubts about Dole?

Shovel some of that Bailout Bullshit this way! Please?

Now the bailout plan, as Kos writes, is nothing but a freakin' slush fund that didn't do anything to help anyone that I can see.* James

Yep! Tons of establishment funded corporations piling on the big oblisk of funny paper money.........It's going to get worst.........

The use of your power

How do you intend to use your seniority and power in the next Congress?

As you know, in our legislative branch, it is easier to stop something rather than to move something.

Why should we continue to build your seniority if it will only be used to stop rather than start?

Power is the ability not to have to please.
-Elizabeth Janeway


My congressional seniority

My congressional seniority has brought two chairmanships in the current Congress – Homeland Security Appropriations, and the House Democracy Assistance Commission. Sometimes such positions are useful in stopping bad things, such as withholding funding from Department of Homeland Security programs until privacy requirements are met. But, believe me, I am eagerly awaiting an Obama Administration and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate so that we can be about the country’s business is a serious and positive way. On homeland security, I plan to continue my leadership on restoring the federal partnership with first responders and rebuilding our disaster response capabilities at FEMA. More broadly, appropriations can be a vehicle for long-overdue investments in public education, research, alternative energy, and infrastructure, and I hope to use my role on the Appropriations Committee to the fullest.

What went wrong with you?

How could a Morehead scholar end up a Dookie?


On a more serious note, will we see full funding of the IDEA Act in the next four years?

"You could say, 'Look, is this guy, Laden, really the bad guy that's depicted?' Most of us have never heard of him before." John McCain, following Clinton's strikes on al Qaeda camps

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

The first question is easy;

The first question is easy; they offered me a job when I needed one to feed my family!

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) opened the doors of learning to millions of children, and it’s a federal commitment we cannot abandon. Unfortunately, the federal government – especially under this President’s budgets – has not lived up to its end of the bargain. Like No Child Left Behind, it’s another example of a well-intentioned federal mandate that states have struggled to meet due to inadequate federal support.

The federal share is supposed to be 40% of the additional costs involved in educating a child with disabilities. The President’s most recent budget request would only fund 17% of that expense. The new Democratic leadership of the 110th Congress is committed to steady increases – and I’m pushing for those increases as a member of the Appropriations Committee – but it’s a long road ahead to get to the funding level that states need.

Thank you

It is a long road to full financing, but I think if it were put on a path to funding folks would be happy.

Do you happen to know what the $ cost would be for full funding? Not to compare, but I'm sure it is small compared to bailout or Iraq.

I can understand the duke job, worked there myself for 5 years!

"You could say, 'Look, is this guy, Laden, really the bad guy that's depicted?' Most of us have never heard of him before." John McCain, following Clinton's strikes on al Qaeda camps

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

I believe full funding of

I believe full funding of the 40 percent would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 billion.


So, that is like $50 Billion a year.

"You could say, 'Look, is this guy, Laden, really the bad guy that's depicted?' Most of us have never heard of him before." John McCain, following Clinton's strikes on al Qaeda camps

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

School of the Americas/WHINSEC

As the only member of congress from NC to co-sponsor the last bill to remove funding for the School of the Assassins, I want to thank you for your support of closing this blight on US foreign policy and would like to know what we can do to make sure this place is shut down for good and does not go through another name change?

Gray Newman
SOAW National Council

“We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe.” ~ Barack Obama

from a post yesterday by the ACLU

Homeland Security is turning vast areas in our country into "Constitution-Free Zones" 100 miles inland of our borders in which U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is allowed to exercise extraordinary authority that would not normally be permitted under the Constitution. Civil rights have been violated.

Today we held a press conference at the National Press Club here in D.C. to try to draw attention to this problem — and the fact that, as we showed, nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population live within this "Constitution-Free Zone." That’s 197.4 million people.

Congress must hold hearings and pass legislation to stop this practice.

ACLU map of areas involved

Progressive Democrats of North Carolina

Damn, there goes the neighborhood

My Mother in Law literally lives on the US/Canadian border and I have a Brother in Law that lives about 1/2 mile from the US/Mexican border, guess I can't go visit them.

......Wait....... this may be a good thing.......

“We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe.” ~ Barack Obama

You are right to be

You are right to be concerned about the constitutionality of CBP's role within our borders. We rely on the courts to make determinations about alleged violations of constitutional rights, but congressional committees have a vital oversight role. On many occasions, as chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, I have withheld funding from CBP and other DHS agencies until privacy and civil liberties concerns were resolved. I continue to see such oversight as a critical aspect of our Subcommittee's role, even in a Democratic administration.

Welcome Congressman Price!

Thank you so much for joining us.

I am flabbergasted at the tactics some Republicans are using to excite their base. Specifically, I'm concerned with how they are dividing us into "real" Americans and "phony" Americans? When you get back to Congress will there be any difficulty reaching across the aisle to work with these representatives?

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


Congressman Price,

Respectfully, I am trying to gauge the key differences between yourself and Dr. Lawson. What, in your opinion, are the fundamental differences between you two and how will those differences be actualized in office (if each one of you hypothetically were elected/reelected). What would you do that he wouldn't do? What wouldn't you do that he would?

Thank you.

This is perhaps a more

This is perhaps a more ambitious question than you realize, because I have never faced a more radical opponent where the differences were so clear. I think you'll see what I mean in the text I've copied and pasted below, which is a section we're about to add to our website.

David’s Opponent

I believe my opponent to be an honorable and earnest citizen. Yet we have very different views about the role of government and the direction we would take our nation. Proclaiming to be the protégé of failed Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, Dr. Lawson has a laissez faire, libertarian approach to government and the economy that I believe is fundamentally wrong. Our current financial crisis clearly demonstrates that the hands-off, anything-goes mentality on regulation employed by the Bush Administration and supported by Dr. Lawson simply does not work and is, very frankly, dangerous to our economy and way of life.

Dr. Lawson is quick to criticize the new Democratic Congress for not passing various legislative initiatives. But he conveniently fails to note two facts: he would vote to turn the leadership of the House back to the same party that has blocked those initiatives. And on most of the intiatives where Democrats did succeed – for example, raising the minimum wage, raising fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, and outlawing insurance discrimination against mental health patients – he would have voted “no.”

Make no mistake: Dr. Lawson does not believe in the vision of progress that has made the 4th District a success story. He subscribes to a worldview where government is not an instrument of our common purpose, but an enemy. While conveniently criticizing the current Administration on the stump, he marches in ideological lockstep with President Bush’s trickle-down economics and efforts to dismantle any reasonable regulatory framework. The Lawson-Bush “ownership society” is really very simple to understand – no matter your means, no matter your ability, no matter your circumstances, you are on your own. In fact, Dr. Lawson would go even further than Bush: his extreme reading of the constitution would wipe out most if not all of the New Deal.

Dr. Lawson and I agree on the importance of a society that respects individual privacy; I will gladly defend my record as a champion of civil liberties to anyone. But my opponent often confuses privacy with privatization. His ideology would deny all the good that a representative government can accomplish for its citizens – from public schools to affordable health care to safe communities. His is an ideology far out of the mainstream that I will gladly fight.

I hope you will view Dr. Lawson’s regressive ideas for yourself – many are available on his campaign blog or questionnaires like Vote Smart. Some of our major policy differences are listed below.

- David Price


In a recent News & Observer article, Dr. Lawson is quoted as saying that he does not believe Congress can take any action to “fix the economy and our financial system.” Lawson believes the current financial crisis is a result of too much regulation, not too little. Before the financial collapse, he argued that “we must eliminate onerous regulations” on businesses and cited Sarbanes-Oxley, the reform legislation that strengthened corporate accounting regulations in the wake of the Enron and WorldCom scandals, as a candidate for repeal.

He further advocates abolition of the Federal Reserve, the nation’s central banking system that regulates our monetary policy and helps prevent banking panics. And he suggests that the United States should revert to schemes similar to the gold standard, regional currencies, and even the barter system. These radically conservative ideas obviously fly in the face of mainstream economic thought – in fact, they fall on the losing side of arguments determined nearly a century ago.

Lawson opposes progressive income taxation, and corporate, capital gains, and estate taxes. He opposes the mortgage, medical expense, and charitable contribution tax deductions, and the student loan, earned income, and child tax credits. In 2007, he endorsed a national sales tax scheme that could add a 30% price increase to all new purchases, including homes, gasoline, food, and medicine. In fact, Brookings Institution economists say this is a low estimate. Even now, he claims to still like the idea, but feels it could not be implemented at this time. All of these extreme ideas on taxation would radically shift the tax burden from the wealthy to the middle class.

Lawson believes “the safety net for individuals should be eliminated,” and supports elimination or at least privatization of Social Security and Medicare. Just this July, he said that he has “not yet found any significant disagreements” with his political mentor Ron Paul, who has consistently and repeatedly called for the eventual abolition of Social Security and Medicare.

Education and Research

Lawson believes there should be no federal role in education. He advocates elimination of the Department of Education. He even opposes low interest student loans, believing they are “distorting the economics of higher education.”

Lawson also opposes the federal funding of research that is vital to not only the health and quality of life for our families, but also the local universities and economy of the Fourth District. He doesn’t believe entities like the National Institutes of Health should exist, much less receive adequate funding. He opposes federal funding for all medical research – even current work to understand and combat diseases like cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson’s. He opposes funding for research on both existing and new lines of stem cells – a position to the right of George W. Bush, and one that could deny life-saving advances to millions of Americans.

Robust support for research and innovation is obviously important for schools like UNC, N.C. State, Duke, and the local spin-off companies. It is also the only way we can assure America’s national economic competitiveness in a new century marked by the ascendant economies of China and India.

Health Care

Lawson believes that “healthcare is not a responsibility of the federal government,” and laments that “many have become dependent on the existing safety net.” He opposes the expansion of children’s health care and tax incentives for employer-provided insurance.


Lawson opposes strengthening the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, even after the past eight years of weakening by the Bush Administration. He opposes federal action to encourage the development of alternative fuels. He even favors eliminating any government assistance to address high energy prices.

Foreign Affairs

Lawson opposes all foreign aid. Yet elimination of foreign aid would lead to untold suffering for millions of the world’s most desperate individuals, including current efforts to prevent and treat HIV-AIDS and malaria in Africa and elsewhere, and tsunami relief in South Asia.

Lawson further believes the U.S. should not meet our financial obligations to the United Nations. And he thinks we should abandon military and all other efforts in Afghanistan to defeat Al-Qaeda and a resurgent Taliban.

Gun Control

Lawson strongly disagrees with reasonable restrictions that keep guns out of the hands of those who would do harm. He authored and worked to pass a resolution at the Republican state convention that called for the elimination of no-carry zones across the state. Elimination of those zones would allow concealed handguns in areas like schools and college campuses, state and federal government office buildings, financial institutions, and even public gatherings like parades.

Public Safety

Rather than calling for obviously needed reforms in the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Lawson has actually called for the elimination of FEMA. This would leave states and communities on their own to deal with natural and man-made disasters. Because North Carolina is very disaster-prone, our state would be especially hard hit by such an extreme step.

Social Justice and Civil Rights

Lawson favors repeal of Roe v. Wade and opposes a woman’s right to choose, even in the case of rape or incest.

Lawson does not believe sexual orientation should be included in hate crime or employment nondiscrimination definitions.

Lawson opposes affirmative action.

Here's an easy one

For our readers who live in or around your district, what can we do to help?

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

We always welcome volunteers

We always welcome volunteers and contributors. Information for both can be found on my campaign website: www.priceforcongress.com

We need the strongest Democratic performance possible in the 4th District to carry North Carolina for the Obama-Biden ticket, send Kay Hagan to the U.S. Senate, maintain progressive leadership in Raleigh with Bev Perdue, and elect enlightened statewide judges.

Not a question, but a comment

Please fight to keep funding for all types of research high. Also, do away with SOME percentage of "targeted" research. I've seen many good $s go bad research because there was a spending quota.

"You could say, 'Look, is this guy, Laden, really the bad guy that's depicted?' Most of us have never heard of him before." John McCain, following Clinton's strikes on al Qaeda camps

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Congressman Price, Thank you

We appreciate your time. I know you are very busy and we don't want to take up too much of your time. You are welcome to stay and answer any stray questions and stop back in if you think of anything else we need to know before election day.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Thank you very much. I have

Thank you very much. I have to head out the door to another forum. If there are any other policy questions from my Fourth District constituents, please direct them to my congressional website: www.price.house.gov

And let me leave you with a request. We have an unbelievable opportunity in this state in the next 12 days to change this country after the past eight years of failed policies. Please keep working as hard as possible so North Carolina can lead the way in giving us all a brighter future. I'm proud to be a part of this team, and please let me know how I can help achieve our shared goals of a more progressive state and nation.

I missed it!

I meant to be online for this discussion. Oh well, after meeting Congressman Price at the debate (& hearing the good things my mom had to say after seeing him speak at the James Taylor event) & for other reasons as well I went ahead and cast my early vote for David Price today, and signed up to volunteer at an early polling site for the campaign.

I wont repeat it here, but for anyone interested in why I think he's the man to vote for, check this recently blog post out:


If only all politicians were more like David Price. Just came across a hilarious site that takes obvious buttheads to task (eg) you can vote for Sarah Palin to get a butt on her head (might have to go on top of the existing one) LOL, check it out: www.buttheadpolice.com.

Proudly Casted My Vote

for Congressman Price earlier this week. I hate I missed this little question/answer session though...