tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 19, 2012 8:00pm-1:00am EDT
there will be hearings. we will approach that we may have to. >> they mentioned the appropriations process. what is your timeline? >> but there's one thing we agree on, is that we want to do this over here. we can get a lot of things done. we will try to take that up. it is really a luxurious way to legislate. the can i have all these non relevant amendments. we have a rule you cannot legislate that on an appropriations bill. >> [unintelligible] 3 comfortable they are taking the proper steps or the congress
need to do more to reform the culture over there? >> i have not talked to the secretary of but we will look at what went wrong. there will be committees of jurisdiction. understand this. there is not a committee hearing that is going to take the place or stop being -- stop people from being stupid. think about this. people that are here to protect the president, they go to colombia and have a fight with a prostitute over how much they should should be paid? that is a total lack of common sense. >> people are saying this has been the culture there for a
long time. >> the secretaries doing her own in board investigation. -- doing her own investigation. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> the pentagon is working on ways to try to halt the violence and political unrest in syria. we'll hear from defense secretary leon panetta and joint chiefs of staff chairman general martin dempsey, next on c-span. then house majority leader eric cantor talks with mike allen of politico. today nasa officially delivered the space shuttle discovery to
the smithsonian air and space museum. discovery was first launched in 1984 and flew 39 missions, more than any other shuttle and the nasa fleet. that ceremony is later. >> two things, one is, this is such a complicated conflict that we have never, ever fought a war like this before. the second thing is that what is referred to back here in washington as nation-building really is very targeted were fighting. >> david what has spent decades covering u.s. military operations for various news organizations. this week he won a pulitzer prize before his series ago be on the battlefield" for the huffington post -- for his series "beyond the battlefield." find over a quarter century of american politics and public affairs on your computer.
>> defense secretary leon panetta and joint chiefs chairman general martin dempsey gave congress an update on the situation in syria. secretary panetta said the u.s. continues to pressure russia and china to join the international community in opposing syria's government. at least 9000 people have died in the country since protests began more than a year ago. this house armed services committee hearing, chaired by congressman but mckeon, is an hour and 45 minutes. mckeon.essman bought a kandbuck >> the secretary has a hard closed time at 12:30, so we are going to be as expeditious as we possibly can hear.
-- here. the house armed services committee meets today to receive testimony on the security situation in syria from the secretary of defense, the honorable leon panetta, and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff skype -- chiefs of staff, general martin dempsey. thank you for being here today. the syrian conflict is now in its second year and the situation remains both uncertain and dire. as we convene, a tenuous cease- fire is in place. comes on the heels of horrifying violence at the hands of the assad regime, yet even though assange has committed to the cease-fire, reports indicate that he continues to inflict violence on the syrian people. yearsent assad's crackdown has been fruitless, including frederick human rights violations, use of force against noncombatant civilians, including children, and interference with the provision
of humanitarian assistance. the estimate for the death toll is 9000. other estimates put the death toll as high as 12,000. just over a year ago, in the midst of the arab spring, the syrian people peacefully to the streets -- took to the streets, calling for the opportunity to elect their leadership's through fair and democratic process. disembodies the essence of what is driving the opposition. it is one -- this embodies the essence of what is driving the opposition. the president has stated that the violence in syria must end and that assad must go. it remains unclear how the president will accomplish these goals. in addition to the humanitarian concerns that i believe we all share, i am very concerned about the implications for regional conflict. as recently as april 10, assad
back military unit shot across the border into syrian refugee camps in turkey, killing five individuals. additionally, violence is still in levitan and iraq has begun to behave erratically as it considers the prospect of a sunni controlled government succeeding the assad regime in the western border. moreover, the situation extends a strategic opportunity to deal with known supporters of terrorism in the region. as iran continues to back the assad regime, groups such as hezbollah have enjoyed support and residents in syria. on the other hand, there is much we do not know about opposition. syria maintains robust air defenses that limit military options. therefore, i am not recommending u.s. military intervention,
particularly in light of our great budget situation, unless the national security threat was clear and present. these reflections lead me to wonder what the united states can do to stem the violence and hasten president assad from power. we also need to understand what we are doing to secure the security -- ensure the security of one of the world's largest stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. to paraphrase general petraeus, how does this all end? i look forward to your insights into the security situation and our way forward in syria. mr. smith. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in the interest of time, let me just say that i agree completely with the chairman's opening remarks. the assad regime has made it clear an awful choice to simply kill as many of its own people as he can to maintain power. it is in international outrage
that should be condemned by all nations. i applaud calling attention for this outrage and try to build enough support to stop it. we need greater support in nations like russia and china and they should rise to the challenge and work with us to find a solution to this problem. they clearly have not done enough. i agree with the chairman that i do not see military option for us in this area for a wide variety of reasons. i have a longer statement will submit for the record that explains that. i agree that it has profound impact for a region that was already unstable in many ways. i look forward to the testimony from witnesses today to hear what our best options are going forward to try to contain this and give this committee a full briefing on where the situation is at and where they see it going, as difficult as the prediction might be. i think you, chairman, and i thank both of our witnesses for
their leadership with our country and for being here today. >> thank you. secretary panetta. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for the opportunity to be able to discuss what is obviously a very tense and fluid situation in syria. the arab spring was impacting other countries and then hit syria as well. rather than trying to meet legitimate demands of the people, the regime of the bashar al-assad turned and said to violence against its own people. -- turned instead to violence. that violence has been cruel and
devastating. it has put the syrian people in a desperate and difficult situation. has outraged the conscience of all good people and it has threatened the stability in a very important part of the world. the united states has made clear that the assad regime has lost its legitimacy, and that this crisis has no effective solution without assad was a departure. the president has stated -- without assad's departure. recent days are testing whether the assad regime will live up to all of its responsibilities to the syrian people and to the international community. restoring calm to the cities and towns across syria is just one test for assad in the days ahead.
assad is responsible for fully abiding by the transition plan that has been outlined by the joint special envoy, kofi annan. he also faces deep skepticism about his motives, a skepticism based on a long train of assad's deceitful actions today, including broken promises to his own people and to the international community. the united states is committed to holding the syrian regime to its obligations. we are leading an international effort to help stop the violence and support the peaceful, political transition in syria. even as we speak, secretary of state clinton is meeting with
our international partners in paris to determine what additional steps should be taken to make that happen. we know achieving that end is a tough task. from every angle, the situation in syria is enormously complex. there is no silver bullet. i wish there was, but there isn't. at the same time, the situation is of grave consequence to the syrian people. there are many others who are affected by what happens in syria as well, including syria's neighbors, turkey, 11 on, iraq -- lebanon, iraq, israel, jordan, and all nations with the vital interest in the middle east. meanwhile, it is fair to say that iran is it serious only
ally in the region -- is syria pose the only ally in the region. no other country stands to lose more than iran from the eventual fall of the assad regime, which is why iran is supporting the regime material, financial, and technical assistance. we also know that the complex problems in syria cannot all be solved through the unilateral actions of the united states or, for that matter, any other country. they demand a coordinated, international response that is uniquely tailored to the situation we are confronting in syria. there are, however, certain principles that have guided the administration's response to unrest across the middle east. these basic principles have
shaped our responses in tunisia, in egypt, in libya, and now in syria. first, we oppose the use of violence and repression by regimes against their own people. second, we support the exercise of universalist human rights. third, we support political and economic reforms that can meet the legitimate aspirations of ordinary people throughout the region. our policy in syria is very clear. we support a political and democratic transition that fulfills the syrian people's greatest aspirations. to support that objective, the united states is leading international efforts along five tracks.
first, we are supporting efforts to maintain international pressure and advance transition -- the political transition in syria. we join with our partners in the united nations security council, including now russia and china, in calling for the urgent, comprehensive, and immediate implementation of all aspects theannan plan. second, we are further isolating the assad regime. we are encouraging other countries to join the united states, the european union, and the arab league in opposing -- imposing strong sanctions against it. the sanctions are putting assad under greater pressure than ever before. we are undermining the financial lifelines of the regime.
three united states executive orders have targeted senior leadership, commercial and central bank of syria. the result is that 30% of the lost revenues have occurred as a result of those sanctions. the u.s. and the eu have imposed a strong oil embargo. the exchange rate has depreciated by more than 50%, and their gdp has been in a serious decline, approaching almost - 8% in 2011, and more now. third, we are strengthening and unifying the non-violent political opposition in syria. the united states is in the process of providing direct, non-lethal support, including communications and medical equipment to the civilian led opposition. we are taking these actions in
concert with similar steps taken by the friends of syria and other international partners to assist the opposition. fourth, we are providing in emergency humanitarian assistance to the syrian people. the total commitment so far is in excess of $25 million. food rations, medical supplies, water, and other relief supplies have been provided. lastly, we are reviewing and planning for a range of additional measures that may be necessary to protect the syrian people. my acting along these lines, we are increasing pressure on the assad regime every day. make no mistake, one way or another, this regime will ultimately meet its end. there are legitimate questions about what steps are necessary to achieve this end, with some
arguing for an approach similar to the one we took in libya. the fact is that our recent experience in libya is helping to inform the approach that the united states is taking toward syria. first, our efforts are strengthened by multilateral, international consensus. that is extremely important to our ability to keep maximum pressure on the assad regime. second, we should maintain clear, regional support from the arab world. the arab world and sell, nations of the arab world, are outraged at the regime and what they are doing to the syrian people. third, we should offer substantial u.s. contributions where we can bring a unique resources to bear. fourth, we should have a clear, legal basis for our approach there.
that clearly involves close consultations with congress. fifth and finally, our approach must keep all options on the table, while recognizing the limitations of military force. we must be prepared to take whatever action is required. but let me also say the situation in syria is different from the one in libya in some very important ways. this is not libya. in libya, there was widespread international support in the arab world and elsewhere in a clear, security council authorization for military intervention. nato was authorized to act on that. no such consensus currently exists regarding syria. the opposition is also not as well organized and does not
control territory as we saw in libya. there are almost 100 different groups. on the one hand, that indicates that this is an insurgency that is broad based. on the other hand, it makes it difficult to determine who to help if they cannot come together and organize as a single opposition force. we must also be mindful, as secretary clinton has noted, of the possibility that outside military intervention will make a volatile situation even worse, and place even more innocent civilians at risk. the united states has made clear that we are on the side of the syrian people. they must know that the international community has not underestimated either their suffering or their impatience. the defense department's, as we always do, is reviewing and continuing to review plans for a
variety of possible scenarios, should the president determined that further steps are necessary. in the meantime, our only clear path is to keep moving diplomatically with the international community in a resolute and deliberate manner to find a way a return syria to the syrian people. if we remain people to it -- if we remain dedicated to that effort, i think we ultimately can prevail. thank you. >> thank you, mr. sector terry. -- mr. secretary pickwick general dempsey. >> i preach -- mr. secretary. general mcps >> i appreciate the opportunity to testify before you today. the regime responded with brutality. serious internal convulsions are
having consequences for a regional -- for a region already in turmoil of refugees are fleeing. spillover into neighboring countries is an increasing concern, and of course, we also need to be alert to opportunistic extremists who may seek to exploit the situation. as well as the need to be especially alert to the fate of serious chemical and biological weapons -- of syria's chemical and biological weapons. they need to stay exactly where they are. the u.s. is applying diplomatic and economic pressure on the regime to compel assad and his accomplices to stop the killing on their own. our military's role at this point has been limited sharing affirmation with our regional partners. but should we be called on to help secure u.s. interest in other ways, we will be ready. we maintain an agile regional and global posture. we have solid military relationships with every country on serious border. should we be called, our responsibility is clear, provide
the secretary defense and president with options. these options will be judged in terms of their suitability, feasibility, and acceptability. we have a further responsibility to articulate risk and the potential implications to our other global commitments. in closing, i want to assure you and the nation that america's armed forces are ready to enter the call, wherever that takes us. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. the vote has been called. we are five minutes into the vote. i will ask questions and get as much done as we can, and we will break. those of you who desire to leave earlier to get over there to vote, i would encourage you to return as quickly as we can so we can keep this moving forward. mr. secretary, according to
media reports this morning, the french president stated that action should be taken to establish humanitarian corridors. what are your views on this option? have you been aware of that? >> mr. chairman, we have looked at a variety of options as to what could be done, including the possibility of developing humanitarian corridors. again, we are prepared to do whatever the international community and ultimately agrees ought to be done, but clearly we have made plans along this line. >> general lincecum restated that syria pose a chemical and biological weapons -- general dempsey, you stated that syria's chemical and biological weapons need to stay where they are. what can be done to make sure they are secured?
>> as i mentioned in the statement, we are sharing intelligence with our regional partners. in the aggregate, we feel like we have a good understanding of the disposition of syria's chemical and biological weapons. >> one of my concerns has been being said for a long time since the uprising started that mr. assad was the days are numbered -- that mr. assad's days are numbered. what is the path for that happening? as i said in my opening remarks, the assad regime has sort of decided they don't care what the international community thinks, they will kill as many people as they need to kill to stay in power. they are getting some sort of tacit support from important nations like russia and china, and much more direct support from iran.
that makes it clearly different than gaddafi in libya. he had no friends anywhere. he could not get that assistance. with that support, the leverage we need to pull to make sure that the assad regime goes, or my that support not be enough to let them stay? thing that concerns you have indicated are the concerns we all share. part of the problem here is that assad still seems to maintain the loyalty of the military, even though there have been significant defections, the military still seems loyal and they continue to strike back at the libyan people, even as this effort to try to achieve a cease-fire and try to reduce violence there. we still see continuing artillery barrages violating the
whole effort. >> what hope is there to get russia and china to change their stance and actually be more aggressive about fracturing the assad regime? >> obviously that was a concern when they initially voted against the security resolution that would have taken action here, but they have come around. they have supported the resolution that was adopted supporting annan and his efforts to try to achieve a cease-fire. diplomatic pressures being brought on both russia and china, particularly russia. that battle longstanding relationship and that part of the world with syria, to bring pressure on them to exercise whatever influence they can to ensure that they abide by annan plan. so the -- so there is some progress being made on that front. the additional steps that are important is that the international community continues to be very unified in
taking action against the regime. there are additional sanctions that could be applied. we have applied some sanctions and they are putting great pressure on the regime itself. that pressure needs to continue. the third thing i would indicate is that this is a broad based insurgency. i think it is fair to say that the intelligence community feels that because it is a broad based insurgency, yes, he can strike back. he can continue to try to hold on, but ultimately, his days are numbered and openly, he will be taken down. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> the committee will recess know until we are able to return after votes. thank you very much.
mr. bartlett. >> mr. secretary, in your oral testimony noted administration is publicly committed to sending communications equipment to syria humanitarian organizations. i am aware of american companies that can provide the necessary hardware to the syrian opposition groups and humanitarian efforts. what steps does the administration take ensure that potential future allocations are dedicated to the future of u.s. manufactured equipment? what steps are being taken to assure american made technologies are being reviewed and properly betted? -- properly vetted? >> i will yield to general them see on this as well. my sense is that most of the in the general dempsey. most of the communications gear we are talking about is made in this country, and that is primarily the communications gear that we would be
transferring to the opposition leaders. >> i have nothing further to add to that. that program is being supervised by the department of state. >> the state department, other than the office of political and military affairs is charged with not providing equipment to these areas. is my understanding that the political military affairs personnel are not actively involved in determining the nature of what equipment should be distributed to syria. seeing as how the department of defense would have more precedent in such a role, what can your agency coordination -- what agency coordination is occurring between the department of state and part of defense? >> congressman, there is ongoing coordination with the department of defense, with the department of state on this issue. we do have a liaison who is they
are working with them. let me give you a more in-depth report as to what the level of that relationship is like. but there is a military liaison that is working with the state department on this issue. >> i have nothing to add, congressman. >> thank you very much. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you, ms. sanchez. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, both gentlemen, for being here once again and for your service to our country. russia has not been very cooperative in moving the un closer to authorizing some form of action in syria. i know a lot of us have been disappointed in one to move something. some members suggest that we use some sort of pressure on russia to help convince them to be more
helpful. for example, we could suspend cooperative threat reduction funds. do you believe that is a good idea? why or why not? >> at this stage, obviously the state department is the one that is taking the lead in dealing with russia, so i am not going to prejudge what the state should or should not use with -- as leverage with russia. at this point, i have to said that russia has been cooperative with regards to enacting support theannan effort at cease-fire -- enacting -- with regard to support the annan effort. the most important leverage for russia is to try to make sure that they understand that, in fact, their interests are served
by taking the steps, because once assad goes, the interest they have in syria are going to go away unless they participate with the international community. >> if i could broaden the aperture and point out the places where we are cooperating with russia in a very positive way. >> i am not suggesting i am one of those, but i do hear from my colleagues. >> we have to understand in the context of the entire relationship, not just this issue in isolation. we have terrific contribution with the no. distribution network out of afghanistan, counter piracy and narcotics. we have to understand the entire thing in context and deal with them as we would other nations with whom we have a variety of relationships. >> some have said that if we would just "handle syria" that
that would help us in what is brewing with respect to iran, that one of the effects of the military is that assad has one of the largest army ground troops in the area and that buttresses iran's bullying in the area. what do you say to that, that's if we would get involved in syria we could help the people there move onto a more democratic or different type of government, that it would help us to bring the threat of iran down in the neighborhood. >> there is absolutely no question that if the assad regime comes down, the one
country in that part of the world that will be even further isolated is iran. iran knows that, and that is why they continue to provide some assistance to assad, because they know that their interests are in maintaining the assad regime, not in seeing it go down. >> the only thing i would add is, the fall of the assad regime would be a serious blow to iran. i think the general testified before this body to that effect. but saying is the key would be analogous to say it would be solving a rubrics cube puzzle by lining up one side and neglecting the other sides. cube.ving a rubik's >> are there any circumstances under which the u.s. would get
involved militarily? word of turkey invoked article 5 of our nato predict what if turkey in pope's article 5 of our nato charter? -- what if turkey invoked article 5? >> if there is a consensus in in eric -- in the international community to do something along those lines, and not easily ensure that the international community is able to get the authorities required in order to make that happen. the one area with regard to article 5 and turkey, article 5 has only been enacted once after 9/11, as i recall. but they would have to make clear that what is happening there really does truly represent a direct threat to turkey. i think this point, that is probably a stretch.
>> thank you. >> mr. jones. >> thank you very much for being here today. mr. secretary, if the situation changes and you believe the use of force in syria becomes necessary, will this administration seek authorization from congress before taking action? >> we will clearly work with congress if it comes to the issue of the use of force. this administration wants to work within the war powers provision to ensure that we work together, not separately. >> mr. secretary, as a former member congress, i have the biggest concern -- and this is not point that this administration -- not pointed
at this administration. they seem to want to take the authority to decide whether or not they need to go into a country that has not been a threat. they might have evil dictators, they might have problems in those countries, but i have been very concerned. i actually went to the federal courts with dennis kucinich and two other republicans and two other democrats. we went to the courts because of the decision and how it was made. i realize you were not there at the time -- about libya. the american people seem to agree that we in congress have not exerted our constitutional responsibilities when it comes to war. i hope that if there is a decision, including iran as well as syria, if the decision is made to commit american forces,
that the president would feel an obligation to the american people, not the congress, but the american people, to explain and justify why we take that kind of action. again, i am talking about a situation where we are not being attacked. we just see things happening in other countries that we don't approve of. i would hope, and i think he did give me this answer, but if you would reaffirm that if we have to use military force, and we are going to initiate that force, that the president, any president would come to congress and the american people and justify the need to attack. >> congressman, as you understand, this president's as other presidents will operate pursuant to the constitution. the constitution makes clear that the commander-in-chief
should act when the vital interest of this country are in jeopardy. i believe this president believes that if that in fact is the case, he would do that in partnership with congress in terms of taking any action. >> i remember my good friend from virginia asking secretary gates when we went then, and it seem like if they call the leadership of the house and senate, it must of been one call. mr. ford as mr. gates if libya fired missiles in the united states, would that be an act of war. my friend virginia is a very articulate and intelligent gentleman. he never got a straight answer. i hope that you will prevail upon the administration not to take those kind of actions as
they did in libya, whether it is justified or not. i will not get into that debate, but in my opinion, that was really kind of a snub of congress and the roof responsibility of congress based on the constitution. -- and the responsibility of congress. >> i can assure you that as long as i am secretary, we will not take any action without proper legal authority. >> thank you very much, and i will deal backed by 39 seconds. -- yield back my 39 seconds. >> your service is both an inspiration to us and a blessing to our country. we thank you very much for it. i want to congratulate the administration on your success with russia and china, moving into a very different place on this issue compared to where they were just a few weeks ago. mr. secretary, i think the data you gave us about the exchange
rate for the syrian currency and the gdp are a reflection of the effectiveness of that coalition. you also know that we do not yet have the level of consensus in the arab world that existed for the libyan problem. what do you see as the principal obstacles to achieving that kind of consensus with respect to the syrian regime? >> i think the arab world is struggling with the same issues that the whole international community is struggling with, which is in order to take additional actions, what, in fact, does make sense? who is the opposition? can we best -- how can we best assist the opposition? cackle would provide the help the syrian people need in order to overcome this situation? what kind of pressures would best be placed on assad in order to force the regime
downward? all of those same difficult, complex issues that the whole international community is dealing with, the arab community is confronting as well. libya, that all came together. in syria, it is still a difficult challenge putting those pieces together. >> this is a hypothesis that the cohering factor in the libyan situation is a sense that gaddafi had completely lost the support of his own people, and no one wanted to be associated with the regime that was illegitimate in that sense. do you think that assad has simply not reach that point with his own people yet, or is there some other factor that is diverting us from that consensus? >> i think is of the factors that i pointed out in my testimony that make this different from libya. the fact that number one, he does still enjoy the loyalty of
a good job of the army and the military. that makes it more challenging in terms of trying to undermine the regime. secondly, that opposition is disbursed. there are a lot of groups there that represent the opposition. in libya, there were some different tribal groups that make up the opposition. they were holding territory. we knew who they were. we couldn't -- we could define what the opposition was that needed assistance. it is much more of an insurgency kind of opposition. >> you mentioned that the phrase is vital national interest a few moments ago. do you agree with the proposition that it is a vital national interest to the united states to discourage regimes which could serve as an incubator for asymmetric warfare
against the united states? >> that would obviously have to be debated on the issue of does it directly impact our vital interests. i guess an argument could be made along those lines. i would think in this case, it is a really important for the international community, if we are going to continue to work with the international community, if we are going to be a partner with them in deciding what additional actions ought to be taking place, it ought to be within the international context that decisions for action ought to be taken. >> how would you characterize the public record of the relationship between syria and hezbollah? >> the public record, and more importantly, the intelligence record that we have, is that there has always been a close relationship between syria and hezbollah, and that hezbollah has always had some level of
protection. >> do you brief bge do you agree with the proposition that the weaker hezbollah is, the better the united states is? >> -- do you agree? >> anything we can do to weaken the terrorist group is in our interest. >> i yield back. >> thank you for being here, and general dempsey, we thank you for your service. you are both good men and you have served your country well. we are argue would be here and share your thoughts, because today you have -- we are honored you would be here. the risk to the country are huge today. when we talk a bottle national interest, probably there is no greater interest than we have -- that we have than the rule of law. sometimes we have to ferret that
out and see what it is. uzziah understand, what you have indicated to this committee, -- as i am understand, you believe that before we would take military action against syria, it would be a requirement to have a consensus of permission with the international committee before that would happen. is that a fair statement? if not, would you tell me what the proper -- i would like to come back to the question that was asked. i know you would never do anything that you did not think was legally proper, and you said that the administration would have proper legal authority before they would take any military action. i question is, what is proper legal authority? as mr. jones pointed out in the war powers act, it is unlikely we would have a declaration of war, but that would be one thing. we know if there was a national
attack, that would be one of them. the second thing would be specific statutory authorization. do you feel that it would be a requirement to have proper legal authority that if he did not have a declaration of war or an attack on the united states, that you would have to have specific statutory authority -- in other words, the permission of congress, before you take military action against syria? >> we would not take action without proper legal authority. >> i understand, and all due respect, we are trying to find out what exactly proper legal authority is. that is what we have to act under. we do not have the president here to chat with him or have a cup of coffee and ask him. you are the closest we get. we are asking from your understanding as secretary of defense, what is proper legal
authority? with that require specific statutory authorization from the united states congress if we had not had a declaration of war or an attack upon the united states? >> again, that we put on this basis. this administration operates pursuant to the war powers act and whatever it would require in order for us to engage, we would abide by. >> thank you for putting up with me, as i just try to stumble through this and understand it. as i read the war powers act, and has those three requirements. are there any other requirements in there you are familiar with that i am leak -- leaving out or not reading? if that is the case, i come back to if there is no declaration of war, no attack upon the united states, and if we are going to comply with the war powers act, would it require specific statutory authority by congress
before we took military action on syria? >> again, under the constitution, the commander-in- chief has the authority to take action that involves the bottle interest of this country, but pursuant to the war powers act, would have to take steps to get congressional approval. that is the process that we would follow. but she would have to take steps to get that approval, but with the approval required if we would take military action -- before we would take military action against syria? >> the constitution and the power the president, the president could deploy forces if he had to if our vital interests were at stake, but ultimately under the war powers act would have to come here for your support. >> you would get the support of congress after you began military operations. >> in that particular situation, yes. >> just one last thing. it is your position that the administration's position would
be that we would have to get a consensus of permission from the international community before we would act, but that we would not have to get specific statutory authority from congress before we would act. >> in that situation, if the international action is taken pursuant to a security council resolution or under our tree obligations with regard to nato, that obviously we would participate with the international community, but then ultimately, the congress of the united states, pursuant to its powers of the purse, would be able to determine whether or not that action is appropriate or not. >> thank you, mr. secretary and general dempsey. i wanted to ask you more about the opposition groups and i think you have been quite clear that it is a diverse group and hard to read them in many ways,
but is there one particular or several issues that you see them either fragmenting or coalescing? particularly as it would relate to trying to broker any kind of agreement with the assad regime short of eliminating it. >> as i have indicated, there are a number of groups involved in the opposition. it has not always been easy to get those groups to be able to coalesce. there are some outside syrian troops that are making an effort to do that. there has been better progress by other countries that have tried to, one way or another, provide assistance, to try to urge those groups to coalesce. there has been little more progress on that front, but it is still a difficult challenge. >> it read back to an earlier
question about what is it seems so difficult to get the countries in the region to coalesce around a single, unifying idea. i think they are cautious about what comes next, and to act read these two teams together, -- to thread these two themes together. it will affect the relationships. that is not to predict some negative outcome, but it will change. what they are circling around here is, can they get a clear idea of what might happen on the other end of this? these two thoughts are linked, i think you are >> in thinking about some of the efforts we have undergone there in terms of humanitarian missions, how are
we protecting knows, if at all? what is happening in that arena, and to what extent is it going to have a positive effect, or helping to mobilize others or bring the opposition groups together in any way? what effect does it have? >> the humanitarian assistance, obviously the state department is directing most of that assistance, but it is going to programs like the world food program. $10.50 million is being disbursed in food aid. medical services and supplies, food and water, blankets, hygiene kids, about 8.5 million. the international committee of the red cross is providing relief supplies under their authorities at about 3 million.
most of that, i think it is fair to say, a lot of it as probably being done in the refugee area where a lot of the refugees have gathered. there is an extensive number of refugees both on the turkish and jordanian border is that relocated there. >> is there any perception for those efforts that we are there to help the people of syria, that we have ongoing efforts? >> i have been has been made clear that we are trying to do whatever we can to provide that help. now we are making efforts to try to do some outreach into syria itself to try to assist those who have been harmed and try to see what we can do to provide assistance there as well. it is a much more difficult challenge.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. wilson. >> thank you for your service. i appreciate it as a veteran and also a very grateful parent of a son serving in the military. in the context of the instability that you are revealing, i am concerned about the sequestration of the defense budget, which would be a reduction of 8%-12%, beginning next to. you have learned about a hollowing out -- beginning next january. people have heard and seen a hundred billion dollars cut and now pending $600 billion cut. it is just total confusion. what message do you have to the american people? what do you want them to know about the effect of sequestration?
>> i tried to make clear time and time again about sequestration and the cuts involved, that it would be a disaster for the defense department. it would truly hollow out our force and weaken our national defense. we are operating -- we are already cutting close to half a trillion dollars. we made those proposals. they are part of our budget. we are doing that over 10 years. it has been a difficult challenge to do it pursuant to a strategy in a way that protect our national defense. sequester is a whole other set of cuts out there. it represents $600 billion across the board meat ax approach to the budget that would impact every area of the budget, regardless of apology, regardless of strategy and bliley strike at every area of the defense budget.
-- blindly strike at every area of the defense budget. we have to work together to ensure that does not happen. >> in terms of what message to the american people, i think first and foremost that the military is not oblivious to the economic ills of the nation and have done our best to contribute as part of the equation of national power, which did the equation would we adjusted our strategy after the lesson of 10 years or more. our projection on what the nation would need in 2020. we match the budget to its. if we have to absorb more cuts, we have to go to the board and adjust our strategy.
this strategy that we would have to adjust to would not meet the needs of the nation in 2012. it is getting increasingly unstable for the reason we're talking about. adding we have done as much recanted given what i know about the future. >> this is the they dividend. the world movement is so dangerous. i am very concerned about the national guard. the administration has been proposing a reduction on the ground forces. fortunately, that is active duty. i see a threat to the guard.
the concern i have are a reduction in the side of the air guard. how large will these cuts be dax $50,000 reduction fax 100,000? -- how large will these cuts speed? $50,000 reductions? $100,000? >> our goal is to keep the balance. a different amount of it is ready to go in six days or a year. that is how we balance the force. the reason we cannot take any of this reduction out of the garden is that we had growing the active force over the last 10 years by about 65,000. we had about 8000. when we absorb the cuts, we did not take many of them off of the
guard. we have not grown them. if you are asking me with a further reduction in our budget at 30 results in an effect on the army national guard? ps. i cannot tell you how deeply because it would depend on the depth of the cuts. if they keep it in balance, it will affect both active guard and reserve. >> thank you. i see cuts of dramatic effect affecting the american family. >> thank you for your answer on the sequestration. we understand that the defense has to be on the table. we have been there. se cut we're going there
is enormous. you take 50% out of the defense. it is something that cannot be overlooked. what we need to understand is that we cannot solve our nation's financial difficulties on the backs of the military. the thing that we really need to keep the mind is if we eliminated the whole discretionary budget. we would still be running a half dollar trillion deficit. what really need to do is fix the mandatory spending side of the budget. >> thank you. thank you for being here with us today. we have talked about the differences between syria and libya.
we have talked about trying to identify the different influences of the different folks within syria and how tough it is to predict an outcome. and when to pick you on the spot. we have seen that democracy, when you get people the choice, they cannot always use what we buy for them to choose. democracy can be unpredictable as we have seen. this is not a matter of this. this is made the best case/worst case. what kind of relationships with in syria, what would be summoned the things with a book for? client>> this happen in a good d
bad way. if we can do this pursuant to the cease-fire and the reforms that he is suggesting and is done in a politically careful way in terms of implementing what needs to be done, we can have them moved out. it implements the kind of democratic reforms that the people deserve. it could be done in a way that recognizes that there are
divided populations in syria that can be brought into this government. that would be the best way for this to move forward. it comes down to the various tribes. they began to assert themselves and have the beginning as some kind this civil war that takes place within their to try to assert who should take charge. that would probably be the course development. somewhere in between hopefully you could get some of the reforms that need to be taken place. it could take as an a better direction.
this happens in the context of legitimate reforms. >> thank you. we mentioned that the relationship between the government and the military is strong. is there a basis for that relationship being strong in terms and may be just the general saying that we will stay where we can come out on top? is there a situation where that might change in the military might withdraw some of that support and make some things possible? >> i think there are conditions. i think they would recognize that using the violence they are using against their insistence is a fool's errand.
at some point that will jeopardize them as an institution. now they returned to the referendum. this is best solved by the regional actors with our support. there is this an area where at the end of this that those were arraigned around beside the -- become a press. i think there is reason to believe that the military could come to understand that they are on a path to their own destruction as an institution. i think that case has to me made
by regional players and less so by us. >> thank you. >> i want to thank you for your strong statements on the issue of addressing sexual assault in the military. your leadership as well needed. we appreciate your strong statements. we understand that general dempsey is echoing your strong commitment. you have recently said every day we are within an inch of war. as a look to the issue of syria, we know that russia and china have blocked two resolutions with respect to syria. i think that texas to an issue of when we look to a world --
that looks to an issue of when we look at the world in regard to russia. they have sent russian advisers to syria and deployed naval forces. how would you say that russia is supporting syria posed a military today? north korea's recent missile failed. i think this is probably misplaced really. we know that north korea continues its quest for missile technology. most recently the hundredth anniversary of the founder of the dictatorship that brought four of their mobile missile. secretary gates -- for word of their mobile missile. secretary gates spoke of this. i ask that my letter be committed to part of the record.
>> without objection, so ordered. >> my second question is tell me of your concerns of china's supporting north korea's missiles. is it a direct threat to the united states, something we are witnessing? >> there is no question that andh korea's capabilities their developing nuclear capabilities represent a threat to the united states. for that reason we take north korea and their provocative
actions very seriously. regardless to the success of a failure, it is a huge failure. it is a provocation. this should have been condemned. our hope is that they do not take any provocative actions. we hope they do not do this. we are prepared from a defense department pointed you to deal with any contingency. there are multiple capabilities. tweaking a better intelligence and see what these capabilities are and what is real and not real in order to determine exactly what this represents.
if they have mobile capability deployed,e have icbm's that reduces the threat. >> we're able to make the support for the systems. >> we have made very clear to china that china has a responsibility to make sure that north korea, if they want to improve the situation with their people and become part of the international family and want to deal with the terrible issues that are confronting north korea, there is a way to do that. china ought to be urging them to engage in those kind of diplomatic negotiations. >> the concern is that if the
equipment itself has technology exchanges -- >> i'm sure there has been help coming from china. i think you have to do with this and another context in terms of the sensitivity of that information. russia has a long history of having provided military assistance. russia is working with us to try to get a cease-fire. they are working with the international community. russia could have a much more a significant impact on syria. greg thank you. >> thank you.
>> let me ask secretary panetta -- silence has not abated. this has been undertaken. when do we determine that they are not successful and move on to plan b? but i think that is what secretary clinton is still within paris as we speak. we're looking at this situation to determine what the net steps are with regard to the initiative. we try to deploy monitors that can go in and determine whether these violations are taking place. there's also a consideration that perhaps a peacekeeper initiative to back it up with peacekeepers. what the final decisions are going to rest of the
international community. >> do we have credible on on what is flowing from iran and to syria? >> we really ought to do it in the context of an intelligence briefing. >> all right. i am concerned about reports that nato's assessment of the libyan air campaign has numerous problems and operations. how're we incorporating this. >> i was encouraged that the lessons learned were transparent. it will take us down a path that
probably would be ill-advised. i am a buyer to that. i'm going to brussels next week. one of the agenda items is operation unified protection. what we have to do is be candid with each other. it they need to do what they need to provide. they relied exclusively on us to provide. i see this as a positive. >> what you think are the greatest risks of the united states facts ? >> on vacation i've been portrayed as saying this is too hard. that is not the case. it has to do something, and we
absolutely have the capability. i have to be clear about the military objective is that i was being asked to achieve. i have to be clear about how these were contributing to some outcomes that we would all understand and agree upon. but the dishes stopping the violence, that is one outcome. the other responsibility is to balance the rest to the mission. what would be the cost of doing this? the risk to the forest is a zero sum game. we are deployed all over the world.
if i am asked to do something in syria and the secretary says i need this option, my response ability is to make sure i understand this and that by articulate the risks not to the mission where talking about but to our global responsibilities. it is all part of my advice. >> thank you. thank you for joining us. thank you for your service to our nation. i want to follow up on your scenarios of looking at u.s. engagement in syria. he spoke about looking at nato partners and making a decision about a particular engagement. do you envision a scenario or the u.s. would act unilaterally? to also look at a situation where in any scenario with the
u.s. look at a broader combat perspective on that? i want to get your perspective on that? >> at this point in time, the decision is that we will not have any boots on the ground and that we will not act unilaterally. >> a want to make sure we're looking at these particular scenarios. to be your perspective, we see what is happening in syria. we also see the arab spring. as you look at that scenario, are you concerned about the continual expansion of these in syria? assad
i think we are all eager to see these populations that have long not been a reaping the benefits and have been suppressed. i think that long term this will become a stabilizing influence. i think getting from here to there will be a wild ride. or 15k we're in for 10 years of instability in a region that has already been characterized by instability. >> general alum was testifying before us, talking about operations and that afghanistan. i want to be your perspective. he said that he saw the use
extending past 2013. i want to get your perspective on that. do you agree? are you looking to him as far as his thought about we utilize our current forces there as we are drawing down? i think all these parts of what happened not only in the middle east but in afghanistan our efforts there and are intertwined. i want to get your perspective. >> you bet we are listening to general allan. he is the best. he has exercised tremendous leadership out there and tremendous dedication. he has put together a very good plan for the future with regard to afghanistan. 2011 was a turning point. we have seen the taliban and weekend.
they have not organize an effort to regain any area that they have lost. they are engaged in the sporadic ones. we expect they will continue. they are resilient. i have been weekend. the afghan people rejected it. the afghan army is beginning to operate on its own. these events in cobblkabul saide becoming an effective force to achieve security in afghanistan. the transitions are working. there are two transitions that have occurred. the desert of the population is under afghan security control. this tragedy that general allen
has developed and that nato's support is to proceed with that plan to take us to 2013 and be able to complete the final transitions and then drop down to the end it 2014. >> thank you. >> thank you. thank you for being here. about asking questions chemical and biological weapons. i do not want to read characterize your comments. i will say what i thought i heard. did you say you thought we had sufficient transparency t/
seems to me that the potential proliferation of chemical and biological weapons would be at the top of the list. >> in terms of the discussions we're having about syria and resistance to the violence in syria, and we thought there are going to use these biological weapons, what do we do? >> let me begin again with the this because of a classification. it is updating constantly. the planning is being done with our allies in the region. >> i wanted to assure you that we have made plans to try to deal with any contingency involved in those areas. we think it does represent the
most serious concerns with regard to our security. >> understanding classification is important to explore this later. i wanted to change the focus of a bid to afghanistan and china and russia. i heard a story this morning about yemen. the current director was sitting about where you are sitting. there is a difference between a civil war and what is a counter terrorism mess that the u.s. is trying to be supportive of in yemen. a loss of changes the arab spring. i do not know that a lot has changed in terms of usa out to the civil war purses' the u.s. continue to pursue it.
they're working at changing the strategy. i will put it out see. we need to have that answer it. he cannot leave it there. >> >> thank you. first of all with regard to a story in the paper, a think those operations, i guess i would urge you to go what is behind that. with regard to the larger issue, i understand the implications of what you're
asking. our target represents those al qaeda terrorists that involve a threat to this country. this is not broad base. we're very targeted. we will remain pursuant to those kinds of operations. >> without going into specific details here comment the position of the administration is that our interest in yemen is the same interest we have had in somalia, which is to go after those terrorists who are
involved and planning attacks of this country. >> can i add? that is not what we're doing a genetically. we're working very closely with the military in yemen to increase their capability. it is important not to see this as we are only doing one thing and not the other. we're trying to round it off. >> thank you. >> thank you. thank you were being here today. of the next three months, it can you explain how you see the opposition? d.c. fragmenting? -- do you see it fragmenting? how do you see this playing out?
back to the topic. >> you know, if i could give you a firm answer as to what we saw happening, i probably would not be in this job. i would be somewhere else. this is a tough thing to try to look at the elements that play here and try to determine how this will play out. intelligence has provided its perspective on this. the best thing that we is a result of the international community's unified approach to applying the sanctions.
we now have the support of russia and china. am this will continue to play out. sonja soh assad will continue to play out. it'll be a matter of time. defense hasrtment of dispens our plans involved over the last year since we have lasting the syrian revolution. >> what we do and what general dempsey does with the chiefs is to develop all of the planes necessary for any contingency.
whatever the president decides we will be prepared to implement. >> we are in nato partner with turkey. we have a strong relationship with jordan. we are to-300 military urge the 200-300 military strong. we have been meeting with leaders throughout the region. we met with the president from various regions. they had a huge interest. there are huge populations. these issues are often intertwined. we're in the business of sharing information and building capacity where we can.
we're having the threat of military capability. >> these are comments that have been made from my colleagues as it related to what happened in libya and the concerns with how we perceive them -- proceeded in that action. of all the conflicts we have dealt with, the one lesson learned is endgame. it is my hope that we move through this to share information with us.
we act in our role that there will be clear lines of communication on behalf of our military family. >> i appreciate that concern. i want to assure you that general dempsey and i are unified with regard to not proceeding with any military action unless there is a clear objection only know what it will take to achieve that objective, how long it'll take an do you have the legal authority to accomplish what we're being asked to accomplish? that would involve close consultation. >> thank you. i yelled that. >> thank you for being here.
what you think will be there if it occurs? >> what we do know for a fact demographically is 7 the firm of the syrian population is of the suny -- 70% of the population is of the sunni population appeared to have a ship from the minority government to the majority in power. i think there will be some combination of conservative islamic parties.
the jews and the christians have been supported by be assad party. this is the point i think. in terms of looking toward helping identify the opposition, and also holding them accountable before we support them to committing themselves. my concern is in egypt. this is as far as the arab world those. they brought about 40% muslim brotherhood. this is a fairly frightening coalition.
i suppose the question should be what are we doing and what more can we do to ensure it encourages the population. should be reaching the overthrown? would try to do that in iraq. many of us were concerned about religious freedom. that was not achieved. it is a frightening thing. i direct this to either of you. >> then she pointed out are truly legitimate concerns.
if we can build democratic institutions and to these countries, and to some extent we see it in iraq. we're beginning to see it in egypt and libya. want to build some of these institutions were parties have to participate in have to look at how they can try to meet their responsibilities to the people. it does have some kind of moderating the impact. even in egypt were understand your concerns. i understand there are various segments of the brotherhood that are trying to understand they have the bigger responsibility. they'll have to exercise leadership in regard to every aspect.
in iraq, every time in looks like it is headed toward one direction, we're seeing some of that in libya. there are a lot of forces as a result of the era of spring. one thing we do not want to lose sight of is as a result, we can help threredirect those countries. >> you're on the right track. i am hoping we might be able to involve some of the religious and ethnic minorities. it seems the we have the chance and me durinmentoring the issue.
>> i agree with what you just said. >> thank you. it is very great that this is a distinguished veteran. >> thank you. i appreciate the strong leadership. i will talk about syria and a second. i'm curious to hear the feedback. i am recently back from fort bragg and visiting with when the support commands. it is remarkable the level of team work that goes on. i feel that we are lacking in terms of systemic codification
of some of the very encouraging development of the past decade. it can happen that the intelligence committee may be working the line of operations. figure to become a they will bump into each other. and their efforts to bring stronger collaboration in terms of information sharing. given your recent history, i would be curious to know what your thoughts are in terms of reform to bring it closer cooperation to the intelligence committee. >> i have been in this town.
i do not think there is a better relationship between the intelligence and the military operation forces then there is today. they are surely working together. in afghanistan in yemen and other parts of the world, they are unified in the approach. they are working off strong intelligence resources letter being shared. the operations are basically worked out within the operations centers. there is very close coordination this is not involve the participation. they're doing a very effectively.
i do think we need to lessons. i think we are right. when need to put in place the lessons learned. we can make sure the cooperation is one that continues. that is my biggest concern. we are facing al qaeda in terrorism. as we're able to achieve some success, there may be a danger the both of these make often tried to do their own thing. >> the game changing lessons learned are the integration of cyber. i think you're seeing a global network approach. most of our adversaries are not
confronting us directly. to defeat a network, we have to be a network. and have to find a way to a network our capabilities. these are ways that have not had to do before. >> i concur with the assessment. as the go forward, we do not want to over codify to the point that would stifle initiative. am also concern that much of this is based on relationships. this would not come to the end in the event that two individuals may not get along. they still need this to work. i see my time is getting short
here. with regard to the unrest in syria, have there been any adverse implications and ramifications in the province? >> not coming from syria. this runs from saudi arabia through western iraq into syria. there is assistance been provided on tribal relationships flowing into syria. we have not seen any backwash coming. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you for being here today. thank you for your service. chairman didn't say, of thank you for your commitment to our troops and veterans.
we shall be adjourned. >> coming up on c-span, house majority leader erick kanter talked with mike allen of politico. nasa officially delivered the space shuttle discovery to the smithsonian national space and air museum. it was first launched in 1984. it is more than any other shuttle. this ceremony is later. on washington journal, we will focus on the role of the secret service and allegations of
misconduct among the agents. our guest the los angeles times. the director will take your questions about the heritage act which recently passed the house. will discuss trends in wages and benefits with philip doyle of the bureau of labor says six. -- statistics. "washington journal" is like every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> this weekend, live coverage from the los angeles times festival of books. cover start at 2:00 p.m. eastern. saturday, clarence darrow and jfk. at 730, colin with your questions or steven ross, author
of "hollywood left and right." at 5:00, a panel surveillance and in secret with michael schirmer. the entire schedule is online at booktv.org. >> eric cantor eric sat down with mike allen of politico to talk about elections and politics. we will also hear from congressional reporter jack sherman. >> good morning. thank you for coming. i am mike allen, the chief political correspondent for
"politico." hello to c-span and cnn. thanks for following this. we are on twitter. jake sherman will join me in a minute for some pre-game. one of our great congressional correspondents is going to take us behind the scenes a little bit, set the table for a great conversation with house majority leader eric cantor. i would like to thank the bank of america for their continued partnership, talking about the issues that matter most in washington. thank you for coming and making this possible. >> it is great to be here. enjoy getting applause.
we do not get that everywhere, so thank you. we did announce earnings this morning, and actually made money. >> that was the applause. >> hopefully there is a future for our relationship and support of politico. we appreciate the opportunity to have a sober political dialogue on important topics of the day. it is my job to meet with a lot of consumer groups, groups where we engage in discussion about important issues facing the future of the financial-services sector. one other point i want to make is we are very proud to have a relationship. you will see on your chairs some material about the urban alliance foundation, a mentoring and jobs program for high- school students here in the
district. a shameless plug -- i was one of the early founders of that group about 15 years ago. in my absence as i moved to charlotte, it has become one of the great youth employment and job training programs here in the district. it is always looking for host sites to take students and put them into employment opportunities, internships, given the job training for their futures, to have great opportunities. we have some of the students representing the program here. i would encourage you, if you have the time, talk to them. they are a source of great inspiration and optimism for the future of the country. it makes us all feel like there
is hope ahead. if you are interested in hosting a student, you all worked at institutions and organizations here in town that i know would be interesting places for these students to have an opportunity to work. look at the material. feel free to call veronica nolan, the executive director. truly one of the great nonprofits in the country. reach out. we would love to have additional support for the program. thank you. >> thank you for coming up from charlotte. i appreciate you having the idea for the urban alliance, which is a great program. thank you very much. before we get started, i want to remind you, #playbookbreakfast. jake sherman, a gw graduate, a hard-working congressional correspondent. you do my homework for me. what is the most important question i could ask the house
majority leader, eric cantor? >> the big thing as we get toward the end of the year will be the tax rates. all the income brackets go up. >> taxmageddon. >> and there is an election going on, so this is not an easy time for things to get done. we will see toward the end of the year republicans tried to force a lot of votes on tax rates, corporate stuff, individual stuff, trying to get democrats on the record for supporting higher taxes. that will be a big thing. >> back up. get them on the record supporting higher taxes. this is a show trial, right? >> it is also a way for republicans to lay the
groundwork for the rest of the year. they want to show what they support, which is important for them, as they go to this taxmageddon. there is not much moving. it is almost may. we have until november for the elections. they have to fill the time, which is always interesting. on capitol hill, there are always interesting things to fill time with. that will be what we pay attention to. obviously, the election is huge. i would be interested to hear what cantor says about this. >> you had a story, "your congress at work." the story is the top of our home page. it is about the do-nothing congress. tell us what you said in the story. >> it is always interesting to take a step back and look at what congress is doing, as if you were not involved in the political process. if you looked at yesterday as an individual day out of a year, there were votes to honor raoul allenburg.
they are striking a coin for jack nicklaus. opening federal land for hunting. remember, we have gas prices above $4, $15 trillion in debt, as a backdrop for those votes. the senate is trying to reform the postal service. that is bogged down in an unrelated argument over aid to egypt. >> let us say reforming the postal service is the big thing the senate is doing. >> right. also marking up a budget, but they will not allow any amendments to come to the floor for a vote. so if you are watching from ohio or west virginia and you see this, my sense is you would not be particularly proud of your elected officials. >> some of these art easy punch lines. but you point out in your story that this raises larger questions. >> the large question people
should ask and do ask is -- is it congress's mission to lay out messy votes, or work together to find solutions? you'll get various answers from people. that is the constant struggle. there is a vote today on the 20% business tax cut. a lot of support from republicans. but the obama administration and the senate have said they have no interest. >> is there support from democrats? >> to be seen. they say it will give tax cuts to hedge fund managers and rich folks, which is always the argument they have when tax votes go up. we will see, but it has no chance of passing. >> will democrats work with republicans? we had a fascinating story about the death of the blue dogs. i think there are maybe 24 blue dogs. six of them are retiring and five are in danger, largely because of redistricting. >> one bright point forthe senaa
highway bill in the next couple of months. it cut huge democratic support, and democratic support to build a pipeline from canada, the keystone pipeline, which has been a huge political issue. they worked together, and it passed. the payroll tax cut is another example. but there has been no grand debt deal. there has been no huge "we put the nation on a stable fiscal trajectory." >> we are going to ask at the top about the possibility for some sort of deficit deal this year, or in the lame-duck session after the election. what wheels are turning on that? what is underway? >> at this point, there is not much in plain view. the idea is that when the tax rates are up at the end of the year, there is a chance for a massive deal. it depends whether romney wins the white house or obama wins
the white house. obama has said he is interested in an executive deal. so has romney. we will see. they have tried, as chronicled in recent news stories and books, to get a deficit deal, and they have stumbled at every opportunity. >> what is the most optimistic case for a deal? what are the conditions where a deal could happen? or is it impossible? >> we saw that it was close. the idea would be when the tax rates are expiring, obama would say, "i am not extending the top rates." the idea would be to reform the tax code and do something to change the rates that republicans would like and democrats could agree to come and kind of lump in their medicare, medicaid, social security -- a grand bargain. that is the best-case scenario at this point, to couple them with these tax rates, which both parties agree need changing. democrats say they do not want to extend the bush tax cuts. republicans want to reform the whole code.
>> it was said on one of these programs the other day that there just are not the conditions or the incentives for there to be a deal in the lane duck. on the other side, i cannot imagine these guys having the guts to raise all those people pay taxes. i can imagine at least an extension. >> that is right. >> you think jim is wrong? >> well, no. jim is right, for the record. but if obama wins the white house, they might do an extension. once there are new legislators in place, january, february, march, there could be a large- scale deal. if romney wins the white house, i do not see there being an incentive to get anything done, if the senate gets more republican. >> when there are no cameras around, what do they tell you about mitt romney? >> even when there are cameras around, they do not say the greatest thing.
a conservative republican from texas is more excited about the prospect of beating obama than about romney. >> can you explain to them they are related? >> that are related. that has been the tenor. a lot of people are excited. they could be obama if the conditions are right. >> i would not have predicted that. >> republicans on capitol hill would not have predicted that either. >> why is that? there have been stories about it. but why? it is in their interest for him to do well. why do they not at least act fired up? >> they like to complain, is the main thing. at the end of the day, they need to rally around him. john boehner and page mcconnell have been quiet throughout the process. >> went out on a limb.
>> a moment of courage. but they need to get excited. that art starting to, behind the scenes. there are machinations, getting them on the same page, talking about the policy of the leadership. >> walk through that. >> the hudson conference calls, at least two, between top romney policy advisers in boston and top advisers to eric cantor and john boehner, mostly planning sessions. when mr. chen was in d.c., he met with congress members not committed to romney, trying to get everybody on the same page, talk about how they can work together. this is going to, if not complicate -- it will complicate. it will make the coordination difficult, going forward. they have to make sure their presidential nominee is on the same page.
even people close to romney say they are not always on the same page. it will be interesting to watch. >> while congress was on its district and state work period, jake, for spring break, went out and covered mitt romney. >> in beautiful pennsylvania. >> what is it like to cover mitt romney on the road? >> it is different. on capitol hill, there is never a time you cannot ask the decisionmaker a question about his decision. they do not always answer, but you can always -- there are very few times you cannot find somebody to answer questions. romney, you are lucky to get a question on the rope line. that is the defining difference between covering the campaign
and covering congress. >> that is intrinsic to a national campaign. what specifically moves him? how long were you with him? >> i was out with him two days. i have been out with him for similar times throughout the year. he gives speeches and shakes hands. other than that -- >> did you talk to him? >> i shouted a question. i would not say he was -- >> have you shaken his hand? >> i do not know. maybe in new hampshire, early on. but it was really cold. >> there truly is very little interaction. >> the reporters on the trail, he has not been available in months. if john boehner or eric cantor was not available for a month, i cannot imagine the outcry from reporters on capitol hill. >> what did you learn about the country or the process? you are coming at this process with fresh eyes. >> mostly that it is a lot different from capitol hill. it is really a bubble. i know it is a cliche, but it cannot be overstated how kind of --
>> we sort of knew that. but what raised it? >> after the first event, hearing the same thing for several days in a row -- i was at an event at the launch of his pennsylvania operation. rick santorum was still in the race. he was giving a speech from a rooftop of the building where his offices are. i was not even able to view -- i was in a side room, listening on speakers. i could just stay home. there is not much. but news organizations have to be there because it is important. but there is not much interplay with reporters. >> you have also been on the road, covering congressional races. interesting primaries coming up. >> in arizona, an interesting one between the son of former vice president dan quayle and a traditional conservative guy and a tea party guy.
in florida, john mica, the transportation committee chairman. it is very close. quayle is losing by a hair, but his people are confident he will pull that out. in florida, the transportation committee chairman, a longtime member of congress, versus a freshman, andy adams. they got redistricted together. mica is favored. there are some nasty races across the country. baucus is in arizona. florida is also this summer. republicans will hold both of those seats, so it is not a big deal for the overall outlook of the house. but inside the republican conference, which is kind of what insiders care about, and very interesting. >> we have already had at least
one long-time member about up. >> who is that? i forget. >> who is in danger of being knocked off? >> interesting strategy from the democrats -- you're talking about gene schmidt. i am sorry. the democrats think they can capture seats in california, illinois, and new york. that is one of their paths to winning the house. they are trying to knock off longtime members of california, a big stake. they think that is their way to gain seats. if you talk to republicans, i think mr. cantor will agree, between 8 and 15 seats is the ceiling of what republicans think they can lose, which is a long way off. >> and the flip is -- >> 20-something. the math is not so clear at this point in the morning. that would put them a long way off. >> take us behind the curtain.
what is it like to cover eric cantor, they today? -- the today? -- day to day? >> covering the house republican leadership, there is a lot of availability. week. they do speak to the press. mr. cantor is very accessible to reporters. he does not do a weekly session anymore. a lot of members of congress are frustrated with the 24-hour news cycle. he is not even close to the only one. >> what do they articulate? i think it would love it. most members of congress want coverage. what is the frustration? >> i think twitter is a big thing. @jakesherman follow me. not a big problem for me. steny hoyer and two democrats in the house -- his staff has asked people to not tweet, not file from inside the room.
the have not prohibited it, but they have asked for attention. think people are listening to them and paying attention. >> but they are tweeting themselves. >> a lot of them are not. the smart ones are not. they want things to be about substance, and not quick questions. people like eric cantor have 900 million things on their plate. they might not know the answer to question x, and that becomes a big story. >> next tuesday, a book is coming out by robert draper. he had a lot of behind-the- scenes access. his shtick was that he was physically on the hill every day of the session from the midterm to when he finished the book. you have not seen it. >> i read the excerpts.
>> part of a good breakfast. what do you hear about the book? >> there has not been much buzz. i do not know how much new ground there will be tread. >> people know he spent a lot of time with the number three house republican. >> he spent a lot of time with kevin mccarthy. he had a favorable piece in the "new york times "about kevin mccarthy and his process as a whip. because of the 24-hour news cycle, a lot of this stuff gets out. a detail from the meeting will not hold five months, let alone five minutes. >> what do you wish you knew? if we took you out for a month, which we are not going to do, so do not get your hopes up -- if you had a month, what would you like to know about the hill?
>> if i were him and i was not going to report everything for months at a time, i would want to go into a closed republican conference. that is kind of where the sausage is made. >> what do you hear about them? are they collegial, hostile? they are friendly. they are a group of people who are not afraid to share their opinions. >> let us be specific. who are you talking about? >> there are members who stand up -- >> like who? >> i am trying to think how to answer that fairly. there is definitely -- i will put it this way. this is a well-known story. during the debt ceiling deal, jeb hensarling, the house republican conference chair, held up a copy of "politico" and was not happy with the leaks. people have the incentive to share what is going on, because they do not want to be blamed.
they want somebody else to be blamed. they want to shelter their allies. you have 242 republicans. one member said it best to me. it is like being in a group of high-school class presidents. they all are trying to outmaneuver one another in subtle ways and very bold ways. i would want to get inside of those meetings even more than we do already. >> people talk to you because you are charming and hard- working. why else? >> you have to ask other people. i think the key is a lot of reporters who are here -- you just have to be here all the time. >> that is different from the white house. >> you could be there all the time and not break news and it would not have to do with you. the white house wants a story out and they will go to "the new york times" or "usa today."
for capitol hill, people do not always have press secretaries. members of congress, people who have power, they are walking alone, and they will talk. these are former state legislators. these are former state political people. they like attention. they love the game. that is why they are here. they are playing the game, and they are better at it than anybody else. they want to be liked. they want to show how smart they are, how they are gaining the system, how other people are gaming the system. that is why information is free-flowing on capitol hill. >> who is known to talk a lot? we know mccain would talk after the tuesday lunches. >> there are a lot of people on the hill. jason chavis is on all the time. anthony wiener was on all the time, but not anymore.
>> that is one of the experts from the robert draper book. he would go and complain to his staff who would not talk. >> there are people who complain to their staff still. it is a double-edged sword. some republicans love the fight. others shy away from it. there are people who will not talk to hill newspapers like "politico "and "roll call," because it does not help them back home. >> to bring you into the conversation -- this is your chance to take a shot at "politico" hill reporter. what have you got for jake? >> i read the "new york times" piece about why the debt deal, the grand bargain, fell apart. maybe this is living outside of
washington. but it seems so obvious that you could get a deal done. there seems to be a common sense approach that will raise some revenues and cut the spending, and that there is a massive consensus in the country that would support that. and i always am stunned that it cannot get done. why can't simpson-bowles simply get enacted? >> the framework was up for a vote, and i think 33 out of 435 members of the house voted for it. here is an overriding problem. the republican leadership has spent 16 months since the new majority -- they have spent a year saying, "revenue is not a problem. this is spending." if you have people who you are supposed to trust, and that you admire, people in the
leadership, saying, "we do not have to raise taxes," at what point do they come back and say, "let's do that." this has been a talking point for a year. they do not fundamentally believe that raising taxes is a good thing. everything needs to be revenue neutral with these guys. every deal that they have done, they have made sure it was generally -- some of it had a little bit of revenue, selling off spectrum, things of that nature. they have said it is not the problem. these are people who fundamentally, a lot of them, do not believe that government is any part of the solution. they do not believe in government, a lot of them. they do not believe the government has the answer. giving the government more money, they do not think, will solve anything. >> that is half an answer. one of the tension points in the story was that there is blame to share.
i think he put more of the blame on the house republicans, but the white house was also to blame. >> john boehner set that up everywhere he can. >> this is half of 1/3 of the government. that is what he says. >> said on cbs that the president lost his courage. i think it is a mix of both. i think a lot of democrats think the president has gone too far already. why keep going and doing what house republicans want? and now we are kind of way beyond any reasonable point of return, at least for this year, at least until the election. >> how do house democrats look at the white house? >> depends who you ask. a lot of people are disappointed, but they see 242 republicans who, in their view, have been unwilling to do anything, and unwilling to strike a compromise.
they think the president of hands are tied. other people think that if he had said no, republicans would have relented. obviously, there are shrewd people down at the white house. >> if we put house democrat leader nancy pelosi on truth serum, do you think she would regret what she did, losing the gavel? >> i think she thinks she will get it back. she thinks she is the once and future speaker. they think they will get the house back. she raises twentysomething million dollars for them. that is hard to say no to. even by democrats who do not like her. >> do they really think they will get the house back? >> a lot of them, yes. but remember that in 2010, after it was called a republican house, they did not believe it.
this is not over yet. nancy pelosi is a masterful fund-raiser. she has done north of 200-some events this year, which is unheard of. she is an animal. she is everywhere. she raises money in texas. she raises money all over the country. >> breakfasts, lunches. >> and the time the house is in session, she has raised money. she is the rainmaker for them. >> cantor is a prolific fund- raiser himself. >> he has done a lot of good fund-raising in new york. >> he has been doing this since before he was elected. >> one of the ways he got into leadership, one of the ways he is so powerful, is he has a lot of money, and he gives a ton of money away. he raises money in new york,
chicago, los angeles, and increasingly san francisco. >> clothes are all blue areas. >> there are still people in financial services who lean republican. he raises money from pro-israel and jewish donors, being the highest-ranking jewish official, or jewish democrats who think he is very strong on israel. money is the key in this game. >> who else is known for being good? who else has been known? >> john boehner. eric cantor tends to raise and give money out. it is an interesting distinction of the two. mccarthy is very good. you have to be good at this game. alan west, a freshman. >> with cantor, it is putting in
the time. constantly. >> you need to be personable. these are people who are cutting checks. they can donate $50,000. you are asking for $50,000 with little return. that is a lot of money to hand over to someone you may not see again. you need to be personable. you need to put in the time. you need to be willing to be away from your family on the weekends. >> he is the author of a book called "young guns." art it is still the three -- are they still the three amigos? >> paul ryan is very interested in the budget staff. less political, but interested in policy.
pac -- young gun super pac. it is off-campus on case street. it can raise unlimited amounts of money. there is a cantor brand attached to it. >> is a little bit cantor/mccarthy, or is it more eric cantor? >>there are two eric cantor people running it. think. they too have all given money to the super pac. >> what about the speakers? there is also a speaker's pac. "politico" had an interesting story. >> $5 million. >> yes, he is giving $15 million to newt. how much is there regarding
this? >> it will be super important. the congressional fund i believe swooped in. and try to save dick lugar, the senator from indiana. that will be a force. very established super pac. a lot of money behind it. electione the first where these super pacs with a brand play a big part. they will play a huge part. >> day super pacs last? -- do super pacs last? do members think that legislation or the courts will change them? >> the republicans show no willingness to curb them. asked aboutwhat's that a couple of months ago and he said he does not remember any cry to not have them anymore. you run the risk that it will not allowed to coordinate officially. that could be a problem.
>> last question, if republicans keep the majority, will there be a change of leadership? >> if they keep the majority by one seat, i guess there is a possibility at that point. it would be difficult to see how somebody as a majority speaker would be in any danger of leaving. >> what about on the democratic side? >> that is a mess. nancy pelosi will do what nancy pelosi wants to do. a lot of people tried to get her out last time. it'll be interesting to see who will be the next democratic leader. there is a gap in a lot of different parts. >> who would be on the list? >> steve israel, betty wasserman
schultze, those are the two big names that people should watch out for. >> thank you to you, jake sherman. [applause] we are glad to welcome eric cantor. thank you for coming. we appreciate it. thank you for coming. i have been covering you for a while. since you were a delegate. >> yes, you have. good morning. >> thank you for being here. what was the first political office you held? >> being a delegate in the 73rd district in the virginia house. >> how is that similar to what you do now? >> it is somewhat similar. there is a confidence that voters give you to be able to go and reflect their views in a policy making role. i tell you, i started my political career based on the experience i had as a small-
business person. i was a real-estate lawyer and developer and ran a family business along with my brothers. i faced the challenges that most businesses do every day. i brought that experience with me to the table at the state level and policy making level and interacted with regulators and administration there. trying to make it easier for entrepreneurs to succeed. >> what we are hearing from business people now is there is some sort of deficit deal that there could be a slowdown on the consumer side and the business side. >> there is a lesson to be learned from what happened last year.
i think the public expects results from washington. a lot of us are frustrated that we are unable to see the results that we would like. as you recall, speaker boehner put a goal out there that if we are going to increase the debt ceiling, we will make sure that we will find the right cuts to match that increase. unfortunately, we cannot get congress to go along with it. i think we need to do everything we can to watch the spending. we need to be managing this deficit in a big way. over time, people are beginning to appreciate that watching the spending and shaving off unnecessary spending and getting rid of waste, fraud, and abuse is one thing. but getting to the root of the problems is where the two sides have a lot of difficulty coming together. >> what is the chance that there will be some sort of deal after
the election? >> again, i think the country is in no mood. the economy is very frail. we cannot get another near calamity. the debt ceiling is not a positive thing. we all need to work together towards resolving differences. in the lame duck session, the country will have spoken. there is some indication of a direction that the majority wants to see us go. we need to avoid calamity on the debt ceiling. >> let's say that governor romney is elected. why would there be any incentive for you to do something in the lame-duck session? >> you can look at it that way. a month later, the tide can turn.
the new party can be in place. hopefully the election will serve as the end point of this big discussion and we can get on about solving problems. that is my hope. the lame duck will then be, ok, voters have the opportunity to speak out. we are where we are. let's get together and solve problems. >> do you foresee a deal by december 31 to avoid the bush tax cuts? what will happen? >> the house will do everything it can to make sure that taxes do not go on anyone. we will make some moves throughout the year to reflect the notion that we do not think washington -- >> the house can do everything it can, that is fine. but some say there is a possibility that these tax cuts will expire. >> it depends on who wins. it really does. i believe that mitt romney will win.
he is in a position to make sure that no taxes will go up on anyone. we can also provide for a transition period so we can put tax reform in effect. >> a letter was sent to house republican leaders for ways to avoid spending. as i look through the ways that you suggested to cut, it sounds very much like the ones that you were dismissing a moment ago. restraining spending on bureaucracy and waste. >> i did not diminish the importance of doing that. >> what is the dollar volume you're likely to get out of the next few months?
>> you will see a reconciliation package that will allow us to save at least for a year so we do? not see the pentagon hit with a sequester after the president's budget. these are not inconsequential-- savings. it really is the entitlement question that we have to address. >> if i am working in the pentagon, should i be worried or not? >> there is no question that the pentagon is trying to do more with less.
>> let me try to diagram that sentence. you want to support the pentagon in trying to do more with less. >> they are trying to do their best under the president of's budget. -- president's budget. i believe it is $450 billion in cuts every 10 years. they are going through the motions of where there can be savings. not unlike the private sector has been going through in the last three or four years in this country. they are finding out more efficient ways to do things. bring innovation to bear. managing techniques. we want to preserve investments in our defense community. we want to shave off the inefficiency and waste and get on about with the mission that the pentagon lives under, which is the defense of our country. >> i had a conversation with jake sherman earlier.
you're 20 percent and business tax cut is on the floor today. it seems as if there could be a lot of changes for taxes, but it would not help people. >> the 20% business tax cut was never proposed to be the ultimate. we know what we have to do. we need broad tax reform. it lends itself to the competitiveness of our country worldwide. it will make sure that investment flourishes again in this country and get washington out of the way it from picking w[here capital should go. that is what tax reform does. in addition to benefiting all taxpayers by reducing rates. the trent 2% small business tax cut is something that we felt -- the 20% small-business tax cut is something that we felt would help. in the very least. we know jobs in the economy is the number one issue facing people today.
they want to do something about it. >> let's see how good you are. how many democratic votes will you get today? >> i never pretended to be a good counter on the other side of the aisle. i think the president signaled that he wants to help small business. that is why i question the signal that he will veto a small business tax cut. >> you mentioned tax reform. "politico" had an interesting story. there is a push to get tax reform that you can take up in 2013. how far do you think the tax reform will go this year? >> the whip and another are planning sessions on what to do with our tax codes.
>> that does not sound very specific. >> we know that the goal is to bring down rates. we know that the goal is to get washington out of the business of honing capitalism and rewarding those with affluence. get rid of the preferences and the loopholes. make the system a lot flatter and simpler and fairer. we also know that over 45% of people in this country did not pay income taxes at all. we have not questioned whether that is fair. it should be broadened, the base, in a way to lower the pay for everybody. if you have 45 percent of the people who are not paying income taxes in the country, should they even have a dollar in the game of income taxes?
which is the notion of broadening the base. the purpose should be to bring down rates for everyone. look at the corporate rate. we have the first highest corporate tax rate in the world. that does not look well for america. >> how might that be addressed? dealing with the people who do not pay taxes now? >> we need to look at where the burden is and what is best to help those who are at the bottom sector of the income scales. how do we help them with their income mobility? that is what we want to do. how do you help people who want to have a better life? who want to have higher wages? you create growth in the economy. how did you do that? street and out the tax code and fly and not the rates. -- straighten out the tax code and flatten the tax rates. and you can create more opportunity.
this is a real, fundamental question. look at who is paying taxes and what is supporting this government. and then,look at the reality of the income disparity in this country. how do you fix it? increase income mobility. >> after many years, the shape of the tax reform debate is clear. president obama has put out a plan where he talked about lowering corporate tax rates and getting rid of loopholes. it sounds like this should be doable, but you are smiling. >> again, we should be putting into effect tax reform. what we hear from the white house is that tax reform means tax increases. >> but that is not what they say. they say they want to lower it. >> but that does not happen. when president obama unveiled his proposals for international tax reform, all of a sudden, there is now a minimum
international tax that american-based companies will have to pay. that puts them at a disadvantage. >> that would be a deal killer for you. >> you have to think about what the goal is. we need to be more competitive. we want more revenue generated by a growing economy so we can help manage the deficit and debt. you do not do that by saying that he will raise taxes. there are consequences to that. we want to create jobs here at home. but companies may move abroad to escape higher taxes. >> so house republicans will have a package to move forward? >> we have been very bold in putting forth prescriptions, something the other side has not done. i believe that we will be
looking at all of the issues. there was a hearing on the retirement provision in the tax code and what tax reform means to those retirement provisions. this is not easy stuff. >> day will be the comprehensive tax reform will pass in 2014 -- do you think the comprehensive tax reform will pass in 2014? >> this is tough stuff. i do believe some kind of tax reform will pass in 2013. we want to make it simpler. it is very intricate right now. >> it sounds like you are not really confident on comprehensive tax reform. >> i believe that there will be some comprehensive tax reform. that is certainly the goal. i am hoping it is comprehensive the way i would like to see it. we know we are working with 435 members in the house and others in the senate. we all have to learn that in order to get results, we will have to come together. when you say my kind of tax
reform and other tax reforms, really we all want results. that is what the voters are looking for. >> for those of you on c-span and live stream land and twitter, give us your questions and responses. that will be handed to me in a minute. we will hear from a white house respondent. but first, let me ask you about the house leadership. "politico" talked about peace talks. why can you not get along? >> we really do get along. there is some notion among your profession that we need to have a story there and say that we do not get along. we do get along. the speaker and i meet all the time, one-on-one and in groups. >> let's be accurate.
this is not a notion. there is a reality of the differences between those two offices. >> i can tell you that we do get along. we have a professional relationship and a personal relationship. we are able to match as a speaker and majority leader in a -- to manage as a speaker and majority leader, to manage in a way that allows us to function. we have regular communication. i think that there is a fascination that is misguided. >> does it bother you? do you think you should do more to correct it? >> i think the misplaced fascination no longer bothers me. >> so you are saying that there is no reality to it at all? >> no. >> at the white house, they are giddy at the opportunities that you have represented to make this a contrast composition between president obama and the
republicans. do you feel in the sense of where this goes now that you need to listen to what the republican nominee wants going forward in order to that contrast the white house is eager to get? >> the public polling suggests that it will be about jobs and the economy. we welcome the opportunity for voters to see the difference as to our vision of the direction the economy and country should take versus the president's. his policies have failed. the results have not been there. people understand that. that is why you can see in polling that anxiety levels are very high in this country. they do not have confidence in their ability to make it through the month.
it is gas prices. it is tuition prices and health care prices and gas prices. it is the uncertainty. that is why we welcome the opportunity to debate the differences that we have with the white house. and frankly, that mitt romney's plan represents, versus that of the president. >> is mitt romney a true conservative? >> yes, he is. he is a results-driven conservative. he is someone who has a proven track record in the one area where voters are most interested to see results, and that is jobs in the economy. he is the only one who has that track record. he certainly beats the president in terms of job creation. he also wants to put out a bold plan for growth. this president has not done that. >> you have a lot of irons in the fire. what role are you playing in the romney campaign? >> we want to help him in any
way we can. i am very focused on helping our candidate deliver the message that we are the party of small business, opportunity, and job growth. we have the prescriptions and want to put them out there to help small businesses and entrepreneurs and how to ensure that america becomes a star country again. we used to be known as the place to come to if you wanted to make a better life and strike out on your own. we really are the country of economic freedom. we are the country that says that, economic freedom for its ordinary people and the ability to do extraordinary things. that is what we want to restore. mitt romney has the track record to say to people, it is all of us together reclaiming that dream.
>> why are so many republicans lukewarm toward mitt romney? >> i do not think that is true. >> do you talk to them? you do not even have to talk to them off the record. they will say it on camera. >> again, i would say that we need to stop selecting the ones who may want to give you the message and the narrative you want to betray, but our conference is excited -- you want to portray, but our conference is excited about uniting behind mitt romney. this election is about making life better for people who seem
forgotten what has made us so great. >> you think republicans are on fire and excited about mitt romney? >> i have been to a primary process and it has been pretty rigorous. i think we are now at a point where members in our conference are satisfied that mitt romney is going to be a terrific candidate for us. they are getting behind his candidacy and his policies in contrast to those in the administration. >> what is the law for the house? >> i am very bullish on the house. i am very confident that we will strengthen our majority. as you know, we had a program in place that stemmed from the young guns program that is in place. it served as an excellent vetting and grooming program for candidates.
redistricting has yielded a safer playing field for us. i think many incumbents that were elected and what were swing category. we are looking at playing offense and potentially having 30-40 seats in play. >> what is the most that you can gain? >> if we are looking to make sure that we are playing offense -- >> i am sorry. how many do you think you will gain?
>> 30-40 seats in play is our goal in offense. >> you think you can pick up how many seats? >> we will see how things will go. on offense, 30-40 seats. >> most people seem to think that you will lose some seats, but you are saying that you will gain seats. >> i am optimistic about our ability to strengthen. >> but that is not what you said before. >> but that is what i said. >> we've got a question about running. -- mitt romney. should he put bob macdonald on the ticket for vp? >> i think he would be a great vp. >> how would that help? >> i think he would be great. if he is on the ticket, he will help us in virginia and north carolina and in a lot of states where voters matter. bob macdonald, he was my seatmate in the house of delegates when you and i first met. he is a father, a family man, a
businessman. he is someone who understands what the independent voters wants and that [gets] results. >> and you heard some of the issues that came up in virginia? >> i think that his leadershiplook at the public polling in virginia. bob macdonald is very popular. he has been able to manage the budget. the state has unemployment numbers that are much less than the average. i think he is very strong. >> what about paul ryan? >> paul ryan is terrific. i said that before and i will say it again. he would be a great leader. >> how would he help mitt romney? >> paul ryan demonstrated the ability to lead on matters of budget. he has a clearer grasp on the
budget than anyone i know. he is serving in congress. he understands that we need to get our fiscal house in order. >> would that give him some vulnerabilities with the middle? >> i think right now people are squarely focused on making their lives better. >> with that ticket give mitt romney some liabilities with the middle? >> i think the focus is on the issues that affect our daily lives. people want to see higher wages, tuition in college come down, they want to see gas prices come down. they want to see neighbors with more job security. all of these things have been out there with uncertainty in people's lives for too long. and the leadership in the warehouses not responding to that anxiety. that is why -- in the white house is not responding to that anxiety. that is why mitt romney with
whoever he picks will be what the people are looking for. >> i was going to ask about brian mcdonald. -- paul reihan and mcdonald's. i want to follow-up on that, but something you mentioned -- and i've heard this mentioned a lot by conservatives, 45% of americans not paying any federal income tax. what are you doing about that? are you saying we need to have a tax increase on the 45% that right now do not pay any income tax? >> i'm saying that on a macro level, you've got to discuss that issue. what is going to fund the necessary operations of the federal government? how do we allow for that to take place in a way that we can see a growing economy. what ever the scenario you, you may choose to embrace about cutting the spending or reforming the entitlement programs, the necessary piece is a growing economy or you will never manage down and back to balancing the budget. that has got to be the goal.
how do you deal with that? how do you deal with a shrinking pie, and a number of people and entities that support the operations of government? and how do you go about continuing to milk them more, if that is what some want to do, but preserve their ability to provide the growth engine? that leads me back to saying those at the bottom end of the income scale want nothing more than to increase their income, to get up the ladder of success. the goal should be, how do you do that? go and raise taxes on those that have been successful, that are paying in, taking away from them so that you just hand out and give to someone else. they want the ability to get up the ladder. those are the kinds of issues we've got to be asking and fighting resolution to together to affect -- a finding resolution to together to affect tax reform.
>> on the bp that surge up, i'm wondering if you can give some guiding principles to romney in who he should be looking for. should he try to put a woman on the ticket? your name was on the list for mccain. should eric cantor be on the list? >> no to that answer. eric cantor is not interested at all in that. and jonathan, i will just say this. the election is going to be very clear. there will be a very clear choice. it is mitt romney's choice. he will make that decision. he will set the tone on what the terms of the debate are.
and we welcome that contrast with obama in terms of the economic vision with this country that is so central on the minds of so many in america right now. >> you got in a little hot water for supporting a challenger to a house member. what did you learn from that episode? >> i made a commitment to a colleague of mine way back and i felt it necessary to live up to the word that i gave that kolly. -- pat kolly. -- that colleague. >> and what sort of -- what have you learned? you got a lot of blow back from your conference. what did you learn? >> decisions that you make are sometimes not easy. but most importantly, you live up to your commitments and you make sure that your word stays good. and your word does not mean that some days it is good and others is not. >> a very interesting behind- the-scenes story on politico about this. it said that the member who lost, the representative of
illinois -- you supported his challenger -- said that according to a half-dozen reports, it said that you would not be saved. what do you have to say about that? >> i will say only that it was a commitment i made to a colleague. >> you believe that he said that? >> again, i am not commenting on that he is an upstanding individual who served his constituents well. >> you think there's any anti- semitism among members of congress? >> no, i do not want to say anything about those remarks. i do not want to talk about anything having to do with the sort of darker side of any kind of comments made or whatever. >> you are saying there is a darker side. >> all of us know that in this country, we've not always gotten it right in terms of racial matters, religious matters, whatever.
as we continue to strive for equal treatment for everybody. but to sit here and say that in america we've got it all right now, i think pretty much all of us can say that we've still got work to do. >> we are talking about the house republican conference, not america. you are just back from a trip to google facebook. tell us about your tweet wall. >> we've got to go where the people are. we have tried to be very aggressive in opening up the kinds of things that we are doing here, making them acceptable to the people of the country. so much of what the people of the country see and feel coming out of washington has, for the longest time, been controlled by others. social media has enabled the people to actually assumes some ownership, to control the kind of news they want.
they want to be able to interject themselves in the debate on certain issues. >> tell us what your twitter wall looks like. >> is a twitter what, a panel. >> is it in the waiting room? >> it is in the lobby, a central place where everybody has to walk by to get to the office. it is a clear reminder that everything we are doing should be ventilated with the public and the people that sent us here. we will end up getting a that is a social media, whether twitter or facebook. is any of the platforms now online, and in your pocket. they allow people to engage in a much more rapid fashion, for sure, and in a much fuller way. the more we can do that, the
more we can invite people in. we have a project called the citizens co-sponsor project. >> that is on facebook. >> we just launched it and is to be compatible with facebook and other social media platforms dot where people can incorporate what they like and the things they are tracking in the legislative process into their home page, into their profile page, so that their friends can see what is going on and they can also get the update. they can see what is going on and it can spark some interest. they can say, i can go in and figure this out as well and become an honor of the process, too. >> what can washington learned from silicon valley? >> one thing i was told when i went out there early on was that in silicon valley, you wake up thinking globally.
that is an interesting added because i think it means -- and interesting adage, because i think it means that we are the first to innovate and we can take those ideas and bring them to the market. what i think we learn from that is the onta and a real drive -- entrepreneurial drive, that commitment, that we do not stymie innovation -- that is what we learned from silicon valley. america is the frontier to the world. >> very specifically, how could the house changed its approach to mirror those lessons? >> one of those things is to ventilate, be open for ideas. that is why we have the twitter wall. that is why you see so much activity with vermont -- republican members of congress on line.
and the more we can stay close to the exchange of ideas and the input of the people that put us there, the better the product is here. one of the things we try to do with the schedule in the house this tart -- this term, is to make sure that members of the house are going home and meet with the people that elect them and do not stay in the beltway conference, under the dome, if you will, to think that all answers come from washington. because they do not. this is a country that is unique in that power virus -- power derives from the people. >> tell us about the google driverless cars. >> our road in the driverless cars. it is awesome. >> tell us about it. >> it is a pre s -- prius where they have taken cameras and put them on the roof and in the rear, and they have a laptop in the front seat and they put google maps onto the lap top and then images at filling that
out. the car knows what you are passing by, whether it is trees, bushes, whatever. it also knows another car or truck, a person walking across a crosswalk. it senses where things are moving around it, and is utterly -- i was speechless to see what was going on. there was a driver in the seat in case anything went on -- went wrong, and an easy shot off switch. the goal that they've got is to make sure that those who are less fortunate, may be wounded veterans, or those who are handicapped have the ability to get around. imagine what you could do to provide mobility to people like that. obviously, they are going through more testing and things like that. >> you have always been an
apple pie. you are one of the first offices on the hill that was totally a knack environment. >> yes, but i was all about this. this was the first unbelievable tool we had before us. one thing i wanted to assure you, i had my political open -- politico open right there. but we had some difficulties with politico the other day. >> is a fix now? >> yes, it is. but the amazing thing is the drop box app. my office is trying to go completely paperless. when we talk about preparations, and the staff is exchanging memos, etc. it is all done electronically now. it is all portable. it is all right here. >> your briefings come in the drop box? >> it all comes into the drop box. >> and what other 8 bps do you
like? -- what other apps do you like? >> i have the politico app. and there are others as well. i do not want to slight anybody, but we really do -- >> do you play games? >> do i play games? >> you are not a scrabble die? -- scrabble guy? >> i have so daukoru on here and say -- i have sudoku on here and a few others. [laughter] >> one of the reasons you're here is to learn about how people live, shot, etc. tell us about that. >> you got to learn about people, learn about what drives them, what makes them choose their lifestyle, and what kind of outcomes they want. i got into real estate
development after law school because i had a father who was a real estate lawyer and developer, and a family in that business. what i saw is that you have an ability to start literally from the ground up. when you plan a project -- and my family is in land development -- and when you start a neighborhood, a subdivision, you start thinking about what people will see and do every day driving into that neighborhood, turning onto the main thoroughfare. what kind of shopping is available? what kind of entertainment? what kind of services do they need? it is about patterns of life. >> tell us about a place to shop. give us an example. >> how would applies to shopping? >> when you think about patterns of life. >> i was just recently in florida and i was on an island where people live and i think, how do they go shopping?
how do they get a carton of milk? or if their child is sick, how do they go get medicine quickly? you know, without having to go off the island. i was told later that there were some stores on the island that i did not see. but it is that kind of thing. what are the necessities of life? what are the elements that families require to support their existence? i know, from being a parent when your child has a hallmark of time and do and suddenly they forgot to tell you something they need to bring to school the next day, thank goodness there is a wal-mart down the street open 24 hours that you can access to get what you need. but it is that kind of access that forms the basis of support in a community. and it is not just school supplies, but what kind of health care services are available. when you have a retirement community that you may be
involved in building, what would they be interested in? they are certainly interested in health care facilities, and and making sure that a hospital is nearby. it starts with community and it starts with people and trying to understand in a market way what the market will demand and what will make the project successful. >> we are about to give the look really quickly with a book that is on there. what do you think we should read? >> i am reading "boomerang" by michael lewis. it is the sequel, or prequel to the big short that he wrote. it is fascinating. and obviously we are trying to figure out how not to step into that here. >> and music, the red hot chili peppers. >> yes, it is true. and you have a little jay-z and kalisha and the rest.
-- whiz kalifa and the rest. obviously, we have the cleaned up version. but when you live with teenagers, you have to understand what they are about and try to correct their direction sometimes. >> and i've seen you play golf with my key, and i guess now we have to call him michael because he got into you va. >> i still want to call him mikey. >> you just got one going out of you va. >> i do. he is heading to new york. he is going to work in the financial-services industry. my wife has always had a terrific quantitative head as a cpa, nba, and j.d.. he is probably following in her steps. he gets terrific grade. >> you also have a daughter at the university of michigan.
>> she is finishing up her sophomore year next year. and i do have the youngest, to 17, just alerted of his acceptance to you va. next year, will be empty nesters. >> and in two months, he will be 49, and you are a young done. -- a young done. -- young gun. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> today, nasa official -- officially delivered the space
shuttle discovery to the national air and space museum. the shuttle was first launched in 1974. it's all more than any other shuttle than -- i in nasa's fleet. that is next on c-span. then, leon panetta and general martin dempsey talks about political unrest in syria on capitol hill. tomorrow, a conversation on housing foreclosures and the economy. the national community reinvestment coalition is overseeing a $25 billion mortgage supplement that pits ordinary states against big banks. live coverage starts at 1:00 eastern. later, presidential candidate mitt romney is in scottsdale, arizona. that is live at 3:45 eastern.
>> from the colonial era, prohibition, to debate -- drinking has always been a part of the american landscape. saturday night live on american history tv, a history of alcohol in america. tales of beer and spirits in america saturday night at 8:00 eastern, part of american history tv this weekend on c- span3. >> after 39 missions, the space shuttle discovery was transferred to the smithsonian to be placed on permanent display. the national air and space museum welcome -- posted a welcome discovery ceremony. coming up, we will hear remarks from a nasa administrator and
o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? ♪ [applause] >> tamarine card -- the marine guard color before you is unique wild in on commissioner officer carries the official better core of the marine corps. the vans is played with the battle corps commemorate to the campaigns in which the marines have per dissipated. they span the entire history of our nation from the
♪ >> ladies and john, please be seated. -- ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. in honor of this historic event, we would like to recognize the dedication and patriotism of all branches of our armed services. once your service song is played, please feel free to stand and be recognized. we are proud to present armed forces salute. here is once again, the commandants alone, the united states marine and drum and bugle corps. ♪
>> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the director of the smithsonian air and space museum, general jack daley. [applause] >> if your blood is not moving now, let me know and i will send a gurney for you. [laughter] how about another hand for the tremendous performance as we have had here by miss denise graves said, the cover -- the color guard and the drum and bugle corps of the united states [applause] marine corps] good morning -- united states marine corps. [applause] good morning. it is my pleasure to welcome you here. this is the most mispronounced name of any smithsonian facility.
we are delighted to have you here to transfer the space shuttle discovery into america's collection of aviation and space treasures. it is great to see such a large, enthusiastic crowd. and many of you have been standing for several hours. we realize that and we will keep this program moving. but i hope the memories you take from today will make it worthwhile. the center opened in 2003 in the recognition of the wright brothers a century before. the wright flyer is one of the most iconic aircraft in the museum's collection today. and today, we will welcome another. another treasure, one that recommended -- represents the 30-year history of the shuttle program, that symbol of the trams of human space flight. -- a triumph of human space flight.
the represent courage, creativity, skill, and that unique quality that we all share, the american spirit. for every major milestone in space history, americans have participated in the excitement, pride, and optimism of the occasion, and today is no different. since 1960, nasa and the smithsonian have worked together to make space objects accessible to the public. discovery is the latest example of this collaboration. on behalf of the national air and space museum and the american people, grateful to nasa for its continuing generosity. it is ok to apply there, folks. applaud there, folks. [applause] without private support, the museum would not be able to present exhibitions and programs. today's ceremony was made
possible through the generous support of the boeing co. and lockheed martin corp. another opportunity. [applause] to set the stage for the celebration, i would like to introduce a short video produced by nasa. please, turn your attention to the screens for highlights of discovery. ♪ >> the space shuttle discovery, named for past ships of exploration, was delivered from it palmdale california factory to the kennedy space center in 1983. since then, discovery has lived up to the historic legacy of its name it has been up more than any spacecraft. in order, a probe -- it carried laboratories to study with us as, and insurance to study the earth and its atmosphere.
it became the first spacecraft to bring his satellite back to earth. [cheers and applause] but perhaps even more compelling than the discovery is enabled in space, the spirit of this vehicle has help humanity to discover on earth. it's missions include flights that showcase how one time cold war adversaries can become a longtime friends for exploration. it's like have expanded space travel beyond boundaries of age, gender, and race, counting among those who flew on it, the oldest astronaut, the first female shuttle pilot, and a first african-american space walker. [applause] but above all, discovery twice proved that america had the will and determination to persevere and to succeed in the face of devastating grief and
tragedy, returning america to space after the challenger and the columbia accidents. discovery is the most this -- most accomplished space shuttle endeavour, amounting to over 5000 trips around the earth, and more than 300 days in space. [applause] >> although it is impossible to recognize that thousands of people by name who contributed to discoveries achievements, we are honored to have 15 of the 32 commanders of discovery who are here on stage. we have both of co, whose 1985 mission contributed to two satellites in orbit. jo english, whose crude -- joe engle, whose crew delivered
three satellites -- whose crew deliver three satellites. if you are going to cheer for one of them, you ought to cheer for all of them. mike coast who is now director -- mike caots, who is now director of the johnson space center. [applause] fred gregory. [applause] he commanded eighth classified -- he commanded a classified mission. remember your days in space? >> [unintelligible] [laughter] >> you can tell an astronaut, but you cannot tell him much. [laughter] bob, who served on the discovery mission ken cameron, who deserve doniger that said the atmosphere. -- that studied the atmosphere.
i got to get these pages here. that is what moister does for you on a morning like this. just stand up. frank culbertson. he commanded a mission that it astrophysics research. [applause] charlie moulton, now administrator of nasa, and commanded a mission with a scientific laboratory on board. [applause] stay up. [laughter] curt brown, the only one to man 3 discovery missions, including one to service the hubble space telescope charlie mere court. -- telescope. charlie precourt. dr. horowitz, completed the first docking and crew exchange with the international space station. eileen collins, --
[cheers and applause] flew two missions on discovery, first as product, and then return commander to the space station. [applause] [applause] steve]. -- steve lyndsey. [applause] he commanded two missions from the space station and brought it home for its final unassisted light. get it? [laughter] will work on that one. c j sterko. [applause] to theivered equipment o space station. alan poindexter -- [applause] became the largest contingent in space ever at one time, 13 people. and also with us, 13 more shuttle astronauts. and welcome pilots bill reedy -- [applause]
-- don williams -- [applause] -- joe allen -- [applause] -- chris ferguson -- a [applause] -- tom jones [applause] -- ] -- [applause] tom jones -- [applause] can writer. -- ken ritenour. [applause] steve robinson [applause] casey torn [applause] -- casey thornton. [applause] and last but not least, payload
specialist, john glenn. [applause] this is one of the greatest gatherings of astronauts probably in the history of nasa. [applause] the things we have to do to become an astronaut are incredible. but when you are commander, you are the top of the bunch. this is only a handful of the incredible people at nasa. they are risking their lives every day in space and developing new capabilities to get there. you will not see this again
either. 2012 is the 100 anniversary of the marine corps aviation. and we will celebrate this the entire year, and you will see to read of it as a evidence by the new zocor -- the drum and bugle corps. you will see more of it right now. he was a distinguished aviator preserved in the record 35 years and it -- in the marine corps 35 years. it is my pleasure to introduce major general usns he retired, charlie bolden. -- retired united states marine corps, charlie bolden. [applause] >> thank you very much.
to my mazing colleagues who flew this incredible machine and the entire shuttle fleet, thank you very much for what you've given to my country. there is a group to my left and to my right. you see those? they wear those iridescent green safety jackets and stuff. they are part of the incredible career of people who make it possible for us to do what we do. they represent the united states alliance, boeing, lockheed, you name it. it is the entire nasa family. please, give them a hand. [applause]
and i will tell you, if you want to meet some incredible people and shake their hands and get some stories about where the skeletons are hidden, you can talk to the crowd. [laughter] it is my pleasure to be here to welcome discovery to her new home and opened this chapter of her historically. i welcome all of you to share in the accomplishments of discovery and a fleet of which she is a part as we look forward to the future which she has led us. it drew this nation together in times of tragedy and triumph. we are now happy to share this legacy with millions of visitors in this fantastic venue. alongside this historic air and space craft that has changed our world and turned science fiction into science fact, and how does realize what seemed to many to be impossible dreams. we have been able to travel $148,000,221.600 75 miles. miles.5
i was privileged to board discovery twice, first as the hubble mission in 1990, finally as commander when we flew for the first time with their russian crew member in 1994. discovery also was of the mir space station torrez, conducting the -- twice, conducting service missions to the hubble and to the international space station. and speaking of the international space station, when the coastguard saw was played got -- kasab was played, -- song was played, a coast guard member was with us in spirit. dan was with us in spirit. [applause] i also want to look forward to what she and the shuttle fleet
have helped to make possible. the we are embarked on an expired -- exciting new space exploration journey. and we are relying on american ingenuity and know how. nassau is partnering with private industry to provide crew and cargo to the international space station, while developing the most powerful rocket ever built, to take the nation are the never before into the solar system political -- the source system. the shuttle fleet was amazing and we have learned what we will apply to the next generation of space transportation systems. even now, the shuttles have been at transferred to the space center for early testing of the heavy launch vehicle that will take us further into space than ever before, to an asteroid and on to mars. the shuttle and space that we had in order was something we
could accomplish it regularly, although i will not say routinely, because every time a human set off for space and leave for the planet, i know we describe it as white, but you will notice it is start a little bit. -- charred a little bit. try going through three dawson degrees and see if you do not get a little charge. -- 3000 degrees and see if you do not get a little charred. ultimately, they helped us construct the international space station, where astronauts have lived and worked continuously for more than a 11 years now, helping with experiments that help to further destinations. that unique laboratory will be our stepping stone to the rest of the solar system. as nasa retires the shuttle fleet, we are transitioning to a new era of exploration. with technology at the forefront to help us to reach higher and leave future generations with greater
capabilities. today, we turn discovery over to the smithsonian with great expectation that as we have always done, nasa will continue to inspire young people today and tomorrow to dream of space, to dream of on covering the secrets of the universe, and take steps to pursue their careers that will make them the exploration leaders of tomorrow. the hope we leave you with today is that this magnificent flying machine that carried more people into space than any vehicle ever before will be a testament, not only to overcoming the human and technological obstacles of the day, but a tangible example that our dreams of exploration, of reaching our higher potential are always within reach if we stretch for them. to the smithsonian institution and the national air and space museum, i know you will take care of discovery as you have the many, fax -- space
artifacts that you're taking care for more than a decade now. -- more than five decades now. i know that sunday, my grandchildren will be able to stand in awe of this great white bird that our innovation is continuing to pursue. to innovate and create the on the next horizon. now we have another speaker will talk a little bit more about the incredible life of discovery. >> the space shuttle began in august of '94 through its final flight in march 2011, during which it delivered the permanent multi-purpose module to the international space station. discovery launched a year in
space during 39 flights over 27 years of service and travel more than 148 million miles during 5 miles -- 5038 orbits of earth. all told, the space shuttle's lost half billion miles in space over 30 years of space flight and 135 missions and conducted scientific research. >> those machines include the delivery of interplanetary probes that deployed the servicing of the hubble space telescope. we remember discovery fondly and wish her well at her new home at the center in virginia. [applause]
>> overseeing the museum with its 19 research centers and its global duties is a big job. especially with the 37 million objects in the collection. nasa is not the only whone who can use numbers. but when it comes to adding that to the national collection, the secretary is an enthusiastic supporter. it is my pleasure to introduce the secretary of the smithsonian institution, dr. wayne kollhoff. [applause] >> thank you. it is a pleasure to be here. i have one of the best jobs in the world. i even have a general that reports to me. notice he did not show up when he introduced me. [laughter] -- choked up when he introduced me.
we are so proud of jack and his staff. and let's give them a big hand. [applause] we value charlie and our great partnership. i am proud to be here with our fellow region's chair and the members of the board. i would like to ask the members of the board of regents to stand up. [applause] of course, it is always an honor to see our friend, senator john glenn, who is certainly a supporter of the smithsonian and a legendary pioneer of space travel. discovery is just one of the latest artifacts on display
here. senator -- you can see the fiberglass from the mercury program, or the drug store camera he bought and modified to take on this historic flight. now, this magnificent engineering marvel, discovery, which will be a centerpiece here at the center. f. scott fitzgerald famously noted there are no second acts in american lives. senator glenn dispel that notion when he reprise his after not role on this very shuttle at the age of 77. now, discovery begins its own second act as an engine of imagination, education, and inspiration. as secretary of transportation ray lahood said tuesday when it landed, that was a wow moment in
american history as people stood and cheered as a discovery made its final flight. in 2009, i had the pleasure of introducing center glen at the john h. quinn electors. or commemorating the 40 it -- 40th anniversary of the apollo program. he said something that struck me. in 1969, people all over the world said we landed on the moon. that united all cultures on our planet. many, if not most of us, have some personal connection to the shuttle program and the discovery. we had an employee for 30 years who worked on the shuttle program from its inception. as president of georgia tech, i was touched when we were presented flags from space in our archives. two were from the discovery. [applause]
discovery and all of the space bridging were good at cultures. the astronauts represented a full spectrum of our diverse society and work alongside counterparts from europe, japan, and canada on the international space station. no matter where you are from, with hard work and dedication, by learning math, science, and engineering, you might travel to the stars. as discovery embarks on its new mission, it will continue to teach that lesson. although millions of people will have a chance to see it in person, we can reach many more worldwide. all this week, people are sharing their discovery photos, comments, and memories. on tuesday, we will use
something called instagram. results in 24 hours or remarkable. 10 million people talking about the landing of the discovery. amazing. that has helped us and nasa bring our science and educational program to the people of the world. we are especially excited about discovery's potential to help reach students and inspire young people everywhere. young people in the audience today, we are glad you are with us today. you will grow to be the next engineers and scientists. our scientists today represent the best. maybe one of our young visitors will even be the first after not to set foot on a distant planet in the distant universe. discovery is not just a reminder
of human ingenuity -- it is a challenge to keep the wizard in -- exploration is the essence of the american spirit. let discovery rekindle that spirit so we remember what we did before and we can do again. thank you. [applause] >> our next speaker is himself an american icon. at 90-years of age, he has served our country in many capacities and has contributed to the space program in many ways. in november, he received the highest civilian award from congress -- the congressional gold medal are his pioneering space exploration. it is my privilege to introduce someone who made his historic
first flight please welcome senator john glenn. >> thank you. thank you very much. perhaps this started with a pioneer sippers landed on this new land that americans have always had a curious nature that has served us well. what is over the next hill? what is around the next bend? if we could just learn how to separate out of this chemical, it could use it to do whatever? explore they did. it paid out beyond their wildest dreams.
they sent out scouts followed by wagon trains over insurmountable obstacles of forests, mountains, rivers, does it. sometimes there were -- deserts. sometimes there were losses but they moved on. a good trip was about 10 miles as they made the six month journey to oregon or california. discovery in the travel that 10 miles in just two seconds. albeit at a little higher altitude. new science breakthroughs were changing our nation. railroad replaced wagon trains. gasoline engines brought on automobiles. 23 years after the last wagon train, the wright brothers flew a hawk in 1993.
for tens of thousands of years, people looked up at the blue sky by day and the stars and moon by night. they wondered what was up there. could we ever go of their? where to go if we could go up their attacks there seem to be insurmountable odds against that ever happening. we must count ourselves among the most fortunate people of all time when we could realize that ages old dream can finely go. mercury and gemini i developed our abilities followed by apollo and neil armstrong's never to be forgotten first footprint on someplace other
than the earth. we transition from apollo to a new vehicle, the space shuttle but was intended to broaden opportunities for orbital activities. it certainly did. it is the star. it has the most extensive record of all the fleet. the missions included a wild bunch of things. it became a science platform for nine flight, a telescope repair station. this has literally written the astronomy books for all time. it is a flat out truck. it was the first space station delivery truck, at 13 flight it made to put together the space station that goes over us even today.
discovery westerly a heavy haller any space station. that station is now doing continuing research with 15 international partners for us and the most unique scientific laboratory ever conceived. the unfortunate decision made a 0.5 years ago to terminate the fleet prematurely grounded our discovery. we recovered and now we move on with new programs and possibilities unlimited. today we also honor those who may discover possible. the work force kept if flightworthy. they were represented here today by 15 former flight
commanders. today they take on a new mission. it is important. it will be on display not only as a testament to the events of our time, but also as an inspiration to future generations. adobe symbol for our nation a space flight and hope unchallenged and leadership and aspiration to explore and to excel. that is a big mission. we recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of our first orbital flight in a speech to congress. i closed with a statement that i would repeat today. as our knowledge of the universe in which we live increases, may god grant as the wisdom and guidance to use it
wisely. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. an internationally known physicist, our next speaker is also helping to shape the future of the smithsonian. it is an honor to introduce the chair of board of regents, dr. france cordiva. >> thank you. i would like to add my welcome to senator glenn. our colleagues from nasa and all
our guests here today thank you for your support at the smithsonian. it is your support of our american values of freedom and exploration and discovery. i would like to congratulate the staff of the national air and space museum. i do not know about you, but i will never forget those two big birds touching each other like that. wasn't that extraordinary? i am particularly pleased to be here today not only in my capacity as chair of the board of regents but also as the former chief scientist for nasa. and as president of perdue university where one of our goals is launching tomorrow's leaders.
at perdue, we have had 22 of our alumni go into space including the first and last astronauts on the moon. following senator glenn's remarks, hundreds of engineers and scientists who have helped ensure that the shuttle program makes a tremendous impact for us all. since before senator glenn first orbited the earth in 1962, at nasa and the smithsonian have recognized the need to preserve and make it accessible artifacts that can best tell the story of american in space.
as a result, millions of americans annually visit the national air and space museum including this, the hockey center. there are thousands of historic objects that have interested. some of these are iconic. but there is maybe less so. parachutes, engine parts. all of them help us understand the unique flight that the space program holds in our imagination. before discovery can officially joined them and the national collection, we have a little bit of paper work to complete. the agreement transferring discovery from nasa to the smithsonian.
or let them get away with it one more time. i like to recognize all those involved. the washington dulles airport is celebrating its 50th anniversary. the department of common security which work in cooperation with the shuttle flies over -- signature flight support for tugs and telling. they provided all of the support for the telling to and from. we appreciate that very much we welcome the discovery family weakened this saturday and sunday.
our discovery festival is just beginning. these will remain on display this afternoon until about 4:00. all of you have -- who have been held up while take your family of voters. we ask that you have some educational programs on the stage. we ask that you do not move the chairs. it did not come up on the stage. leave the chair is when you go. we want me to feel free to stay and enjoy the day. this is an extraordinary opportunity that we have. these are some video scenes that were films and the last three days.
if you will stand by and give us a chance, we will get organized. we will turn you lose your photo opportunity. we appreciate the support you have given us. as we introduce the latest, thank you very much. ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] ♪
vision to violate the personal privacy under the premise that his only doing so for her protection. >> does the defendant had an opening statement tha? >> the defendant like to point out that he only uses a super powers for good. to like to inform the courts that similar uses up as x-ray vision are the news daily or thousands of individuals. they have ruled that the searches are not violating an independent right. >> a very valid point. i will take that under consideration. i just received a short video.
start the video. >> did you ever watch superman? all the time. >> area where some of the superpowers that he had? >> yes. x-ray vision. deflect bullets. >> what i told you that every day all around the world government is using full body scanners much like superman to be able to see their people. they can actually see 3. they are designed to pick up contraband. have ever come into contact before? >> i know what it is all about. >> can you explain we know about these camperscanners? >> it is the to the features of
the person. it just as an outline. upthey're trying to come with these new versions. >> this is a device that creates an image of a person's new body through the clothing to look for hidden objects without physically removing their clothes. they are increasingly being deployed. this creates images that are displayed only to 80 assay officer and a remote area. the officer can not see the passengers and person.
>> to have any reservations about entering one of these? >> sometimes. it is a bit intimidating. >> are they related to help or privacy? >> do you have any rejections at all about entering these ta? >> the document that sets forth the supreme law of the land, the constitution, is meant to empower and not exclude. they say it is random. do you think is a lot more to come from a middle eastern skin tone, if you they would be more -- do you think of the more approach to? >> absolutely. >> i do not believe they are
random at all. >> i want to start of the background knowledge. the do you know of the tse is? -- do you know what the gsa is? -- tsa? do you know the people in the search as they do? >> ps. >> the daycare id enter passports. -- yes. they take your id and your passport. they randomly select people. they can take a picture of you to see if you are taking this. which person to select out of seven?enth halse
which persons you think would have contraband? he looks kinda creepy. it appears they had a bias toward photo number 5. >> this presents the facts very well. out like to make your ruling on this case. this has a direct purpose. this is not protect her and the general public from any impending danger. i find the defendant guilty as charged. >> thank you.
wii please place the defendant in custody? -- will you please place the defendant in custody? >> had the feel about the ruling? >> superman stand for truth and justice. he should not be convicted. >> thank you. >> become watch all the winning videos and continue the conversation at our facebook and twitter page. >> the pentagon is looking for ways to halt the political unrest in syria. we will hear from leon panetta and general martin dempsey next. an air kantor talks with mike allen of politico.
tomorrow, we will focus on the role of the secret service and allegations of misconduct. our guest is ken dilanian. bill horn a ticket questions about the sports and heritage act which recently passed the house. the will discuss and trends and wages and benefits with philip doyle of the bureau of labor statistics. "washington journal" is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> the soldiers started telling me the u.s. government was billions of tens of dollars. >> he follows the money in
afghanistan and by inscription from top to bubottom. >> i was in one meeting where the brigade commander, this is not long after president obama took office. the state department was out there saying we would do a whole bunch of developing ones. we will do this. he said do not send me any more money. some may contract officers that oversee it. many people. i do not need more money. >> douglas wissing on "funding the enemy." caro onay 6, robert
his books on lyndon b. johnson. >> they gave congress an update on the situation in syria. the secretary panetta said the u.s. continues to pressure russia and china to join the international community. at least 9000 people have died in the country since protests began more than a year ago. this house armed services committee hearing is an hour and 45 minutes. >> the secretary has a hard closed time at 12:30, so we are going to be as expeditious as we possibly can here. the house armed services committee meets today to receive testimony on the security situation in syria from the secretary of defense, the honorable leon panetta, and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general martin dempsey. thank you for being here today. the syrian conflict is now in
its second year and the situation remains both uncertain and dire. as we convene, a tenuous cease- fire is in place. comes on the heels of horrifying violence at the hands of the assad regime, yet even though assange has committed to the cease-fire, reports indicate that he continues to inflict violence on the syrian people. president assad's years crackdown has been fruitless, including frederick human rights violations, use of force against noncombatant civilians, including children, and interference with the provision of humanitarian assistance. the estimate for the death toll is 9000. other estimates put the death toll as high as 12,000.
just over a year ago, in the midst of the arab spring, the syrian people peacefully took to the streets, calling for the opportunity to elect their leadership's through fair and democratic process. this embodies the essence of what is driving the opposition. the president has stated that the violence in syria must end and that assad must go. it remains unclear how the president will accomplish these goals. in addition to the humanitarian concerns that i believe we all share, i am very concerned about the implications for regional conflict. as recently as april 10, assad back military unit shot across the border into syrian refugee camps in turkey, killing five individuals. additionally, violence is still in levitan and iraq has begun to behave erratically as it
considers the prospect of a sunni controlled government succeeding the assad regime in the western border. moreover, the situation extends a strategic opportunity to deal with known supporters of terrorism in the region. as iran continues to back the assad regime, groups such as hezbollah have enjoyed support and residents in syria. on the other hand, there is much we do not know about opposition. syria maintains robust air defenses that limit military options. therefore, i am not recommending u.s. military intervention, particularly in light of our great budget situation, unless
the national security threat was clear and present. these reflections lead me to wonder what the united states can do to stem the violence and hasten president assad from power. we also need to understand what we are doing to secure the security -- ensure the security of one of the world's largest stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. to paraphrase general petraeus, how does this all end? i look forward to your insights into the security situation and our way forward in syria. mr. smith. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in the interest of time, let me just say that i agree completely with the chairman's opening remarks. the assad regime has made it clear an awful choice to simply kill as many of its own people as he can to maintain power. it is in international outrage that should be condemned by all nations.
i applaud calling attention for this outrage and try to build enough support to stop it. we need greater support in nations like russia and china and they should rise to the challenge and work with us to find a solution to this problem. they clearly have not done enough. i agree with the chairman that i do not see military option for us in this area for a wide variety of reasons. i have a longer statement will submit for the record that explains that. i agree that it has profound impact for a region that was already unstable in many ways. i look forward to the testimony from witnesses today to hear what our best options are going forward to try to contain this and give this committee a full briefing on where the situation is at and where they see it going, as difficult as the prediction might be. i think you, chairman, and i thank both of our witnesses for their leadership with our country and for being here today.
>> thank you. secretary panetta. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for the opportunity to be able to discuss what is obviously a very tense and fluid situation in syria. the arab spring was impacting other countries and then hit syria as well. rather than trying to meet legitimate demands of the people, the regime of the bashar al-assad turned and said to violence against its own people. -- turned instead to violence. that violence has been cruel and devastating. it has put the syrian people in a desperate and difficult situation.
has outraged the conscience of all good people and it has threatened the stability in a very important part of the world. the united states has made clear that the assad regime has lost its legitimacy, and that this crisis has no effective solution without assad's departure. the president has stated -- recent days are testing whether the assad regime will live up to all of its responsibilities to the syrian people and to the international community. restoring calm to the cities and towns across syria is just one test for assad in the days ahead. assad is responsible for fully abiding by the transition plan that has been outlined by the joint special envoy, kofi annan. he also faces deep skepticism
about his motives, a skepticism based on a long train of assad's deceitful actions today, including broken promises to his own people and to the international community. the united states is committed to holding the syrian regime to its obligations. we are leading an international effort to help stop the violence and support the peaceful, political transition in syria. even as we speak, secretary of state clinton is meeting with our international partners in paris to determine what additional steps should be taken to make that happen.
we know achieving that end is a tough task. from every angle, the situation in syria is enormously complex. there is no silver bullet. i wish there was, but there isn't. at the same time, the situation is of grave consequence to the syrian people. there are many others who are affected by what happens in syria as well, including syria's neighbors, turkey, lebanon, iraq, israel, jordan, and all nations with a vital interest in the middle east. meanwhile, it is fair to say that iran is syria's only ally in the region. no other country stands to lose more than iran from the eventual fall of the assad regime, which is why iran is supporting the regime material, financial, and technical assistance.
we also know that the complex problems in syria cannot all be solved through the unilateral actions of the united states or, for that matter, any other country. they demand a coordinated, international response that is uniquely tailored to the situation we are confronting in syria. there are, however, certain principles that have guided the administration's response to unrest across the middle east. these basic principles have shaped our responses in tunisia, in egypt, in libya, and now in syria.
first, we oppose the use of violence and repression by regimes against their own people. second, we support the exercise of universalist human rights. third, we support political and economic reforms that can meet the legitimate aspirations of ordinary people throughout the region. our policy in syria is very clear. we support a political and democratic transition that fulfills the syrian people's greatest aspirations. to support that objective, the united states is leading international efforts along five
tracks. first, we are supporting efforts to maintain international pressure and advance transition -- the political transition in syria. we join with our partners in the united nations security council, including now russia and china, in calling for the urgent, comprehensive, and immediate implementation of all aspects theannan plan. second, we are further isolating the assad regime. we are encouraging other countries to join the united states, the european union, and the arab league in opposing -- imposing strong sanctions against it. the sanctions are putting assad under greater pressure than ever before. we are undermining the financial lifelines of the regime. three united states executive orders have targeted senior leadership, commercial and central bank of syria.
the result is that 30% of the regime's lost revenues have occurred as a result of those sanctions. the u.s. and the eu have imposed a strong oil embargo. the exchange rate has depreciated by more than 50%, and their gdp has been in a serious decline, approaching almost - 8% in 2011, and more now. third, we are strengthening and unifying the non-violent political opposition in syria. the united states is in the process of providing direct, non-lethal support, including communications and medical equipment to the civilian led opposition. we are taking these actions in concert with similar steps taken by the friends of syria and other international partners to assist the opposition. fourth, we are providing in emergency humanitarian assistance to the syrian people. the total commitment so far is in excess of $25 million.
food rations, medical supplies, water, and other relief supplies have been provided. lastly, we are reviewing and planning for a range of additional measures that may be necessary to protect the syrian people. my acting along these lines, we are increasing pressure on the assad regime every day. make no mistake, one way or another, this regime will ultimately meet its end. there are legitimate questions about what steps are necessary to achieve this end, with some arguing for an approach similar to the one we took in libya. the fact is that our recent experience in libya is helping
to inform the approach that the united states is taking toward syria. first, our efforts are strengthened by multilateral, international consensus. that is extremely important to our ability to keep maximum pressure on the assad regime. second, we should maintain clear, regional support from the arab world. the arab world and sell, nations of the arab world, are outraged at the regime and what they are doing to the syrian people. third, we should offer substantial u.s. contributions where we can bring a unique resources to bear. fourth, we should have a clear, legal basis for our approach there. that clearly involves close consultations with congress. fifth and finally, our approach must keep all options on the
table, while recognizing the limitations of military force. we must be prepared to take whatever action is required. but let me also say the situation in syria is different from the one in libya in some very important ways. this is not libya. in libya, there was widespread international support in the arab world and elsewhere in a clear, security council authorization for military intervention. nato was authorized to act on that. no such consensus currently exists regarding syria. the opposition is also not as well organized and does not control territory as we saw in libya. there are almost 100 different groups. on the one hand, that indicates that this is an insurgency that is broad based.
on the other hand, it makes it difficult to determine who to help if they cannot come together and organize as a single opposition force. we must also be mindful, as secretary clinton has noted, of the possibility that outside military intervention will make a volatile situation even worse, and place even more innocent civilians at risk. the united states has made clear that we are on the side of the syrian people. they must know that the international community has not underestimated either their suffering or their impatience.
the defense department's, as we always do, is reviewing and continuing to review plans for a variety of possible scenarios, should the president determined that further steps are necessary. in the meantime, our only clear path is to keep moving diplomatically with the international community in a resolute and deliberate manner to find a way a return syria to the syrian people. if we remain dedicated to that effort, i think we ultimately can prevail. thank you. >> thank you, mr. secretary. general dempsey. >> i appreciate the opportunity to testify before you today. the regime responded with brutality. serious internal convulsions are having consequences for a region already in turmoil of refugees are fleeing. spillover into neighboring countries is an increasing concern, and of course, we also need to be alert to opportunistic extremists who may seek to exploit the situation. as well as the need to be especially alert to the fate of syria's chemical and biological
weapons. they need to stay exactly where they are. the u.s. is applying diplomatic and economic pressure on the regime to compel assad and his accomplices to stop the killing on their own. our military's role at this point has been limited sharing affirmation with our regional partners. but should we be called on to help secure u.s. interest in other ways, we will be ready. we maintain an agile regional and global posture. we have solid military relationships with every country on serious border. should we be called, our responsibility is clear, provide the secretary defense and president with options. these options will be judged in terms of their suitability, feasibility, and acceptability.
we have a further responsibility to articulate risk and the potential implications to our other global commitments. in closing, i want to assure you and the nation that america's armed forces are ready to enter the call, wherever that takes us. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. the vote has been called. we are five minutes into the vote. i will ask questions and get as much done as we can, and we will break. those of you who desire to leave earlier to get over there to vote, i would encourage you to return as quickly as we can so we can keep this moving forward.
mr. secretary, according to media reports this morning, the french president stated that action should be taken to establish humanitarian corridors. what are your views on this option? have you been aware of that? >> mr. chairman, we have looked at a variety of options as to what could be done, including the possibility of developing humanitarian corridors. again, we are prepared to do whatever the international community and ultimately agrees ought to be done, but clearly we have made plans along this line. >> general dempsey, you stated that syria's chemical and biological weapons need to stay where they are. what can be done to make sure they are secured? >> as i mentioned in the statement, we are sharing intelligence with our regional partners. in the aggregate, we feel like we have a good understanding of the disposition of syria's chemical and biological weapons.
>> one of my concerns has been being said for a long time since the uprising started that mr. assad's days are numbered. what is the path for that happening? as i said in my opening remarks, the assad regime has sort of decided they don't care what the international community thinks, they will kill as many people as they need to kill to stay in power. they are getting some sort of tacit support from important nations like russia and china, and much more direct support from iran. that makes it clearly different than gaddafi in libya.
he had no friends anywhere. he could not get that assistance. with that support, the leverage we need to pull to make sure that the assad regime goes, or my that support not be enough to let them stay? >> i thing that concerns you have indicated are the concerns we all share. part of the problem here is that assad still seems to maintain the loyalty of the military, even though there have been significant defections, the military still seems loyal and they continue to strike back at the libyan people, even as this effort to try to achieve a cease-fire and try to reduce violence there. we still see continuing artillery barrages violating the whole effort. >> what hope is there to get russia and china to change their stance and actually be
more aggressive about fracturing the assad regime? >> obviously that was a concern when they initially voted against the security resolution that would have taken action here, but they have come around. they have supported the resolution that was adopted supporting annan and his efforts to try to achieve a cease-fire. diplomatic pressures being brought on both russia and china, particularly russia. that battle longstanding relationship and that part of the world with syria, to bring pressure on them to exercise whatever influence they can to ensure that they abide by annan plan.
so the -- so there is some progress being made on that front. the additional steps that are important is that the international community continues to be very unified in taking action against the regime. there are additional sanctions that could be applied. we have applied some sanctions and they are putting great pressure on the regime itself. that pressure needs to continue. the third thing i would indicate is that this is a broad based insurgency. i think it is fair to say that the intelligence community feels that because it is a broad based insurgency, yes, he can strike back. he can continue to try to hold on, but ultimately, his days are numbered and openly, he will be taken down. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> the committee will recess know until we are able to return after votes. thank you very much.
that can provide the necessary hardware to the syrian opposition groups and humanitarian efforts. what steps does the administration take ensure that potential future allocations are dedicated to the future of u.s. manufactured equipment? what steps are being taken to assure american made technologies are being reviewed and properly vetted? >> i will yield to general them see on this as well. my sense is that most of the in the general dempsey. most of the communications gear we are talking about is made in this country, and that is primarily the communications gear that we would be transferring to the opposition leaders.
>> i have nothing further to add to that. that program is being supervised by the department of state. >> the state department, other than the office of political and military affairs is charged with not providing equipment to these areas. is my understanding that the political military affairs personnel are not actively involved in determining the nature of what equipment should be distributed to syria. seeing as how the department of defense would have more precedent in such a role, what can your agency coordination -- what agency coordination is occurring between the department of state and part of defense? >> congressman, there is ongoing coordination with the department of defense, with the department of state on this issue. we do have a liaison who is they are working with them. let me give you a more in-depth
report as to what the level of that relationship is like. but there is a military liaison that is working with the state department on this issue. >> i have nothing to add, congressman. >> thank you very much. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you, ms. sanchez. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, both gentlemen, for being here once again and for your service to our country. russia has not been very cooperative in moving the un closer to authorizing some form of action in syria. i know a lot of us have been disappointed in one to move something. some members suggest that we use some sort of pressure on russia to help convince them to be more helpful. for example, we could suspend cooperative threat reduction funds.
do you believe that is a good idea? why or why not? >> at this stage, obviously the state department is the one that is taking the lead in dealing with russia, so i am not going to prejudge what the state should or should not use with -- as leverage with russia. at this point, i have to say that russia has been cooperative with regard to support the annan effort. the most important leverage for russia is to try to make sure that they understand that, in fact, their interests are served by taking the steps, because once assad goes, the interest they have in syria are going to go away unless they participate with the international community.
>> if i could broaden the aperture and point out the places where we are cooperating with russia in a very positive way. >> i am not suggesting i am one of those, but i do hear from my colleagues. >> we have to understand in the context of the entire relationship, not just this issue in isolation. we have terrific contribution with the no. distribution network out of afghanistan, counter piracy and narcotics. we have to understand the entire thing in context and deal with them as we would other nations with whom we have a variety of relationships.