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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  July 13, 2009 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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plants. that would be tremendous for our country and for the world. it would permit the whole world to have @@@@@ @ . carbon fuel standard, for example. that's 30% of all of the carbon that's produced in the united states and since we have electric cars and trucks about to be manufactured by almost every manufacturer nissan's going to build them in tennessee, for example, we can require less carbon and fuel
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without raising the price of fuel. in fact, i think we could lower the price of fuel. brookings says, as i mentioned that we have so much unused electricity at night that we can plug in cars and trucks at night and have not to build a power plant. the difference with coal is that we don't have an alternative to coal. we don't have a commercially viable way yet to take the carbon out of coal, and we haven't built a new nuclear power plant in 30 years, and while we can build natural gas plants, that's a dangerous thing for us to do because, as we know, the price can go up. it was $14 or $15 just a few years ago and we use it for so many other things. so i would -- i could support limits on carbon on coal plants after we've started -- we built and opened some nuclear power plants and shown that we're
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going to open more or we have invented a commercially viable way to recapture carbon from existing coal plants. yes, sir? >> can we store nuclear waste on site or what can we do if we can't resolve the issue now to existing plants and how are we going to deal with doubling the number of plants? >> one, we can forget yucca mountain. the president's told us that. although that's sort of like saying we're not going -- we're going to close guantanamo bay without figuring out where we'll put the terrorists. that causes a problem. in the case of nuclear fuels, two thing, one, it can be stored on site safely for the next 30 to 40 years. france does it. they all believe it can be done safely. number two, we should have a
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mini-manhattan project on how to -- on the safest and best way to recycle used nuclear fuel. i'm not satisfied that we've got that yet. so let's take 10 or 20 years to figure that out and at that point we can recycle the waste and have almost no residue left from the waste. so it's a two-part plan. >> yes? sir, it sounds like most of the effort is going to come from the president then in terms of pushing 100 nuclear reactors. the one thing you mentioned congress could do is up the loan guarantees. is there anything else? are you going to pursue this since you're not going to go to the cap and trade likely the way the senate's going? are you going to produce this as a stand alone bill? i'm taking it step by step and i
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have a blueprint for the goals. i'm inviting comment and criticism and suggestions and i'm looking for bipartisan support. i'm also meeting with people who understand nuclear power plants and asking them what are the first ten thins that the federal government can do to make it more likely that we could build 100 plants in 20 years. i think the president should be doing that. if he really believes in global warming and that we ought to deal with it in a generation, he ought to call in his very bright administrators and distinguished scientists and say tell me exactly what we need to do at the federal level that make sure we have 100 power plants in 20 years. i mentioned loan financing for plants. a second thing is the research on what to do with advanced -- with fuel. we may discover four or five other steps that the federal government needs to take.
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i mentioned a third thing. >> the senate -- >> well, each of those. congress would have to approve more financing. congress would have to approve a larger staff for the nuclear regulatory commission if needed. congress would have to fund the research and development on a recycling of nuclear fuel, but it would make it much easier if the president would say here are the ten things we need to do. i asked congress to do this. it's part of our goal. we worked with president bush in a bipartisan way a few years ago on what we need to do to remain competitive. we had the national academy of sciences tell us the ten things we need to do. they told us 20. we tried to put it into legislation and we passed it. we could do the same thing with this goal. >> the subsidy? to an industry, and you want the loans up front and doesn't the
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liability end up becoming a huge -- you know? why can't you get the loans from the private sector? why can't you get the liability insurance from the private sector? why can't it come from the government? >> well, the credit's not available, and the question would be whether the government as authorized loan financing for nuclear power plants and i give secretary chu great credit for going ahead with the first four. that's not a taxpayer subsidy if the taxpayer is not out any money and the taxpayer should not be, in the end, because the plants themselves have to put up enough money so if there's any default they'll pay for it. as far as the price anderson federal legislation about insurance, that often gets brought up, but as i say in my remarks that doesn't cost the taxpayer anything either, and it never has because today, if there is an accident at a nuclear plant, each of the 104 nuclear plants that exist today are liable up to $100 million to
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pay for any damages that have occurred. so there may need to be some federal action, but, and i'm looking to say what it should be, and i haven't seen a reason for federal subsidies yet. i do encourage the use of electric cars and trucks, and i do support federal subsidies in the level of $8 billion a year about the president's proposals for energy research and development on renewable energy. >> that is the key, why didn't we get it under the previous administration. >> i don't know. it would have been better if we had. >> we can't constantly. at some point, the new administration will take credit for being president. i mean, we can't just, for example, with the debt, we can't just get in and say a that, the boat is sinking and the problem
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is the boat and let's dig a second hole. i've given secretary chu credit for doing something president bush wasn't able to do which is to do loan financings for nuclear power plants authorized in 2005. what i'd like to see is president obama be aggressive about 100 new nuclear power plants. make that a part of his goal of dealing with global warming and reindustrializing america. maybe one more and then we'll stop. >> while you addressed earlier that there is a real problem with the economy, with the job losses, the fact that almost every state is bankrupt and difficult to get loans from banks, i am with the political action committee and we've been mobilizing around the country for a new, for a actual bankruptcy. in the 1920s and 30s and to
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actually figure out what is the means, the first thing he did was he put the wall street financial interests on public trial and showed and mobilized the people to see what we were up against. what caused the collapse and right now we're in a situation. >> what is the question? >> the question is how are we going to create a new credit system so we can direct credit to the infrastructure projects like nuclear power and mag leff transportation and water systems,ed kind of project that would recreate our real economy. >> it's a very good question and a good one to end on. i think we've lost sight. two-word answer is cheap energy. cheap energy. i think we've lost sight of how important cheap energy is to good jobs. across tennessee, just as one
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example, we have a lot of manufacturing jobs and a third of them are auto jobs. almost everyone i know down there whether they're making autos or autoparts or air conditioners. they look at every cost they have. the cost gets too high, off they go overseas searching for a lower cost, but if electric rates are low and energy costs are low, we're much more likely to be making cars in tennessee, than in japan and mexico, and if we invent new and better ways as we did with nuclear power to provide cheap energy and think of what that does to relief poverty around the world. even in nashville, tennessee, a year ago, 10% of the people said they couldn't pay their electric bills in december. and around the world people have much less money. so i think it is wrong for the united states to embark on an
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expensive energy policy which is the house bill. i think it is right to take the republican senate bill which is 100 nuclear plants, electric cars and trucks, off-shore drilling and doibling energy rnd for renewable energy. that's the plan for the next 20 years, and that would actually lower utility bills and create jobs that other plants would create a new utility bill for every american family and run jobs overseas. i thank you for your time. this is the blueprint for 100 new nuclear power plants, and i hope it promotes the same kind of discussion we had today. if you're watching thq; alexander.senate.gov is where you can get the entire report. thank you for coming.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] >[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> tuesday, the senate confirmation hearing continues for judge sonia sotomayor. you can follow this on c-span3, c-span radio, and c-span.org. top accepted days at state department briefing include the situations in north korea and china. this is about 25 minutes. >> good afternoon. we hope you had a good weekend. we will start off with some items on the secretary schedule, as is becoming my want.
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she had a town hall at the international agency for development. she stressed that the obama administration's sees that development is one of the more powerful tools that we have. she led for long-term stability on the construction of roads, creation of jobs, and strengthening political institutions. she noted that the 2010 budget request was on the path to develop -- double development assistance. she remarked friday about the need to maximize cooperation between states.
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she will also meet this afternoon with the secretary of state for northern ireland, talking about moving forward with reconciliation and promoting prosperity and progress. the secretary will also discuss lessons from the northern ireland conflict and how they can be applied in other areas of conflict, leading to resolutions are around the world. with that, i will take your questions. >> any kind of word about north korea and the state of help of the dear leader? >> the short answer is i do not have much. we have seen these reports about kim jong-il's health.
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but as a standard practice, we do not comment on these matters. >> did you see the videos of him appearing at his memorial service for his father? >> he did not look in the pink of health. but we have no specific information. >> is it fair to infer from your answer that the u.s. government has no intermission all? >> i would not infer that. we have no further information that we can share with you. >> you may have some more information. >> our practice is not to get into releasing additional information that may be obtained through intelligence channels. and we do not have an embassy there.
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so our means of getting the formation -- getting information are convoluted. >> a news organization that reported this, have you discussed this matter with your chinese and south korean counterparts to find out if you have better information than they do? >> i don't have a specific answers to that question. we do have talks on a bilateral basis both with south korea and china. >> i know you cannot talk about intelligence matters. what is the official view of the state department or the u.s. government on this so-called secession process? what is the u.s. concretely
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believe? >> well, as we said many times, and what we're focused on is the behavior of north korea. we have some serious concerns about their actions. specifically, actions that run counter to various u.n. security council resolutions, the refusal to address these rick -- these concerns with the international community and, specifically through the six party talks. of course we have a process in place so that the leaders in north korea know that there is a consequence for these kinds of actions that are provocative and
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unduly raise tensions in northeast asia. >> but that is not a question i asked. >> not exactly? it was not anything like it. >> i appreciate that. >> i will ask it differently. what is your understanding on what is going on -- is the no. involved right now in a secession process in which kim jong-il is leaving the scene as the leader and giving -- slowly transferring power to his son? >> as i said just a few minutes ago, we do not get into any analysis derived from any sensitive channels. we like everyone are paying close attention to public
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announcements that come out of north korea through the media and through other means, their official press agencies. and we are following this with -- we are following this very closely. as i have said many times, we have real concerns about north korea's proliferation activities, about their plans to develop nuclear and ballistic missile technology and, so of course we are concerned about any stories of political changes. but i am not an expert and not in internal north korean politics to be able to discuss
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it. and even then by work, i would not want to discuss them from here. -- and even if i were, i would not want to discuss them from here. you saw the secretary statement on friday. we remain very concerned about these two young ladies. we want their immediate release. i am not aware of any specific responses that we have gotten from the north koreans. we do hope that they will release them as soon as possible. >> there was a suggestion that the question that elicited that response from the secretary may have been planted by the department. anything to say about that? >> i do not have anything to say about that. we did not plan to question.
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>> can you say that that is not true? >> i cannot say that that is not true. >> is it possible that someone ask this person -- as this person to ask that question to elicit the answer that was given? >> i cannot answer one way or the other, whether true or false. >> in contrast to everyone else why did she not identify herself? >> i was not aware that she did not identify herself. >> we're not surprised -- we're surprised that you're not able to deny that that was the case. >> i was not aware that the ticket a detail. i know that what -- i was not aware of that particular detail. i know that she was a state department employee.
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>> the secretary of state in may said that the iranians are sending an ambassador to nicaragua. and the nicker washing -- in nicaraguan officials are saying that there is no such project. i wonder how the secretary could be some wrongly informed? >> what we can say right now is that there is no major iranian presence in iraq what -- in nicaragua. regarding their plans for a larger diplomatic presence, that could be something for the
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iranian government to address. we respect the sovereign right of every country to determine the size of their diplomatic missions. we would always hope that the size of the mission would reflect the bilateral interests in that country. we would also expect that countries would recognize in their dealings with iran that iran has certain obligations to the international community. especially regarding its plans to develop nuclear weapons and also its support for terrorism. we would hope that in any of the bilateral dealings that they would have with iran, that they would discuss these important issues.
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>> before saying to us that the iranians are building this embassy, did the secretary had any concern? >> she does consult by the assistant secretary, but who exactly she consulted with in may, i am not sure. >> [unintelligible] >> is it over estimated compared to what? >> [unintelligible] >> i am not sure that i can answer that question. i do know that we're concerned about iranian activities in the past in latin american, the possible involvement in some terrorist activities in the past.
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but as i said before, it is the sovereign right of every country to determine their diplomatic presence. go ahead. >> iran is reportedly coming up with new nuclear proposals. is that something that you are aware of? >> i have seen the media reports on that but i do not have any firm information about any specific overtures. >> one more -- as the united states made any specific representation, perhaps third party, in the case of the correspondent who has been imprisoned in iran for several weeks? >> we do not have an embassy there. it would be difficult for us to make a diplomatic representation. but i saw the very compelling
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article in the pages of of the "washington post" today, and we're deeply concerned by an indian -- by any harassment or intimidation and imprisonment of journalists on crown must charges. -- on groundless charges. "newsweek" said that they were doing nothing contrary to its -- he was doing nothing contrary to his journalistic mission. this type of harassment as an accessible. >> any update on the scholar who was detained? >> and yes, i did. just wait a moment. yes, we are deeply concerned on reports that an iranian- american scholar and has been unjustly detained in iran.
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burden -- due to privacy act considerations, we are not able to comment on this arrest. it is unfortunate that the iranian government are making choices that only serves to isolate iran from the international community. we urge the iranian authorities released this scholar including releasing the passports of others. one person was banned from departing iran since her release from prison. additionally call on iran to be forthcoming with information determining the whereabouts of robert levenson, missing in iran since march 8, 2007. we here at the state department and across the u.s. government are committed to reuniting these american citizens with their families. >> what people are we talking about who's u.s. passports had
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been confiscated? >> besides the iranian-american scholar who is and detained and i assume his passport confiscated, the only information i hear a share is about the other person. i am not sure of the exact number. >> could you check? just to see if there is more than 2. >> just to see if there is more than two. >> you obviously have protecting power there. did you ask the swiss to raise this matter with iran? >> we did. we also asked the swiss protecting power to go when and at consular access to -- to go in and get consular access to the scholar. >> had succeeded in doing so? >> i do not believe that they have gotten access but they are
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requesting a. >> do you know this time around when he was detained? >> i believe it was late last week. i can get the exact time. when india? >> any change in the g-eigh8 declaration? [unintelligible] >> let me see if i can give you a specific answer on that, rather than trying to wing it. >> palestine has released five druglords. any comment on that? >> that question was asked last week. we will have to -- sorry, we
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will have asked your question to be answered. >> a quick one. we have a report that chinese police shot dead two people, according to a chinese news agency. there was a report that the police were trying to stop them from attacking another uigher. the u.s. any comment on the specific incident? -- do you have any comment on the specific incident? and i suppose it adair said to get a u.s. diplomat on the ground there. -- it took a day or so to get a u.s. diplomat on the ground there. >> we do have a team on the ground from the u.s. embassy.
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you point out, they got there a day or two after the incident started. the short answer your question is, are we still gathering information? we have expressed our concern to the chinese government about the situation, and we are urging china and to handle the situation as we go forward in a transparent manner. to do their assessment of what has happened in an open and transparent manner as well. and as they work to restore order, we believe that is important that they respect the legal rights all chinese citizens. right now we do not have sufficient information to comment on the reaction. >> you urge for them to handle
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this in an open and transparent. that pretty much been openly and transparently beating the crap out of these people. what exactly does that mean? >> we have had our issues with the chinese government. we had been open and transparent about respecting the rights of all of china's citizens in terms of respecting their right to practice their religion, not to put restrictions on their religious activity in their manner of worship. we have also had some issues with the uighers,
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restriction on their ability to express their cultural identity and, and this gets back to the need for china and to respect our right of its citizens to freely express themselves. >> if they restrict that right openly and transparently, i do not understand your you say handle it openly and transparent. what does that mean? >> this situation did not emerge out of a vacuum. there are issues that we think, relating to the uighers, that the chinese government have to address. but in terms of how they have specifically dealt with a very difficult situation on the ground there, we do not have
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sufficient information for us to be able to pronounced on it how they have handled it. >> i thought last week it would call for them to exercise restraint. >> we still do. >> that was totally absent from your previous remarks here. >> that was my fault. we continue to call on all sides to exercise restraint from violence. >> winking you get some information given it to have a team on the ground, to make assessments? >> we are making the assessments. we have a team from the embassy in beijing, and we are gathering or requesting more information from the chinese government. when the time is appropriate, we will make that assessment.
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>> when will that be? will that be before the release of the human rights report in your? >> i am not going to put a deadline on it. i imagine it will be before then. >> in dealing with what is a difficult situation, it made me think that it is almost as if the u.s. government's sympathies here are with the chinese government, rather than -- here you have, i do not have the circumstances, i was not there, but when police she two people dead -- shoot two people dead, the balancing concern is for the government and not toward the victims. >> i am certainly not trying to convey that impression.
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what we have been trying to do is lower the temperature of as much as we can. we had an overheated situation last week with a lot of wallace of violence on the streets lawless region l-- lawless violence on the streets, most of the ethically -- most of it technicaethnically motivated. we do now on a and the flames of a very volatile situation -- we do not want to fan the flames of a very volatile situation. that is really what we have been striving for.
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>> cannot clarify one thing? -- ken i clarify one thing? you have not made it clear china recently. these are just concerns -- had to raise the recently? >> that is something that i think will have to -- we have raised our concern with the way the situation is developing out there. we have an embassy that is in constant communication with chinese authorities. i do not have a specific answer to your question. wheat -- if we have raised it recently, but as mac points out, we do raise it every year in the human rights report. and there is a constant pilot with the big dialogue with the
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chinese authorities. we don't issued a report and then not follow up on it. yes? >> the chinese government is asking people to stop support for the region. but there is activity in the u.s. funded here in the u.s. it can be funded by the state department budget. what is your comment about the chinese request to stop assistance? would you stop assistance or not? >> the last part of your question? >> what is your comment about that, the chinese request to stop assistance, and does the u.s. state department consider to stop the assistance?
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>> i have not seen the reports. i am not aware of the chinese government asking the national endowment for democracy to stop this assistance. >> what they are saying is asking the international community to stop. >> at not being aware of the specific request, i am not in a position to comment. i do know that her organization does receive funds from the national endowment for democracy, which receives its funds from congress. but until we see this actual report, i am going to decline to comment. >> would you consider asking them to stop funding? >> ned is not part of the state department.
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we will see. again, i have not seen these reports. i am not going to comment. yes? >> are you investigating the reports by the chinese government that she was behind the riots? >> the state department would not be investigating any of these crimes. as far as i know, we have no information that would substantiate those kinds of claims. >> if you don't have any information, why are you willing to leave open the possibility that u.s. taxpayer money could still continue to go there, might be given to hurt her? >> i and i conveyed that. >> i asked if you would even consider that question that you would stop funding to ouher.
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>> you are asking me to answer a question that we do not have all the details on. i am not going to comment on something until we have all the details on it. >> i want to clarify, i was not here last week. when you talk about lawless violence, if you are talking about the demonstrators? >> i am talking about the riots that we all saw on the streets last week. >> whenever getting hit by the police and may be shot, could be explained by the fact that there was the lawless violence? >> when i mentioned that the situation is volatile because the ethnic tension was running very high, because of this
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ethnic into it, there were examples of mob violence. full stop. >> to change the subject, honduras saying over the weekend and holding up the possibility of amnesty. he asked about the possibility of amnesty. if he were to appear before the authorities, i would not have any problem. you find that idea as a way to reach an agreement? >> yes, well, this is not an
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american process. it is a process that we are -- it is a process led by the custer rican president. -- costa rican president. we are supporting that. >> their country is in what part of the world? >> it is not a process been led by the united states of america. we have to give time to this process to work. as i say, we're standing firmly behind president. he said late last week that he expects to sit down late last week within a week with the two parties. these of the proposals that i hope that both sides can
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discuss. >> what is the secretary doing on this? >> over the weekend, mostly our assistant secretary for western hemisphere affairs, and the senior director who had a lot of conversations and met with the president. they discuss the talks in san hjose and reiterated their support for the restoration of democratic order and honduras. -- democratic order in honduras. we have had a number of conversations, but it has been tom and dan who have led the way. >> we have reports that president chavez called
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assistant secretary shannon over the weekend. is that correct? >> it is correct. let me just take this question, but is correct. -- it is correct. let me take a question and see if i can get to a better answer. >> i thought there was an additional call. >> no, i think it was just that one. >> can you double check? >> sure. i was wondering where you were going without american. -- with that american -- >> president obama today announced his choice for the next surgeon general of the united states.
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dr. regina benjamin makes a statement after being introduced by the president. from the rose garden earlier today, this is 15 minutes. >> good morning, everybody. but for any -- before i introduce america's next surgeon general, a lot like to say a word about our roof -- our efforts to reform the health care system that she will help to oversee. we are now closer to that goal of health care reform then we had ever been. over the last several weeks, key committees and house and senate have made important an unprecedented progress, plans that will lower costs and provide better care for patients, and curb the worst practices of the year and stern -- insurers companies. it will not add to our deficits over the next decade.
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let me repeat that. it will not increase our deficits over the next decade. it will help to lower our deficits by slower -- like lowering the skyrocketing cost of medicare and medicaid. even though we have -- are close, i have no illusions about getting over the finish lines. health care reform must be done. i know there are those who believe that we should wait to solve this problem or take a more incremental approach were simply do nothing. but this is the kind of criticism we heard when the country tried to pass medicare, a program that now provides quality chair to generations of american seniors. it is kekkonen's criticism we heard when we try to pass the children's health insurance program, which provides coverage to millions of kids. it is the same washington thinking that ignores challenges and puts off tough
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decisions for decades. it is that kind of small thinking that has led us into the current predicament. make no mistake, the status quo on health care is no longer an option in the united states of america. if we step back from this challenge right now, we will leave our challenge all legacy of debt, of future of crushing costs that will bankrupt our families, our businesses, and because we have done nothing to bring down the cost of medicare and medicaid, will crush our government. premiums will continue to skyrocket, placing what amounts to another tax on families struggling to pay bills. insurance companies and special interests that continue to benefit will benefit only more. people will continue to lose health insurance just because they lose their job or they change jobs. this is a future that we cannot
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afford. this country cannot afford to have health care premiums rise three times faster as people's wages, as they did over the last decade. we cannot afford 14,000 americans losing their health care every single day. we cannot afford a future where our government will spend 20 eventually spend more on medicare and medicaid then we spend on everything else. i promised health care that would ensure choice. i promised that americans making $250,000 a year or less would not pay more in taxes. these are promises that we are keeping as reform moves forward. this is no longer a problem we can wait to fix. this is about who we are as a country. health care reform is about every family's health and also about the help of the economy. i want to put everyone on notice. there was a lot of chatter
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during the week that i was gone. we are going to get this done. in action is not an option. for those naysayers and cynics who think that this is not going to happen, do not bet against us. we are going and make this happen. the american people desperately needed. even those who are satisfied with health care right now, they understand that it premiums keep on doubling, and if employers keep shedding health care insurance because it is unsustainable, and the trajectory of medicare and medicaid, inaction will create the biggest prices of all. people are nervous and scared about making change. but the muscles in this town to bring about big changes are atrophied, but we are whipping people back into shape. we're going to get this done.
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if there's anyone who understands this urgency and a personal powerful way, it is the woman who will become our nation's next surgeon general, dr. regina benjamin. the list of qualifications that may dr. benjamin an outstanding candidate to be the leading spokesperson on issues of public health are long, indeed. she was in the second class at morehouse university, went on to earn an m.b.a. from to land. she's served at the university of south alabama college of medicine. she became the first position -- the first person under f40 to be named to the american medical association board of trustees. she has received numerous
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awards and recognitions, including the macarthur genius award. that is very impressive. but of all these achievements and experiences, none had been more pertinent to today's challenges are closer to her heart than their rural health clinic that she has built and rebuilt in bayou la batre. tammy has said that. -- tell me had to say that. that is in alabama, people. bayou la batre is a rural town in alabama, ushering in town, where people scrape by and cannot afford health insurance. and dr. benjamin, while we were talking, described the demographics. it's very interesting. you have whites, blacks, and asians in this community. a lot of loaaotians.
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of the report, world community and doctors and hospitals are hard to come by. even though she could have left the state to make more money as a specialist in a wealthy community, regina benjamin return to alabama and opened a small clinic in bhp billitobayo. she did not take a salary for herself. when a hurricane destroyed the clinic, she made house calls while the clinic was being rebuilt. when hurricane katrina destroyed it again and left most of her town homeless, she mortgaged her house and max doubt her credit cards to rebuild that clinic for a second time. she tended to those who had been
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wounded in the storm and when people needed medicine, she cast the pharmacists to send the bill her way. when the clinic was about to open for the third time, the fire burned it to the ground before he could serve the first patient. guess what dr. benjamin did? with help from her community, she is rebuilding yet again. one disabled patient brought an envelope with $25 inside. one elderly man said that he could help, he had a hammer. for nearly two @ decades, dr. benjamin has seen in a personal way what is broken about our health care system. she is seen people lose their lives because they have lost their jobs or health care insurance has become too expensive. she has witnessed the shortage
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of primary-care physicians in rural and underserved areas where she works. for all that she has seen in all the tremendous obstacles that she has overcome, regina benjamin represents what is best about health care in americans. doctors and nurses who sacrificed for the patients. those americans who would do anything to heal their fellow citizens, through floods, fires, and severe one, who refused to give up. her patients have refused to give up. while we were talking in the oval office, she said the one thing she wanted to do is make sure that this office gives voice to patients, that patients have a seat at the table, that someone is advocating for them and speaking for them. and now we in washington must refuse to give up on the goal of health care for all americans.
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all we have to do is pass a bill to make sure that the american people have a decent shot. getting the kind of health care that is available. i know that dr. benjamin will help us get there as the next surgeon general, and i am truly honored to nominate her to that post. secretary sibelius is equally excited. even though she is just standing there. let me introduce the next surgeon general of the united states, dr. regina benjamin. >> thank you, mr. president. and thank you secretary sibelius. i am honored and humbled to be nominated to serve as the united states surgeon general. this is a pope -- of assistance in dream. -- physician's dream.
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but it is more than a job. my father died with diabetes and hypertension. my older brother and only sibling died at age 44 of hiv related illnesses. my mother died of lung cancer because as a young girl she wanted to smoke just like her twin brother could. my uncle buddy, my mother's twin, was one of the few surviving black world war ii prisoners of war, is at home right now on oxygen, struggling for breath because of years of smoking. my family is not here because of preventable diseases. while i cannot change my family's past, i can be a voice in the movement to improve our nation's health-care in our nation's health for the future. these are trying times in the
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health-care field. as a nation, we have reached a sobering realization. our health-care system simply cannot continue on a path that we are on. men's of americans cannot afford health insurance or they do not have the basic health services available where they live. i move back home to alabama as part of my obligation to a program that provides communities in need with qualified medical professionals. they pay for might training and placed me in an area that desperately needed a physician. and i stayed. i thought -- i founded the bayou la batre health clinic in alabama. my priority has always been the need of my patients. i would treat them regardless of their ability to pay. but it is not been easy.
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hurricanes have devastated my office and our communities. i have worked to find resources to sustain a doctor's office that treats patients without health insurance or the ability to pay out of their pockets. it should not be this hard for doctors and other health-care providers to care for their patients. it should not be this expensive for americans to get health care in this country. and, mr. president, thank you for putting health care reform at the top of your domestic agenda. my hope, if confirmed as surgeon general, is to be america's doctor, america's family physician. as we work toward a solution to this health care crisis, i promise to communicate directly with the american people, to help guide them through whatever changes may come with health care reform. i want to ensure that no one, no one, falls to the cracks as we in -- as we improve our health care system.
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also signed an inspiring light on the work of the commission corps. they serve on the front lines in our nation's fight against disease and poor health conditions. i like to close by thanking two of my medical school professors. first, the former surgeon general, who instilled a passion for community medicine. .
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>> and finally i'd like to thank my staff and my patients in our rural health clinic in by you labatrie. all the work over the past 20 years has been for them and for patients like them. and today is no different. so thank you, mr. president, for having the confidence in me, and if confirmed i promise i will give you and the american people my best. thank you. [applause] >> good job. >> do you plan to be more involved in healthcare? >> we're going to get this done. >> do you think your attorney general's position to look into --
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> we're expecting the house of representatives to come in in a couple of minutes. with that we'll have more live coverage. tomorrow more live coverage of judge sonia sotomayor's confirmings hearing before the judiciary committee. today opening statements of the judiciary committee members, you can see that during c-span tonight 2 on primetime and on wwortv.com. a segment from this morning's "washington journal" shane harris, the intelligence correspondent with the national journal talking about a story he wrote. >> i want to welcome shane harris of the national journal. as the intelligence reporter a
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lot in this morning's papers about the c.i.a. one of the points you make in early-year article there have been about a dozen oversight committees. >> it looks like the house is coming back now after recessing. live coverage here on c-span. the speaker accepts the resignation of the distinguished legislative counsel, m. pope barrow jr. effective july 13, 2009. pursuant to section 521 of the legislative reorganization act of 1970, 2 u.s.c. 282, the speaker appoints sandra l. strocoff as legislative counsel of the u.s. house of representative.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan, mr. dingell, rise? mr. dingell: thank you, madam speaker. i send to the desk a resolution and ask unanimous consent for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 635. whereas m. pope barrow jr. was apointed to the office of legislative counsel in the house of representatives in 1968, whereas m. pope barrow jr. has provided 40 years of service to the house as a member of the office of legislative counsel under eight successive speakers, whereas m. pope barrow jr. has served as the legislative counsel for 12 years following his service as the deputy legislative counsel for four years. whereas m. pope barrow jr. has been the principal drafter over the past 30 years of federal laws that protect the environment, preserve public lands and waterways and promote
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the production and efficient use of energy resources. whereas m. pope barrow jr. has provided exemplary leadership in undertaking significant programs to modernize the operations of the office of legislative counsel and the house and whereas m. pope barrow jr. has provided steady guidance in continuing the professional, nonpartisan service to which the office of the legislative counsel is dedicated. now, therefore be it resolved that the house of representatives expresses its gratitude to, one, m. pope barrow jr. for his 40 years of service to the house and, two, the office of legislative counsel for its more than 90 years of assistance in the drafting of legislation considered by the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from michigan voiced for one hour. mr. dingell: madam speaker, i yield 30 minutes for purposes of debate only to my good friend,
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the distinguished gentleman from california, mr. lungren. madam speaker, i yield to myself four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. dingell: this is a great institution in which we all take great pride at serving. and it is that because of the great constitution, but also because of the members who have served here over so many years. and we can be proud of those who have served as elected members. but beyond those members who have been elected there are large numbers of people who have served here by appointments as essentially servants of the house or perhaps more better said as public servants. and none of those has been more distinguished than the resolution honors.
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i am very proud to handle this time and to have the privilege of honoring a dear friend. i'm also very proud and very happy that we're able to send him off with the dignity, the respect and the affection that his long and distinguished service has done. one of the things that enables us to be very proud of people like pope barrow is the dedication and the decency and the integrity that they bring to their job. in the case of pope barrow, he has done this with extraordinary dedication, but beyond that he has also done it with extraordinary ability. indeed, remarkable ability. and one of the things i'd like to chuckle about is the way that he and the people who have worked for him have made it possible for the house to serve well and members of this house
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to serve well by giving us the best possible legal advice on the handling and construction of legislation. from his first day of nearly 40 years of service at the office of legislative counsel, pope barrow has been an outstanding public servant. and he has served first as a law assistant and then more laterly in higher and higher positions until he served as legislative counsel. he has served this country and this chamber and all of the members of this body with great distinction and selflessly. i have worked together with him as have most of the members throughout my years in congress. he worked on the complicated and arduous clean air act amendments. at that time i promised -- amendments. at that time i promised him, no
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longer would we ever allow this legislation to be opened up to public consideration and those of who you remember the 1990 clean air acts will understand how he would thank me profusely for that commitment. all of us, including myself, have much relied on his expertise in energy and the environment and public lands. he has been impartial, he's been nonpartisan, he has shown extraordinary judgment and he has expressed in his deeds an extraordinary sense of duty that is proven to be invaluable to this chamber. these qualities are reflected in the high regard in which he is held by members and staff all across the political spectrum and all during his long period of service. if you speak to the attorneys in the office and in the staff of the legislative counsel's office, you will see the impact
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of pope's leadership and guidance. he has set high standards in the office while supporting the attorneys, the staff and their professional and personal per suits. this balance has -- pursuits. this balance has set a positive tone at the legislative counsel and has served us all, the congress and the public at large, extraordinarily well. i remember years ago when pope and i were young, perhaps we were as young as 50, members of my staff would run back and forth to the office of legislative counsel to drop off drafting requests. today -- the speaker pro tempore: excuse me. mr. dingell: i yield myself two additional minutes. the speaker pro tempore: so ordered. mr. dingell: today, in no small part because of the extraordinary leadership of pope, the office of legislative counsel has been modernized. the dedicated, hardworking staff members of the legislative
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counsel are able to utilize technology to provide the critically important service upon which we all rely. i want to wish him on my own behalf and on behalf of my wife, deborah, as well as the entire body of the house as he retires to spend more time with his children, isabel, pope and rebecca, and to express to him our good wishes for happiness and give him a chance to spend more time with the family which he treasures. perhaps retirement will allow him more time to kayak the white water rivers and to sail across seas. i will surely miss pope and i will wish him well on behalf of myself and all of us. i want to also congratulate sandy on her appointment as legislative counsel and i look forward to working with her in the future. i reserve the balance of my time. and i ask unanimous consent,
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madam speaker, that my good friend, the distinguished gentleman from georgia, mr. barrow, may control the remaining time on this side. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: thank you very much, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lungren: madam speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 635, expressing the gratitude of the house of representatives for the service of m. pope barrow jr. in 1970, as a student at georgetown law school, i had the opportunity to take a class from a colleague of mr. barrow's who was then working in the legislative counsel's office. it was to teach those of us who were law students what the legislative process was really all about. how you made an idea a law. and i recall at the time
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marveling at the command of the rules and the use of the english language that was presented by that office and how they were an integral part of the workings of the house of representatives. later when i came to the house of representatives for the first time in 1979 i made it a practice for my office to regularly consult with the legislative counsel's office to ensure -- assure that we in fact were doing what ought to be done in order to make legislation a reality on this floor. and although a member of the minority party for all 10 years of my first service in this house, i never despaired of the possibility think a might actually pass legislation, so we wanted to make sure that it was done in the right way and the work of the legislative counsel's office was always extraordinary. their ability to continue to work tremendous hours is something to behold and i would also say that they always acted
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in a nonpartisan way. so that those of us on the minority side and then during the -- my return here to the house in my first two years in the majority side, which i might say i did enjoy that short period of time, and now once again in the minority, i never noticed a change in the attitude of anybody in the legislative counsel's office with respect to the professional job they had to help those of us who are elected by our constituents, to ensure that we get the people's work done in this house. so therefore i'm pleased to rise to honor a long-standing member of this institution support staff, the legislative counsel, pope barrow. the house office of the legislative counsel is, as i mentioned, a significant resource and an absolute contributor to the effective execution can of a member's legislative -- execution of a member's legislative efforts, providing nonpartisan service to bring important policy
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initiatives to fruition. i can recall some of the most disappointing moments on the house when members turned to me while we were discussing legislation and pointed out what certain words are and they say, don't worry about it, the courts will decide. that's an abrogation of our responsibility under the constitution and as one who has had the opportunity to actually see the product of legislation effectively impact the law, that is as a trial attorney, you know that a word, a phrase, a misplaced coma, an incorrect graduate matcal presentation can make all the difference in the world in terms of a decision, a real life decision, with litigants before the court. we also know that it impacts the lives of many individuals as they are the beneficiaries of government services or government programs. so it is important for us to attempt to get it right. .
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and mr. barro has dedicated his life to ensure we do that. he has continued his family's legacy of service to the united states congress. that legacy, which i understand includes three former members of the house of representatives, one member of the u.s. senate and further enriched by the role that pope barrow has served as legislative counsel. he has served the house of representatives, guided by the principle that service necessarily be equally diligent regardless of the partisanship and having law out there that nobody understands. those are words to live by in this house. for as many years of service to this body and commitment to drafting a body of legislation that is intelligible and coherent, i extend my sincere thanks to pope barrow and i would urge a unanimous vote in
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support of this resolution. and at this time, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? mr. barrow: resuming our time. i would like to ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on the record on this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. barrow: i yield myself such time as i may consume. there are a lot of lives that you can live in the law. you can live the life of the fighter, the champion on the whoit horse, litigator, trial lawyer. you can live the life of the counselor, deal maker, the person who plots his client's course through uncertain waters. there are a lot of lives you can live in the law ffment you are going to be a deal maker, i venture there are very few callings in the world that can call upon as much in the life as
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counsel to a legislative body, the greatest calling of that sort would be a legislative counsel to the house of representatives. the biggest deals in the country are made in this chamber. this chamber poses and settle bodies of law over decades and other institutions and short of only the constitution of the united states there isn't anything that can stop. it is essential we have the best counsel in order to make sure the law we make as we plan for the future are fully informed and have the best counsel behind them. you know, a hollywood mog you will said a oral contract ain't worth the paper its written on. or if it can't be read, it hadn't been said.
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the undertakings that are made by members of this body that are oral, that be reduced to writing and those writings be clear, understandable, read and interpreted by all of the parties, as mr. lungren said, you have to rely on counsel. over the last 50 years, i venture to say if carlisle is right, he is the one who said there is no thing as history. there is no history, just the biography of great men. if that's true, if you subscribe the lawyer theory of history, there is no biography of great lawyers. the personal biography of john dingell, over the past 40 years, the legislative record has been the professional biography of pope barrow who has guided this house by giving people the language to understand the deals that are made here in this body. a fellow named charles black
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said the material of all tragedy is the failure to recognize kinship. if that is true in relations between countries and relations between people, it's true in the law not to understand what we do. the regulatory agencies are doing, the states are doing, what this government has done in prior years and prior congresses, the failure to recognize that kinship can lead to trouble. it is a great personal matter -- personal pride for me that i recognize a different kind of conditionship with the gentleman we honor today, because we have kinship of much more basic's kind. his father's father's father and my father's father's father is the same man. i'm reminded though of the definition of geneology. well, i do care to know my
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descend events of a common ancestor. it's not howell to say how great my district is represented, but i speak forever member of my family that we are extremely honored. we wish you god speed and god bless. and with that, i reserve the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. mr. barrow: i yield five minutes to the the gentleman from florida. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. hastings: i thank you very much. words must run in the family as i listen to john offer his remarks for his cousin. madam speaker, i rise to offer my appreciation for pope barrow who today announced his
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resignation as the sixth legislative counsel for the house of representatives. pope has rendered a great service to his country throughout his 40-year career. working his way from a law assistant in 1968 to his current position, which he obtained by appointment by then speaker of the house newt gingrich in 1997. i don't know how many bills he has drafted since 1968. he probably doesn't know either, but i can tell you that a great many of our nation's laws are matters from clean air to taxes to war powers to crime, owe much of their language to him. although his may not be a household name, all of our lives in this great country have been and continue to be impacted by
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his efforts. as an aside, i came in direct contact with pope in seeking additional space for his good offices. and thanks to speaker pelosi and her staff, we had a modicum of success and i said to pope today, i knew the need for space because as a young lawyer, i worked in cramped quarters and i felt that the people who do the peoples' business here in drafting legislation deserve appropriate space. and i would hope that we continue those efforts to make sure that they're comfortable. madam speaker, it's hard not to understand pope's commendable dedication to congressional work. indeed it runs in his family. several of his relatives have served in the house and senate, going back to the early 19th century when his great, great,
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great grandfather wilson lumpkin served the state of georgia as a representative, senator and governor. and pope's cousin is the the gentleman from georgia, john barrow. pope's commitment to im-- im parget have been a great benefit to me over the years. and i'm sure that all of our colleagues in the house feel the same. i, as they, have always been able to count on the office of legislative counsel to ably assist us and our staffs in carefully drafting policies to minimize confusion and maximize the benefits of intended legislation.
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i looked during his tenure to his staff and his staff's guidance and they never disappoint. madam speaker, while the house of representatives is losing a devoted member of our body, one who will be sorely missed, i have a sneaking suspicion that while pope pursues his passion for whitewater kayaking and i heard the dean of the house say and traveling seas and other activities, his thoughts may only occasionally turn to us here. nevertheless, i hope that he will visit us often and soon. we thank pope for his service and wish him all the best in the next chapter of his life. he leaves an i conic legacy for his successor who i compliment
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and i urge the passage of this legislation for a gentleman who may have labored in the shadows of this institution but cast a long shadow of his own over the legislation that many of us have provided for our constituents. thank you, madam speaker. good luck, pope. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california, mr. lungren, is recogni mr. lungren: madam speaker, i would yield to the the gentleman from california such time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. dreier: thank you very much, madam speaker, and let me express my appreciation to mr. lungren and mr. barro and my rules committee colleague, the gentleman from from florida, mr. hastings and i want to chime in and say that four decades of extraordinary service to this institution is frankly quite rare. i see the dean of the house
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sitting here and we all know he has been more than a decade, but it is still extraordinary when we have someone who has taken on what is one of the least recognized, but what is clearly one of the most important responsibilities in this institution. bringing the office into the 21st century has been something that has been made possible because of that four decades of experience. members have the task of trying to put together legislative packages and often work as we all know is done very late at night, often many changes are made which are challenged on both sides, but the professionalism that has been shown by mr. barro and the entire office is something i can
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say as a minority member of the house committee on rules does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. we're going to have challenging days ahead and i believe that four decades of work has laid the groundwork for what i know will be continued professionalism as we deal with these many challenges and i thank my friend for yielding. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. barrow: i yield five minutes to the distinguished the gentleman from california, mr. waxman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. waxman: i recognize the tremendous contribution that pope has made to the house of representatives and to the country in his service with the office of legislative counsel. if you watch the floor debate long enough, you'll hear members of congress correctly noting that hard-working staff never get enough credit around here. while there is another group of
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professionals that often get less credit for their good work and that's the staff at the office of the legislative counsel. pope barrow w has the finest characterics of the fine men and women who draft law, hard-working, good natured and committed to professional standards. pope has had a hand in crafting every major energy and environmental initiative that has moved through the committee of energy and commerce over three decades of my service in the congress from clean air to safe drinking water, pope has worked to draft the laws that the american people count on congress to get right. he has also worked on laws that are less in the public spotlight, such as laws that regulate our energy markets, laws that require whitewater releases from hydroelectric projects. no matter what the subject of
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his work, pope has demonstrated a rare and invaluable ability to refine complicated concepts into comprehensive law -- come presence i believe law. pope has the unusual way of handling the pressures of the job when congress was considering the clean air act amendments of 1990, he would leave the office to kayak through the narrow george of great falls just outside of washington, d.c. i guess he thought if he could survive that, he could survive anything that i and john dingell might throw at him. legislation can take months of negotiation. tensions can get high working under tight deadlines with major consequences at stake. throughout these times, pope kept an even keel and lighten the mood with a whacky metaphor.
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he was a pleasure to work with and legend and i call him the clark kent of legislative drafters. mild-mannered, but delivering a super human effort and performance. he displayed imens dedication in his work. this spring when we marked up the energy bill, pope worked hard to help report the bill by the memorial day recess. he would work late into the night but come in even earlier in the morning. with pope's retirement, the house is losing an extraordinary public servant and it would be hard for me to look down at the counsel's table during our next energy or environmental markup and not see pope there. . his contributions have been many and his presence will be missed and i want to join all those who are wishing his the best in his next adventures. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from california is recognized. mr. lungren: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lungren: madam speaker, we've talked about the professionalism, the dedication of mr. barrow. i'd just like to relate a certain incident that came to my attention and it was the day after the house office buildings were shut down because of the anthrax attack. at that time the committee on resources was still in business bringing bills to the floor for consideration. so how did they do this? the only way the committee was able to bring its legislation forward was through the efforts of pope barrow who was working from a dark corner in a conference room in the g.a.o. building, using two blackberries, an aged laptop and the phone. he was able to produce the necessary legislative materials and the house was able to continue its work but only because of his ingenuity and resourcefulness.
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it is that kind of dedication, when he could have used any excuse not to be able to perform his job at that time, that has marked his tenure as the legislative counsel and for that we thank him profusely and, madam speaker, i have no more speakers on my side. so, if the gentleman has no more on his side, i'll be happy to yield back the balance of my time while urging support of this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: so ordered. the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. i'd like to note for the record that colleagues of ours who want very much to be here to express in person their congratulations and best wishes to pope barrow on this occasion cannot be here because of conflicts that make it impossible for them to come. but chairman markey of massachusetts sends his regards, chairman rangel of new york sends his regards, chairwoman
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slaughter also sends her regards. all wants to pay tribute in person but conflicts in their meeting schedule make it impossible for them to come. i'd like to wish for the record their support for this resolution. mr. lungren: would the gentleman yield? bar bar yes, i.d. -- mr. -- mr. barrow: yes. mr. lungren: can i make a request that mr. boehner's statement may be offered in the record. he wanted to make sure his words of support and thanks are included. the speaker pro tempore: that will be covered under general leave. mr. barrow: having no other speakers on our side, i'll wrap up on a personal note. the poet robert frost wrote a short poem, says an awful lot, it's entitled "devotion" and it goes something like this, the heart can think of no devotion greater than this, to be sure to the ocean, to hold the point of one position, counting the endless repetition. when i think of 40 years in service to this house, 20
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congresses, the gun having to start on legislation that's been on the table for years, having to be started over and over again, with new members coming, all the folks coming and bringing the same ideas back to the table, new ideas emerging throughout all that, i can't think of any greater devotion than holding the point, serving as counsel to this body. more to the point, it's not for lack of something better to do that someone like pope barrow serves in this body for 40 years, it's because of his devotion to the work of this house and the unique opportunity that he has as counsel to this house, that he has had, of serving as counselor to the folks who are making the biggest and most important deals in the country. and it's that devotion that we recognize today and certainly not for lack of anything better to do or more productive in other spheres. so that's the spirit in which i hope we will all acknowledge his service as one of great devotion to our country. and with that, it's with a great deal of pride of association, not accomplishment, but association think a urge the support of this resolution and yield back the balance of my
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time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, this resolution is adopted and a motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? mr. hastings: madam speaker, i ask the yeas and nays. madam speaker, i move that the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to ajournal. those in favor say aye. thosthose opposed, no. the ayes have it. mr. lungren: madam speaker, on that i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays have been requested. those favoring the yantse will -- yeas and nays will please rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device.
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[captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the >> earlier today members were to debate 16 bills but republicans offered a motion to adjourn a protest vote in the house had to recess. and now this is a democratic motion to adjourn and the house is expected to go out after this vote. reminder that you can see supreme court nominee sonia sotomayor, her live coverage of her confirmation hearings on c-span 3, wwortv.com and c-span radio. the political -- sonia sotomayor goes low-key on day one. as supreme court nominee sonia sotomayor put judicial restraint into practice monday afternoon passing up the opportunity to deliver a passionate rebuttal to critics who accused her of embracing the idea that her personal by yayses and ethnic background affect her judicial not any. again a reminder you can see judge sotomayor's opening
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statement on c-span 2 during prime time tonight after the senate goes out and our overnight programming here on c-span and also tomorrow more live coverage on c-span 3, c-span radio and at wwortv.com. >> the senate health committee continues marking up healthcare legislation and three house committees are expected to begin marking up a different healthcare proposal this week. here's more on what's happening on the house side of the capitol. >> patrick o'connor of the politico is on the phone with us. what's the main thrust of the healthcare proposal offered by democratic leaders? >> it's a pretty broad bill. i think they're fundamentally trying to change how americans are insured. one of the big issues is whether or not at least one of the big issues in the house is whether or not there's going to be a government-sponsored coverage mechanism that would allow folks who aren't covered by private insurance to receive it through the government. how that's done remains a pretty big question right now.
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there's a lot of divide between the house and senate. the house was expected to roll out a bill i guess today. well, actually last week. looks like they might be gunning for tomorrow but even they may have to push back from you mentioned a divide between the house and the senate. but not all house democrats are onboard. which lawmakers have concerns and what are they? >> right now it's kind of breaking down. there's some regional concerns but the biggest are house moderates, moderate democrats are concerned with some of the costs involved. they also want to make sure that the bill doesn't put too much of a burden on small businesses. and then there's these regional concerns, there are some democrats from rural communities or communities that provide a higher quality care
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the speaker pro tempore: on this question, the yeas are 208, the nays are 172, the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until 10:30 a.m.,
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>> tomorrow, the senate confirmation hearings continue. you can follow our live coverage beginning at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3, c-span radio and c- span.org. >> how is c-span funded? >> taxpayer dollars. ok i'm in now -- house c-span funded, 30 years ago, it was greeted as a private
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business initiatives, the government mandate, no government money. >> now president obama's remarks of the year in a metropolitan policy roundtable. the president's remarks came at the end of the event. a from earlier today, this is 15 minutes. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states and ms. valerie jarrett. [applause] >> since he is standing right
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here, he devoted -- he does not need much of a reduction, but i want to thank you for coming to this conference this morning. i perceived a level of disease and that we really have not seen. the remarks i heard was that the real feedback is, "b. pulte." who better to be pulled down the president? >> hello, everybody. [applause] where is greg nichols? thank you so much for your participation today. i understand governor rendell is here or was here. he may have stepped out, but when he comes back i hope to have a chance to say hello to him. kathy nopec, where is cathy? good to see you. henry cisneros, where are you?
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the legendary. [laughter] federer viggo penico pena, thanh for helping us get elected. and julie ex-, thank you -- and julia stash, thank you. lisa jackson, miss mills, and hilda solis. and our new director of our office -- i always forget the full name of this thing. i call it the drugs are. [laughter] -- the drug czar. [laughter] by the way, nichols -- for you. thank you so much, all of you for partisan bidding.
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-- for participating. it is great to be back among some of the most urban thinkers on the future of america's urban and metropolitan areas. this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. i have lived almost all my life in urban areas. michele and i chose to raise our daughters in the city where she grew up. and even though i and went to college in l.a.n. new york and law school across the river from boston, i receive my greatest education on chicago's south side working to bring about change in those communities and to bring opportunities to those people's lives. there are a number of chicago folks who are fighting with me -- i mean, alongside me. [laughter] that experience also gave
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manahan -- an understanding of some of the challenges facing city halls all across the country. those judges are critically severe today because of this recession. four and five -- four out of five cities have had to cut services just when folks needed them the most. 48 states have the prospect of budget deficits in the coming fiscal year. that is why we took a swift and aggressive action in the first month of my administration to pull out our economy -- to pull our economy back from the brink, including the largest and most sweeping recovery plan in our nation's history. if we had not taken that step, our cities would be in a deeper hole. state budget deficits would be nearly twice as large as they are right now and tens of thousands of police officers and firefighters and teachers would
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be out of a job as we speak. i think that all of you are aware of that. but what is also clear is that we're going to do more than just help our cities whether the current economic storm. we have to build our cities on in your, firmer, stronger foundation for our future and that requires in your strategies that focus on advancing opportunity through competitive, sustainable and inclusive growth. that is why all of you are here today and i know there were a lot of ideas shared throughout the morning and afternoon. the first thing we need to recognize is that this is not just a time of challenge for america's cities. it is also a time of great change. even as we have seen many of our central city's continuing to grow in recent years, we have seen the suburbs and exurbs -- the suburbs grow nearly twice as
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fast. it spread to homes and jobs and businesses to a broader accord geographic area. this is great in new problems -- this is creating new problems, but also opening up opportunities. it is not just our cities that are hotbeds of opportunity anymore. it is our suburbs as well. when i spoke to the new york mairs conference last year, -- when i spoke to the mayors' conference last year, i spoke to this point. traditionally, there is a divide between city and suburban that in some ways you have seen them come together and recognize they cannot solve their problems in isolation. they have got to be paying attention to each other. these major metropolitan areas are home to 85% of our jobs and 90% of our economic output. that does not mean that investing in america comes at the expense of rural america, quite the opposite.
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investing in mass transit and high-speed rail does not just make our town's more livable. it helps our regions grow. investing in renewable energy does not just make our cities cleaner. it boosts world z areas that harness that energy. --d did boost rural areas that harness that energy. what is needed now is a new, imaginative, bold vision tailored to this reality that brings opportunity to every corner of our growing metropolitan areas. a new strategy that is about southern florida as much as miami, about mason and scottsville as much as it is about phoenix. it is about boulder and northglenn as much as it is about denver. an early step was to appoint a adolfo court to carry on as our first white house director of urban affairs. his team shares my belief that we need to -- that our cities more -- need more than just a
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partner. that is why i have directed the office of management and budget and the domestic policy council, the national economic council and the office of urban affairs to conduct the first comprehensive interagency review in 30 yearsç of how the federal government approaches and funds urban and metropolitan areas so that we can start having a concentrated, focus, strategic approach to federal efforts to revitalize our metropolitan areas. and we're going to take a hard look and how washington helps or hinders our cities from infrastructure to transportation, from housing to energy, from sustainable development to education. we're going to make sure federal policies are hostile to good ideas -- are not hostile to good ideas. it will make sure that we do not throw any more money toward what does not work and start investing in what does.
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we began to do just that with my budget proposal which included two investments in innovative improvement strategies. i want to mention these briefly. the first promise neighborhood some and is modeled on the successful harlem children's zone. it is an all encompassing, all hands on deck ever that a string around the lives of new york city's children block by block. we want to make grants available for committees and other cities to jump-start their own neighborhood level interventions that -- that changed the odds for our kids. the second proposal focuses on injured -- on inner-city housing realizing that different cities need different solutions. instead of monolithic public housing that tends to trap people and isolate them further, we want to adopt strategies that enhance opportunity for
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residents and businesses alike. but we also need to fundamentally change the way we look at metropolitan development. for too long, federal policy has actually encouraged to sprawl and congestion and pollution rather than quality public transportation and smart, sustainable development. we have been keeping communities isolated we should have been burning them together. that is why we have created a new interagency pressure on sustainable communities led by sean donovan as well as reload -- ray lahood and lisa jackson. by working together, we can make sure that when it comes to development, housing, transportation, energy efficiency, these things are not mutually exclusive. they go hand in hand. that means making sure that affordable housing exist in close proximity to jobs and transportation. that means encouraging shorter travel times and lower travel costs. it means safer, greener, more livable communities. we're off to a good start, but
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the truth is, washington council of all of these problems that face our cities. and frankly the mind of the cities do not expect washington to solve all of these problems. instead, a lot of cities have gone ahead and become their own laboratories for change and innovation, some leading the world and coming up with new ways to solve the problems of our time. you take an example like denver. their metropolitan areas projected to grow by 1 million residents over the next 15 years or so. rather than wait for a congestion crisis, they are already at work on plans to build and operate a public transition -- public transit system of to the challenge. philadelphia is an example of what has been called urban agriculture. it may sound like an oxymoron, but one proposal is trying to make a situation where fresh,
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local food supplies are within a short walk for most city residents. this will have a direct impact not only on the economy and the environment and also make an immeasurable difference in the health of americans. or kansas city, one idea their focus is on transforming a low- income community into a national model of sustainability by weatherizing homes and building a green, local transit system. three different cities with three different unique ideas for the future. that is why they are three of the cities that are members of my cabinet and office of urban affairs will visit this summer as part of an ongoing, national conversation to lift up best practices from around the country, to look at innovations for the metropolitan areas of tomorrow. forward-looking cities should
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not be succeeding despite washington, but with a hand from washington. we want to hear directly from them and from all of you, fresh ideas and the successful solutions that you have devised to help the federal or muntadar what they should and should not do to help metropolitan areas for the 21st century. i know that this change is possible. i'm from a city that knows a bit about reinventing itself. after the cataclysm and fireç n the 19th century, chicago was rebuilt small -- stronger than before. in the last century, it was with steel and glass and in this century, they're helping to lead the world ford in you were, cleaner, more global ways. -- more livable wage. the 90 and vicious about it -- designed and built 100 years ago
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this month helped to transform chicago into a world-class city. that is the spirit with which we need to approach the reinvention of all of america's cities and metropolitan areas, a vision of vibrant, sustainable places that provide our children with every chance to learn and grow, that allowing our businesses and workers in the best opportunity to innovate and succeed and allow our older americans to live out their best -- to live out their lives with the best that all metropolitan life can offer. i'm confident that starting today with this conversation, you and i together will be able to make this happen. thank you for joining us and i am looking forward to all of us getting to work. thank you. [applause]
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thank you everybody. [applause] >> the confirmation hearings began monday for supreme court
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nominee sonia sotomayor. members of the senate judiciary committee gave the opening remarks followed by the eight minute opening statement from judge sotomayor. here is what she said. >> please raise your right hand. dues where the testimony you are about to give before the committee be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? >> i do. >> thank you, please be seated. i thank my two colleagues from new york for the introduction and i appreciate it because i know both have known you for some time. judge, you have also introduce members of your family and now the floor is yours. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i also want to thank senators
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schumer and gillibrand for their kind introductions. in recent weeks, i've had the privilege and pleasure of meeting 89 senators, including all of the members of this committee. each of you has been gracious to me and i have so much enjoyed meeting you. our meetings have given me an illuminating tour of the 50 states and in valuable insight into the american people. there are countless family members and friends who have done so much over the years to make this day possible. i am deeply appreciative for their love and support. i want to make one special note of thanks to my mother. i am here, as many of you have noted, because of her aspiration and sacrifices for both my brother, one, and me. -- my brother, juan, and me.
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i'm very grateful to the president and humbled to be here today as a nominee to the united states supreme court. the progression of my life has been uniquely american. my parents left their country in world war -- -world war ii. my father pastor when i was 9 years old. on her own, my mother raised my brother and me. she taught us that the key to success in america is a good education. and she set the example, studying alongside my brother and me at our kitchen table so that she could become a registered nurse. çwe worked hard. i poured myself and to my studies at cardinal spellman high school, earning scholarships' to princeton university and then at yale law
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school. my brother went on to medical school. our achievements are due to the values that we learned as children and they have continued to guide my life's endeavors. i tried to pass on this legacy by serving as a mentor and friend to my many got children. and to students of all backgrounds. over the past three decades i have seen the usual system from a number of different perspectives. as a big city prosecutor, as a corporate litigator, as a trial judge and as an appellate judge. my first job after law school was as an assistant district attorney in new york. there i saw children exploited and abused t. i felt the pain and suffering of families torn apart by the needless death of loved ones.
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i saw and learned that tough job law enforcement has in protecting the public. in my next legal job i've focused on commercial instead of criminal matters. i litigated issues on behalf of national and international businesses and advise them on matters ranging from contracts to trade marks. my career as an advocate ended and my career as a judge began when i was appointed by president george h. w. bush to the u.s. district court to the southern district of new york. as a trial judge, i did decide over 450 cases and presided over dozens of trials with perhaps my most famous case being the major league baseball strike in 1995. after six extraordinary years on
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the district court, i was appointed by president clinton to the united states court of appeals of the second circuit. on that court i have enjoyed the benefits -- the benefit of sharing ideas and perspectives with wonderful colleagues as we have worked together to resolve the issues before us. i have now served as an appellate judge for over a decade, the sighting a wide range of constitutional, statutory, and other legal questions. throughout my 17 years on the bench, have witnessed the human consequences of my decisions. those decisions have not been made to serve the interest of anyone lick -- litigant, but always to serve the larger interests of impartial justice. in the past month, many senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. simple, fidelity to the law.
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the task of the judge is not to make law. it is to apply the law. and it is clear, i believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the constitution according to its terms, interpreting statutes according to their terms and congress' intent and adhering faithfully to the precedent established by the supreme court and by the circuit court. in each case i have heard, i have applied the law to the facts at hand. the process of judging is enhanced when the arguments and concerns of the parties in the litigation are understood and acknowledged. that is why generally structure my opinions by setting out what the law requires and then explaining why contrary position, sympathetic or not, is accepted or rejected.
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that is how i seek to strengthen both the rule of law and faith in the impartiality of our judicial system. my personal and professional experiences helped me to listen and understand with the law always command in the result in every case. since president obama announced my nomination in may, i have received letters from people all over this country. many tell a unique story of hope in spite of struggles. each letter has deeply touched me. each reflects a dream, a belief in the dream that led my parents to come to new york all those years ago. it is our constitution that makes that dreamed possible. and i now seek the honor of of holding -- of upholding the
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constitution on the supreme i look forward in the next few days to ensuring were questions, to having the american people learn more about me, and to be part of a process that reflects the greatness of our constitution and of our nation. thank you all. >> the senate confirmation hearings for judge sotomayor will continue tomorrow with questions from the judiciary committee. our live coverage starts at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3, c-span radio, c-span.org and also here on c-span. today, the senate began work on the defense programs bill. here's a look at the bill and efforts to cut certain -- to cut some weapons program, including the f-22 aircraft. from today's "washington journal", this is a half-hour.
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want to welcome winslow wheeler, project director for the center for defense and the mission and author of this book. guest: @ thank you taryn much. host: at the defense authorization bill, how much the pentagon will be spending and where. guest: it is a huge bill. reports to be $679 billion, about $1 billion off the president's request. in truth, this is not the money bill. the appropriations bill will be the money bill. this authorizes the money, but all it means is advice. the big stuff in this bill is policy, determinations, decision by a narrow vote in the committee to continue with more of 22 production. buried in the bill is almost hopelessly cosmetic revision on financial management. the bill itself is 750 pages. it is about 1 inch in half to 2
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inches thick. >> the taxpayers for common sense estimating $9 billion and what they classified as pork, but what one may call pork, they may call jobs in a congressional district. >> that is one of the reasons why they put pork in the bill, because they think it creates jobs. when i -- when i worked with the senator from new mexico we looked at gio looking at how many jobs pork spending generated for new mexico. the answer was pretty interesting. the numbers were tiny, except for the military bases, and in one case the money passed through the headquarters in albuquerque to be spent in texas. in other cases, the production lines employed hundreds -- we were told employ hundreds, it employed more like 20 people. you have to be careful what these claims that many factors through around that f-22 was
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built in those states so you have to support us, senator. host: you say our military forces have become high cost dinosaurs that were inefficient, lethal against magic it has broken free of their constitutional controls to the point they essentially have become a presidential military. guest: correct. that is, i believe, from the first chapter, written by a retired marine corps lieutenant colonel. the authors and that authority are retired military officers, former pentagon officials and a couple of people like myself who worked on capitol hill, for example. i will put it this way, since world war ii, we are at a post- world war ii high in terms of spending with a dollars and adjusted for inflation. our military forces are the smallest they have ever been in that period in terms of combat
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brigades, a navy combat ships and submarines, air force tactical aircraft. major parts of our equipment inventory is on average older than has ever been in that period, sometimes than it has ever been in history. we're sending troops into combat in iraq and afghanistan with, in some cases, significantly less training than we had, for example, the hollow years of the 1970's when abutting be up when jimmy carter for its allegedly being weak on defense. we have a real problem on our hands. and so far we're doing absolutely nothing about it. host: one of your recommendations from different military officers, former officers, is first and foremost, we must abandon a business as usual procurement process hopefully centered on an aircraft's specifically comprised force strategic martin -- bombardment.
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caller: away from business as usual? guest: except for us being compromised for strategic bombardment, the f-22 is a classic example. the sticker price is $350 million per airplane. host: built where? guest: lockheed martin says 44 states, the major assembly is in georgia and texas and washington. the engines are ohio -- excuse me, conn. -- conn. there are bits and pieces all over the place. we really need a competent assessment from g a l, for example, to get a real count -- gao. host: what surprised you, researching and editing? guest: nothing's changed. we have been on this path for a long time. more money results in smaller,
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older, less ready forces. this is something that is independent of democrats and republicans. i suppose the thing that really surprised me the most is the failure of parties that could be doing oversight over this and alerting the public, not been particularly aware. i mean, it has been a simple data on the sides of the budget and the size of the forces, but it was news to people about the shrinkage of forces as ever increasing cost a couple of years ago. that shouldn't be the case. people should be complaining about that on capitol hill all the time, and they are not. host: our conversation is with winslow wheeler. our phone lines are open. you also e-mail us at journal@c-
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span.org or send a tweet @ twitter. as you know, there are a lot of former military officers at this town -- in this town and former members of congress that are making sure these contracts are part of the congressional budget process. guest: absolutely. busy people. host cut is that why nothing has changed? guest: that is part when i worked in capitol hill, the boeing representative was frequently in my office keeping it up to date on things. they have good access all over capitol hill. but that is not a hub of it. the hub is there is a culture on capitol hill these days where you don't want to do any serious oversight because that might get you into trouble. it might get into trouble if you give the military witness in the hearing diehard time, people will start the labeling you as anti-defense.
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if you don't of c. grimsley -- obsequiously -- no press release of how much you help that minor plant in maine, you don't put out a press release every time you voted their way, you are somehow hurting yourself politically. i worked for four different members of congress. on three of them, they decided to oppose pork in their states and they came to their political benefit. they got a reputation for being bought full, independent, rather than somebody toting. host: james here in washington, d.c. good morning. caller: i am calling to first of all ask -- for you to comment on the quote read earlier about congressional control of war powers. i think george washington said
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that the reason why congress has control over war powers is that it will prevent any war from the wage without long deliberation. to paraphrase. the other thing is that if you could talk more about business setting defense policy. in brigadier-general wrote a book called "where it is a racket," that talks about sending saddles to europe in world war ii 1 -- i, and there was not enough calvary. another one was whether or not you think that this funding of foreign militaries represents a hidden expenditure in the defense budget. host: i will stop your. a lot to follow-up on. guest: i think the war powers issue was with the previous guest, but i would simply say, i
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worked for one of the primary authors of the war powers act and was a research assistant, and i got exposed to a lot of the constitutional arguments on the act and it is pretty clear in the constitution who controls the authority to make war, and it is the congress, not the president. the chief executive, commander in chief powers come into play when congress has made that decision. that is not the conventional wisdom -- people try to save the war powers act is unconstitutional because it deprives the presence and in the constitution did not give him. on some of the other issues, i have done a lot of work on the junk congress adds to defense bills. host: junk? guest: it is junk, because we don't know what it is.
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there is 450 or so it earmarks as taxpayers for common sense found in this senate defense bill, cost about $9 billion. the vast majority of those things are five, -- are items that have not been research. we did not even know the real cost. we get the advocates of you. we do not have a real assessment. we don't have an independent assessment of what the assessment is, what can do, can become and what is needed. i don't want some congressman's view on what he thinks is earmarked will do. i want oversight over it. and the armed services committees and appropriations committees refused to do it.
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if we went through a process where each of these earmarked were properly assessed, there would be a lot of improvement in the bills because it is ridiculous to assume that everything they defense department puts in its budget is the final word on good ideas. >> one example you pointed to, when president bush released what was probably his final defense budget, he points out it was $518 billion, and the defense department said it was $515 billion. a difference of almost $3 billion in a budget released the same day. guest: it depends. the department of defense press release had been no " -- lower number. office of management and budget press release have a higher number. the difference is, in that case, for example, includes both
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annual appropriations and what you call mandatory or entitlement appropriations. $3 billion extra mostly for personnel kinds of programs, mandatory spending, the defense department doesn't include that in their press release. this year it is about $6 billion. it is just one of the ways that the press in this country gets the department of defense press release and goes with it. they don't double check to see what they're real numbers might be. it is real simple to download the ball and be materials -- they are little more complex -- download the omb materials. it is a little more complex. it is not just the absence of oversight and capitol hill, they don't know how to do oversight these days. host: san antonio, republican
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line. good morning. caller: how are you guys today? i was wondering -- i come from a military family, three generations. what i was wondering is, why do the governments send -- like, for the national guard, reserves, send them to the camp here in san antonio instead of sending these young and -- young men and women to the border to help with the fight against illegal drugs and, of course, illegal immigration. guest: i can't answer the question. i don't know the specifics. it depends on what the unit's mission is. one of the kinds of problems we have on capitol though. they go over these things once lightly and don't peel the onion. when i worked for the senator, i
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got a hard lesson from him. he, after a hearing, lectured me saying, don't you ever have meet again is a question that you don't know the answer to -- have me again have a question that you don't know the answer to. oversight is not an opportunity to give speeches and ask questions staff right out and you read out from your memo. oversight is a process that is the essential to our constitutional system where congress find out what the heck is going on and what is wrong with the f 35 engine that marines model hasn't flown for a long time and what is holding up the test. we don't hear anything about that. there is a hearing at the house oversight government and reform committee where they were doing some oversight, and one of the outcomes about a month ago was
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that there seems to be for the missing aircraft from the marine corps v-22 osprey inventory. look at the senate armed services committee bill, not a word. nothing. it bounced off them like water off of a duck's back. these are serious issues. and it should be oversight 101 to find out where is the complete marine corps inventory on the 140 or so v-22's taxpayers paid for. host: our guest is a veteran of capitol hill and he has worked for senator pete the minute she, republican of new mexico, democratic senator david pryor of arkansas and republican senator nancy kassebaum from kansas. richard is on the phone from lancaster county, pennsylvania. good morning. democrats line.
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caller: good morning, winslow. you hit a lot of nails on the head already, and i hope somebody is taking it down like senator byrd of west virginia. i would like to make this brief comment, please, on the work -- he is done over the decades along with yourself. guest: i would polite and say i would like to answer a different question. talking about senator byrd, when donald rumsfeld have his hearings to be secretary of defense back in january 2001, senator byrd horrified him with the fact that the defense department was unable to track how it spends its own money. it wasn't just that the pentagon would flunk an audit, it was that the pentagon can't be
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audited. you flunk an audit when you track the money and find it has been misspent. when you can't be audited, you don't know what happened to the money did rumsfeld was horrified. the rally chileans of dollars of transactions -- literally trillions of dollars of transactions cannot be tracked. clinton had the same problem, they didn't solve it, either. we have a new bill in this senate armed services committee national force -- authorization act point, and it's prophetic. -- act, and it is pathetic. it sets a goal of year 2017 to have the defense department be able to comply with an audit. this is required to be immediately the case in the chief financial officers act of 1990. the clinton administration got that waived.
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the provision in the bill this week is sold -- is so packed that that has a second provision that says the defense department, if you don't think you can get to this goal, waived it, send us a report and tell us what you think the goal should be. host: our guest, winslow wheeler, offers this book. this tweet -- what about the super hornet for the navy carriers? guest: of there are two big chunks of pork in this bill, seven additional at 22's for $1.7 billion and nine additional f 18's, they say will cause $506 billion. on the f-22, secretary of defense dick says it there is a single in the bill he would
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recommend a veto and obama should veto it. he is dead right about that. f-22 is a classic case of why the air force is smaller, older, unless ready to fight an ever increasing cost. it will be interesting to see in it senator levin and mccain, if they said -- as they said they would, should fight this. they should be able to fight it. but the outcome is very unclear to me. you saw on the vote in the committee, 13-11 voc, including four democrats, for example -- senator kennedy, which has a prk interest in the f-22, but with it. demonstrates that the ties of pork are far stronger even than partisan political ties. so, if gates and obama want to
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win on this fight, they need to get to work. tax be chambliss, senator from georgia where is the -- where the f-22 has final production, solicited statements from airforce and national guard generals saying that we need more f-22's. secretary gates really hasn't responded to that. it is doing tremendous damage on capitol hill. losing votes probably by the day. we are going to see how would spends out. host: another tweet, what about our corporate contractors and their accountability? what do you think about corporations now having their own army, navy, etcetera? guest: the law has been written about this. there are several books about this -- a lot has been written about this. we have enlarged from a huge contractor presence in iraq and afghanistan, both for logistic'' and security.
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it is the new way that our executive brands -- branch and congress decided to conduct military operations abroad. if you are concerned about it, that is just the kind of thing that people should be doing oversight on at capitol hill, but not much of going on. host: mark the joins us from richmond, texas. caller: mr. r wheeler, thank you so much. good morning. host: good morning, martha. sorry. audit, i am very concerned that there is no deliberation in the process -- caller: i am very concerned that there is no deliberation in the process. when you see them spend close to $1 trillion and a deliberate for less than eight hours on it, it is just scary. and the things you are saying i believe and i applaud you for
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coming forward and talking about this and, the dead sea. guest: of the senate after the morning prayer will take up this bill. 750 pages -- it is a big bill. they will be considering this bill for most of this week, maybe even a couple of weeks. but turn onto c-span2 at random points on the day and almost guarantee what you will be seen is one of two things. members of the senate reading off staff-prepared statement about the bill. that will be the lesser amount of time. the greater amount of time will be warm calls.
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in other words, wordsqu -- quroum calls. they are killing time and literally nothing is going on. you will see a tv picture of the well of the senate. you will see pete -- people milling around. there will be no debate. even when they are talking, there will be no debate. when i started working at the senate in the 1970's, it was pretty much describes will for a senator to come to the chamber and deliver a prepared speech. the impression they were making on colleagues as i really don't know what i'm talking about, so i will have my staff write it out and i will read it to you. there's very few statements you see in the senate these days where you see it -- probing mind ad hoc discuss the issue. you see a lot of prepared stuff.
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host: we appreciate in advance the play-by-play of what will happen on c-span2 as the senate takes up the bill. ronald is on the phone from supple, virginia. democrats line. caller: of this is a very interesting topic you decided to cover this morning. as a 20-year veteran of the navy, over the course of my career, i w a lot of incidences of what you would call exorbitant spending when it comes to military spending. host: do you want to give one example based on your own personal experience? caller: well, just in the supply system -- because i dealt with it -- a lot of items that
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the military procuress, the prices are marked up, compared to, say, what you can get in a civilian facility. host: thanks for the call. guest: true then, true now. there was a classic hearing in the 1980's when they have the $496 hammer and a very, almost -- host: was of the toilet seat part of that, too? guest: heflin, you look like a caricature of a senator, and he talked about the accounting for the cost of the hammer. and they went through inspection and oversight and all of this stuff. then, down below, in the navy printout was about $2 -- that was the hammer.
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and he pointed out, there is the hammer. he went through all of the insanity that ran up that cost. now, take that hammer, and it is -- it's insane cost to the taxpayer. as a ernie fitzgerald, a whistle-blower for decades and air force used to say, imagines a spare parts flying in close formation in the air, and you have a modern fighter aircraft. and when you care so little about the cost from all of a sudden you get an airplane like the f-22 with the sticker price is $350 million, and there are lots of ways to compress the air -- the airplane, but that is completely outrageous price to play for one fighter aircraft. host: a couple of e-mails -- mr. wheeler, what is the effect of
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think tanks and forming -- on forming military policy? guest: a little bit of self- promotion, the center for defense information where i work refuses to accept money from the government or defense manufacturers. we get money from individuals and foundations. i never had a phone call from the center for defense information's saying you shouldn't have said that. it should be public information, where these think tanks get all their money. some are notorious for accepting contributions, funding from either the government were defense manufacturers -- or defense manufacturers. it wou
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>> you are watching c-span, created as a public service by the nation's cable companies. coming up, and look at health care. we will have president obama's announcement of his nominee to be surgeon general. also, house speaker nancy pelosi and democratic leaders on their house health care proposal -- on their health care proposal. >> patrick o'connor of the politico is on the phone with us. what is the main thrust of the health-care overhaul proposal offered by house democratic leaders? >> well, it is a pretty broad -- broadbill. i did garrett fundamentally trying to change how american -- i think they are fundamental trend change how americans are
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injured. one of the issues is whether there's going to be a government sponsored mechanism to allow folks that are not covered by private insurance to receive it through the government. how that is done remains a pretty big question right now. there is a lot of divide between house and the senate. the house is expected to roll out a bill i guess, today, actually, last week. it looks like it might be done tomorrow, but it may even have to push back from that date. >> you mentioned the divide between house and senate, but not all house democrats are on board. which lawmakers have concerns and what are they? >> there are some regional concerns, but the house moderate democrats are concerned with some of the cost involved. they also want to make sure that the bill does not put too much of a burden on small businesses. and then there are these regional concerns of democrats from rural -- rural communities or areas where they have had a
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higher quality of care at a lower costs. the reimbursement rates tend to reward communities with lower qualityñfr care and higher cost. you have a fairly big group of moderate democrats were trying to coalesce around a shared set of principles. it will give them a little bit more bargaining strength with their leadership. >> and how will the leaders address those concerns? orix they met -- >> they met with the moderate pommells nonstop on thursday and friday. i heard from aids today that they are trying to tweak the bill a little bit. but this is going to be a process. speaker nancy pelosi had a press conferenceç today in which she reminded reporters that the bill introduced this week will not be the final version. i think i was more of a nod to remembers sent reporters to say, hey, we are willing to work with you. just because we are going to introduce this legislation does not mean we are not willing to make cng

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