tv [untitled] April 19, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
it has a stellar reputation. it is known around the world as one of the most elite law enforcement agencies and probably up there with the swiss guard and up here on capitol hill it has great respect because it managed to be such a nonpartisan reputable agency that at any moment a member of its staff may have to take a bullet. i think there is more respect and more understanding that they're going to conduct an investigation and sure enough if lawmakers aren't pleased they will hold their hearings as well. the difference here is with the gsa thing also remember the inspector general basically launched this investigation more than a year ago, conducted it, aeither willing the agency ahe officials and only recently it became public. darrell earlier said i admire sullivan for staying put. if he is a guy that knows the corrections he made and knows how to make them, he should stay, fix the problem, and then
we'll see what happens with him. that's exactly what inspector johnson didn't do. she was warned 11 months ago, didn't do anything about it and quickly made changes by firing a few people and placing others on administrative leave and resigned instead of sticking around to fix the problem. you can see that these are very different things because it is money versus staff versus systemic versus what many believe now at least to be isolated, and a demonstration of character and leadership by the guys in charge. >> we look forward to reading the stories tomorrow morning in the "washington post" or any time at washingtonpost.com and your blog which has an update on all of thesers to and ed o'keefe, as always, thanks for being generous with your time. this is washington today heard coast to toast on channel 119 and streamed on the web at c-span radio.org and an iphone app available any time. other news, on wall street k
that was down 23 and s&p down 8. the federal reserve says banks will have two years to comply with a rule to ban them from trading for their own profit. for a local rule expect to take effect this summer and the fed clarifying it will not enforce it until summer of 2014. coming up with new government regulations can be time consuming. a report suggests they're taking way too long on safety rules. the occupational safety and health administration is a focus of a report by the government accountability office and says they take nearly eight years on average for osha to approve regulations and protect worker from on the job hazards like dangerous chemicals. critics are telling the committee the agency has become too cautious. the department of veterans affairs is saying today it is going to increase its staff of mental health professionals by about 1,900 to better serve veterans returning home from war. they plan to add 1,600 clinicians including
psychiatrists, psychologists and nurses and 300 support staff to an existing mental health staff of about 29,500. a group promising to field a bipartisan presidential ticket in november says it is now on the ballot in 25 states. americans elect announcing halfway towards its goal appearing on the ballot in all 50 states, a tall claim and they require the candidates themselves to petition for access. americans elect won't have its ticket set until june. it is technically not a third party under law yet. states remaining in california have given it the go ahead. south dakota was number 25. and more than three decades after a six-year-old boy disappeared on his way to a bus stop in new york city, police and federal investigators relaunching the search for him looking in the basement of a commercial building in lower manhattan largely unexplained
development, a milestone case that helped draw the polite of plooit of missing children to the national consciousness. he was the first child to appear on milk cartons. back in a minute with more washington today. pod casts of some of our regularly scheduled programs like q & a is news makers. the c-span radio app free at the itunes store or black berry app world. >> some news today on the legislation moving through in the senate violence against women act. republican leaders have called on senator kay bailey hutchinson to create a republican alternative to the violence against women act which is scheduled to be debated next week on the senate floor. the provisions are not
controversial and senate democrats had inserted a number of provisions that would expand the program for those in indian reservations and same sex couples in domestic partnerships and as well as undocumented immigrants and in response the senate republican leader mitch mcconnell approaching hutchinson asking her to work on a republican version of the bill. we'll get more background on all of this in just a couple of minutes and yesterday senator kirsten gillibrand from new york had this to say. >> i rise to join a strong and growing group of my colleagues in support of violence against women act, a common sense bill that since it was first signed into law has always been an issue we can build a consensus around both democrats and republicans alike. the reason for this is quite simple. there is no room for tolerance of violence against women in the home anywhere in our society.
when we're talking about the safety of our families, there is simply no space for partisanship. that's why i am calling on my colleagues to not seek to block or delay this important piece of legislation any further. to do so is a disservice to the families so deeply affected by domestic violence every single day. anyone who is guilty of domestic abuse should be held accountable tofullestextent of the law and any victim should be empowered to speak out and have access to help and support. keeping women and families safe is a basic, common sense principle and one that we have easily found agreement on since the bill was first passed and we should be able to agree on it again today. every day an average of three women are murdered by a husband, a boyfriend, a partner. every single day 600 women are
raped or sexually assaulted. millions of women and families rely on the help and support that the violence against women's act provides, to keep them safe. it is outrageous to turn the violence against women's act into a political circus. when we allow ourselves to get bogged down on politics as usual, we're telling women and families across the country that their safety can wait for the next election. let's do better. let's be better. let's agree that women sderve access to basic justice and basic safety. let's show the american people that we as a body can do the rate thing. yield the floor. >> senator kirsten yesterday on the floor of the senate talking about the legislation likely to be debated next week, the violence against women act and joining from us capitol hill is rosalyn hilder man following the story. thank you for being with us.
>> thanks for having me. >> the news of the day we heard that senator mitch mcconnell asked kay bailey hutchinson to work on a republican alternative. what are the divisions? where are the differences between democrats and republicans on this. >> there are serious dividing lines. they don't necessarily have to do with the meat of the bill which provides grants to local police departments to have domestic violence programs and for shelters and for women who have been abused. the democrats have proposed changes to the law and some of them the republicans do not agree with. one is to expand some of the protections provided in the law to dating partners for people who in gay relationships. that's obviously one of the huge dividing lines of american politics and republicans have problems with it. democrats have also proposed expanding a number of visas that will be provided to women who are undocumented immigrants who have come forward to tell law
enforcement authorities about abuse they're suffering. there is visas provided for those folks because the idea is to try to encourage people to come forward and report the abuse without fear of being deported if they do so. right now the united states is at its cap and the democrats would expand that and republicans have concerns. >> let's go to the larger issue which is the political issue, the white house pushing very strongly on women's issues. yesterday the vice president calling it sad that republicans would try to block the violence against women account and of course the comments made last week by a cnn democratic contributor that led to the republicans coming to the defense of ann romney who was a stay at home mom. >> right. this whole issue is coming against this back drop of the war on women, of the debate about contraception. democrats have been convinced that these women's issues have been working very well for them and republicans cannot be seen as blocking the violence against
women's act. it is a no-brainer that people in both parties have long support. it is kind of a tricky issue for republicans. do they oppose the new provisions that democrats have added into this bill, and that they sincerely disagree with and be seen as potentially being opposed to the underlying measure and/or do they just go along? that is where i think we're going to find this alternative being put forward. >> which is my next question then. give us a preview. what can we expect for viewers watches on c-span 2 or listening on c-span radio in the senate debate next week? >> the republicans will put forward an alternative. i think they're still discussing what's going to be in it. it would certainly provide the grants to local law enforcement that's really the meat of the bill. it might deal with some of those provisions i discussed earlier differently than what the democrats have done. the truth is the original bill, the democratic version, had 61
co-sponsors and included eight republicans, one of them is mark kirk, ailing from a stroke he suffered several months ago so he is not around. they're right at 60. if democrats can keep the republicans on board that sponsored the measure, it is going to go through. >> rosalynn following the story for the "washington post" joining us live on capitol hill. thanks very much for being with us. prosecute esh your perspective. >> thanks so much. >> news on the vice presidential front within the last hour. senator rob portman making an appearance on the jong king program, of course asked about the potential of being a running mate and as the dance continues, the candidates saying they're not interested, they're interested in their current job. senator marco rubio making a slip whether he referred to himself as a vice president and asked about the position and in an interview being reported on at real clear politics and marco rubio, the senator from florida i would have a chance to contribute to that as a united states senator. i am excited about that prospect, three, four, five, six
seven years from now if a do a good job as vice president, i am sorry, as senator i will have the chance to do all sorts of things. those comments from marco rubio. essentially anything you say or sdoo is being fodder for speculation along the cable chatter programs about being the running mate. a new survey looking at who potentially would have an impact on mitt romney and clearly governor chris chrissy among the choices that could help mitt romney as he secures the republican nomination and goes after president obama and also the views of the current first lady and a potential first lady of ann romney, and here is more with peter brown at the national press club here in washington. >> they asked voters whether they thought someone would be a good choice or a bad choice for romney on the vice presidency, and we gave them a large number of potential candidates. new jersey governor chris
christie gets the highest grades on potential running mates for mr. romney. running second and third are florida senator marco rubio and wisconsin congressman paul ryan. not doing as well are people like virginia governor bob mcdonnell, ohio senator rob portman, new mexico governor sue susanna martinez and a variety of candidates and most not well known and even chrissy well known is still not known to half the electorate and still don't have a firm opinion. again, they're not as well known. interestingly, ann romney, mr. romney's wife, has a very strong approval rating although 7 out of 10 voters or almost 7 of 10 voters don't have an opinion about her because they don't know her that well.
there is almost a 3 to 1 ratio of people that have an opinion and think that they like her and look at her favorably. she runs and has a better favorable impression among voters at least in terms of ratio of favorable and unfavorable than does her husband mitt and on the other hand first lady michelle obama, 60% of voters say they have a favorable opinion with 22% with unfavorable opinion and that's 3 to 1 ratio and mr. obama and mr. romney have more that view them
re-elected, 46%, 42% mitt romney and if you drill down the numbers, some encouraging signs for the democrats and the president and also encouraging signs for the republicans and mitt romney most notably the view that the president is not doing an adequate job handling the u.s. economy which helps mitt romney as he secures the republican nomination and prepares to challenge the president head to head into the general election. as you finish up your tax returns for this year, the irs looking at what it calls the tax gap, the latest study released this year showing that, for example, $385 billion in tax money has not been collected. that averages out to more than 1,000 per american. it is the amount of money that could buy a few arms -- a few weapons if you want, if you want to spend the money there or for highway and transportation bills and this afternoon congressman jerry connelly with questions to
irs officials including steven miller, the deputy commissioner, nina olsen, the national taxpayer advocate on the washington journal this past week and russell george, the inspector general at the treasury department. this took place at the oversight and government reform committee looking at the tax gap. >> mr. george, you talked about i think you said a $450 billion tax gap. >> gross, yes. >> that's this year. >> that's what the for 2006. >> 2006. and it is growing. >> yes, it is, and i believe it is a low ball figure and, again, part of the earlier discussion indicated on going review, and it doesn't include aspects such as the international tax gap. >> understood. do you think there could be some relationship between that growing gap and the fact that we've had a 20% reduction since 1995 in revenue offices or revenue agents? >> there is no question that if the irs had additional resources they would be able to collect additional tax receipts.
>> just for the sake of argument, $450 billion in money owed the government we're not collecting. that's what the tax gap is, correct. >> roughly. >> times ten is $4.5 trillion. here we are sweating can we go big at 4 trillion and sweating sequestration that would be 1.2 trillion. this would be a big dent in the debt if we simply put the resources into the irs to collect the money owed. over and above that, this committee, this subcommittee, led by my colleagues, mr. plats and mr. towns has done a lot of work on the issue of improper payments and, mr. miller, i think you were covering that in your testimony. what's the estimate of annual improper payments, mistakes made, refunds sent to people who didn't qualify or the amounts are wrong or whatever it may be,
but what's the estimated annual improper payment for irs in. >> just to give two examples. >> is there a global figure? you have 450 billion tax gap. what's the comparable figure for annual improper payments? >> let me respond by saying that i can tell you definitively that under the additional child tax credit it is estimated at $4.2 billion a year although the irs under an interpretation from treasury disputes whether or not that's an actual improper payment, you know. we don't believe we don't believe that that authorizes the payment of the additional child tax credit to people who are not u.s. citizens and who don't have -- >> yeah, but we're trying to deal with global numbers here. >> yes. >> it would be useful to have a number, the total amount, estimated for the entire federal government is $125 billion a year. >> yes. that of course earned income tax credit, estimated about $13
billion a year. no, i do not have a global number. >> our tax gap numbers say that tax credits as part of the under reporting gap are about 28 billion of that 450 or 6% of the gross tax gap. >> okay. >> and so that includes a number of refundable tax credits. >> all right. mr. miller? >> so the only thing i would caution is there is a difference between the improper payment which is what went out that shouldn't have gone out and the tax cuts that includes all sorts of different -- >> i am making that distinctions and trying to get what is the number for the former. >> i don't have that number. we can come back. >> it would be helpful. again, if you set a goal of making it zero, understanding that that's probably an impossible task, backing into that, what would be required? what would be required to close that $450 billion gap and to better get our handle on the
improper payments because we're making incredible and in my opinion sometimes egregious policy decisions that are going to do real damage to the united states of america. we're cutting back on investments that are very important if we're going to stay competitive and here, right in front of us is a source of revenue we're owed, except this body is not willing to make the investments in irs that we need to make. and what is very clear from your testimony is that for every $1 we invest in irs, especially in terms of compliance, we have a big return. without pain and suffering. and i -- it puzzles one why congress wouldn't seize on that opportunity as one measure to put a real dent in the debt without having to create, you know, weeping and nashing of teelt. >> congressman jerry connolly questioned irs and treasury
department officials before a house government reform oversight hearing looking at the tax gap and some recent figures from 2006-2007. those are the most recent numbers indicating the federal government did not collect and should have collected anywhere from 385 to as much as $450 billion. money that could be used for various projects or to offset the growing deficit. this is "washington today" on c-span radio. and here is syria by the numbers courtesy of the associated press. the confirmed number of people killed since march of 2011 when the uprisings began against president osauassad, 9,000. those who have fled their homes and taken refuge? 230,000. thesyria's armed forces. the rebel forces estimated to be around 10,000. there are seven u.n. observers on the ground in syria.
ban ki-moon wants has many as 300. millions of dollars has been pledged by saudi arabia and other arab countries but so far none of that money has been transferred in terms of international relief for the syrian people. with that background, senator -- representative rob andrews of new jersey questioning defense secretary leon panetta who was on capitol hill earlier today with, among other questions, why there's no consensus among the arab states in terms of what to do next. >> i want to congratulate the administration on your success with russia and china moving them to a very different place on this issue as to compared to where they were just a few weeks ago. and mr. secretary, i think the data you gave us about the exchange rate for the syrian currency and the gdp are a reflection of the effectiveness of that coalition. but you also note that we do not yet have the level of consensus in the arab world that existed
for the libyan problem. what do you see as the principal obstacles to achieving that kind of consensus with trop trespecte syrian regime? >> i thing arab world is struggle with the same issues that's the whole international community is struggling with, which is, you know, in order to take additional actions, what, in fact, does make sense. you know, who is the opposition in how can we best assist the operation. how do we best provide the kind of help that the syrian people need in order to overcome the situation? what kind of pressures would best be placed on assad in order to force that regime downward. you know, all of those same difficult, complex issues that the whole international community is dealing with, the arab community is confronting as well. in libya, that all came together. in syria, it's still a difficult
situationer challen challenge to put those together. >> do you suppose that the cohering factor in the libyan situation was the sense that gadhafi had completely lost the support of his own people and no one wanted to be associated with a regime that was illegitimate in that sense. do you think that assad has simply not reached that point with his own people yet, or is there some other factor that is diverting us from that consensus? >> i think it's the factors i pointed out in my testimony make this different from libya. the fact that, number one, he does still enjoy, as i said, the loyalty of a good chunk of the army and the military. and that makes it more challenging in terms of trying to undermine the regime. secondly, the opposition is dispersed. there are a lot of groups there
that represent the opposition. in libya, while, you know, there were some different tribal groups that made up the opposition, they were holding territory. we knew who they were. we could define what the opposition was that needed assistance. this is much more difficult. there isn't geographic areas that are being held by the opposition. it's much more of an insurgency kind of opposition. >> defense secretary leon panetta questioned by congressman rob andrews from new jersey. today's house armed services hearing committee. this is c-span radio's "washington today." we're joined on the phone by marwan, vice president for studies at the carnegie endowment for international peace. he is also 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 see a quick end 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 syr syria, and the question of whether to arm the opposition or not is not something that the opposition is united on. some want to be armed. some say that arming the opposition is going to further complicate the issue. and so the united states so far has to keep on trying the diplomatic option at the u.n. and try the economic option also with further sanctions on the regime. but these unfortunately are not options that will lead any time soon to dramatic change. >> if you look at what happened recently in libya, also in egypt where the dictator, the leader was forced out of power, what's different in syria? >> well, in libya, there was
sort of prominence -- imminent attack on ben ghazi that would have left maybe tens of thousands dead. at the time, the arab league was united over what to do with libya and gave a cover to the international community. you also had the russians and the chinese back in nato-led operation to, you know, to intervene in libya. none of that is present in syria. russia and china remain opposed to security council resolution at the u.n., and that has been sort of a principal reason why there is no unanimousity. the arab league itself is divided into a majority that is against the syrian regime, but a minority that's 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 we are in libya. we are also facing a syrian army and regime which has no problem in killing, you know, as many people as it needs to to stay in power. >> as you know in brussels, 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, you know, weakened the regime. affected the regime in many ways in its ability to import and its ability to export its products. but it is also true that sanctions on their own are not going to, you know, succeed in toppling the regime without any other action. this is a regime which is -- in arabic we have a saying that he who is drowning will not be afraid to get wet. so sanctions are not going on
their own to effect 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 population is against assad's regime but that is 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 of them still suffer 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 r