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tv   HLN News  HLN  October 6, 2009 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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whatever money that is expended is returned and so manyfold in taxes and economic activity that these people generated. there is a great article where columnists said we should be stapling a green card, the legal immigrant status, a green card application to the diploma of every democrat who comes to america for college. host: omaha, nebraska. sue on the democrats' line. . .
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omaha that is known as "little mexico" now because they must have taken out loans to get these businesses started. the banks gave a lot of loans to the people who c as immigrants to start businesses and they're the ones are the only ones i know that are making money because the restaurant business is theirs and it's like booming. so their loans are going to be, you know, not a problem. host: ok, sue, we'll leave it there. mr. roberts.
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guest: i talked to one woman in china. when i grew up in flushing, in queens, if you were a chinese family you either ran a laundry or a restaurant. we were laundry. as two families in this book, one a salvadoran couple, one a greek couple in baltimore. these businesses do generate a lot of income. they do generate a lot of jobs. what do immigrants have when they come? often, they do not have a lot of money. they have their sweat equity. they have relatives that they can hire cheapely. restaurateur often a good way for them to start. i'm not defending illegal immigrants, but i will say that every american -- every nursing home and hospital in america would collapse overnight if the foreign-born women that run these institutions were sent home some of. this book is not a debate about
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legal verses illegal, but is about the economic contribution that these folks in obama and everywhere else are making. host: what about the money that immigrants make and send back home? if you're guest: important point -- guest: a very important point. the biggest bank in the world is individual people sending money home. there is a woman in my book from rwanda, she escaped to the genocide of her tried. many of her relatives were killed. she supports 10 people back in rwanda on her salary. she sends half of her money back to rwanda to support at least 10 people, including several orphans from the genocide. this is an enormously important part of the immigrant story. it can provide a lot of stress on these families. this woman says, everyone thinks i'm in america, rick and i can
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afford anything and send them anything. that is not true -- i am rich and i can afford anything and send them anything. that is not true. but people run the world benefit from these people working in america. host: what about the bottom line for the u.s. economy when that money goes overseas rather than back into our economy? guest: some of that money goes to buy goods made in america. you say that women send money home and then her sister buys a computer, a dell computer. that money comes back to america. one of the things that is new about immigration today is that my parents emigrated from russia and poland. my grandfather did not talk to his sister back in russia for 50 years. today, everybody's got cell phones or they are on skype. but also, there is a lot of trade. emigratory very well-positioned because they know the language back home or the customs and
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have trouble connections. -- tribal connections. there's a lot of business that goes back and forth. there's a man in this book whose family fled in terror from the communists a generation ago. today, he spends two weeks a month back in china running exports back to america. that is, is that in the end creates jobs in america. host: jamie on the republican from pennsylvania. caller: do not think americans have been a problem with illegal aliens or people from other countries be allowed to come here. the perception is that there is an imbalance in what they pay in terms of taxes. to get at the imbalan to do his level the playing field and make a national sales tax. if you're in this country and you are working and buying food and clothing, you are paying a tax.
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guest: there are people who think that a sales tax is the best way to collect federal revenues. many other countries have a federal sales tax of one form or another. they tend to be in countries where people are far less willing to voluntarily pay taxes and away you are going to get taxes at all is by the point of sale. the problem with a national sales tax is that it tends to be regressive and it hits the poor the hardest. by no, you beat taxed at the same rate as a wealthy person -- buying milk, you will be taxed at the same rate as a wealthy person. but the economic benefits of immigration are unquestionable. yes, particularly illegal immigrants, can cost money in social services. there are places in san diego or the hospitals are swamped. that is true. but on balance, the tax revenues
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that people collect because they do not just pay taxes on themselves -- they generate business. they generate economic activity. it is a big net plus. host: the next phone call, and a on the in the panama and in kansas city. caller: i'm going to disagree with our guests last point. what he fails to correlate is we have big costs for our working class out here in america from the illegal aliens. i am for elite -- for legal immigration they cost us roughly about $20,000 to $30,000, each individual, in emergency medical services. the, and have children and the child can get food stamp benefits -- they come and have children and the child can get food stamp benefits and medical benefits. plus, we spend as a country, $20 million on both these legal and illegal immigrants and aliens.
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they drive your a look -- illegally without insurance. if you look at the cost of unemployment, which i happen to be on as a direct result of trying to compete with legal aliens, and the reason i cannot get a job as a middle-aged caucasian woman, i cannot get a job because why would an employer hire me when they can be an illegal alien $5 less an hour and no taxes off the books? plus, rents are higher for the working class. wages drop. if we had all the illegal aliens out of the country right now, we would have 25 million jobs available. many americans want to work two to three jobs to get ahead, including me. host: we will leave it there. guest: as i said, this book is
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about illegal aliens. the legal question -- the yield -- this book yield -- legal aliens. the question of illegal is a whole different question. but there are many jobs that americans do not want to do. i do not think she is out of work because of illegal immigration. that is not the reason she is out of work. a lot of immigrants, as i say, create jobs. they create small businesses. if you think about what it takes to come here, the ambition and drive, these are people who are so determined to make it that they work very hard. they have an enormous work ethic. these two greek brothers worked 18 hours a day in the back of the diner in baltimore to build up that business. they went home to their home village in greece and married greek woman. and they said to me, no american women would put up with the hours we work. we had to go back to greece and
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find brides that understood the immigrant work ethic. i think that we need to expand legal immigration. i think we need to regularize this process. but you have 12 million people who are here illegally. they're not going to go home. this one might want them to go home. they're not going to. -- this woman might want them to go home. they're not going to. we have to find a the way for them to be here. host: here is a survey that shows a decline with u.s. residents in many years. did many of these families find that things are changing and that they are finding that their families back home are not as motivated to come here because of the current economic situation? guest: no, i have not. çi -- i know those statistics d i know that there are macro statistics that show a fall off
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because people can read. people come for economic opportunity and if there is high unemployment, some of the incentive is diminished. but you have to understand the difference. you work at a very low-end jobs in america and make $7, $8, $9, $10 an hour. you are still making for more money than you are making back home thi. this man in the book is a political refugee from sierra leone. olli can afford to send back home is $100 every couple of months. that is an enormous amount of money to his mother back in sierra leone. even when you have a recession here, the economic opportunities are far greater here than anywhere else. host: brennan on the democrats' line from north carolina.
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caller: if all of these immigrants are so great and ingenious, why don't they stay home and make their own country better? i have an idea that they come into this country and probably get all of this government advice and government aid to start these business that americans either do not know about or cannot get themselves. i'm not saying that they are bad people just because they come here, but gosh, if they are so ingenious, why can't they secured a way to -- and some of them might have to fight and some of them might have to die, but dan, they can make their own country better. guest: they do make their country's better. they send a lot of money home, which is enormous benefit to the country's back home. one of the things that is happening is that a number of the immigrants are particularly from asia, because there's so much trade between america and
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asia today. they're working in both countries. there is an indian family -- this fellow came to america originally as a ph.d. student. he is a chemist. he owns two factories making high-tech plastics. one is in ohio and one is in india. he lives in ohio, but in some ways his spiritual home is probably the first-class lounge in ferritin -- in frankfurt airport when he is traveling around the world. there is a fair point that the caller makes, but often, in coming to america, the continue to do trade and business back home and they do benefit their home countries. host: richard arm the republican line from iowa, your next. caller: mr. roberts, i really feel your application of bringing high-tech era -- high- tech immigrants into the u.s. is right on.
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but the question i have is, is there a quota system by continent of immigrants coming into the united states? in other words, if someone, if they deserve to get in through immigration, can they come from anywhere in the world? guest: system is very complicated and a lot of it has to do with relatives -- a lot of the slots that are allocated are for relatives to bring in relatives. and there is a lot of talk that it should be rationalized. the immigration's as does like a house that has been built over many years and there is a piece here and a piece there. one of the things we are learning is that most talented immigrants now have choices. other characters are smarter about this than we are. canada is opening its borders. austria, germany, all of these countries are making it -- australia, germany, all of these countries are making the parties your then america.
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-- ben america. we are in a worldwide competition for the best and brightest. america's economy -- several of we are going to compete on the high end. we are going to compete because we create the next google and create the next ebay and microsoft. who is going to do that? the best minds. there is no border when it comes to innovation. and we have to compete in the world marketplace for the best people to create the new industries that are going to create jobs for working class americans and we have to keep them here. host: kirk in tulsa, oklahoma. caller: good morning. host: what's your comment or question? caller: ok. i just want to tell mr.
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stevenson -- host: steven roberts. caller: i am an immigrant. i came here and i love the american people. i am a legal resident and i pay the same amount of tax just as my american citizen wife, same amount of taxes paid, federal tax and a lot of people think -- and i can't go into no line to get nothing because it does not apply to me. host: host: kirk, where were you from and why did you come to the united states? caller: i come from jamaica. my wife is from jamaica. host: and why is that?
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why did you decide to migrate to the united states? caller: because she wants me here. i was working in jamaica. i work on aircrafts. i come here and do the same thing and make a lot of money. host: ok. we got it. mr. roberts. guest: jamaica is an example of one of the hardworking cultures. i mentioned the femininization of immigration and this is the huge dimensions of immigration in america. and i looked at the figures of each individual ethnic culture and the percentage of working women. 84% of filipino women in america work. second is jamaicans. 82% -- i have a 90-year-old mother. she is entirely taken care of 24 hours a day by what we call team jamaica. my 93-year-old mnl is taken care of -- mother-in-law is taken care of by team manila.
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these are jobs that require a tremendous amount of dedication and i found myself embracing my mother's jamaican caretaker and say, what would we do without you? and i wasn't speaking just for my family, i was speaking for america. host: democrats line. caller: mr. roberts, i beg to differ when you say that immigrations and especially the legals, makes no difference of legal or illegal, do the jobs that americans won't do. i am a licensed electrician. 10 years ago i was able to -- 10 years ago i was able to take bids on large-scale jobs. now i cannot afford to take the big east has offered. cotton -- the bids as offered because of the caucasian men have large companies with big trucks and they hire illegals and they do the work for little
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to nothing. the gramm on the back of a truck and i am not just saying this -- they cram them in the back of a truck, and i'm not just saying this. they share, and i do like that about their culture, and they do not have to come up with the car payments and truck payments and on and on. guest: again, i am not defending illegal immigration. i think the system has to be fixed. i think there has to be better enforcement at the border and i think there has to be a very tough process of allowing these people to become american citizens so that they played by american rules. but i think cut a of -- there's a lot of frustration in america today. and we have seen all through our history when there is an economic downturn, people like our caller. and i sympathize with our caller.
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when there are hard economic times, they lashed out at someone to blame. it is legal -- easy to blame legal and -- it is easy to blame illegal immigrants. if you go back in history, there were signs that said, "no irish need apply." battalions were discriminated against. -- the italians were discriminated against, the chinese. every generation, we have had this spasm, particularly during economic -- a tough economic times. at the same time, the study shows that there are people like our caller that at this moment in history, they do feel threatened and i understand that. host: the squeeze one more caller in. wayne, the republican line. caller: mr. roberts, iç actualy would like to purchase your book
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at some point. i think we have forgotten that america has held out this great hope to all people are around the earth. i really want to live in a world without borders. the hypocrisy and this unwarranted fear that people are coming here to take everything from everybody and the privileges that have been afforded in america. there was a time in history when everyone was an immigrant, whether legal or illegal. guest: he said it well. these people do not come to take. they come to give. they contribute. they build. they create.
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and america, if it is going to compete in the world is going to compete on the basis of the ideas and energy and creativity of the best minds and the best ideas from all over the world. this is our economic future. to me, i loved doing these 13 stories. what i loved was how inspiring the war. we look at the capitol cross the street. we pledged -- how inspiring day work. we look at the capital across the street. we pledge allegiance to the fly. these 13 families are living this dream. they are the best we have to offer. host: as we conclude this interview, how did you decide which families to write about? how did you find them? guest: i teach a writing class at george washington university and i encourage them to write about their families. i was inspired by the stories i was hearing of immigration.
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there is a vietnamese student of mine whose mother, at one time -- they were floating on the sea after escaping from vietnam, and she said, i was about to cut my wrist and feed my children my blood because otherwise they were going to die of thirst. and i read this and i said, this is happening again. these stories are alive and the vibrant today in the same way they were 100 years ago. and a lot of my students acted as scouts. one was a history teacher in philadelphia and send me the sierra leone family. each one of the story tells a piece of the larger story. that is how i tried to dodo it. they thank you very much for your time.
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>> supreme court week continues tonight with the clerk of the supreme court. >> we traditionally wear a morning coat. when the court is in public wearing robes. when we're in session upstairs, is he te state of the union or the inauguration. it's very, very traditional. in the years and years ago all attorneys arguing cases here wore the morning coat. that has fallen into disuse and now the attorneys wear traditional formal attire. >> and later this week, watch interviews with the current and retired justices. supreme court week on c-span, tonight at 9:00 eastern or after our house coverage. and as a complement to this week's production, c-span offers teachers free resources on our judicial system. go to c-spanclassroom.org. >> u.s. house comes in in about five minutes. at the white house the president is hosting numbers of members of congress.
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about 30 members of congress from both parties talking about afghanistan. and speaking of afghanistan, the centcom commander, general david petraeus, will be talking later this afternoon. we'll have his comments live at 4:15 eastern and that will be here on c-span. again, the u.s. house coming in just about five minutes. this morning's "washington journal." ining us by phone. talk about the different options for president obama, and a little in detail about what the vice president would like to see. guest: the dilemma is that the white house is facing a request by general mcchrystal, the top commander in afghanistan and someone whom barack obama put into place over there. general mcchrystal says he needs those boots the drug to do the job over there.
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but a vice-president joe biden and others are talking the tremendous success of other kinds of surgical attacks against al qaeda leaders in the border areas between afghanistan and pakistan and saying we do not need more troops, but more aggressive target. it comes down to whether we believe that al qaeda and the taliban are really one and the same, or whether it is only necessary to go after al qaeda operatives. we could leave the taliban and not really be as concerned about who is running afghanistan. host: the president is meeting with a bipartisan group of congressional leaders. why is that? guest: it is important to bring in leaders who shape the public debate. the white house is engaged in an open and public debate with a
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long soughnational security sesn last week in the situation room where there were going over the strategy. general mcchrystal has been engaged in a highly unusual public debate almost with the president where he has been arguing in a speech in london last week in a memo leaked to " the washington post" for these new troops. that has some of the military frustrated that general mcchrystal is debating the president in public and not keeping his ideas and sending them through the normal chain of command. it is always a point of tension and the constitution, the civilians control the military -- not the other way around.
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it is something each president must work out for himself. in this case we see a long- running debate inside the pentagon between the colin powell doctrine of going in heavy and overwhelming as to the force to defeat it, and the rumsfeld doctrine which is much more of a light information-age special forces approach. if you are running a counter- insurgency you do not need a heavy occupying force, but instead of leiter, more nimble force that does not anger public as much by being so visible. host: javers, is that what vice- president joe biden -- is he proposing a rumsfeld-type approach? guest: yes, he seems to be more in the light foreskin but then
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general mcchrystal who is asking for 40,000 more troops. -- asking for a light approach. on the sunday shows this weekend there was a fairly light rebuke offered of ms. christo in which he said it was better for people -- general mcchrystal, better for people to put their thoughts through the normal chain of command and not in public speeches. it almost boxes in the president to what could be a very unfortunate situation where he is forced to deny a request from his top general in the field for more troops. that could set up the delicate situation, almost reminds you a little of president truman dealing with general macarthur.
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alternately, president truman said he could not take this kind of pressure anymore and fired general macarthur. it was the watershed moment of his career. in this case would be difficult for, because after all, he gave general mcchrystal the job not long ago. host: here is the headline from the press. it says that the u.s. should stay in afghanistan. explain the press secretary's comments yesterday. guest: general jim jones said this also on sunday. they want to be clear that we're not pulling out of afghanistan. what is going on here is a re- evaluation of the strategy. what are we there for? to prevent another 9/11? to get al qaeda?
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>> we are going to leave this now as the house is gaveling in for morning hour where members can speak on various topics. there will be a measure on the 9/11 memorial, the flight 93 crash site in shanksville, pennsylvania. y leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to 30 minutes, each member other than the majority and minority leaders and minority whip limited to five minutes. please be seated. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, for five minutes. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to correct a misperception held by many in this chamber and others throughout our great nation. members of my party claim our colleagues across the aisle do not have a health care plan. well, i'm here to break with my own caucus and say that's just not true. our republican friends do in fact have a plan. let me offer you some of their highlights.
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the blan so far offered by our republican colleagues would allow health care premiums to double over the next decade. add more than 2/3 of the out-of-pocket expenses for individuals and their families who watched helplessly as premiums and deductibles grew three times faster than their wages over the last decade. and pushed for more families to the brink of financial ruin because they can no longer afford basic health care needs. in my district alone, more than 1,400 people were forced into bankruptcy last year because of expenses not covered by health insurance. it doesn't stop there, mr. speaker. their plan would also allow insurance companies to continue wracking up profits by denying coverage using capricious standards. insurance companies in 45 states would be allowed to continue discriminating based on pre-existing conditions on those attempting to purchase insurance on the individual market. it's estimated more than 12.6 million americans have been denied coverage because of
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pre-existing conditions already. insurance companies in eight states and the district of columbia would be allowed to continue denying coverage to survivors of domestic violence because they classify history of such violence as a pre-existing condition. which is a particularly egregious example of cherry picking by insurance industries considering october is domestic violence awareness month. even those lucky enough to have health insurance will continue to find their coverage or their costs altered due to pre-existing conditions which affect up to 45% of us who already have health care insurance. the republican plan or a lack thereof also will make it heard on the business community -- harder on the business community to continue meeting the needs of its workers and customers. a reseen kaiser family foundation study showed that 42% of employers are preparing to increase premiums next year. 39% of employers are preparing to increase out-of-pocket expenses for doctor visits next year.
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37% of employers are preparing to increase out-of-pocket prescription drug costs next year. and 8% said they already have reached the tipping point and have decided to drop health care coverage altogether next year. mr. speaker, small businesses in the commonwealth of virginia alone spent more than $3 billion on health care premiums last year. that figure is expected to more than double to $7.4 billion during the next decade if we do nothing. today less than half of virginia's small businesses offer health insurance to their employees with 3/4 saying they are struggling to do so. the plan offered by our republican colleagues would only exacerbate that situation and likely push more businesses into withdrawing from health care coverage altogether. but that's not what our businesses want. not only do 2/3 of virginia's small businesses say health care reform will play an important part in getting the economy back on track, but more than half of them also say they themselves have a
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responsibility to help provide coverage for their employees. a majority of americans, 57%, say it's now more important than ever to reform our broken health care system. unfortunately, the plan from our republican colleagues amounts to do nothing and hope for the best. we can't afford that plan and thankfully americans are starting to come to the same realization. that same poll found that 57% of the public faults our republican colleagues for opposing health care reform more for political reasons than substantive argument. mr. speaker, we cannot afford for premiums to climb 50% above the national poverty rate for a family of four. we cannot afford for more employers to pull the plug on providing health care coverage for their employees. we cannot afford to put even families in the position of struggling to pay for basic needs like health care. we must deliver reform that will make health care affordable and accessible. cap out-of-pocket expenses, stop the practice of cherry
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picking by insurance industries, and protect our small businesses from crippling costs. we must deliver reform that once again will instill confidence in our nation's health care system and that is what we will do here in the house of representatives this fall. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from north carolina, ms. foxx, for five minutes. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. a few days ago the labor department released its monthly unemployment report. it was another month of bad news for unemployed americans looking for work. in september we lost 263,000 jobs and the unemployment rate rose to 9.8%. a 26-year high and according to the labor department the number of unemployed people now stands at 15.1 million. this is an american tragedy. there are millions of breadwinners desperate for an opportunity to get back to work, but for far too many
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these opportunities seem inaccessible and washington doesn't seem to get it. instead, it's business as usual here in washington. borrow and spend is washington's prescription for our ailing economy. but americans know that we cannot borrow and spend our way into prosperity. we tried that already and it didn't work. nevertheless my democrat colleagues insisted on passing a stimulus bill that borrowed another $1 trillion that would create jobs immediately and unemployment would not rise above 8%. the facts tell another more discouraging story. more than 2.7 million jobs have been lost since the so-called stimulus was signed by president obama. and the labor department keeps churning out these gloomy monthly unemployment reports. today there are about 12 million workers who would like to work full-time but can't find a full-time job.
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u.s. auto sales plummeted in september and factorys tumbled by the largest amount in five months. the american people know a true economic recovery starts with tax relief for american families and small businesses and fiscal discipline in washington. after all, if american families have to buckle down and trim their budgets, washington should too. we can't keep running $1.5 trillion deficits and expect economic growth as a result. house republicans agree with the american people. washington needs to rein in the run away spending. for example this week congress is poised to pass a agriculture spending bill which includes a 14% increase in discretionary spending. there's plenty of good to be said about some of the spending in this bill, but it's unrestrained increase in spending is emblematic of washington's intractable
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profligate habits. we can find a way to live within our means and create real incentives for employers to create jobs and get people back to work. how about using what remains of the stimulus money to create a job tax credit for employers who take risks and put americans back to work? such a tax credit could spur new job creation and help reinvigorate our battered economy. plus it keeps taxpayer money out of wasteful government programs and politicians' pet projects. until we start to consider such real solutions to our job deficits, i will continue to oppose the democrats' job killing tax and spend policy as -- for real solution that is get american people back to work. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. wolf, for five minutes. mr. wolf: i ask unanimous consent to address the house. the speaker pro tempore:
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without objection. mr. wolf: the front page of the "washington post" yesterday featured the story about the dalai lama's visit to washington this week. a trip which will be marked by what doesn't take place. for the first time since 1991, the spiritual leader and nobel prize peace recipient will not be afforded a meeting with the president of the united states. this is a mistake which has far-reaching consequences. china has initiate add global effort to stop heads of state from hosting the dalai lama. as the "wall street journal" editorial page pointed out yesterday, quote, china routinely assails countries whose leaders meet with the dalai lama targeting france and germany in recent years by cutting off diplomatic exchanges and canceling conferences. the dalai lama is said to travel to new zealand and australia this year. he has yet to secure commit frment their leaders to meet. will these coin terrorist follow our lead? -- countries follow our lead? i have been to tibet i have seen the buddhist monks and
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nuns in prison. i have met frightened tibetens who quietly showed me their photo of the dalai lama. i wonder if they receive passing mention during an internal white house deliberations about whether to meet with the dalai lama before the president's november trip to china or were they simply a nuisance in the context of a larger bilateral relationship? an unnamed administration official in a "post" story justified the decision by saying, quote, this president is not interested in symbolism or photo-ops but in deliverables. i, too, am interested in deliverables as is the human rights community. but i'm interested in symbols. the president should be to symbolism is powerful. if we surrendered to this chinese government we have surrendered something far greater than the president may realize. the tiananmen square demonstrators 20 years ago understood symbols speak volumes. they carry papier-mache models of the statue of liberty.
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ronald reagan under stood there was something symbolic and stirring about him standing at the brandenberg gate and called on them to tear down this wall. ronald reagan understood something symbolically powerful about innoking the name of sholetzi knit zen. recommend necessarient of this week's events was denied a visit with president ford who was worried about upsetting the russians prior to a summit. this administration may not be interested in symbolism, but that will come as devastating, devastating news to millions around the world whoern for freedom, who -- who yearn for freedom and cry out for basic rights and expect america, our country, to be their champion when their own voices have been silenced what about the coptic people in egypt? the baha'i's in iran?
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they should right be be alarmed by the treatment of the dalai lama as this is one more example after growing pattern in this administration of sidelining human rights. it's not too late. i call on the president to invite the dalai lama to the white house to reclaim the moral high ground and not kowtow to the chinese government that brutally oppresses people. i call on the president to stand side by side with his holiness and not align america once again with the oppressors in china. be with the -- not with those who are being oppressive but be with the oppressors. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. lewis, for two minutes. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, the united states supreme court will soon hear arguments in a case of salazar. which may determine the future of memorials across the country that honor those who fought and died for our nation. the center of this case is a memorial in die district known
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as the mojave desert cross which has stood proudly for over 75 years. it was erected by veterans of world war i and maintained by generations of veterans since 1934. it was attacked 10 years ago by the aclu which convinced a judge that the -- to declare the memorial to world war i veterans unconstitutional. clearly they want to erase anything from public property that might be seen as religious in some way. the monument was not established by government or maintained by the government. but it now stands in the mow javy -- mojave national preserve. it's not a promotion of religion. if the critics of this memorial are successful t. could open the door to attacks on memorials and historic sites in all of our national parks, including arlington national cemetery and gettysburg national military park. i am proud to say that the congress has understood the value of these member morse yap
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and voting overwhelmingly to preserve the cross in honor of those who defended our nation. the will of congress is to keep the cross in tribute of all veterans and i sincerely hope the justices will see the wisdom of that intent. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. stearns, for five minutes. mr. stearns: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. stearns: mr. speaker, i rise this morning to address my concerns as a result of the special inspector general for the troubled asset relief program, audit of the capital injection provided to bank of america and other major banks through the taxpayer funded tarp program. the special inspector general for the tarp revealed yesterday in his official report that high ranking federal officials, including former secretary henry paulsen, and the current federal reserve chairman, ben
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bernanke, mislead the american people about the true financial state of bank of america and eight other initial tarp recipients that received over $125 billion in this bailout. we were told last october that the treasury department needed over $700 billion, along with unprecedented and vast new authority in order to stave off a total collapse of our financial system. they were going to buy the so-called toxic loans, 10 days later after the bill passed, they changed their strategy and decided to give tarp funds to financial institutions. we were told last october that this $700 billion would enable the secretary of treasury to go in and restore liquidity and stability to our financial system through a series of capital injection the -- injections into these financial institutions. most importantly, we were told last october that the federal
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government was going to inject this money into, quote, healthy financial institutions under the rationale that propping up these healthy banks would enable them to lend money and unfreeze the credit market so none of the other major banks in private financial institutions would collapse. almost exactly a year later we have found out that the american people were not given the full truth. the nine initial tarp recipients which received an initial total of $125 billion in tarp funds, were actually not the stable healthy institution that mr. paulsen and mr. bernanke claimed they were. as we all well know today, none of these institutions were able to increase their lending activities. bank of america and citigroup in particular actually ended up needing billions more in bailout money than they were initially given. meanwhile, struggling financial institutions such as merrill lynch which was on the verge of
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collapse months before the enactment of tarp was largely ignored until the now infamous and coerced acquisition of merrill lynch by the not so healthy bank of america. the audit blankly states that, by quote, stating expressly that the healthy institutions would be able to increase overall lending, the treasury may have created unrealistic expectations about the institution's condition and their ability to increase lending, end quote. the federal reserve along with the federal deposit insurance corporation also described the nine original tarp recipients as healthy. privately, however, other federal regulators and government officials were concerned that some of these institutions were actually in a state of near is
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go to c-spanclassroom.org. >> just a couple programming notes. the white house briefing is coming up 1:00 p.m. eastern with robert gibbs. the president's been meeting with members of congress today or will be. bipartisan members. so we should hear more about that. the briefing's at 1:00. general david petraeus, centcom commander, speaking about operations in iraq and afghanistan. live coverage of that at 4:15 p.m. eastern. until the white house briefing gets under way, from this morning's "washington journal," lessons learned from vietnam. host: the author of that book, gordon goldstein, "lessons in disaster." what would you like the white
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house to take away from your book? >> my book is about the reflections of the former national security adviser george bundy, who looked back on his role of policy-making in vietnam and tried to draw some critical lessons of th. he was a passionate advocate of the war. in retrospect, he concluded the war could not be one and should not have been thought. our collaboration together focused on his efforts to understand how we got so dangerously off track, and how that could be applied to future generations. he said, in part, i had taken
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part in a great failure. that is why, i believe, the lessons of the and none of our resident, and that is why some are trying to grab the essence of that as the chart the way forward in afghanistan. host: what would you like them to take away from your book? guest: one thing relates to president kennedy, the other relates to president lyndon johnson. in 1961, kennedy was facing the first proposal to send in escalated forces. it was the first proposal to send in ground combat forces. he was told he had to make a down payment on a ground force commitment that could grow up to 200,000 men. kennedy, in essence, was encircled by the secretary of
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defense, state, bundy, his generals on the ground, all together promoting this proposal to send in forces. however, kennedy was skeptical that that would be successful. he told one of his aides that the odds were 100 to 1 of the u.s. prevailing in vietnam. he acted on the courage of his conviction and denied their request. the lesson there is that counselors provide, the president decides. now we are being faced with a similar decision. he has to come to his own conclusion. if he does not have strong
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levels of confidence that it will be successful, he has to act on the basis of his conviction as well. host: we sat down with the former defense secretary, robert mcnamara, in 1995, when he wrote his book about vietnam. >> we believe, as i believe in 1974, that if the soviets and chinese controlled it, the rest of southeast asia would fall. and the communist strength would be so increase, western europe could have been in danger. that is what we thought, but we were totally wrong that is why we acted as we did. host: react to those comments from robert mcnamara, and what
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george bundy told you when you were working on the book. guest: for the benefit of your viewers, let me tell your viewers how significant that book was. they were very close friends and colleagues who had a great deal of mutual respect for one another. when mcnamara wrote his book, he came under enormous criticism for it, yet, decided that he had to grapple with these issues. despite the fire he came under, bundy to sign it, too, that he would have to engage in his own right to effective study. it was -- a retrospective study. he was able to come to many of the same conclusions. at that time, there was an overwhelming preoccupation with
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the cold war, the threat posed by global communism. that was, more than any other factor, the animating, proposed the focus of decision making about vietnam. there was a belief that bundy held, passionately, that if the u.s. did not uphold its stance by staying firm in vietnam, by keeping its commitments there, the larger competition with the soviet union, that we would be in great danger. he retrospectively concluded that that conviction was wrong. we believe in the domino theory, but the greatest the nfl the other way, -- the amoco fell the other way, and i am referring to indochina.
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we doubled down on that commitment, and it was something that bundy concluded, we should not have made. host: do you see parallels to date in the debate with afghanistan? guest: there are a number of strong parallels. one of them goes back to kennedy in 1961. at the time, he said in delegation to south viet nam to review the military situation. it was led by one of his top generals, max taylor. the early reports were leaked to the press. there was a suggestion that the president was inclined to except the increase. kennedy hated this notion that he was boxed in.
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in turn, he suggested his own leaks that that was not the case. then there was a showdown in the autumn of 1961. . . ån post." days later they reported that the president would suspend the deliberation on that number and initiate a debate about the strategy. we have seen the leak and counterleak. it appears that the general is
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trying to influence the outcome. host: first phone call. silver spring, maryland. democrat line. caller: i can only guess this particular strategy that you mentioned would probably exacerbate this problem further. you have a young president who probably only played a video game, as far as any military strategy. he is no jack kennedy. your last two dimensions about bundy and mcnamara. these two men were at the last turn of their life, felt so much guilt and shame, they had to go through these reflections to get through the final stage of their life. here we are going through
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something that is probably more lethal than anything we could imagine, not only in cost, but leaking these things too depressed -- to the press. guest: i would make two points. in our system, we have a very clear designation of authority in the office of the commander in chief. the president is the one, alone, who defines the strategy, the objective, and the means needed to apply the objectives. there is something problematic about a general seeking to influence the outcome of the debate, however passionately he believes he has the right calculation. the president does not want to
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be seen as in opposition to his military commanders on the ground. no president want to be put in that situation. but we have seen in the past few days it is general mcchrystal, and those around him, had essentially been rebuked by general jones, secretary gates, for disseminating their views on a credible strategy question which is the president's domain to respond to. the second point is, there is something very constructive going on right now. in 1975, when they were debating the troop increases in vietnam, there was a debate in washington presided over by president johnson, but the outcome was predetermined. he was going to approve the
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proposal. it was an exercise in political stage craft. as bundy retrospectively said, we were debating a number, not a use. i believe we are seeing the inverse of that, debating over the strategy, the use of military forces, not the number. i think that is an enormously constructive development, is in fact, that is what is occurring. host: of lincoln, illinois. good morning. caller: i would like to say that i agree with a couple of things that your guest has stated, but as well, there are other things that i do not agree with. the president is going up of strategy -- off of strategy.
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this weekend you had people putting mcchrystal in his place, if you will. the chain of command means something. it has meant something since the inception of our military. one thing that i would like to see with president obama, in reference to the previous caller -- that person was somewhat ignorant to compare this president to a child playing video games. guest: what i observed here is a different process, and one that reflects the grave, serious nature of the debate that has been initiated in washington. it was six months ago that a new
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strategy was designed in afghanistan, the general mcchrystal was appointed. six months later, we have seen that that new strategy has not generated the results it intended to. the month of july and august were the two most lethal months of our long history in afghanistan. we have seen a deterioration of the security situation in afghanistan. although some on the right have challenged this president for reevaluating the strategy, i think it is to the president credit that he had decided to pause and deliberate on whether this new strategy is effective, and whether the resources being
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requested for it, should be applied. general mcchrystal has made his recommendation based on popular border protection. he said our objective was to defend the population, defending the people. that means defending them against all threats. however, this is a country of 40,000 discreet villages scattered among a land mass the size of new york and california combined. population protection, even in the urban areas, it is an enormously difficult task. what they're trying to work through in washington, in the pentagon, is if population protection and counterinsurgency, and nation
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building, should be our objective. there are those who have doubts about that. now is the time when those dumps should be hammered out, and the challenges to that strategy should be aired out for debate. host: george from portland, maine. caller: thank you for taking my phone call. i want to thank your guest for writing his book. i came of age in the vietnam war. i am really for this president but i see no difference. sitting in my living room, seeing hills and mountains in the middle of nowhere, it reminds me of how vietnam. host: your reaction?
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guest: it is a fair and disturbing point that our caller is making. there are some compelling parallels between vietnam and afghanistan. very briefly, four principal parallels. first, a strong historical parallel. both have been the graveyard of the employers. -- of the empires. the a number -- and vietnam fought off the french, the chinese. in afghanistan, there was the hegemony of alexander the great. soviet union in the 1980's, and now the u.s. is trying to establish order there. secondly, there is a comparison between the nature of the two governments.
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in vietnam, we never had a reliable partner. we had a series of corrupt governments. it was a despotic regime that must systemically corrupt. here we have president karzai and his brothers who are purported to be one of the biggest drug traffickers in the country. it appears that they have orchestrated, what many would call a fraud in these last elections. and both have a border with a continuous country that provides sanctuary and support to the insurgency. in vietnam, it was the border to north of vietnam, the ho chi minh trail. pakistan provides sanctuary and support, the basis for the
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insurgency. the fourth comparison is the most critical, and that is in the realm of strategy. in vietnam, we advocated a strategy of clear and hold. in afghanistan, it is clear, hold, and build. in vietnam, we focused on strategic population protections. in afghanistan, general mcchrystal is advocating population protection. in vietnam, we decided we needed to wage a classic counterinsurgency to win the hearts and minds of the people. in afghanistan today, general mcchrystal talked about winning the perceptions, the feelings, the allegiance of the afghan people, to win their support to combat the insurgency. so there are some compelling
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parallels, and what president obama must now determine is if the strategy being proposed by general mcchrystal has a real and viable prospect for success. if he believes that is not the case, now is the time to narrow our focus. host: scott on the republican line. washington, d.c. caller: i hate to say this but i respectfully disagree with a lot of your sentiment. i see significant parallels in vietnam, and just from my own military experience -- i was a gulf war vet. my father was in vietnam. my grandfather was a purple heart in vietnam vet.
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in political science class as, we look at the situation there. i think what we are missing here is the outcome, the vacuum that occurred when we ran that war from washington. that was the biggest mistake we made. and the fact that we were not defeated in vietnam, we defeated ourselves, number one, by allowing the war to be run bureaucratically. number two, the public turned against the war because the media portrayed in inaccurately. the tet offensive was shown as a huge loss to u.s. troops.
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but if you read the other accounts, many people left because of the corruption and brutality that occurred after word. he talks about the tet offensive, and the vietnam war decimated in that attack. -- the vietnamese were decimated in that attack. guest: let me first sight your service in the military. that is important, something that we all respect, but i disagree with the other two propositions of his question. the first being that we actually had a plausible expectation of military victory in vietnam. based on everything that i have studied and read upon the record of the military decision making process, their resources
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requested, forces supplied, i see no basis for that conclusion. i were strategy was always based on one of the expectation, that we could impose such -- to such a disproportionate degree pain, violence against the and the survey, that they would conclude they could not win, and that they would come to the negotiating table and resolve this through a decision that would be terrible -- favorable to the u.s. if you look at the document from 1975, this was the stated expectation in all the proposals to escalate in vietnam. that was never a plausible outcome and we never reached a point where we're going to break the will of the north of
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vietnamese and viet cong in the south. they had a phenomenally committed brazilian and drive to unify their country. i fully believe they would have fought until last man standing. there was never a point where they were going to capitulate. even the enemy had, at the acme of the american commitment, they were experiencing losses that were, per capita, 100 to 1, with the u.s. was experiencing. so i do not agree with that premise. the second premise that the media somehow lost the war. we had known for years that we had an enormous number of troops on the ground, and in essence, the generals were given all of the numbers they were requesting. the media did not lose the war.
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there was not a war that could have been one. -- been won. host: our guest is the author of "lessons in disaster." i want to show you the most recent cover of "time magazine." as we continue to take your phone calls, we will share some of those pictures with you. next phone call. kim on the independent line. caller: i have a question. how are we treating inequality equally? what i mean by that is, in traditional war, the enemy is very easily determined because they had uniforms on. it seems we have put our troops in a situation where they cannot even identified the enemy. these people can go into a shop,
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pretend like they are shopping for groceries, and kill everyone. back in the day come in the u.s., when black people were fighting against the kkk, the only difference now is they have taken off their hoods. guest: i think that is an excellent point, one of things in this conflict that is the most tangible. to your point, let's look at one thing that demonstrates how passionately people respond to the presence of u.s. forces on the ground. in 2005, there were less than 10 suicide bombing attacks in afghanistan.
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in 2008, there were approximately 150. this is just one metric that demonstrates the theory can reach of the american presence there. i do not mean to suggest that american forces are turning all afghanis against our cause. clearly, that is not the case. that preponderant of the population there is sympathetic to the american goal of bringing stability to the country. yet, this rise in suicide bombers underscores happens in a protracted counterinsurgency scenario in which disaffected and angry recruits are produced from a very fluid situation of political instability and violence. to your point about our ability
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to identify friend from foe, is problematic because it seems to change from month to month, week to week. that is why general mcchrystal has made his proposal for an enlarged american presence there because he wants to reinforce the security situation with boots on the ground. we are in a conflict where we can not necessarily identify who the opposition is because it is so fluid in its nature. host: a couple of more phone calls. fayetteville, north carolina. grady. caller: i am a vietnam veteran. i am concerned about where we are going with these wars. we keep saying we are going to win these wars, no one wins.
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they just continue, some side. -- subside. the reason we are in iraq is because of american dollars. we are paying their police and politicians. they all shall servants. -- civil servants. while in the u.s. we do not have ñqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq >> washington journal live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. we are leaving this recorded sellingment and taking you live to the white house. >> the president said counterterrorism center today we are making real progress in our core mission. which is almost exactly what he said back in march when he announced the
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afghanistan-pakistan strategy. i'm wondering, is this a strategy review that's going on and all looking at what the mission is? why the u.s. is still in afghanistan? or is he saying the mission's clear, it's just a matter how we go about it that's under review? >> we talked yesterday and i said i think pretty clearly that leaving afghanistan isn't an option. what the president laid out in march as you mentioned, was a strategy that is focused not just on afghanistan but also on pakistan. we know and our first and foremost the president's -- what's on the president's mind are those that attacked us on september 11, 2001. those that have through global net of al qaeda have the intent and actively planning to do so
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again. all of that is part of what is being evaluated, where we are, the progress that has been made in dealing with those different entities. and the groups that are involved. all that's going into, i think tomorrow's meeting focuses almost primarily on pakistan. >> when you say all that's being looked at, is the mission itself set and consistent? or is that -- >> the mission of disrupting, dismantling, and ultimately destroying al qaeda and its extremist allies, that's the focus of why we are there and what we are trying to accomplish. i think the president used today's important visit to highlight the role that many individuals play in coordinating intelligence that we get here in the united states. that help to disrupt potential attacks as we have seen over the past many weeks.
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>> can you elaborate a bit about what the president wants to accomplish specifically with the meeting with lawmakers today? >> i think the meeting will start off with the president laying out where we are in the review, in the process moving forward. and open it up to a q and a with members of congress. i think you-all have a list of those that have been invited. obviously the president as i have said repeatedly, and he has, too, the president wants to hear from all of those that are involved in decisions about protecting our homeland, keeping our country safe, as well as the deployment of our men and women in uniform. obviously congress plays an important and significant role in that. and this is part of talking to them about this process. >> is that a process the president thinks did not happen adequately under president bush with the war in iraq?
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is this something he's trying to change? >> bringing congress in? hard for me to grade that. i know the president believes it's -- this president believes it's tremendously important to seek that input. democrat and republican, house and senate, as we move forward. that's the intent of the meeting today. >> i'm wondering if you can talk about what the role he sees for congress in this -- president bush definitely saw the executive branch as having the lead role in deciding how many troops were going and he would consult with congress. does president obama take a different approach? >> obviously there are different roles. one is the role of commander in chief. another obviously that is the role of -- through the
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appropriations process particularly in the resource that is are needed to move forward. i think obviously that's an extremely important role. you can't do one without the other. that's i think -- part of what -- i doubt they'll get into specific appropriations, but the strategy that would ultimately surround the need for resources for congress. >> there is growing skepticism as you know among many democrats about a troop increase for afghanistan. how important is that going to be in his decisionmaking process? >> again, as i have said, the president hopes to and will hear from many across the political spectrum throughout this process. the decision he makes will be what he believes is in the best interest of this country and those that serve in uniform in protecting us.
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this is not a political debate or -- >> leaving afghanistan is not an option? it's reducing the number of troops an option? >> i'm not going to get -- there's been this notion about whether there was a debate about everybody going home. as late as this weekend there were questions about that on some of the news shows. i think it's important to dispense with as the president did in the very beginning of our second meeting last week in the situation room with that notion. >> in terms of the differences with the bush administration how they approached iraq, back in the campaign the president was pretty critical of president bush. in march of 2008, talked about general shinseki for example and how senator obama said, quote, at the beginning of the conflict there were generals that said it will require more troops. it will cost much more. those generals were pushed aside. if this president doesn't listen
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to general mcchrystal, is he pushing the general aside? >> i appreciate the opportunity to dangle in the hypotheticals, but there is a robust process that we have discussed, i discussed some with you yesterday. >> you should listen to the commanders, why doesn't he listen to the commanders now? >> i'm not going to get into hypotheticals. i appreciate you fast forwarded through the decisionmaking process, we are going to focus on that process and getting it right. i'm just not going to get into hypotheticals. >> why is the president skipping the meeting this week with the dalai lama? in the campaign the president looked forward to meeting with the dalai lama. is the president concerned about china? >> we are concerned about the people in tibet and the chinese. the statement that the dalai lama and his supporters put out yesterday were fully in support of a meeting that will take place later in the year. they understand the strong relationship -- the stronger relationship we have with china then benefits the tibetan people.
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i saw something that said a meeting had been postponed. that's simply inaccurate. >> with the economy in terms of your reports today saying -- >> we just did a quick thing on that. >> that's quick. if the president talked about saving our creating three million new jobs with the stimulus, if you're now talking about new programs to -- for job creation, are you acknowledging that the first stimulus did not create or save those jobs? >> no. i think if you look -- understand the parameters that we talked about, which you just accurately quoted, are based on recovery plan that congress enacted in the milled of february and we had implemented. understanding the recession didn't start in mid february. we didn't start losing jobs january 21. the job loss goes back to, if i'm not mistaken looking at the graph in my head, i think it's
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december of 2007. just as i said yesterday, yesterday's answer that the recovery plan was not intended to dollar for dollar fill the gap or the hold that was created in the downturn in our economy which i think we said was about a $2 trillion gap, three million jobs does not exceed the number that have been lost as a result of this recession going back to december of 2007. >> two quick questions. first one back to afghanistan, does the president think epidemic secretary gates said that this discussion should be candid. but it should also be happening privately. does the president think this is happening too publically, this military debate? >> i'm not going to get into the way of parsing generals or secretaries of defense. i appreciate the repeated opportunity to do so. the president set up a process
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and we are going through that. >> back outside the white house yesterday, she chained herself to the north lawn gate. today she's back and she said she's moving to washington. she's going to be out there until her complaints are addressed. is the president or anyone from the white house going to meet with any of these protestors? >> not that i'm aware of. > tea beginning of the second meeting last week's meeting, the president put to rest the idea of leaving afghanistan. was he saying something new when he said that? >> to you, maybe, but not to us. >> i just want to make sure. you're not suggesting that he was make agnew policy, state agnew policy. >> no. stating a new policy, state a new policy. >> no. >> why did he make that clear? >> it was. it wasn't reflected in all the coverage. as i said -- as i said the reason i remeeted -- repeated it yesterday there were
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hypotheticals set up on the news shows on sunday that assumed one spectrum of this was everybody leaving afghanistan. that's simply just not the case. >> i was struck by the fact you said he made that clear in the meeting when i think -- >> i think he set up the parameters of -- that if you see people out there talking as if the decision is on one end everybody leaving afghanistan, that's not the case. >> tomorrow's number three meeting, is it the same cast? >> i don't know if there are any additions. we will try to put in the guidance tonight if there are any additions. i assume most of -- i don't know if there's anybody that's being added as a result of pakistan in particular. but my sense is that the people that were in there last week will largely comprise the people that will be in there this week. >> did the president give any marching orders of what he
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wanted people to do between these two meetings to prepare for the third? is there any specific agenda? >> i don't have the agenda with me. this one will focus on pakistan. without getting into detail, yeah, the president was -- president and many that were staffing the meeting understood what needed to be prepared for this one. >> homework in the meantime? >> i think it's safe to say that this has resulted in work that didn't necessarily fall in the confines of a 9:00 to 5:00 workday. >> anything in particular? >> just the larger focus. >> are we nation building in afghanistan? or is that part of what's in the strategic review, make the decision whether we should be involved in rebuilding? >> like i said there is a larger assessment going on about moving forward in afghanistan. >> nation building part of that? >> i'll let the process work and
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the president speak for what decisions are made. >> following congress' role, if -- beside the funding role, would the white house be opened to letting congress express its opinion about whether to send more troops? >> i'm not sure they are looking for permission from to us do something like that. >> congress, you wouldn't necessarily go to congress to ask for more troops? >> you have to in terms of funding. i don't know -- what i meant in my original response was, i don't know if you meant some resolution before some decision. i don't have any opinion on that. >> when you expect that you're going to have to go before congress, would you ask for a supplemental? >> at some point when a decision is made, but i don't have a timeline on funding. >> we are missing another deadline on health care, senate finance committee, supposed to be last week, no, on tuesday. then we are hearing wednesday. now it doesn't look like you are
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going to get a bill at all this week. are you guys frustrated with how long max is taking to finish the markup? >> the committee -- i think i got a question last week are we rushing? it's interesting. good to know that leaves aren't the only thing changing. i think the committee believes they are making progress. and i think whether it's wednesday or -- >> they voted on the markup. >> they are waiting for, as i understand it, they are waiting for c.b.o. estimates from members -- >> why hold off? >> better question for senator baucus. >> if last week's meeting was on -- basically an assessment of the situation and back stand is the focus tomorrow, does that mean -- when do you tackle that thorny issue? >> i'm not -- we spent three
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hours last week troop levels didn't come up. i don't know if that's friday or that's sometime the week after. >> on health care, senator reid has a big -- some big decisions because he's going to put together the bill that actually goes to the floor of the senate. i'd like to know when -- what role the white house sees itself playing in helping to put together the bill that actually goes to the senate floor? and do you want to see a public option on the bill that's on the senate floor? >> we have played the public option game each of the last many days. obviously senator reid as the leader of the senate going to make decisions that merge two pieces of legislation in conjunction with members on both committees that have been working on this legislation. and i assume that -- they'll ask the white house for varying
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opinions on different issues. this is something that senator reid will -- >> can you give us an idea who is up there now from the white house? who is consulting them? >> i don't have any knowledge of who is up there now. i don't assume it's any different than the people that have been working on health care starting last february. >> can you say what the reason is that the president won't meet with the dalai lama until a later time? is he worried about your entertaining chinese leaders before his visit? >> there was an agreement to do this later in the year and that's what's going to happen. >> is he worried he might be seen kowtowing to chinese leaders by not meeting with the dalai lama on the forthcoming visit? >> as i said it's important the tea beten -- tibetan people know our strong relationship with china helps them.
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i think this was mutually agreed upon. it's what's going to happen. our relationship with china having a strong relationship and a good dialogue with them allows us to talk to them about the cares and concerns of the tibetan people. i believe we have mentioned human rights in meeting with the chinese, yes. >> what does meeting with the dalai lama later have to do with a strong relationship with china? i don't understand it. >> what i'm saying simply is that you can't -- you-all are assuming if you meet with one first or one later that sets up some sort of sequencing that believes you can't meet with both on a certain timeline. >> that's your decision. >> it was our decision. it was mutually agreed upon. it is based on your questioning. >> back to stimulus.
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the white house is supporting an extension of jobless benefits, is that correct? >> will i say i don't know the particulars being discussed in congress in terms of each of the proposals. obviously we are going to get to a point at which some extension legislatively has to be entered into, yes. >> the white house will be backing that? >> we would support making sure that safety net policies continue to be in place, yes. >> what about an extension of the first-time tax crede snit >> i think that's something the policy team is working through. >> will the white house be offering a package of stimulus measures before the president leaves for singapore? or are you going to wait for congress to come up with them and you'll simply say yes. >> i'm sorry? >> will the white house propose a package or are you going to let congress do it? >> are you talking about the
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safety net stuff? i think we have been working with congress for quite some time on this. i don't know which comes first, but we are working in conjunction with, and i think there's bipartisan agreement to extend safety net to ensure that those that have followed on hard times and lost their job have the benefits they need to provide for their families. >> wall street was up to 126 points at the beginning of this briefing here. partly on the talk of stimulus. i thought maybe you might have more to say whether the white house might offer something. >> i don't know the correlation between what i might say and what the stock market may do. i think it's best to leave that unsaid. >> today the national counterterrorism center president obama did not mention the word afghanistan. why is that? >> i think the president mentioned regions of the world
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that threaten this country. i think we talked about, and i have the list in front of me, but the horn of africa. different places in asia, southeast asia. i don't think the point wasn't geography mentioned each and every country around the world. instead to focus on ensuring that we keep the fight on al qaeda's global network. that we take on al qaeda and its extremist allies. most importantly we thank the men and women that work there each day that help keep our country safe and coordinate the type of intelligence we need to disrupt the active planning of the al qaeda global network in attacking us. >> is there a concern here that afghanistan could once again become a safe haven for al qaeda? >> obviously that's part of what's being discussed.
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understanding that most of if not almost all of the group of people that attacked us through al qaeda on 9/11 and is planning through intent actively planning and intending to try to attack us have intelligence. mostly are now in the country of pakistan. >> today on the hill there is a hearing being held examining the history and legality of executive branch czars. your thoughts on that title for a hearing and any reaction to a hearing being held on that? >> well, i don't know if they are -- i don't know if senator feingold's calling franklin roosevelt to be a witness on the -- i forget the lofty scholarly title of said hearing. i would assume that congress and
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senator feingold have more weighty topics to grapple with than something like this. >> referring to congress and afghanistan that this is not a political debate. but there is a lot of politics surrounding it on capitol hill. >> what i'm saying is the president isn't making his decision based on politics. certainly not suggesting that -- obviously the debate is within congress and inherent in that is a political debate. the president isn't making -- his decision based on politics but instead on what is best for this country. >> what is the white house's understanding of the politics of this on capitol hill? how could you think -- do you think that will affect the president's decision? >> i think we'll get a good receiptout of some of that this afternoon. i think you've got -- my sense
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is you've got many different opinions encompassed in 535 members of the house and senate. that probably span a full range of options. again, the president will -- the meeting today deals primarily with the bicameral, bipartisan leadership and then the ranking, the chairs and rms of the -- ranking members of many of the relevant appropriations and oversight committees that would deal with this. and the president looks forward to hearing their viewpoints. again as varying as i assume they may be. >> a quick follow-up. in general, though, you have a republican congressional leaders much more supportive of an expanded war effort along the line of what general mcchrystal has outlined.
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democrats far more skeptical. particularly on the question of combat troops. how does that affect the way the president thinks about this or how might it affect his process? >> the president's focus is on ensuring we have the very best strategy going forward for this very important yet dangerous region in the world. we are focused on getting that right. not about who is for and -- who is for, who is against what, but focusing on how to get -- >> it will matter at some point. >> it will. obviously whatever decision is made the president will talk about and talk probably again to members of congress who have equities. >> in the "meet the press" interview he did a couple weeks ago, the president stepped back a little bit and explained or said there was a need to explain the reason that america was in
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afghanistan because 3,000 americans were killed in al qaeda. it just strikes me as odd he did not mention afghanistan again today. follow-up to mike's question, are we really to believe that it was an accident that it wasn't mentioned at all? or that afghanistan was not mentioned? because -- >> that wouldn't come up today? >> is afghanistan -- >> that seems somewhat unlikely. >> just a couple weeks ago it seemed like he was saying we need to refocus on afghanistan. >> i have to go -- i don't recall right offhand what he said in that transcript. >> he said we know that al qaeda and its extremist allies threaten us from different corners of the globe from pakistan. it sounds like they intentionally left the word afghanistan out. i assume because they do not believe that we are threatened by al qaeda in afghanistan. >> i just mentioned that -- i did just mention that if you
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look at those that attacked us on 9/11, based on our going into afghanistan eight years ago tomorrow, -- tomorrow, those are going into a different region of afghanistan. >> how many al qaeda members? one senator said less than 100 in afghanistan. is that a fair -- >> won't get into the intelligence, but i wouldn't know how to dispute something like that. >> i yield to cbs. >> you guys are polling partners. one more? >> no. >> thank you. >> the gentleman yields back the remainder of his time. >> the administration is spending billions on the war in afghanistan. couldn't the administration find a few million to help the schoolteachers be rehired in the district of columbia? have you spoken to them? >> i don't know what the story
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is. i assume that different entities have gotten recovery money. i know throughout the country recovery money that has gone to states and localities has helped to keep teachers, to keep police, and keep firefighters on the job. i don't know the specific instance what you're talking about. >> one more quick one, cbs and the other members had some really good features on afghanistan. do you know if the president -- he doesn't pay me to say this. i'm not saying anything about david letterman. >> he doesn't appear to be focused on afghanistan. >> seriously. do you know if the president sees any of these features and are influenced in any way by them? >> dare i say i watch the news every night. i don't know what the president -- i don't know whether the president has seen the reporting from there on cbs or from other networks. >> has the president ever
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afforded the possibility of peace talking to al qaeda and to the -- has there been any contacts since you have so much intelligence? >> i don't know think al qaeda looks to talk with us. i think al qaeda has the intent and is actively -- >> the same idea about vietnam. >> i can't speak to the intelligence around vietnam. i don't think that al qaeda and the global network that have taken part in the very heinous acts that we have seen over the course of many years is intent on talking. i think as the president said in his inaugural, they are intent on blowing things up and this world is not going to be judged by -- >> at some point you reach -- i never hear the word peace here.
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>> i'm not sure that you're ever going to hear the word peace and al qaeda in the same sentence because i'm positive based on the intelligence that that's not what al qaeda's mission is. >> one other question is there are several columns today sailing the -- saying the president just doesn't get it in terms of unemployment and afghanistan. and so forth. what's your response? >> isn't america great where everyone can have an opinion? often wrong but never in doubt is a great slogan. >> the president's predecessor not only went to capitol hill and appeared with the dalai lama and spoke honoring him, the president -- >> i think that was -- if i'm not mistaken wasn't that a congressional medal awarded to him? >> yeah. and the president spoke at it. and the president also -- former president also went to beijing for the olympics saying he
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wanted to show respect. can you explain again why president obama feels that a meeting now with the dalai lama would either complicate or in some other way injure president obama's relations to china? >> i'm simply saying in discussion was them we agreed -- the dalai lama and his staff, that a meeting would be had later in the year. >> what i'm asking the reason being -- >> the time in which both parties thought it would be the best time to meet. >> yesterday secretary gates said the reality is that because of our inability to put enough troops into afghanistan the taliban do have the momentum right now. sounding like he thinks there is not enough troops there. i'm wondering -- >> i don't want to parse secretary gates' words, but he's
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talking about a request that sat on the table a long time previously. we added 21,000 troops to afghanistan through an effort earlier this year in march. >> are you saying he was referring -- >> that's the way i read it. if you are looking for a response to that, jeff is over at the pentagon. >> one other quick question on health care. less than 10 days from now senator reid has to decide on whether he goes for reconciliation or not. goes for 60-vote strategy or 51. do you have any sense in terms of how the debate is going which makes the most sense? >> i don't have any opinion on that except to reiterate that we are working through the process in the fifth committee of jurisdiction and the senate will merge these two pieces of legislation and head to the floor. >> there's been another report, this one in politico, previously in the "wall street journal,"
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that greg craig is preparing to leaving as the president's counsel. does he still have the president's confidence? >> i answered this last week when that report was asked me by the group representing the institution that wrote in it. i said he was and i had said he had been in the oval office earlier that day speaking to the president about guantanamo. greg craig is in the president's office every day as part of a small group of senior advisors that meet with him daily. that will happen at 4:30 this afternoon. >> does the president still have confidence in the timetable on guantanamo bay? >> we went through that i think we are making progress on ensuring that once and for all guantanamo bay is closed. >> it's been emphasized republican elected officials outside washington who support health care reform.
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does the white house believe that the republicans on capitol hill are out of step in some way with republicans in the rest of the country? or republican elected officials outside the beltway? >> i think if you -- if the intent or desire of republicans in washington and on capitol hill as it relates to health care is something i'll let them answer. as i mentioned before the person that they chose earlier in the year to speak to the nation has actively encouraged the republicans in washington and on capitol hill to put forward an alternative, something that thus far their leaders have said repeatedly isn't and won't happen. i think that shows they are wildly out of step with their constituents who want something to happen on health care this year. i would mention obviously you've got whether it's mayor
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bloomberg, whether it's governor schwarzenegger, whether it's former h.h.s. secretary and governor tommy thompson, there are people that have been outside of the cocoon of washington dealing with rising health care costs, what it does to state and local governments, what it does to families, and what it does to small businesses that are actively encouraging the process that's working to take place. i think it would be a good message -- i hope that republicans in washington hear the message of republicans all over the country that it's time to come in off the sidelines and actively get involved in making some serious progress on health care reform this year. yes, sir. >> you said a couple times, politics is not part of the decision on afghanistan. two questions, one, does american public opinion weigh into the decision at all? and the idea of having sustained public support for the war.
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and secondly, have you done any polling through the d.n.c. or anywhere else on this question? >> the second one, not that i'm aware of. on the first one, in terms of the role that public opinion would play, obviously the president sees where different opinions are based on polling that you guys do. but the president's going to make a decision popular or unpopular based on what he thinks is in the best interest of the country. i think if you look back over the course of the last eight to nine months, i don't think you would say that the decisions -- every decision we made was based on where a majority or great majority of the people were in this country. but the president has made decisions that he thinks whether it's on the domestic issues, whether it's on the economy, or whether it comes to our way
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forward in iraq -- i'm soarry, afghanistan, that he's doing what's in the best interest of the country. >> don't you need public support if you are talking about a long-range commitment of troops? >> i think that again whatever decision the president makes with his team, i think explaining and talking that through with the american people will certainly obviously be an important step in this process. >> can you tell us what message the vice presidentle is going to come to the czech republic on missile defense. is this a minimum wageor control mission? >> the vice president is somebody who has long relationships throughout -- -- throughout europe, they are important allies of ours. heal continue those relationships and meet with them on his upcoming trip. most of you now have covered
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statements by those governments that reflect afghanistan understanding what we were actually deciding and what we were implementing a missile defense system that protects a greater geographic area and addresses much more directly the threat that exists in the here and now rather than something that was technologically a ways off. i have no doubt the issue will come up and i think the vice president will be very comfortable as our allies in the decision we make. >> then candidate barack obama warned or tell the american public about the levels of engagement the u.s. military will be involved in in afghanistan when he was running for president. >> i don't think anybody in this country whether they were listening to candidate barack
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obama or anybody over the past seven or almost eight years has been misinformed as to the sacrifice that our men and women in uniform were making or what it was going to take in dealing with the very difficult part of the world. >> some people are saying he made a point to stress we would pull out of iraq. but it was somewhat omitted about the engagement in afghanistan. >> the president -- i remember a speech quite clearly where the president talked very specifically about afghanistan and pakistan and was criticized on both sliles -- sides of the aisle. i spent a lot of time with the president over the course of two years flying around the country. he almost always talked about the need to add forces that were added -- that exceeded the number -- we exceeded the number
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added in march what he called for in the campaign. this wasn't something that the president ever -- >> can you talk about chicago tomorrow. >> i don't have any more information other than -- or schedule for secretary duncan or secretary -- attorney general holder. i would -- >> any policy? >> not that i'm aware of, no. thanks. .
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wisdom and that of all about me
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seemed insufficient for that day. we pray for the wizz of those about him. may they know your grace is sufficient for this day. we pray for the members of the house of representatives, their staff and their families we ask that they be men and women of strong character with sound morality and people of principle who share a strong vision of a godly nation with a bright future. we pray that our leaders will lead with compassion and love and be forever aware of their huge responsibility to the people of this nation and of their greater responsibility to you. we ask your watchful care over our men and women in uniform, especially those in harm's way and their families. and please, god, bless america.
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amen. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house her approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentlewoman from minnesota, congresswoman mccollum. ms. mccollum: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. . the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from texas, congressman carter, is recognized for one minute. mr. carter: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to talk about my friend and the leader of the prayer here in the house of
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representatives today, greg shannaf. he works for me as my regional director and my liaison to fort hood. he retired from the united states army as the chief of chaplains in fort hood, texas, which is the largest military installation. he started off his life as a -- in the army as an enlisted man. he ended up in his career as a special forces sergeant. then the lord called him and after going back to school and becoming a minister, he served 28 years in the united states army as a chaplain. that totals 30 years of active duty as a soldier for the united states. . he's worked for me for five years, almost five years.
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greg ask a family man. he's got a beautiful wife and wonderful kids, melissa, sara, allison, amy, james, and samantha. his hobbies are golf and grandchildren of which he has four. and he has just recently, in fact within the last six weeks, he has decided to start another church and come out of retirement and become a full-time builder of a church that he started a church in bell county, known as faith fellowship. i went to the first service that he performed as pastor and he did a pretty darn good job. he's a loved member of our community. and i'm proud to call him my friend. and i thank you, madam speaker. for indulging us this time. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of
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representatives. madam, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on october 5, 2009, at 9:37 a.m. that the senate agreed to, senate concurrent resolution 42, senate concurrent resolution 43. with best wishes i am, signed, sincerely, lorraine c. miller, clerk of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. madam, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on october 6, 2009, at 9:42 a.m. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 3663. that the senate passed senate 251. that the senate agreed to
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without amendment house concurrent resolution 178. with best wishes i am, signed, sincerely, lorraine c. miller, clerk of the house. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 4 of rule 1, the following enrolled bill was signed by the speaker on friday, october 2, 2009. the clerk: senate 1707, to authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2010 through 2014 to promote and enhance strategic partnerpship with pakistan and its people, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to section 4 of the ronald reagan centennial commission act of 2009, p.l. 111-25 and the order of the house of january 6, 2009, the chair announces the speaker's appointment of the following members of the house to the ronald reagan centennial commission. the clerk: mr. foster of illinois and mr. moore of kansas.
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the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following enrolled bill. the speaker pro tempore: -- the clerk: h.r. 2498, an act to designate the federal building located at 844 north rush street in chicago, illinois, as the william o. lipinski federal building. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from minnesota rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> madam speaker, last week i introduced legislation to cut off federal dollars from corporation that is are convicted of felonies. presently corporate crooks are allowed to continue to receive taxpayer dollars and that's wrong. i urge my colleagues, republicans and democrats, to co-sponsor h.r. 36789, the
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acorn act. the act is against corporations organizing to rip off the nation act of 2009. and then waste, fraud, and abuse, the billions of taxpayers dollars. last month congress took action to defund nonprofits serving america. but it failed to act against the corporate crooks that are actually guilty of felonies, including defrauding taxpayers. why are companies that break the laws as a business strategy allowed to receive taxpayer funds? a government contract is a privilege not a right. and if a company commits a felony against the people of the united states, then that privilege must end. it is time that congress get serious and ends taxpayer funding of corporate cheats, crooks, and criminals. i urge support of h.r. 3679. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. wilson: i ask permission to address the house for one
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minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. wilson: madam speaker, the american people are not in favor of a government takeover of their health care. they have a real and legitimate concern about giving washington power over something so personal. the american people are not just concerned about big government intrusion, they are concerned that the government has already grown too big, too powerful, and too costly. senior citizens will be squeezed. and the national federation of independent business, the voice of small business, warns 1.6 million jobs will be lost. there remains a massive and growing debt. threatening to devalue the dollar as it is kicked to future generations. we must not sacrifice another part of our society to the control of government. let's pursue targeted reforms to make health insurance portable, affordable, and available across state lines for families and small businesses regardless of pre-existing conditions. in conclusion, god bless our troops. we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. poe: request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. poe: madam speaker, "the new york times" has again lost touch with reality. in its latest immigration related editorial, it actually refers to illegal immigrants as, would-be americans. never mind many illegals don't want to be americans but want the benefits of being here. what an insult to the mlts of jobless u.s. citizens and legal immigrant workers in our country. and the millions of would-be legal immigrants who don't violate the law who come here. the "times" and its elitist mentality suggest it is wrong to fire 1,800 illegal workers in the united states. "the times forgot" it's wrong for the company to hire 1 d.c. 800 illegal immigrants in the first place. and it's wrong the government did not arrest and deport them and arrest the employer. taking 1,800 illegal workers
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out of the work force opens jobs for citizens and legal immigrants as we have seen before. apparently "the new york times" cares more about illegal immigrants who violate the law than unemployed american workers who are looking for jobs. that's the just way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. smith: unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. smith: madam speaker, by overwhelming margins americans say they do not trust the national media and that the media are too liberal, according to a new gallup poll. gallup found just one in 10 americans have a "great deal of confidence in the media to report the news fairly, accurately, and fairly." by margin of 3-1, americans said the media are too liberal rather than too conservative. even most democrats describe the media as too liberal rather
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than too conservative. this is the third poll released in the last month that has found americans don't trust the media. the national media should recognize americans' distrust and report the facts not tell them what to think. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california, mr. lungren, rise? mr. lungren: to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. lungren: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, what happened to august? august seemed to have been lost in the democratic caucus. august seems to have been lost with the democratic leadership. august seems to have been wiped out at the white house. if you listen to the discussions taking place now about the health care bill that may be presented to us, there's something left out. it's the voice of the people that we heard in august. they told us loud and clearly they did not want a public option. they told us loudly and clearly
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they didn't want a democratic plan. they didn't want a republican plan. no, madam speaker, they want an american plan. one that we can all rally around. one that takes into consideration what they told us in august, what they told us in september, and what they are telling us in october. this is the u.s. house of representatives. let us represent the people of america. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas, mr. boozman, rise? mr. boozman: ask mer -- permission to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. boozman: thank you very much, madam speaker. i rise today to express my gratitude for pastor dr. robert cowan and the congregation of the first baptist church in arkansas for the wonderful work they are doing spreading the good news of the gospel. this past sunday i had the pleasure of attending a service at the church and honor the sacrifice, service, and
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celebration of the homecoming of staff sergeant eric cowan serving in the army for the past six years, eric was on his second tour in iraq when he was injured by an i.e.d. explosion in baghdad in june. now he is undergoing rehabilitation at brook army medical center in san antonio and in good spirits and on the road to recovery. eric's representative of so many american sold horse have served this country honorably, stepping up to protect its citizens and people all around the world. i'm grateful for the sacrifice of eric and all of our troops are making every day and for the hardships that they as well as their families face. i wish eric and his wife the best of luck in the future. are you a true american hero. i ask my colleagues to keep eric in their hearts and minds as he goes through rehabilitation and all of our
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american troops in their thoughts and prayers. i yield back the balance of my time. . for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia, mr. gingrey, rise? mr. gingrey: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. gingrey: it got even better because yesterday apparently was free white coat day at the white house. look at this photo. the administration is giving out the white coats. madam speaker, the free white coats were for president obama's publicity stunt with a handful of medical professionals where he touted doctor supporters of the health care plan. as a practicing physician for over 30 years, i can tell you that the majority of physicians in this country are for health care reform, just not the government-run reform that he prefers. i wish he would have taken the time to talk to the thousands of physicians that traveled washington or to the many of
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those that attended the town hall meetings this august. or even the 12 physicians in this house who contacted him about a meeting to share their concerns. madam speaker, maybe my white coat will get his attention. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on the motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. record votes on postponed questions will be taken after 6:30 p.m. today. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? mr. polis: madam speaker, i ask that the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 707 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 707, resolution expressing
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support for designation of the week of september 13, 2009, as adult education and family literacy week. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis, and the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. petri, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: thank you, madam speaker. i request five legislative days during which members may revise and extend and insert extraneous material on house resolution 707 into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. polis: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. polis: madam speaker, i rise today in support of house resolution 707, a bill that supports the designation of the week of october 18 as adult education and family literacy week. adult education and family literacy programs provide millions of americans with the skills they need to lead productive lives, boost their
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academic achievements and engage in the work force and earn a living. adult education and family literacy week recognizes the impact that adult education and family literacy programs have on our nation's adult learners and their families in the next generation. according to the national assessment of adult literacy, there are approximately 90 million adults nationwide who lack the literacy skills to reach their full potential. approximately 30 million of these individuals are at the lowest rudimentary levels of literacy. adult programs help these individuals to help them gain and retain jobs, transition to postsecondary or training program, read to their own children and fully participate in their own education and obtain the english language skills necessary to succeed in their new home country. thee emphasize basic skills such as reading, writing, math, english, language competency and problem solving techniques. it's important to recognize that the supply of adult education and family literacy
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services lags significantly behind the growing demand. in my own state of colorado, an estimated 585,000 adults, about 18% of the state's population over 16 years of age, has not obtained a high school diploma equivalent. yet in 2007 and 2008 adult literacy programs have provided slots for less than 15,000 individuals. 79% of whom were between the ages of 19 and 44. more than half of the participants were unemployed, and more than 2-3 that were served were latino. at over 100 sites around the state, our critical programs provide adult basic education, adult secondary education to colorado's most in need population. helping adult learners and their families to break the cycle of ill literacy and move toward self-sufficiency. in the 2007-2008 school year,
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2,500 students earned their high school diploma or g.e.d. and almost 10,000 adults received english as a second language certificate. they help break cycles of ill literacy and poverty in places of our most vulnerable families. most importantly, they provide the parents to be their child's teacher and role model and to be full participants in their child's education. for children, they help ensure that they start school ready to learn and on an equal footing with their peers. in colorado's second congressional district, which i have the honor of serving, the boulder family literacy program operates a high-quality adult and family literacy program for low-level literacy tult learners and limited english speakers, both adult and children. 160 learners and families attend the program together.
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interacting in literacy activities as they learn. parents participate in english classes or g.e.d. preparation and learn more about what the public school system offers and how best to support their child. schoolchildren receive home work tutoring and enrichment and preschoolchildren learn the skills they need to start their formal education. also, in my district, the colorado mountain college have several satellite campuses serving 2,300 students. most of their learners are e.s.l. students and they hope to provide them with a pathway to college. these programs improve adult lives by helping them provide a basic yet strong understanding of the english language. these skills lead to job readiness, higher education and successful outcomes in life. furthermore, adult literacy contributes to self-sufficiency for adults and families across the nation. again, i want to express my strong support for this resolution. i urge my colleagues to endorse this measure by voting yes, and
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i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserve. mr. petri. the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized. mr. petri: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise today in support of the resolution before us, house resolution 707, expressing support for the designation of adult education and family literacy week. according to a june, 2008, report of the national commission on adult literacy, among the 30 oecd free market countries, the u.s. is the only nation where young adults are less educated than the previous generation. in the current u.s. labor force, more and more workers are required to have at least some postsecondary education or occupational training. by one set of measures, more than 88 million adults have at least one major educational barrier. no high school diploma, no college or english as a second
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language needs degree. because of these educational barriers, a number of working age adults may fall behind in their efforts to get higher waged jobs or qualify for the college courses or job training that will help them advance in their current jobs. studies also show that two important factors that influence student achievements are a mother's educational level and poverty in the home. parents in family literacy programs may become more involved in their children's education and get the tools necessary to get a job or find better employment. the national assessment of adult literacy reports that 90 million adults lack the literacy, numerousy or english language skills to succeed at home, in the workplace and in society. by designating an adult education family literacy week, we can encourage people across
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the united states to support programs to assist those in need of adult education and family literacy programs. i stand in support of designating national adult education and family literacy week in order to raise public awareness about the importance of adult education and of family literacy. i ask my colleagues to support this and i yield such time as she may consume to my colleague from tennessee, marsha blackburn. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: madam speaker, i do rise in support of adult education and family literacy week. i'd like to quote one of my predecessors, a former member from tennessee who while often my friends -- like my friends from texas like to claim him as theirs, i think he was ours first, and that is sam houston. congressman houston said the benefits of education and of useful knowledge generally diffuse through a community are
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essential to the preservation of a free government. this week it is our opportunity to enhance the preservation of that liberty by turning a very careful eye to adult education and family literacy. as i have before in this chamber, i'd like to highlight the accomplishments of my friend and constituent, gretchen wilson. gretchen was one of 43 million american adults who had not completed high school. inspired by her young daughter, she earned her high school degree later in life. she knew that literacy was more than just knowing how to read and write. after all, she was already a grammy award-winning artist. literacy is also the implementation of that skill which empowers people with worlds of new information. it is the spark that ignites curiousity, and gretchen knew how precious that curiousity
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could be. the children of parents who have not completed high school are far more likely to drop out themselves. indeed, children's literacy levels are strongly linked to the educational levels of their parents. especially to the levels of their mothers. gretchen knew that her education was also her daughter's education. in so many cases like gretchen wilson's, that spark of curiousity has grown into a desire to give back. she, like so many others who have benefited from adult education now work to expand that benefit to others. i'll close by quoting thomas jefferson whose words on the matter are more eloquent than mine could ever be. and he stated, in life, people of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits as the dawn of day. thank you, madam speaker. and i yield back the balance of
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my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: thank you. does the gentleman from wisconsin have any additional speakers? mr. petri: i have no additional speakers and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: thank you. i yield back the balance of my time -- i reserve -- i'm sorry. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 707, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended and the resolution is agreed to, and without objection a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. mr. polis: madam speaker, i that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted.
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a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? mr. polis: i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 167. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 167, resolution expressing the sense of the house of representatives supporting the goals and ideals of campus fire safety month. and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis, and the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. petri, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: pursuant to the -- i'm sorry, madam speaker. i request five legislative days during which members may revise and extend and insert extraneous material into house resolution 167. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. polis: i yield myself such
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time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. polis: madam speaker, i rise today in support of house resolution 167, which supports the goals and ideals of campus fire safety month. madam speaker, college campuses host our students as they study and provide a safe place for them to live as they do so. but all too often were devastate -- we're devastated by tragic events that take place on campuses. the center for campus fire safety report that 29 people have died in student housing fires since january of 2000. almost 80% of the fire fatalities have occurred in offcampus occupies is is. they include lack of automatic sprinklers, disabled smoke alarms, careless disposal of smoking material and alcohol consumption. the death of students, children and factuality members caused by campus fires could have easily been prevented with proper safety technology and appropriate fire safety student training. as recently as 2008, fires on the campuses of ucla and another one resulted in deaths.
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fortunately congress has taken spornt steps to address these occurrences. each higher education institution will publish a report that includes mandatory supervised fire drills, fire training education. the secretary of education will highlight institutions with exemplary fire prevention procedures. . i hopep campuses and students alike will take needed precautions and prevent fires in the fuhr. madam speaker, once again i express my support for national campus fire safety month and thank representative pascrell for bringing this resolution forward. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. petri, is recognized. mr. petri: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise in support of house resolution 167, a measure to express the sense of the house
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of representatives in support of the goals and ideals of campus fire safety month. i'd like to thank my colleagues, representative joe wilson of south carolina and representative bill pascrell of new jersey for working together to introduce this important resolution. as we continue to see the effects of the california wilderness on the news, we are reminded that fires can strike anywhere, any time, and that includes on a college campus. september has been designated as campus fire safety month in an effort to remind college campuses and their communities about the dangers of fires on campus. this month reminds campuses they need to sec czech their fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm, and notification systems and train students and staff in what to do in case of a fire on campus. there have been a number of fire tragedies, some fatal, on college campuses in the past. it's for that reason that congress regularly recognizes
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campus fire safety month. we also included a provision in the higher education opportunity act to ask colleges and universities to report annually on fire safety efforts. the report would include information scutch as -- such as a list of all student housing facilities and whether or not each is equipped with a sprinkler system or other fire safety system. statistics on fires and injuries that occur as a result of the fires. information on various fire safety rules and regulations. and information about training provided to students, faculty, and staff. our nation's college students should be able to live on campus with the confidence that they will be safe in oiler dorms, apartments, or -- in their dorms, apartments, or other housing. this will take a key step toward ensuring greater awareness of this issue. i urge my colleagues to join in supporting this resolution and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time.
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the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: thank you, madam speaker. i would like to recognize the gentleman from new jersey, sponsor of the resolution, mr. pascrell, for as much time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pascrell: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the gentleman from colorado, ranking member. i rise today in strong support of h.r. 167 which recognizes the goals and ideals of the campus fire safety month. we just marked the start of a new school year. for many college students across this great nation. this is an opportunity to teach students about the dangers that fires pose both on and off the campus. and the steps that students can take in order to remain safe and secure. this year over 27 states and
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the united states senate have recognized the importance of campus fire safety month. i am proud that the house will soon join them in bringing awareness to this critical issue. madam speaker, i first became deeply involved in the issue of campus safety after experiencing the aftermath of a catastrophic fire at seton hall university in south orange, new jersey, in 2000. that fire killed three young freshmen, aaron carroll, frank, and john. that fire killed those three young freshmen an it could have been avoided. it wounded and injured 58 other students in a dorm on campus. one of those students who were severely burned came from my city of paterson, new jersey. dana mccain.
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she was a survivor. and the reason why she got burned so severely? she was helping others escape the fire. since that tragedy we have seen thousands of fires rage through campuses and off campuses in our colleges and universities. killing 135 students since january of 2000. many of these deaths could have been prevented through effective fire prevention, education, and awareness. improved building and fire codes and legislation at the local and state federal levels. a key to this is a -- engaging today's college student, making them aware of their personal responsibility. for fire safety and the role they play in protecting themselves, their friends, and roommates. to reinforce this message the theme for this safety month is fire safety is part of living. we are making progress. we passed the campus fire
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safety right to know act. i introduced that with congressman joe wilson. it was signed into law last year. its provisions will soon go into effect nationwide. and i can remember, and mr. wilson can remember, how universities and colleges some of them recalstrants who fought us on this. parents have a right to know what's going on on that campus when their students, when their children apply to that college. whether they take it seriously or they don't take it seriously . we need to require colleges and universities to provide those same students and parents with the report of the school's campus fire safety policies and records. providing a powerful incentive for them to voluntarily upgrade their safety systems and save lives. educating students about fire safety during their time in school will have a strong impact on the choices they make in the future. that is why i'm working on new
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legislation that will provide schools with the resources to develop and deliver new and innovative campus fire safety education programs to their students. on september 17, 2009, the wlaunch of the fifth annual national campus fire safety month was held right here on capitol hill. my brother mr. wilson was there. at that event i met with and spoke to a contingent of people from across the nation, including 20 students from the university of north carolina at chapel hill. parents who had lost children in campus related fires. fire officials and advocates who came together for this launch to discuss the important issues of campus fire safety and the legislation currently moving through the congress. they were led by four national leaders and campus fire safety. including campus fire watch, the congressional fire services institute, the ohio fire safety
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coalition, and the university of north carolina at chapel hill. i want to commend everyone who came to capitol hill and the thousands more around the country who work tirelessly each day to educate our kids, our students, our sons, our daughters. their families, faculty, and staff about the danger of fires on the campuses of our universities and colleges. far too many families have had to suffer the unbearable horror of losing a loved one right at the beginning of a promising life. i will continue to work hard every day to make our colleges safer, secure places for future generations to learn and to grow. with that i yield back. i thank the gentleman from colorado and the speaker. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. petri. mr. petri: i yield such time as he may consume to our colleague from south carolina, mr. joe
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wilson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized. mr. wilson: thank you, madam speaker. thank you for your leadership, mr. petri. i'm very honored to be here. i appreciate the hard work of my long-time friend, bill pascrell, congressman pascrell, of new jersey. his efforts will save lives. i'm also particularly grateful to be here because i know of his hard work of a lifetime of service and that i know his persistence since youth. he and my oldest son's father-in-law were bag boys together at an and ap food store. so i already know what a hardworking person bill pascrell is. truly it is making a difference. i know that those of us in south carolina, particularly appreciate his efforts because our state still mourns the loss of students from the university of south carolina from clemson at the very tragic fire at ocean isle, north carolina.
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as we are discussing the issue of fire safety on campus, we also should emphasize fire safety, vacation, rental homes, second homes, the importance of acquiring the battery operated fire detectors, fire alarms. that can make a difference. whether they be homes on the beaches or the mountains. and so i rise today in support of this resolution to bring needed attention to campus fire safety. i'm honored to join again with congressman bill pascrell in supporting h. resolution 167. a resolution which supports the goals and ideals of campus fire safety month. last year, 33 states issued proclamations declaring september as campus fire safety month because it gives our communities an opportunity to raise national awareness of campus fire safety. we have an obligation to ensure students all across the country
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understand the danger posed by fires both on and off campus and what they can do to stay safe. the resolution supports the goals and ideals of campus fire safety month by encouraging administrators and municipalities across the country to provide educational programs to all students during september and throughout the year. it encourages our colleges and universities to evaluate the level of fire safety on and off campus at their institutions and take the necessary steps to create a safe learning environment. we want to encourage the use of fire suppression in detection systems and help our universities and colleges develop an enforce proper safety measures. f our colleagues are -- wouldag parent's number one ha st fourhiren to i fnd
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our llsrizaonf country music. day,ountry musihas its own televisi channel, a multitude of radio stations dedicated to it and every --n every section of the country and its own system of awards. the popularity of country music has spread beyond the united states in recent years. canada and australia have grown increasingly fond of the music. but country music will always be recognized as a uniquely american art form. i ask my colleagues to support this resolution and i yield such time as he may consume to my colleague from florida, mr. stearns. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. stearns: thank you, madam speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. stearns: i thank my colleague, and i thank my democrat colleague for recognizing this wonderful bill , h.res. 650. you know, the history of this
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country and the history of country western music sort of work together. the motto of the united states is out of many one. it depicts the history and origin of this great country. now, my colleagues, the history of country music resembles very similar characteristics with the many styles that are prevalent today. as mentioned earlier, country music can be traced its roots all the way back to the folk tradition of the british isles of central and western europe. however, here in the united states, the early immigrants as well as mentioned african slaves contributed to a new distinct style that continues to develop through the 18th and 19th century. and was mentioned, in 1922, the first country music performance was broadcast on the radio and was a song entitled "sallie gooden" performed by a fiddlist a.c. robertson. it was a brand new sound and started to take off.
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we know that the influence of country western music is pervasive. it extended just the southern part region of the united states or the appalachia mountains to everywhere in america. all over the world, in canada and australia, and there are many substyles of country western music like bluegrass, folk and gospel. they provide powerful vocals to create one-of-the-kind sounds. elvis presley was one of these. and garth brooks. i think most households will recognize those two names. elvis presley have the faithful fans. he's imitated in las vegas all the time and has a charitable foundation,. of course, garth brooks, with over 128 million records sold, remains the top selling solo artist in the united states history. the live performances of garth
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brooks set the standard for musicians of all styles in all the world. he continues to use the power of his music to help others. in fact, performing a 2008 charity concert to raise money for victims of the california wildfires. so having knowledge of history makes us more appreciative of what we have today in country western music. willie nelson stays that -- states of country music is where you tell your life stories. the history of country music is a great story, an american story. i should know. i had the opportunity to manage a quality inn, a 156-room hotel. we had a great country western bar which i called the ocala bar. we taught the two-stepdance there. i brought in bands every two weeks and perhaps if it was a hot band it would be six weeks from memphis, tennessee. we'd teach the two-step. and the number of people that come into this bar, if i hit the right country western music
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talent correctly would just storm the hotel. and it would provide wonderful entertainment, provide a good spot for country western music of ocala, florida, the heart of florida. so, my colleagues, i rise today to honor country western music, its heritage and hope you all join me and celebrate the impact it's had on our american life. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: madam speaker, i'd like to inquire of the gentleman from wisconsin if he has additional speakers. mr. petri: i do. mr. polis: i'd like to reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized. mr. petri: madam speaker, i yield such time as she may consume to our colleague from tennessee, marsha blackburn. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam speaker.
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i join my colleagues in joyfully rising in strong support of house resolution 650, the cultural and financial impact of country music on nashville and indeed our state and our nation cannot be overstated. from the daily recording sessions on music road to the annual c.m.a. music fest in june, and the annual awards show that takes place this month, country music is the lifeblood of nashville and the reason we are affectionately known as music city, u.s.a. the music industry creates employment opportunities in many industries including musicians, songwriters, agents, managers, audio engineers, public relations and promotion firms, financial services, security, stage promotion, stage production, transportation operators and business services. and, madam speaker, most of these are small businesses, and they are fueled not only by the love of music but also by that
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entrepreneurial spirit that draws so many people into the music industry. this vital industry maintains tens of thousands of jobs and it is responsible of generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. and an economic impact for our local economy. the entertainment product created is enjoyed not only coast to coast but also around the globe and it plays a significant role in our nation's trade products. certainly bringing joy to hundreds of millions of people around the world each and every day, many of those choosing to come to america and choosing to come to the home of country music to visit and experience this uniquely american art form. so it is with great pride that i along with my colleagues and on behalf of my constituents in
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tennessee's seventh congressional district, rise today to take a moment to recognize the tremendous impact of country music, our unique american art form and to join in asking my colleagues to join with us in this celebration. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: thank you, madam speaker. i'd like to inquire whether the gentleman from wisconsin has additional speakers. mr. petri: i have no additional speakers, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: thank you, madam speaker. i would like to yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 650. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the
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affirmative -- mr. stearns: madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. stearns: on that i request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman request the yeas and nays? mr. stearns: yes. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? mr. polis: madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 741, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 741, resolution expressing support for designation of october 8, 2009, as national jumpstart's read for the record day. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis, and the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. petri, each will
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control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. polis: madam speaker, i rise today in support of house resolution 741, which supports the designation of october 8, 2009, as national jumpstart's read for the record day. i'd like to yield five minutes to the sponsor of the bill, the gentlewoman from the great state of colorado, ms. markey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from colorado is recognized for five minutes. ms. markey: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in support of one hungry caterpillar and thousands of children eager to hear his story. this thursday marks read for the record day, a day in which we're striving to break the world record for the largest shared reading day ever. on thursday, adults and children all around the world will gather to read eric carl's classic book "a very hungry
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caterpillar." in my own house it was "the polar express" that captivated my children's hearts. we would snuggle and enter the world of ringing bells, late night train rides and the north pole. though the days when my three children could sit on my lap have long since passed, the tradition of reading still continues. when a child is exposed to books at an early age, it helps build the foundation for success at school. jumpstart is a nonprofit dedicated success through early childhood education. college students and community volunteers tutor and mentor preschoolchildren, empowering them with the tools necessary to be successful when they reach kindergarten. since its inception, jumpstart has worked for over 70,000 preschoolers. now in its fourth year, jumpstart's read for the record day highlights the importance of early involvement of adults in the lives of at-risk
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preschoolers. most children in low-income communities have few, if any, age-appropriate books in their homes. without the necessary tools and instructions, one in three schoolchildren arrive at the first day of school unprepared to learn primarily due to economic inç -- instability. jump start's campaign raises awareness about the importance of literacy by encouraging adults to read with young children. thousands of books are distributed to young children throughout low-income communities and jump scart's year-round program is supported. my motion designates october 8, 2009, as read for the record day and encourages people of all ages to sign up for reading this thursday. i urge support of the resolution and yields back the
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balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. petri, is recognized. mr. petri: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise today in support of the resolution before us, house resolution 741, expressing support for the designation of this thursday, october 8, 2009, as read for the record day. jumpstart is a national early educational organization that recruits and trains college students and community volunteers to work with preschoolchildren in low-income communities. these volunteers help young children to develop language, literacy, and social skills. since 1993, jumpstart has engaged nearly 21,000 adults to serve almost 80,000 young children. on thursday, october 8, jumpstart is working with its partners, including the pearson foundation, wal-mart stores inc., american eagle
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outfitters, angle and young readers group, chase and the american association of retired people to continue its annual campaign to attempt to organize the world's largest shared reading experience. in 2006, the international campaign was created to bring preschoolchildren together with valued grownups to read the same book an the same day in communities all over the world. in 2008, a world record was set as nearly 70 -- 700,000 readers shared the classic children's tale "corduroy." the goals of the campaign are to nays awareness about the importance of early education. jumpstart is working to provide books to children in low income households through donations, book purchases and sponsorship in order to prepare more children for school success. on read for the record day in
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2009, the hope is to engage more than one million children to read the very -- to read "the very hungry caterpillar" and set a new world record for the largest shared reading experience on the same day. thursday, october 8, can be a celebration of reading, service, and fun in support of the nation's preschoolers. i stand in support of designating october 8 as read for the record day in order to encourage grandparents, parents, teachers, and students to come together with children of all ages to create the world's largest shared reading experience to show their support for early literacy. i ask my colleagues to support this and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. research shows the number of books in the home is the single
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strongest indicator of a child's future earning ability. jumpstart gives each participating child a copy of "the very hungry caterpillar" for their own home library. they ask libraries to host reading events so that all children can read the story, even if they don't have a copy at home. jumpstart has sponsored read across america today, which encourages parents to read ta to the their children. they also sponsor the toys for tots literacy program. recognizing read for the record day encourages children, students, parents, and teachers to show their support for a shared reading experience. by planning a book drive, reading to children or contributing to jumpstart we can play a significant role in
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helping the children of this country. i want to thank chairman markey for introducing this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 741 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended and the resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from guam rise? ms. bordallo: i move to suspend the rules and pass house resolution 701. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 701, resolution to recognize the dyke marsh wildlife reserve as a unique and precious ecosystem. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from guam, ms. bordallo, and the gentleman db, mr. shuster, will each control 20 minutes.
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ms. bordallo: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the resolution in question. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. boll lar doe: this year marks the anniversary -- the 50th anniversary of the dyke marsh wildlife preserve. this pe serve provides habitat for more than 6,500 species of plants and animals along the potomac river. freshwater tidal marshes are rare ecosystems, providing ecological services and serving as an outdoor laboratory for scientists, educators, students, artigses, bird watchers, and many others to enjoy this unique and valuable environment. i commend congressman jim moran
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of virginia for introducing this resolution and i urge its passage. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise in support of h.r. 701 that's been offered by my colleague from virginia, mr. omoran. 50 years ago, congress designated dyke marsh in northern virginia as a wildlife preserve. it is appropriate that we take time today to recognize the 50th anniversary of the act because the marsh provides not only a great recreational setting for joggers, bike riders and birders but also a place where people from an urban background can experience the dynamic national shoreline marshes provide. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from guam. ms. bordallo: i yield such time
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as he may consume to the sponsor of this resolution, mr. moran of virginia. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. moran: madam speaker, this resolution recognizes dyke marsh. it's been around for 5,000 to 7,000 years. it's a unique freshwater tidal marsh. but it also recognizes someone who may not have been around for 5,000 year, but has been around for 50 years, and that is our very distinguished colleague john dingell, who introduced the resolution 50 years ago to preserve dyke marsh. as a habitat for wildlife and fish and the ecosystem in the washington metropolitan area. i want to note that my colleague in the united states senate, senator jim webb, last
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week introduced a companion piece, senate resolution 287, which also recognize this significant milestone. but in 1959, this body passed legislation that designated fairfax county's dyke marsh as a protected ecosystem. -- ecosystem for the purpose of promoting fish and wildlife development, preserving their natural habitat. at the time, dyke marsh was being dredged for commeshrble -- for commercial purposes. they were going deeper and deeper to get gravel and were ruining the ecosystem. for those who live in the washington metropolitan area or may be visiting the washington metropolitan area, if you go down the judge washington parkway toward mount vernon, right after the city of alexandria, you'll see the city
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of dyke marsh. it's about 500 acres. it's preserved. it's a beautiful area. you can see bald eagles, great blue herons, snapping turtles, a whole lot of bullfrogs, and there aren't a lot of places left in the washington area where you can see this, unless you go to the zoo. but these creatures, the fish, the wildlife, and even the plants, some of which are rare are in their natural habitat, because of chairman dingell's efforts. he got together with john saylor from pennsylvania, my friend mr. shuster knows him, as did mr. shuster's father. and the late chairman henry rice of wisconsin. the three of them got together.
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they got this legislation through at that -- that stopped the dredging of dyke marsh, and it has been preserved to this day. now whether we can expand it and even restore it more to its natural habitat, i don't know. but i know because of this legislation, we're going to at least be able to preserve what we have. as the gentlelady suggested, it has over 6,500 species of plants and animals, some of which are threatened or endangered. it enhances water quality, stems shoreline erosion, creates an aesthetic and recreational escape for people of all ages. so i urge my colleagues to join me in recognizing the significance of dyke marsh in
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reaffirming our commitment generally to protecting our nation's ecosystems, and in honoring three giants of the congress, john dingell, john saylor, and henry rice, whose leadership and commitment to environmental stewardship were instrumental in the dyke marsh's preservation. i want to also recognize ann tooley, who has done research and staff support on this. i want to express appreciation for my colleague, congressman jerry connolly, whose district is just to the south of dyke marsh, but who was chair of the fairfax county board when fairfax county made especially important efforts to preserve dyke marsh. with that, i yield back my time and again urge passage of this bill. thank you, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: i have no further speakers. i wanted to inquire from the gentlelady if she has additional speakers. ms. bordallo: i have no additional speakers. mr. shuster: we have no further speakers and i reserve my time. ms. bordallo: i encourage my colleagues to support this resolution, i yield back the balance of my time. mr. shuster: i'm sorry, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house agree to house resolution 701. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. mr. moran: i request the yeas and nays on that. the speaker pro tempore: the yays and nays are requested. those in favor of taking the vote by the yeas and nays will
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rise and remain standing. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from guam rise? ms. bordallo: i move to pass resolution resolution 710. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: resolution supporting the goals and ideals of national estuaries day. the speaker pro tempore: prume, the gentlewoman from gall, ms. bo -- pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from guam, ms. bordallo, and mr. shuster each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from guam. ms. bordallo: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. bordallo: madam speaker, national estuaries day was
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established in 1988 and is an annual celebration highlighting the need to protect our nation's estuaries. estuaries provide vital habitat for countless fish and wildlife species and contributes significantly to our economy through commerce and recreation. national estuaries day was celebrated on september 26 with numerous activities nationwide. from canoe trips in washington to photographer contests in florida. -- photograph contests in florida. -- photography contests in florida. it informs their connection to these critical places and why these ecosystems need to be preserved, protected and restored. i commend congresswoman castor from florida for introducing this resolution, and i urge its passage, and with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized.
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mr. shuster: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. shuster: madam speaker, the gentlelady from guam has sufficiently explained the resolution supporting the goals of national estuaries day. as we all know, estuaries are an important component to many species of birds, fish and mammals. they rely on the estuaries for food, spawning and other life cycle needs. estuaries also provide many people with recreational opportunities, from bird watching, fishing and many boating activities. finally, estuaries provide us with a critical flood control, protecting coastal communities during severe storms. i support the resolution and urge my colleagues to pass it, and i reserve the balance of my time. i have no further speakers. does the gentlelady from guam have any further speakers? ms. bordallo: no. mr. shuster: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields the balance of his time. the gentlelady from guam is recognized. ms. bordallo: madam speaker, i again urge members to support this resolution, and i yield back the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 710. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, and the resolution is agreed to and without objection a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from guam rise? ms. bordallo: madam speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass house resolution 795. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 9 -- 795, resolution honoring the people of shanksville, pennsylvania, and the flight 93 ambassadors for their efforts in creating the flight 93 temporary memorial and encouraging the completion of the national park service flight 93 national memorial by the 10th anniversary of september 11, 2001. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from guam, ms. bordallo, and the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. shuster,
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each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from guam. ms. bordallo: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. bordallo: madam speaker, house resolution 795, introduced last week by my colleague, representative bill shuster, honors the people of shanksville, pennsylvania. eight years ago the town of shanksville entered the history books in a tragic way. but since that dreadful day, the community working with the flight 93 ambassadors has protected the temporary flight 93 memorial and pressed to establish a permanent national memorial to that plane's heroic passengers. house resolution 9 -- 795, madam speaker, recognizes those
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valued efforts and encouraged the secretary of the interior and the national park service to complete the flight 93 national me norial by the 10th anniversary of the september 11 attacks. madam speaker, we support this resolution, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. shuster, is recognized. mr. shuster: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume, and i thank the gentlelady from guam's support on house resolution 795. on the morning of september 11, 2001, united airlines flight 93 was hijacked by al qaeda terrorists but their evil plan was heroically derailed when the brave passengers and crew aboard that flight performed the first counterattack on the war on terror. they fought back, they sacrificed their lives so that others could live. madam speaker, today we have a pretty good idea of what the terrorists intended to use flight 93 for, an attack on
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washington, d.c., and most likely the capitol building itself. the fact that the passengers and the crew ultimately crashed flight 93 in shanksville saved the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of tourists, staff and members of congress who were in the building on that day. i was in the capitol complex that morning, and i know many of my colleagues serving today were here and are grateful for the passengers and crew of flight 93. the complete sacrifice made by those brave men and women who did an extraordinary thing in the face of an extraordinary circumstance deserves to be remembered and honored. since that faithful day eight years ago, the hallowed ground of the crash site has been visited by thousands of americans from across the country to pay tribute to the memory of those extraordinary americans. since the attacks, the people of shanksville, and somerset county have come together to protect the crash site, welcomed visitors to their community. along with the flight 93
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ambassadors, tremendous progress has been made toward establishing a permanent memorial at the crash site. ensuring that their heroic story lives on and inspires current and future generations of americans. eight years have passed since the 9/11 attacks, and we are encouraged by the progress that has been made toward completing the official national me norial of -- memorial of flight 93. i'm proud to sponsor this resolution that asks the secretary of interior to complete the memorial by the 10th anniversary of 9/11. while we will never be able to repay the heroes of that infamous day, it is our hope that this memorial, their sacrifice will be permanently recorded in the site of their -- and the site of their passing will forever be guarded for those to pay tribute. i appreciate the opportunity to offer this resolution, and, again, thank my colleagues for their support. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from guam is recognized. ms. bordallo: madam speaker, i
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yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt, is recognized. mr. holt: madam speaker, i thank my colleague from guam, and i rise today in support of house resolution 795. this legislation of the gentleman from pennsylvania honors the people of shanksville, pennsylvania, and the flight 93 ambassadors for creating a temporary memorial for the passengers of united flight 93 and urges the national park service to complete a national memorial. the men and women onboard flight 93 prevented a fourth attack on september 11, 2001, against american citizens. arming themselves with whatever they could find, they prevented the hijackers from mounted a potentially disastrous attack on washington, d.c. without their sacrifice, it's very possible that many of us, nor the building in which we stand, would be here today. it's almost certain that many other innocent civilians would have died. 18 of those brave souls on flight 93 were from new jersey,
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including two from the congressional district which i have the privilege to represent. one of those heroes was todd beamer, a respected businessman from cranberry, new jersey. he was a man of deep religious faith. a loving father, a caring and devoted husband to his wife, lisa, and it was his famous phrase, let's roll, that helped inspire our nation to meet the high standard -- his high standard of shared sacrifice and to remind americans in those dark days following september 11 that america would not just survive but america would prevail against hate and extremism. lisa and todd beamer's children, david, drew and morgan kay will grow up knowing their father's act of valor saved the lives of others. he will always be remembered as a hero, along with his fellow passengers. richard was another amazing passenger on flight 93, raised
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in trenton, richard was the manager of the humble bay national wildlife refuge in california. a truly outstanding person. and he was on his way back to eureka, california, after visiting his family in new jersey and attending his grandmother's 100th birthday party. he, too, made the ultimate sacrifice. i've long supported and worked to get funding for a national monument honoring the passengers and crew of flight 93. people will be able to find inspiration as they look at this memorial and reflect on the essence of america, that americans are willing to sacrifice much to protect each other. in the face of even mortal danger. it will remind us that this is not the last time that america will meet heroes. that it depends on ordinary americans to step out of their roles to act extraordinary and courageous. i strongly support this resolution and urge the
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national park service to complete this memorial by the 10th anniversary of that horrible day. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: i have no further speakers and would inquire -- the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman yield? mr. shuster: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from guam is recognized. ms. bordallo: madam speaker, i yield such time as she may consume to the gentlelady from florida, ms. castor. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. castor: i thank the gentlewoman for yielding the time and commend my colleagues from pennsylvania and new jersey for their very thoughtful resolution. and i'd also like to speak to the previous resolution that just passed the house, establishing the national estuaries day, in recognition of these other beautiful and valued places across our country. our nation's estuaries are essential to our economy, jobs, our hobbies and our culture. estuaries are the vital links
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between our coastal ecosystems. they are the unique places where rivers and oceans meet, and their irreplaceable wetlands provides recreational opportunities and jobs in tourism, fishing and other industries. this is especially true in tampa, florida, where they provide the lifeblood of my community. a significant share of the economy is dependent on our healthy estuary. and the same is true all across the united states as 28 million jobs are supported through commercial and recreational fishing, boating, tourism and other coastal industries. coastal economies and estuaries contribute more than $800 billion annually in trade and commerce in our great country. september 26, marks national estuaries day, led by noaa. since 1988, noaa has promoted the importance of estuaries and
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the need to protect them. so this year was the first time that we introduced a resolution to recognize their important educational and recreational events all across the country. events occurred in north carolina, in florida, in louisiana, in california. these celebrations range from planting of sea grasses, the protection of marine mammals and other species. estuary groups from across the country also met here in the capitol with representatives from noaa and fish and wildlife service and the environmental protection agency. madam speaker, one novel, "the south of broad" contains elegant descriptions of estuaries that speak to everyone who values their beauty and richness. conroy writes, a freshwater river let mankind drink and be refreshed but a saltwater river, let it return. to moon struck tides, the rush of spawning fish, the love of language felt in the rhythm of
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the swells. he says the tide is like a poem. the tide is a poem that only one could create and i watched its stream and brim and make its dash toward the ocean. it's difficult to capture the beauty of many of america's national treasures so we ask the house to set aside a day to educate awareness about estuaries and get people excited about the natural beauty to be found there. i ask my colleagues and i thank my colleagues for voting today in support of these goals and ideals. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentlewoman from guam is recognized. ms. bordallo: madam speaker, i commend the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. shuster, for this important resolution, and i thank him for managing the resolutions this afternoon on the floor. i also again, madam speaker, would like to urge my colleagues to support this very important resolution, and i
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yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 795. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, -- ms. bordallo: madam speaker, on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the of the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered, pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. pursuant to clause 12a of rule 1rk the house will stand in recess subject to the call of -- dial the third line.
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but house correspondent with politico is now joining us by phone. talk about the different options for president obama, and a little in detail about what the vice president would like to see. guest: the dilemma is that the white house is facing a request by general mcchrystal, the top commander in afghanistan and someone whom barack obama put into place over there. general mcchrystal says he needs those boots the drug to do the job over there. but a vice-president joe biden and others are talking the tremendous success of other
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kinds of surgical attacks against al qaeda leaders in the border areas between afghanistan and pakistan and saying we do not need more troops, but more aggressive target. it comes down to whether we believe that al qaeda and the taliban are really one and the same, or whether it is only necessary to go after al qaeda operatives. we could leave the taliban and not really be as concerned about who is running afghanistan. host: the president is meeting with a bipartisan group of congressional leaders. why is that? guest: it is important to bring in leaders who shape the public debate. the white house is engaged in an open and public debate with a long soughnational security sesn last week in the situation room
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where there were going over the strategy. general mcchrystal has been engaged in a highly unusual public debate almost with the president where he has been arguing in a speech in london last week in a memo leaked to " the washington post" for these new troops. that has some of the military frustrated that general mcchrystal is debating the president in public and not keeping his ideas and sending them through the normal chain of command. it is always a point of tension and the constitution, the civilians control the military -- not the other way around. it is something each president must work out for himself. in this case we see a long- running debate inside the pentagon between the colin
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powell doctrine of going in heavy and overwhelming as to the force to defeat it, and the rumsfeld doctrine which is much more of a light information-age special forces approach. if you are running a counter- insurgency you do not need a heavy occupying force, but instead of leiter, more nimble force that does not anger public as much by being so visible. host: javers, is that what vice- president joe biden -- is he proposing a rumsfeld-type approach? guest: yes, he seems to be more in the light foreskin but then general mcchrystal who is asking for 40,000 more troops.
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-- asking for a light approach. on the sunday shows this weekend there was a fairly light rebuke offered of ms. christo in which he said it was better for people -- general mcchrystal, better for people to put their thoughts through the normal chain of command and not in public speeches. it almost boxes in the president to what could be a very unfortunate situation where he is forced to deny a request from his top general in the field for more troops. that could set up the delicate situation, almost reminds you a little of president truman dealing with general macarthur. alternately, president truman said he could not take this kind of pressure anymore and fired general macarthur. it was the watershed moment of
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his career. in this case would be difficult for, because after all, he gave general mcchrystal the job not long ago. host: here is the headline from the press. it says that the u.s. should stay in afghanistan. explain the press secretary's comments yesterday. guest: general jim jones said this also on sunday. they want to be clear that we're not pulling out of afghanistan. what is going on here is a re- evaluation of the strategy. what are we there for? to prevent another 9/11? to get al qaeda? and all these other people involved in that? or are we there for long term course of nation-building which involves supported though karzai government and rebuilding the country?
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there are two different scenarios there. host: that is what we will ask our viewers this morning. thank you for your time. bill now joins us from winston- salem, north carolina. caller: i think possibly general mcchrystal is coming out in public because he has behind the scenes communicate with the white house and they're waffling. he possibly feels that he will not leave his men hanging out in the wind if he needs more personal to do the job. perhaps 40,000 new troops would be beneficial. if we're going to do this thing to give victory there, we need to put on the pinch.
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we have to remember that the taliban are fundamental, hard- core muslims. we're worried about losing our people's lives, but if this goes out and the taliban take over they will deliver retribution to all those who helped or who stood idly by while we were in their country. as for overall foreign policy i think the world is watching to see whether obama is an alpha male or beta mail. we need to help general mcchrystal do the job. -- alpha or beta male. caller: good morning, i would like to say that yes, i think
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that scale back his the way to go. i appreciated secretary curategates' cummins productivet the human dimension of war. i think it is something that we have no appreciation for -- i appreciate his comments concerning the human dimension of war. i have been studying the aspect of the war from the perspective of women and children who are becoming increasingly recognized as people. for instance, one woman from afghanistan will speak at montgomery college next week. it is about the true cause of for and what happens when the -- even if we win militarily we arm thugs who continue to suppress
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elements of society. the idea of them becoming part of the political situation leads to an unsolvable situation. host: moving on to lebanon, new jersey. caller: since we now higher just as many independent contractors as we have service folks over there, i think that obama and joe biden should take a page from kennedy's administration and use a totally different approach like the peace corps. general mcchrystal made a large point of walking around the towns without guns. he showed all the folks there, we are here to help you. i am not carrying again.
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if you can do it and if we are hiring just as many independent contractors over there who also do have guns, why can't we have a group of people if what we are supposed to be doing is helping the people? what do we send people to teach other forms of agriculture? when international group has a wonderful program. they can provide farm animals. they send in a group of people, teach people how to raise and care for animals properly. the person who receives the animal, their obligation is to give the first born female to someone else in their village
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and teach them how to use it. through these sustainable practices we can be friends and not come in with guns and shoot them. host: ok, for those who believe more troops is the answer, barbara from missouri. caller: good morning, i'm 75 years old. 32 years as a military wife. i am a korean veteran and i just love hearing all these high- flown ideas from people who have never been involved in a situation like this. i'm begging my government to please get troops into afghanistan so we have no more people killed. i would like to remind you of vietnam and cambodia, what
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happened after we pulled out. that was millions killed in the killing fields that was millions, millions killed in "the killing fields" of cambodia. host: we're going to be talking about the comparisons between afghanistan and vietnam later. several national security advisors and others are reading his book, we'll talk to gordon goldstein about his parallels between vietnam and afghanistan. on our twitter page, you can go and send us a twitter, c-spanwj, we have a tweet from one of our viewers, strategy should be to pull all troops, it says here, from our borders, and strengthen -- strategy
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should be, pull all troops, secure our borders, strengthen intelligence, and ma make clear consequence if terrorists return. next, daryl, scaled back approach. why is that? caller: we've been there even a or eight years now, we can't win because we went in based on a lie. we're murdering afghanistan people. can anybody tell me why? we're not going to use that 9/11 excuse when we know afghanistan has nothing to do with 9/11. what do we do? i'm really disappointed in barack obama. i thought he had more brains than george bush, uh be -- but i see the same people who ran things then are now. host: did you vote for obama? caller: i did. i'm disgusted with him he hasn't done anything in iraq he said he'd bring the troops home from iraq, said he'd close
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guantanamo, he hasn't done anything. we can't win in afghanistan because we went in there based on a lie and the people don't like us. and i don't blame them. host: peter baker this morning writes in "the "new york times"," surgical strikes shape afghanistan debate. 24e white house has been begun promoting the missile strikes that have killed al qaeda operatives in pakistan, somalia and others. while aides said the public focus was not related to the afghanistan review, it would give -- could give mr. obama political room if he rejected or peared back the request for 40,000 more troops from general mcchrystal, the top commander in afghanistan. the focus on so-called surgical strikes against terrorism suspects comes as the afghanistan review accelerates. mr. obama met monday with defense secretary gates, his national security team met separately. he'll host congressional
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leaders and meet with others wednesday and friday. back to your phone call what ops you'd like to see, more troop, a scaled back approach as joe biden has proposed or another option? us concerning another option. caller: hello, yes, this is allie. i like some of the options i have heard so far and do believe that mr. obama is really trying to make some decisions about other decisions made before he was in office. as far as iraq is concerned, you have to wonder once people go into other people's facilities and acknowledge they have more than the average person, you have to remember that they are broken -- -- they broke the
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statue of the president there in iraq. my son sacrificed to go into afghanistan and said he had a pleasant time there. my son said he enjoyed his time there meeting people who were sure ali, concerning tradition. tradition in domain sunni islam and ali -- shi'ites. host: we will leave it there and talk more about joe biden's option. the scaled-back approach would not reduce the current force of
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60,000 troops, but instead keep troop levels roughly where it they are now but shift emphasis to the predators droned strikes. -- predator-drone strikes. jacksonville, fla. -- more troops? caller: good morning. yes, i guess biden does not mind killing a bunch of civilians with those drones,
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but yes, i think the president should listen to his commander in the field. he has called for more troops. more of our soldiers are being killed every day in the death rate is going up. he has called for help over there. that is the reason he has to go public. obama went on the letterman show more times than he talk to general mcchrystal. he there needs to send some troops are get out. host: melvin, from atlanta, georgia, you support a scaled- back approach. caller: number one, we do not
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have a definable mission and we have been there for eight years. if the afghan people are not willing to fight for their sovereignty or freedom i'm not willing to put more american troops in harm's way for them. host: this is a piece this morning from "the washington times" -- downplayed the inroads made by al qaeda. it says that not only are white house leaders misconstruing the reasons for success we have had, but the post's article cherry pick even the analysis of their major on the record stores.
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arkansas, another option on the table? caller: we really have to change something over there. the rules of engagement, that is just absurd. the me give you a quick scenario. then i have a question. look, we have a flag on the battlefield. too many civilians on the field. everyone back up 200 yards. wade a minute, we have a read it challenge flag by the taliban. is this reviewable? we will find out after the word from our sponsors. could it get any more insane? war is war. host: what do you mean by that?
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caller: people die in war. if you send troops over there handcuffed, if there will hide behind people and these people are too stupid to get out of the way -- war is war. host: what are you advocating? caller: i say to get in there and get the job done. they have our hands tied so much that we're getting killed and we're not able to kill them. host: on the front page herefrontsnow crops -- presidents george and h.w. bush -- snowcroft applauds obama this approach. promoting the targeted tax that vice-president joe biden has
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talked about. also this morning in related stories, here is the baltimore paper with headlines -- gates warns about loose lips. the other headline this morning said that gates once leaders or advice kept secrets. also, the newly times" -- pakistan resists efforts to what an influence of the u.s. it says there is a strained in the alliance. -- this is from the "the new york times." caller: i'm against having troops there at all. the taliban is a religion. it is a religion we do not like, but it is a religion and we should not use the u.s. army to fight it. host: new haven, conn., another option? caller: i think we should just
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pull out the troops. i do not agree with been in afghanistan or even iraq. like the previous caller said, we are fighting a religion and you cannot do it. we tried its in the crusades back in the early 1100's. it was the same. religion has been the greatest killer in the world. host: here are two different opinions this morning in the editorial section. michael, a senior fellow at the brookings institute writes that a general within bounds --'and supports --s proposal and right to come out and speak about what he sees as necessary. below that is robinson's column -- "out of line on afghanistan." the second it starts out by saying how to proceed in
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afghanistan will be among the most difficult and fateful decisions that president obama ever makes. these are two different pieces. richmond, va. -- kevin, you support more troops? caller: i think we should supplement what we have there. otherwise it will create the unknown. the drug addict war is not a game. you cannot call it like a football game. there are variables and you do not know what to expect. also, the peace corps option is totally irrelevant. you send unarmed persons there,
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they are walking targets for the taliban. they do not fight by rules of war. we still abide by the geneva convention and other treaties, but our enemy is not a traditional enemy. host: on the lines for those who support a scaled-back approach, north carolina. a please turn down your television. caller: i think they should bring home our troops because they do not have to fight a war anymore. there is no way they will win because they do not know how to fight anymore. in the 1950's when i was in the korean war there were not enough troops to drop behind enemy lines and bring them in. the ones on the front lines would go meet them and what them out. they should just come back come. host: walter, the longtime
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reporter in washington, on intelligence and military issues rights in the fine print this morning -- critics do not see the new ones in general mcchrystal comments on the war. he goes more in depth about what he said during the speech. he says that once the decision on troop levels is made he will carry it out.
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dallas, this is walter pinks can us' column this morning called "the fine print." dallas, you support another option. caller: i do. i think the approach that hasn't been tried yet is for -- host: we're listening, roger. are you there? caller: yes, i am. host: go ahead, please. caller: the approach ha hasn't been try sod far is for a because ma to make up his mind, if he wants to stay in afghanistan and win the war, or get out. if he wants to do that, he should listen to the advice of the commanders on the ground that he appointed. but i believe his number one priority is how does he keep his left wing base happy
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without losing afghanistan? he hasn't figured out how to do that yet. so waffling is all he can do at this point. host: a few more headlines for you this morning. . act to fix safety net. with an eye on midterm races the administration is seeking ways to spur economic gains and extended benefits. here it says that the vaccine arrives as the flu spreads. 27 states across the nation reported widespread cases and 99% of cases reported were h1n1 relative. -- h1n1 related. here on the front page, salary
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cuts, top earners of firms getting aid would seek compensation shifts from cash to stocks. the last phone call on our next step in afghanistan, jack in new york joins us to support more troops. caller: i do believe we need more troops to get the job done. we have way too much invested there already. the region is too unstable to do anything but beef up the force. we should be there to win. i find it ironic that we continue to have politicians second-guessing the professional judgment of generals on the field. it does not mean we should
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host: lawrence korb is a senior fellow and former assistant
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defense secretary under ronald reagan administration. let me ask you which option you think is the right way for the obama administration to go? more troops on the ground, or at a scaled-back
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there was nothing there before in afghanistan. and the diplomacy in the
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region. there's also the question of what the commitment is of our nato allies. those and other subjects came up today with the diversity in the room, needless to say, there was some agreement and there was some diversity of opinion. but i commend the president for having the meeting, for taking the time to listen to the wealth of knowledge, again, on both sides of the aisle, on both sides of the house, on the subject of our national security. our first responsibility is to protect the american people. we all take this responsibility very seriously. the president has the ultimate responsibility to make a decision and we all mourn the loss of those who make the supreme sacrifice, and my condolences to our constituent, leader reid in that regard.
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>> can you tell us about the diversity of opinion expressed in the meeting? >> basically, we were grateful to the president for having the meeting. we understood that it was a very serious matter, of course, that goes without saying. the question. -- the question was, what to do, and general mcchrystal said in his report without a strategy we shouldn't resource the mission. the question is how do we evaluate the tools at our disposal? do we have an able partner in president karzai? is the government capable of acting in a way that is not fraught with corruption? those kinds of issues. so the -- it wasn't a question of difference of opinion, it was a question of having different evaluation of the strength of the different tools at the dis-- at our disposal, as the president goes forward
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and again as congress plays its rightful role in all of this. .
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>> mr. president, you are the commander in chief. the reason i mention this, this is all coming from republicans. and in the past, you know, we had trouble getting supplemental bills passed, even in the prior administration when the money goes to the military. would be interesting to see their actions follow their words. >> it is a difficult decision for the president to make that we all respected that he was looking into every aspect of this and that we would again honor what he had to say. whether we agreed with it or voted for it remains to be seen when we see what the president put forth. but i think there was a real display of universal respect for the manner in which he was approaching it.
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thank you all very much. >> mr. speaker -- >> good try. >> we appreciate very much the opportunity to come to the white house at the president's request and to talk with him about the situation in afghanistan. i think all of us recognize that president of the united states has a very difficult decision to make. and i think he was honest about wanting our input and our
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advice, and clearly, the goal that the president laid out back in march that we should deny al qaeda and the taliban the safe haven in afghanistan continues to be the goal. and if that is the goal, i believe, my colleagues on the house side, will be there to support him. but we do recognize that he has a tough decision and he wants a.m.le time to make a good decision. frankly, i support that. but we need to remember that every day that goes by, the troops that we do have there are in greater danger. and so i don't want -- i don't believe the president needs to make a decision in haste, but we need to get this right and i'm hopeful that the president will make a strong decision that will allow us to win this effort that was started many years ago. mitch. >> we appreciate the president inviting us down.
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he did a lot of listening and various members who were there had a chance to express themselves. it strikes me that he has already got in place the most outstanding members of the military he could possibly have in place to deal with this particular problem. his decision to select general mcchrystal, to send him out to afghanistan, obviously working with general petraeus, these two germs understood what needed to be done in iraq, carried it out successfully and now they're in the right place to deal with afghanistan. i hope at the end of the day the president will follow the advice of some of our finest generals who we believe know what it would take to sfablize the situation in afghanistan -- stabilize the situation in afghanistan and prevent the taliban coming back and a haven for al qaeda. the lead person in the senate
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has been senator mccain and i'll ask him to give you his thoughts on the way forward. >> we had a good meeting with the president and obvious it is his decision to make as commander in chief. we also obvious have a role to play as members of congress as well. i think we had a good dialogue and a number of people expressed their views and opinions. it's pretty clear that time is not on our side as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff has said. we need to act with deliberate haste. and i believe an important aspect of this whole decision making is that there are a number of options, but the option that's presented by our military commanders in the field endorsed by the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff should be given obviously additional
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weight because they were correct of the strategy in employing the strategy that succeeded in iraq. that strategy adjusted to the different conditions in afghanistan, can work in afghanistan as well. >> senator mccain, do you see parallels in vietnam? >> i see parallels in iraq. far more applicable to the region and to the situation. in vietnam, the fact is that the vietnam fell to a conventional invasion from the north korean military. there were no american troops left in vietnam. i would be glad to revisit the whole war with you and how it was mismanaged, but the closest parallel to afghanistan today is iraq. we had the strategy that succeeded and the generals that succeeded. >> did you ask the president to
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let mcchrystal testify before the senate? >> no. the issue was what to do about afghanistan. >> do you think he should testify that's a concern here. >> there is an argument that the threat is not al qaeda because a lot of the al qaeda has been eliminated. the fact is we all know that the taliban come back, that al qaeda will come back and they will come back to afghanistan and they will come back in pakistan where they already are. so i don't think it's a proper reading of both history and the situation to somehow think that al qaeda will not quickly emerge in afghanistan if it falls to the taliban, much less the moral dilemma we might have when the taliban is again in power in afghanistan with all the abuses
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and terrible behavior that they have exhibited in the past. >> do you believe mcchrystal's analysis is correct? >> yes, i do. i'm very convinced that general mcchrystal's analysis is not only correct but should be employed as quickly as possible. and i think that a discussion about whether he is right or not and whether they would have to come back for more troops in a year or so, general mcchrystal and general petraeus wouldn't be making decisions they would if they thought we would have to come back for more troops. these are the strategies and resource he they believe we need to succeed. their recommendations should be given great weight given the success of their leadership in the past. >> does the american public --
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>> if they are properly led and properly explained to and the consequences of failure explained to them, yes. >> do you have a sense of which way he's leaning on this? >> i believe that the president will make the right decision. >> senator mcconnell, senator reed said all the republicans said whatever the decision the president makes, everyone in that room would support him. and he is putting words in your mouth so i want to know if you agree with what was said in that room? >> republicans will be able to make the decision for themselves, but i can safely say there is wide spread feelings in our conference as senator mccain indicated, that we have confidence in general petraeus and general mcchrystal and if they're on board, i would think that a significant number of our members will be as well. >> thanks a lot. >> half nations is what i worry about. not getting completely out of
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afghanistan. half measures that were the same kind that took place under rumsfeld and casey that lead to failure over time and erosion of american public support. >> is this a test for president obama as commander in chief, do you think? >> of course, it is. and i'm sure the president is aware of that and that's why he is going through the process he's going through. thank you all very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> you have heard from republican and democratic leaders following their meeting with president obama earlier at the white house. tomorrow morning on "washington journal," republican whip eric cantor will join us at 7:00 a.m. now to general david petraeus, who is speaking on centcom operations. this is live on c-span. >> the accomplishments of our wonderful troopers out in the
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central command. as i mentioned, over 230,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines and civilians and coalition and regional partners. and it's a privilege to be able to describe to them today some of what is going on in that important part of the world. next slide, please. i thought it would be good to start off and remind you where central command is. you recall there are now six, one more than -- one more than 1 october last year with the addition of african command. and you'll note that central command is the smallest of the geographic combatant commands, but it is the one that has the lion's share of the problems. next slide. just to update you on where it is now that we have divested ourselves, the horn of africa, african command in the west, it includes egypt.
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in the east, it goes over and includes pakistan and cazick stan and off the waters of somalia. 20 countries. the smallest of the command areas, but an area of challenges, an area of "v"s and have nots. some of the richest per capita in the world, $100,000 per year per person in qatar. and it's rich in oil and natural gas, but often poor in fresh water. it has huge populations, many of which face situations in their country in which there are inadequate opportunities, where they have had to get education that is in some cases bordering on the extreme. you see ethnic problems, sectarian problems, tribal issues. there are multiple religions,
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five major religions and many others that also are present in the region. it's an area of enormously important resources to the global economy. needless to say, over 60% of the world's oil reserves and 40% of the world's natural gas reserves. it's an area with strategic choke points. the straight of humus, the suez canal and it has about every challenge that you might consider. there are extremist elements, national ones and transnational ones, there are terrorist groups, there are militia elements, there are weak governments, there are inadequate basic services in many of these countries. there are pirates, armed smugglers, narcotics industry bosses and of course we have the substantial challenges in iraq,
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afghanistan, pakistan and iran and i'll talk about those and a few of the others in our region as well. next slide, just to remind you what we have out there, all the combatant commanders work for the secretary of defense. do that through the chairman in most cases. have the traditional army, navy, air force and marine components. each of those three-star generals in command. the two four-star commands, one in iraq and then general mcchrystal in afghanistan. and u.s. forces-afghanistan commander as well. and another command that's not shown on there but well known that we have also in the form of a task force out there are special operations command that does counterterrorist operations. we have headquarters in the states and then headquarters
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forward. i might add that we are in the process of moving the central command headquarters out to a newly constructed and newly occupied headquarters in qatar. the government of qatar built that for us, $120 million and grateful to them for that. same place we have the combined air operations center. but we're going to move the centcom headquarters out there, test it out and try it out for a while and will be out there for a month-and-a-half or two and go through some exercises and other drills out there. next. let me start off by talking about iraq if i could. and i think as you'll see in the statistics that well -- will follow, it is clear you can describe that there has been very substantial progress in iraq, but also certainly significant challenges and i'll discuss those and that is why
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ambassador crocker and i said the progress is fragile and reversible, but probably less so than when i left iraq in september when he left it this past february and where we are right now. this has been a substantial year of transition in iraq. it's a year in which we have transferred in a sense sovreignty to iraq, if you will, with the end of the u.n. security council resolution that gave us authorities and the security agreement that is now implemented. there were free and fair elections. that is the u.n.'s description of them, conducted back in january. and these resulted in much more represented provincial counsels, with the sunnis having boycotted the elections back in 2005. those new governments have been seated with new governors elected as well fpblgts as is well known, the nonu.s. members of multinational force iraq have
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departed, but there is the nato training mission in iraq present there depending on the number in there training the iraqi national police. and so it is largely now a u.s. operation, without question, and we are in the process of reducing our forces. we are down to 124,000 and down to 120,000 by the end of the month. general owednero testified before congress and noted that we will be down to 50,000 by the end of august next year. that is a proper course and the opportunity to provide advice to president obama and we think that the ultimate decision was a solid one. so that process is going on. you will recall on 1 july, we removed our combat forces from the cities of iraq, although there are some coordination
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elements still in basra, baghdad and mosul, but it is the iraqi forces that have the lead very much in all of those cities and in the vast majority of the country as well. as we have changed our focus from being in the lead or partnering to being much more now an enabling force and advise and assist force as the term is for the brigades that are now taking on that mission with the first of those commanded by commander pete newell did a great job in years past and is there as the brigade commander. the iraqi security forces are shouldering the tasks now in their country. as i'll show you in a moment, doing an incredible job. but there are a lot of challenges. the political speed dating that is going on right now is extraordinary. they are taking politics to a new level. this is not necessarily
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democracy as we know it. we call it iraqacracy. and preparing for the 2010 national elections and this will do a great deal to shape the country and the alignments and the coalitions that are being built and all of this activity is quite i haven'ting to watch. there are certainly -- interesting to watch. there are bad guys in iraq. al qaeda of iraq. there are others on the sunni extremist side and we have seen their continued attacks from time to time. 19 of august was a difficult day, very tough day, horrific losses in baghdad. but by and large security numbers are down overall and as general odierno mentioned, down in terms of attacks since the spring of 2007. there are shia extremists. there are remnants of the shia
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militia that were defeated in 2008 in the battle of basra and sadr city and elsewhere in baghdad. and also new elements. all of these get some form of aid, funding, assistance, training and equipment still from iran and there is generally about one explosively foreign projectile per day in recent months as well, way down from the past, but still taking place and still a cause for concern. beyond the external influence that can only be characterized asthma lined in that regard from iran, there is also the transit of some foreign fighters from syria down from 120 to 110 per month but still transiting and we hope that indeed increasingly syria will shut these down as i
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mention some of the other initiatives to embrace them by the arab world and even to a degree the west proceed. without question, there are still sunni-shia issues. there is still a considerable amount of mistrust that caries over from the height of the sectarian violence. let's not forget how much. there are 53 dead bodies every 24 hours. in baghdad alone in december, 2006. and as a lot of the folks in this room right here were part of that effort in the surge that helped secure the population and did it by taking the risk that was done by living with the people to do it. there is intrasunni and arab- cuffered tensions and a host of challenges that are being worked out and likely will be with iraq for a number of years to come.
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the results of saddam hussein's gerrymandering, they still bedevil iraq and the oil-rich city in the north whose ultimate decision is being contested between those in baghdad, that is still around as well. and with the reduction in the price of oil over the course of the last year, there are some new budget pressures in iraq, although with it being somewhere around $65 to $70 a barrel should be ok and they have a good budget lined up for next year, but it will curtail some of the more -- i wouldn't call it extravagant, but spending plans they had particularly for their military as they try to develop the full range of military activities and
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capabilities. next. let me show you very briefly the weekly security incidents right here. as you can see, this is the past couple of weeks in particular have been at the lowest levels really in unrecorded history. for those who are experts in this and watched this over the years, we have bumped up the numbers that started back around late 2006. we added iraqi data to it, because we have come to rely more and more heavily on that iraqi data and as we have, over time, added civilian deaths that came from iraqi statistics, we have done that here as well. but the bottom line is, somewhere, 15, 20 attacks per day in the past couple of weeks in particular and under 20 or so in the course of the last six, eight months or so as well. vastly reduced from the more than 180 attacks that characterized the period say, in june of 2007 during the surge of
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offenses that was enabled by the surge of forces. next. this shows from may, 2006 to the present time the sum total in this top line right here of car bomb, suicide car bombs, suicide desk attacks. you can see there were over 230 of those at the height of the problems in the early 2007 time frame. around when we were getting into the beginning of the surge and now down somewhere around 25 or so on a monthly basis. that is still 25 high-profile attacks. on the one hand, vastly reduced, but still worrysome when you compare those with the ones of august in the baghdad. a lot of pressure on the networks that are still able to carry these out and certainly an effort and the iraqi special operations forces, the police emergency response brigade and a
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variety of other special elements in the iraqi army and police, in some cases working with our special operations and conventional forces and some cases not. i would note that their most special special operations forces are embedded with our special mission unit headquarters and truly working together in that regard and it is quite a hartening partnership after a lower uptempo after we left in 1 july and it has now picked up and continuing the pressure on the networks that is necessary, even as the government now, not just us, but really the government is in the lead and a comprehensive whole of government counterinsurgency program in and of itself. next. finally, the violent civilian deaths here. last month i think everybody heard is the lowest again in a very long time, perhaps all the way back to 2003 time frame.
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but still, 200 or 250 violent civilian deaths. we have put this data out for years since september, 2007 when i briefed congress for the first time with ambassador crocker. we continue to do that. next. just a couple of other areas to show some development and what has been enabled by security. in the upper left one, you see the famous tower 57 that was sitting on its side for well over a year. there were dozens of other towers in similar condition. and it wasn't until 2008 and beyond that we were able with the security conditions improving so much to re-erect all of the electrical infrastructure in iraq and have done that over time. the same with the petroleum pipelines. many of those were blown up during the height of the
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sectarian violence as well. you can't see this real well. i guess i would say one of the key things is they have put over 1,000 additional mega what thes on the grid over the last year alone and from september, 2008 to september, 2009, increase in like that production by 34%. this is the national like that. they also have commercially provided local power that people resort to because demand far outstrips supply, but in part because they basically don't charge them for the like that and that's something they will have to come to grips with over time. oil production, the exports recently have been the highest on record for a very long time. and there were some dips in here as production, we sort of naturally going down as oil fields do. and somewhere around in the late 2008, early 2009 time frame,
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they started ramping back up and need to do a good bit more of that and the challenge of offering this to commercial firms with terms that will be attractive to them remain a bit elusive, although we are hopeful over time the sheer opportunity there and the need to increase that production will go up. next. just a very small rule of law for whatever it's worth. you can see an increase in every category in the judicial arena, from judges, to female trial judges. that went up 842%. it helps if you only started with two or three. investigative judges up 500%. bottom line is there has been real effort. a lot of this, frankly, a lot of this is the culmination of years of hard work by the iraqis and also by a lot of our interagency partners and frankly in this case some terrific judge
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advocates as well. but you can see this coming to fruition and you see the facilities, the variety of rule of law complexes out there. a key individual who played a big role in this at the time i was the iraq commander, colonel mark martins was there for two years as the judge advocate. he did in his spare time the rule of law task force with the department of justice partner. he was promoted last week over in the department of justice building and will be deploying to iraq as a brigadier general here next week to help with the detention task force and rule of law over there. next. and then finally just the perception of security is awfully important because the folks in this room will remember the real challenges as we went -- this shows from 2004 to 2009 but the perceptions in security and the reality of security took a nose dive with the rise of
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sectarian violence in 2006 and into 2007. and you can see now, i mean in fact, folks between 74% and 84% of the people rate their local conditions as good or very good. and i can tell you there are some times in the late spring of 2007 where i would not have bet on that, although we always did have a sense of inner confidence that we would be able to turn that and over time it was going to improve. you can see that about being safe in their neighborhood. next. let me now shift to one that has gone frankly in a different direction in recent years. i'll show you the security statistics on it and the focus of considerable attention right now. general mcchrystal has assessed that the situation there is serious, but doable. that's an assessment that we agree with.
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and of course, he has provided, as i'll mention in a moment his security assessment, assessment of the situation and then, of course, his description of the military implementation plan required there, giving the ideals and objectives of the present plans from nato and president obama. i have said for a number of months and really since i took over the job and i think everyone has agreed that the effort in afghanistan obviously requires a sustained substantial commitment. and i'm not going to get into whether that means more or lessor what number of forces, enablelers and trainers. we have been training a substantial augmentation this year, combination of usual president bush and president obama. we have gone from 31,000 u.s. forces, and that's what i'm addressing here as a u.s.
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commander and 31,000 to 68,000 u.s. forces on the ground within a few weeks or another month or so when they're all fully in place and i'll show you where the largest elements of that have gone. clearly, there is no question, i think everyone agrees that additional afghan national security forces are needed above the threshold numbers that are entertained. general mcchrystal's assessment has the number of 400,000 in it and that is a pretty general assessment that that is in the ball park by whatever math you do in facing an industrial strength insurgency as is the case in afghanistan. there's no question but that you have to take a regional approach. there's a reason that this was the afghanistan-pakistan strategy and ambassador hole book is the ambassador for afghanistan and pakistan. what happens in one country
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influences greatly what happens in the other. there has been some fairly hartening work done by the pakistani military frontier corps and other elements in the past six months or so that gives some hope for the situation there and i'll describe that. but it also has some significant implications for the situation in afghanistan as does the corollary which is the situation in afghanistan and pakistan as well. clearly in -- and general mcchrystal spelled this out, efforts to achief greater unity of effort. that is one of the big issues that we took on in iraq, was between ambassador crocker and myself to achieve that kind of unity of effort and unity of purpose, in fact literally to form fusion cells for energy for conduct of elections for the ministry of health, you name it.
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we had fusion cells. and in this case, with more international partners present and obviously with the host nation government, all of that very essential. next. now, as we look ahead there, clearly as i'll show in a moment, there has been a deterioration in the security situation, particularly in several key areas and i'll highlight those for you. reversing that cycle of violence, arresting the downward spiral in some of these key areas is very important. and the augmentation of the forces in recent months in the regional command south that has enabled some tactical gains that have begun that process. in a counterinsurgency, the human terrain is a decisive terrain, securing them and i have added the term mobilizing them. because there is no question but that progress in afghanistan in the months and years ahead will
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require in some cases local defense initiatives, community defense initiatives. there are several of those being experimented with being experimented with general mcchrystal and there is a keen interest in fostering more of that in the way ahead. and as i note further down in the bottom, the so-called re-integration of reconsilables. and then we have to turn that into a sunni awakening in all of iraq. in this case, local efforts to identify who theyr to separate them from the others to secure them and go after those to kill and capture so they can become
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part of the solution instead of the continuing part of the problem. no question about the need to develop the afghan national security forces as rapidly as possible and to higher numbers. i think that is something on which there is broad agreement here in washington, but we have to keep in mind, there are limits to how fast you can accelerate that development, in particular, the development of commission and noncommissioned officer leaders is something that cannot be rushed as many in here have experienced when we have tried to push the development of the iraqi security forces as well, that being a country there was residue of national military and police to work with. the industrial strength narcotics industry in afghanistan is a significant problem, not only does it provide substantial revenues to the insurgents, it also, of course, erodes the very fabric of whatever rule of law is
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attempting to be instituted. so that has to be addressed also, as does the overall level of corruption that has crept into the government and president karzai himself has been forthright in recognizing that. and then the overall governmental capacity issue. i think in some respects, an awful lot of analysts see this as the long pole in the tent. a successful counterinsurgency has to feature a level of governance and not out to create new zealand, but using existing structures and organizing elements and so forth in afghanistan that is appropriate for that country's history, culture and background. but that governmental capacity that does exist has to be seen as serving the people and not preying on them and it has been
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reported, there are levels of corruption that are obviously unacceptable if that is to be the goal. again, the legitimacy of the government is a key ingredient in any counterinsurgency and this is going to take considerable effort in the years and months ahead. next slide. let's look at the statistics, look at the indicators here and what this shows is that from 2004 on the left to 2009, the level of security incidents. this is not all attacks of all types but attempted attacks, explosive devices found and diffused. and you can see a substantial rise in those. it has come down in recent weeks after a spike during the elections. even without that spike, you can see the overall level of violence is 60% or more above that of the previous year which was an increase over that of 2007. you can see very clearly the
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cycle of violence that takes place in afghanistan as when the winter snows begin, obviously the insurgent activity goes down and stays down again typically until the mid-spring or so. we aren't quite at that point, but we he -- we are approaching it, but we are maintaining the pressure on the insurgents and to continue to press in those areas in which there have been tactical gains that i spoke about earlier. i will also point out we don't have a lot of the other statistics that you are familiar with seeing in iraq. over time, we probably not only declassify them, but lay them out. the fact is, they are very much variable. the numbers are considerbly lower than the numbers were in iraq at the height of the violence or much of the time we were there. and again, it is much more
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uneven frankly in the conclusions that one draws from that other than that particular slide are no where near as clear as they were in iraq. next. i think we will focus on some other metrics. and this one shows security incidents by district. you have 2009 in the upper left-hand corner. black is bad in this case. more than 100 security incidents. red is 50 to 100. the yellow and so forth. this is done for people like me so we can see it at a glance. but the point is here you can see where the level of violence has gone up significantly in regional command south, particularly in kandahar and other locations as well. select distributes, including that where we had the tragic incident the other at combat
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outpost keating and in the northwest here and i would put a tiny circle here up in the north. you see this is the focus for the insurgents. some of those areas also are the focus for our forces who are seeking to expand the security bubbles, security environments in some key areas. and those are clearly the contested zones in this overall effort. next. now our forces naturally are going where they are needed most and that tends to be in those kinds of locations. i want to walk this with you if i could. kabul is right in here. that is where the headquarters and u.s. forces commander not too long after i got to centcom. we are in the process of creating this three-star headquarters to be commanded by general dave rodriguez who is a
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division commander with the 82nd airborne division a couple years ago. but the first element that went in 3rd brigade spartan, went in southwest kabul. that's been pretty well established now and working out well there. that is one of the areas which which we have the community defense initiatives called the afghan popular protection force program that is being pilotted there. the next element was the combat aviation brigade from the 82nd airborne division. it went in the south area very broadly and with the aviation assets that went in around the same time doubled the number of helicopters in afghanistan and that is a particularly important commodity in a country that has rugged terrain and limited infrastructure. the marine ex pe dish area went
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to the northwest. and they are among the forces that have achieved these tactical gains working with the british task force that was already in that province. the stryker brigade has gone into kandahar and some other areas. kandahar is the traditional epy center of the taliban. it was the well spring of that where the 9/11 attacks by and large had their origin. lot of the original thinking, planning and documentation for travel was all done there. that brigade has gone in there. kandahar a contested city and they have achieved tactical gains, but suffered great losses along the way and have done a magnificent job there. taking their place in regional command south, the 4th brigade of the 82nd airborne division
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which is staffed by commissioned and noncommissioned leaders to be in an assist role will have platoon elements out with the afghan army and police and regional command south and this will be an important initiative and keenly looking forward to how that thickens those forces and helps them to develop as they find their feet and do, indeed, grow and expand in number as well as in capacity. finally, the fifth corps from from germany is providing the core element for the new interintermediate joint headquarters and should be at the initial exaket point. next. now, it is important, i think still to remember how much progress has been made since 2001 and has continued despite increases in the security
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problems in afghanistan. you can see here, for example, on the left, access to health care has gone up from 5% in 2002 right after getting rid of al qaeda and the taliban to some 85% now. again, limited. this is not walter reed army medical center. it is present. enrollment in elementary and secondary education has gone up by a factor of nearly three or so. and also, particularly with respect to girls who are that top band in that particular chart. next. the afghan national army personnel strength you can see has gone up substantially during this time. this shows the growth from 2005, little over 20,000 to a little over 80,000 now at the present time. now, again, clearly need a lot
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more in terms of capability and so forth. 90 battalions or so and the numbers of those in the readiness bands being equally distributed. they will fight and have taken tough casualties, but have a long way to go certainly until we reach the level in terms of numbers and exaket where they could take over security responsibilities and any substantial fashion. in the bottom, you see progress also in the areas in which they are judged to be poppy-free. and although there is substantial poppy areas in the south, again the epicenter and showing the linkage between the illegal narcotics industry and the taliban in particular. but there has been progress in much of the rest of the country
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in reducing the amounts of areas that are cultivated for poppy and there is a substantial effort in terms of agriculture and i might add by the way, from any of those from national guard, elements from states that are providing the agturl development teams, we are very grateful. they play an important role. telephone use has exploded as you can see right here. it's off the charts. having said that, the taliban does force some of these towers to turn off at night now in the south, so that is something that has to be dealt with. and hookups to the electrical grid, still way below the number of people in the country, which is somewhere in the neighborhood of 27 million. you can see here 600,000 hooked up, but that is a three-fold increase. so progress in these areas in spite of the deterioration of the security situation in some
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of the areas obviously very long way to go. next. now let me just talk about the process that is under way, because it's important to remember where we were, where we've come. this document right here is the afghanistan-pakistan strategy, so-called rydell report, who was the one who led the overall effort to do that. i was a participant in that with ambassador holbrook and a number of others from the joint staff interagency office of secretary of defense. that was helped by a report done by the national security council staff back in december of 2008. joint assessment and the portion of the central command strategic assessment that addressed afghanistan and pakistan. the president announced his policy late march of this year. installed the new ambassador, two tours there, including one
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as the commander of the overall forces there. and then general mcchrystal as the dual-headed commander of nato and u.s. forces in afghanistan. they have forged the civil-military partnership that is so critical to this kind of endeavor. we hope -- ambassador holbrook and i hosted a conference back in may of this year. by july, they had a very good civil-military campaign planned published in kabul and signed by the commander. and quite an impressive product. general mcchrystal has taken on his duties. he republished with some refinements the directive that governance the use of close air support, attack helicopters and so forth and emphasizes the imperative of avoiding civilian casualties which can undermine a
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tactical success and turn it into a strategic setback. the number of civilian losses has been reduced very substantially, not just by that document but by the application of it as well. he has published counterinsurgency guidance not dissystem to what we used in iraq but applied to afghanistan. afghanistan is not iraq. there are enormous differences between the two countries and of course as always, this is about taking general principles, taking lessons learned elsewhere and applying them with a very granular appreciation of the situation on the ground, particularly in the local areas where our company battalion commanders are applying this guidance, turning general, big ideas, if you will, into operational reality on the ground. he has published a tactical driving directive. what is a four star doing publishing that?
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he is taking steps to stop something that was causing the creation of enemies just driving around town in some cases and there are some contingents that had to look at our driving practices, of all things. he published what was called the initial assessment and that was his assessment of the situation on the ground and also laid out the implementation plan that he believed was the right way to go given this afghanistan-pakistan strategy right here, the goals and objectives in it. a subsequent order issued by the national security council, the senior adviser to the president for national security affairs, general retired jones. and then the nato comprehensive approach as it is called, which is very much a whole of government approach also. that is the document that was leaked and we are
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