tv [untitled] April 19, 2012 5:00pm-5:30pm EDT
own right. we recently celebrate ad 50th anniversary of our first orbital flight in a speech to congress following that flight i closed with a statement that i would repeat today. as our knowledge of the universe in which he live increases may god grant us the wisdom and guidance to us it wisely. thank you. [ applause ] and now a look at today's news from capitol hill with "washington today".
at the same time the situation is of grave consequence to the syrian people. >> in testimony earlier today here in washington by the defense secretary, leon panetta on capitol hill before house committee, the topic, of course, dominating the headlines, no easy answer no, silver bullet. welcome. i'll steve scully. cnn puts it this way, the international sense of urgency over the syrian crisis growing today with secretary of state clinton calling for an arms embargo as well as other tough
u.n. security council steps against the assad regime. she suggests moving quickly to a chapter 6 resolution including travel and financial sanctions as well as the arms embargo. more on this story coming up in just a moment. meanwhile on capitol hill republicans in the house of representatives ignoring a white house veto threat on mostly party line votes. the house approving a $46 billion tax cut for most employers, the measure though success viewed as dead on arrival in the u.s. senate. republicans say it would give companies more money to hire workers, democrats say that many of the benefits would go the wealthy and they point out that companies would not actually have to hire workers in order to qualify for the tax breaks. presidential politics, the president is in a series of fundraisers here in washington, d.c. mitt romney is in ohio. we mention that because yesterday the president was in elyria, ohio, today it was lorain, ohio for mitt romney
where he visit ad factory that actually closed in 2008 when president george w. bush was in the white house. mitt romney is blaming president obama for failing to reopen it after more than three years in office. well let's begin with our lead story in the testimony today by leon panetta the defense secretary. the u.s. still isn't calling for outside military action but pushing for a global arms embargo. here's more with secretary panetta as he takes questions from the representative, republican of california chair of the committee and representative adam smith the ranking democrat on the committee. this again before the house armed services committee with questions to defense secretary panetta as well as general martin dempsey. >> mr. secretary, according to media reports this morning, the french president stated that action should be taken to establish humanitarian corridors. what are your views on this
option. have you been aware of that? >> mr. chairman, you know, we've looked at a variety of options as to what could be done, including the possibility of developing humanitarian corridors, and, you know, again we're prepared to do whatever the international community ultimately agrees ought to be done, but clearly we had made plans along those lines. >> general dempsey, you stated that syria's chemical and biological weapons need to stay exactly where they are. what can be done and what success done to ensure that syria's chemical and biological stockpiles are secured? >> at this point, chairman, we are as i mentioned in my statement sharing information and intelligence with our regional partners and in the aggregate we feel we have a good understanding of the disposition, the current
disposition of syria's chemical and biological weapons. >> thank you. ranking member smith. >> thank you, mr. chairman. one of my concerns, it's been said for a long time since this uprising started that mr. assad's days are numbered and he can't long last but i've been worried about that ever since i was in israel last summer and had some conversations about that. what is the path for that happening because as i said in my opening tracks assad regime has sort of decided they don't care what the international community thinks they will kill as many people they need to kill and stay in power and regrettably they are getting some tacit support from the important nations like russia and china and much more direct support from iran and that makes them clearly different than libya and gadhafi. gadhafi had no friend anywhere. he couldn't get that assistance. with that support what are the mechanism, the levers we need to
pull to make sure the assad regime goes or is that support not enough to make them stay as violently as they need to? >> i think the concerns that you've indicated, congressman, are the concerns that we all share. part of the problem here is that assad still seems to maintain the loyalty of the military, even though there have been significant defections that the military still seems loyal and they continue to strike back at the libyan people, even as this effort to try to achieve a cease-fire and reduce violence there we still see continuing artillery barrages violating the whole effort. >> what hope is there to get russia and china, you know, to change their stance and actually be more aggressive about pressuring the assad regime?
>> obviously that was a concern when they initially voted against the security resolution that would have taken action here. but they have come around. they have supported the resolution that was adopted, supporting the effort to achieve a cease-fire and diplomatic pressure is being brought on russia and china, particularly on russia which has had a long standing relationship in that part of the world with syria, to bring pressure on them to exercise whatever influence they can to try to ensure that they abide by the plan. so, there is some progress being made on that front. the additional steps that are important is that the international community continues to be very unified in taking action against that regime. there are additional sanctions that can be applied. we applied some very significant
sanctions. they are putting great pressure on the regime itself. that pressure needs to continue. the third thing that i would indicate is that, you know, this is a broad based insurgency. and i think it's fair to say that the intelligence community feels that because it is a broad based insurgency, yes he can strike back, yes he can try to continue to hold on, but ultimately his days are numbered. and ultimately he will be taken down. >> thank you. >> testimony today before the armed services committee, defense secretary leon panetta and general martin dempsey. questions coming from the republican of california chair of the committee and congressman adam smith democrat from washington state. the ranking member. this is "washington today" on c-span radio. with more on today's developments in syria we're joined on the phone by the vice president for studies at the carnegie endowment for international peace. he's the author of "the arab center, the promise of
moderation." thanks very much for being with us. >> sure. >> what are the options? what next can the u.s. do with regard to syria and what kind of support is there within the international community? >> it is difficult to, you know, see a quick end, unfortunately, to this crisis. the options are limited. there is no appetite in the international community for another military intervention. there is a divided opposition in syria and the question of whether to arm the opposition or not is not something that the opposition is united on. some don't armed, some say arming the opposition will further complicate the issue. and so the united states so far has to keep on trying the diplomatic option and try the economic option also with the sanctions on the regime, but these unfortunately are not openings that will lead any time
soon to dramatic change. >> if you look what happened recently in libya, also egypt where the dictator, the leader was forced out of power, what's different in syria? >> well, in libya there was sort of a imminent attack that left tens of thousands dead. the arab league was united over what to do with libya and get to the international community. you also had the russians and chinese back a nato led operation to intervene in libya. none of that is present in syria. russia and china remain posed to the resolution at the u.n. and that's a principle reason why there is no unanimousity in the
security council. there's a minority that is still in one way or the other supporting resolution that would keep the regime in change. and so for all these reasons we're facing a different situation in syria than libya, we're also facing a syrian army and the regime which has no problem in killing, you know, as many people as it needs to stay in power. >> in brussels today, secretary of state hillary clinton calling for another round of sanctions. what has been imposed in the past and is there any sense that a new round of sanctions would be any more effective? >> sanctions are certainly weaken the regime, affects the regime in many ways in its ability to import, in its ability to export its product, but it is also true that sanctions on their owner not
going to succeed in toppling the regime without any other action. this is a regime, in arab we have a saying he who is drowning will not be afraid to get wet. sanctions are not going on their own to affect the regime's willingness to shoot its own people in order to survive. >> what is life like inside syria, and do the average syrians fully understand what's been happening in villages and towns like homs? >> i would say the majority of the syrian population is against the assad regime but that's not to say that there aren't some minorities that still support it for one reason or the other. the business community does not want to lose its economic interests and so far you know many still support the regime. the christian minority is afraid of an alternative regime that might go after them the way they faced such a development in iraq
and, therefore, you know significant portion of it, maybe 50% or more still support the regime. but support for the regime, i would say is deteriorating by the minute as news and evidence of such widespread killing is sent over the country. >> the death toll now in excess of 9,000. >> some say even 11,000. >> we're talking with marwa marwan muasher. so, let me conclude with this question. what do you think will happen next? >> i do not see the regime surviving. i think that it has lost all credibility or legitimacy, particularly in the region in addition to losing, you know, wide support in syria itself. no regime that, you know, has killed all these many people will be allowed in my view to
survive. the question is when and how. this is not going to be quick or easy. what will give is still not clear whether it's an inside operation within syria, whether it is the russians or chinese changing their minds or whether it is the international community changing its mind as well. but i don't see the status quo being able to sustain itself over the next few months. >> the work of our guest, marwan muasher is available online. thank you for joining us on c-span. the house in session today, the house of representatives passing bay vote of 235 to 173 a proposal put forth by the house republican lead eric cantor that would cut taxes on small businesses, cutting them by as much as 20%. for the second day in a row the house ignored the veto threat from the president in passing the bill mostly along party line vote. yesterday the house approved
that transportation legislation which also mandated the approval of the controversial excel keystone pipeline. in today's votes republican overcoming democratic objections that the tax cuts are not paid for and would add $46 bill thrown the budget deficit in just one year. the bill did get the support of 18 democrats, ten republicans voting against the measure. here's more from the floor of the house and the chair of the house ways and means committee, dave camp. >> i rise today in support of hr-9. this legislation will allow businesses with fewer than 500 employees to take a 20% tax deduction. small businesses are the engine of job creation and while we pursue comprehensive tax reform that will give all businesses certainty to invest and hire, this bill will help small businesses to reinvest, hire new workers or provide a raise to an employee. the policies put forth by president obama and congressional democrats have yielded more government
spending, but have failed to generate strong economic growth in the jobs that americans need. mr. speaker the house snoint order. >> gentleman is correct. chair would ask members to cease conversations and remove their conversations from the floor. gentleman from michigan. >> instead of lowering unemployment we got to lower credit rating. instead of massive job creation we have massive and unprecedented levels of debt. instead of higher wages for working families we have higher gas prices. this bill provides real relief to american small businesses and the workers they employ and it treats every small business equally. contrary to the political cronyism we've seen time and time again this bill does not pick winners and lowers. it provides relief to all small businesses in clutding those in my home state of michigan. michigan has been hit especially hard in the last three years with some of the hardest hit unemployment rates nangs.
and while they need tax reform they agree we need to spur investment in hiring today as well. these business owners are the real experts who know what they need to add jobs back to our communities. take for example the president of merrill tools part of 400 merrill technologies group. he says as a manufacturing business in mid-michigan we know firsthand the ramifications of the recent economic turmoil. the best way washington can help energize economic growth is by making sure business owners are spending less on tax payments and more on creating jobs. he's a larger small business owner but there are smaller businesses that feel the same way. jim holton has served the central michigan community as a restaurant owner nor than 15 years. he's pleased with the simplicity and ease of this legislative approach. he says the beauty of the small business tax cut act is its simplicity. if you're earning profits and contributing to the economy you
can take 20% off your tax bill. no hoops. this is great way for business owners like myself in the great lakes bay region and across america to jump start our economy. those are two examples in michigan's fourth district but coke small businesses and small business owners across the country. throughout our history we've depended upon these industries and innovative risk takers to help us move through tough economic times and while we work to provide them the long term comprehensive tax reform they need, we can also take steps today to unlock new opportunities for them immediately. passing this bill will provide these much needed immediate opportunities. >> dave camp is a congressman from michigan and chair of the house ways and means committee so essentially what you have happening is that the house of representatives taking up a number of votes, largely passing bills along party lines while the senate controlled by the democrats taking up the issue of the buffett rule but neither chamber working on issues that
both parties in both chambers will agree to. senate democrats are planning to take up the buffett rule later this month or early next month. the house expected to take up more pre-the election votes, one that would extend the bush era tax rates, set to expire at the end of this year. clearly political pose during on both sides. here's more on the democratic side of the aisle with joe crowley, democrat from new york on the small business tax cut which did pass today although largely along party lines. >> mr. speaker, i rise in strong opposition to this bill. there are a number of reasons to oppose this legislate jays. one this bill is not targeted towards job creation. frankly it is not targeted at all. it will provide 99.6% of all businesses with a tax break regardless of whether or not they create one american job or not. two, this bill does not prevent businesses from taking a tax cut between they layoff workers.
three this, bill fails to help businesses most in need such as new business or startups. fourth, this bill will add billions to the deficit, which will hurt economic growth in america. five, and mostly this bill helps companies with off shore jobs. additionally the amendment stated if a company offshore has jobs next year after this one year tax expenditure expires the funds would be recaptured or taken back by the treasury. this is so a company cannot take the money this year and run away with american dollars and jobs next year and put them overseas. my amendment enjoys the support of every democrat on the
committee of ways and means. unfortunately it was not support by one republican on that committee. americans and their taxpayer dollars should not be subsidizing the destruction of american jobs. let me state, democrats recognize we live in a global economy. we recognize many of our companies need to operate internationally to remain competitive and expand their markets and market share. but, americans should not have their hard earned tax dollars, $46 billion in this case, mr. speaker, taken away and used to subsidize this kind of business activity. democrats work hard while the majority -- could i have 15 additional seconds. >> up have 15 additional seconds. >> democrats work hard to the end practice of incentivizing.
defeat this bill. it is immoral. we should not be spending u.s. tax dollars in this way and i yield back the balance of my time. >> the democratic representative joe crowley on the floor of the house. the house of representatives passing that figure $46 billion in tax cuts for most employers. however, democrats claiming that republicans are not paying for this tax cut. republicans claim it would create as many as 39,000 new jobs. it is expected to be dead on arrival in the u.s. senate. the senate taking up different tax issues, the buffett rule something the republicans say they will not support. this is "washington today" heard on c-span radio. the obama administration today looking for states to are experiment with unemployment insurance with this idea. letting people test a job while still receiving unemployment benefits. it is part of the payroll tax cut package that the president negotiated with republicans back in february.
the labor department is going open up the application process this week with ten pilot projects around the country. any state can apply. it's modeled after the georgia works program under the plan workers who have lost jobs can work in either temporary jobs for brief periods to keep their skills or gain new ones while still receiving jobless benefits. here's more how the program would work as two key officials taking questions through reporters in a teleconference. you'll hear from the labor secretary and national economic council chair. >> our first question. >> thank you for holding the call. will we be able to see the guidance and, two what about the concerns of unemployment advocates who say that, you know, they don't want to see the unemployment funds go for, they are afraid once it starts going tore programs other than the actual safety net checks to the recipients that it could undermine the system. >> first of all, the
application, the guidance is online already so you can go to dol.gov and get that information. sure we're concerned that want we preserve the sanctity of the trust fund and we know these benefits will be paid to those individuals that will be enrolled in these potential projects. we know that's very important and it's very important for people to understand that we want those individuals that are in the current programs, that those are the folks that we're talking about, the population that's currently in the program. we want to make sure we can get them ready, set up, assessed and back in the workforce. studies show and indicate once we provide that kind of service those are people more apt to return to work. we need assistance by our states. i'm welcoming to those states that are listening to join us. >> this is gene. let me make a couple of additional points. the first thing to understand about this is this is not a proposal where you're block
granting money that can be taken away from those on unemployment insurance. this is about giving those on unemployment more options, more choices to connect with jobs and the workforce. that's a very critical point. second, you know, the secretary has made clear from the beginning that our reforms, this is true in our proposal and american jobs act as well would completely be in line with minimum wage over time and the other aspects of the fair labor standards act. so this is not taking money away, block grant money away this, is actually giving more options for those who have paid in and have an entitlement to unemployment insurance in hard
times. >> but they won't be getting any wages from the employers, right, they are just going receive their unemployment checks? >> well, i'll let the secretary talk about that but there's a degree of innovation here so i think that would depend on the options and the models that come forward but absolutely it could be that benefits could be supplementing wages, you know. this is -- you know we're allowing for innovation that fits within this type of bridge to work model. >> i would just clarify also that if there is an employer and employee relationship they will be paid. >> i'm sorry. can you explain? isn't this -- the georgia work program i don't believe they get paid. >> this is not the georgia work
program. we are revising and taking what we've learned from that program and making it better. so those people that do have, that will have if they end up having an employer-employee relationship will get paid. doesn't mean other services won't be provided that can be coupled in this demonstration program by the state. that's what we want to work towards, trying to keep people attached to the workforce right away, making sure they get appropriate assessment and training and coaching whatever need. those are things we're looking for. >> really do want to stress, our statement was that this borrow some of the ideas but improved and built upon the georgia works and the, you know, so one should not -- there are ideas that were borrowed from georgia works and the other state option but the bridge to work model that the president put forth and secretary solis has designed and implemented have much more significant protections for
those connecting to the workforce during this program. as i said, including, you know, the core aspects of the fair labor standards act. so this is a -- this very much strengthens what we saw in some of the other models like georgia works. this will not be seen the same as. >> the announcement earlier today your heard from gene sperling and hilda solis. the program modeled in part but not completely on the georgia program allows those people who are out of network re-enter the workforce, take temporary jobs while still collecting unemployment benefits throws try out new jobs, see if they have the skill sets required and necessary for that job as a way to transition those people especially long term unemployed. ten states likely to take up this pilot program it was announced today, by the white house. this is "washington today" on
c-span radio heard on the webb at c-span.org and heard coast to coast on channel 119. >> in some other news today speaking of unemployment the number of people seeking benefits suggesting that hiring is slowing. weekly applications dipped last week by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted to 836,000 but loin after the department revised up the previous week's data. applications have started to tick up in recent weeks after months of steady declines. when applications fall below 375,000 suggests hiring is strong enough to lower the downemployment rates. temporary layoffs have inflated the figures. many school employees are laid off during spring break and are eligible to file benefits. on wall street the dow fell 68, nasdaq was down 23, s&p down 8. officials in nebraska have unveiled new preferred route for the