tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN December 17, 2009 8:06pm-11:00pm EST
all difficult in doing something so fundamental in the middle of a recession which is to extend unemployment insurance and provide an extension in help with regard to kolber or anything else. and we now as senator reid said the these are not just strategies that help people and get through this difficult time, there's also a good thing for the buck. the unemployment insurance, a lot more back, you spend a buck on food stamps and another program to get a lot more back. so i just wished that their actions matched the rhetoric, but we have seen what they're trying to do and that's one of the reasons why we have to keep pushing to get some basic help for americans were living through this nightmare of unemployment as well as the lack of health care that often comes with unemployment. >> thanks, bob, questions if you have an?
yes, sir. >> senators, now that it looks like you're not born to have a vote on the defense bill until saturday what are the chances that the health care bill will be done by christmas? >> the chances remain positive. [laughter] whether the exact probability i think that is senator reid working hard to make it happen before christmas. i would only say that we just can't stop. obviously we are going to take the holiday off, if we haven't done health care for what i would say we've got to come back as soon as we can any continue -- we just cannot put this off indefinitely. we have to continue. >> i would just comment that first off they went to my mind depends on how you define christmas, i know. [laughter]
we are all just trying to remember what did this right now. the reality is this and everyone who is watching this process those that not just as with health care but throughout the year we had the most profound strategy attempted to just stall and stop everything we're trying to do to stop problems. on behalf of the american people and we've had 40 weeks in session and all those 40 weeks we have seen attempts to stall and that is astounding. we are almost at 100 objections and filibuster's. we are and 90 right now -- it's astounding. the question is whether or not we're going to get through a vote on health insurance reform. people can vote how they wish, they can disagree on policy. people can have disagreements and that's what the process is
about, but for them to continue to stall and stalled and stalled and say basically the status quo is okay that letting insurance companies control everything in deciding what you're going to get coverage and in many cases which dr. you're going to see and whether or not you're going to get dropped when you get sick, whether you can have insurance, sometimes that's okay with american people. we are robust whether it is christmas a or christmas or the week after or the week after five saying it is not okay. it is not okay for the american people to this is been happening. we know why it is hard to get this changed. those who are fighting for the status quo and have done it for a long time and fundamentally this is about changing mack. so we put in place to principles london, that's the american people, every american has the
right to be able to have affordable health insurance, affordable health care and secondly that we're putting in place a primer to bring costs down that have skyrocketed. so we don't know what day it will be but we do know that we're determined on behalf of the american people who wrestle this thing away from and the insurance lobbyists and that's fundamentally what's at stake. >> we know that you have talked with senator nelson on the abortion issue. are the types continuing in what is your confidence level you'll be able to not lose the bill? >> well, from the beginning at this process, i'm not going to comment on what another senator is doing or saying or thinking, that's not my job but what i have been trying to do from the beginning is me to goals.
one is to get health care reform passed. an obvious goal of mine in some of the others, but also to do it in a way that's consistent with what i believe to be consensus over quite a century now to not have a taxpayer dollars pay for abortion. it's a strong consensus on that. and i am still working on it. >> what do you propose? >> well, what i have done is by way of a advocacy and by way of amendment, one in particular that i think is very important not only in this context but part of the debate about the bill is helping pregnant women especially those who are victims of domestic violence, those who have been to be students and make a decision to bear a child, we get to help them in a very
direct way and that's why i tried an imminent i did and that's one of the proposals that has gone forward in. >> they will say this is what is proposed and maybe today some of the reporting -- we're still working on it. >> you have tried to look closely at the credit rating agencies. are you keeping this a priority as they take on regulatory reform and what your expectations for the new rules? >> we are focused on credit rating agencies. there is a consensus across the board and they would even admit
that there were not up to the task and were contributing to the financial crisis that we saw. we are proceeding with the reform and in legislation. which we hope would change in incentive structures and laden so there would be more faithful to due diligence to verifying, that they would also have a within their organization in risk assessment people and people who are checking their methodology who are not involved in the sale of the product. those structural changes remain and we're pushing hard to change the pleading standards of at someone who feels that they have been misled by rating can at least get passed similar judgment and find out and discover whether, in fact, the credit agency has taken the appropriate due diligence steps. if the agency does than they would be will protected in terms
of liability so we're pushing hard on its. >> when you're trying to generate language on the abortion amendments, --? [inaudible] >> look, when you have a vote to in the senate to and there is a clear determination made by senators i voted for it and others didn't. if you want to make changes to a bill you have to try to get other ideas on the tables and that's what i've been doing. >> there is confusion on what makes the difference in the eminent. >> i haven't told you a lot about it. [laughter] maybe when we have the opportunity to get into it down the road, i hope that some of that confusion would evaporate. this just isn't the right time at bat.
>> [inaudible] >> the mechanical or the procedural mechanism i'm not sure we can speak to that. is really only a question for the majority leader. >> can you give us the specifics in timing. are you meeting with senator nelson later today or tomorrow? >> i have spoken with him a number of times today. the timing is really a question probably better in certain by those who understand the procedural calendar better than i do, but look, at some point for any part of this bill we have to move toward. i don't know at that exact hour or date is, but that is probably not something i can answer. i'm working on it now. >> senator casey, if senator nelson doesn't appear to be happy with the language that you did develop, does that mean that
you have to go back and kind of start over or do you think that's by tinkering with a language you already have you could get to to something he would be agreeable to? >> as a question for him. >> senator reed, you have already filed, can you please talk about the amendments already riled that are related to this and why this might address some of the concerns? >> i mentioned in the pregnancy amendment in the other one that we have worked hard on is making sure that we can provide a tax credit for adoption and to give parents the ability to have the benefit of a tax credits. even a tax credit that goes up by a thousand dollars front-end with $11,000 would be very helpful. there are obviously other ideas and all of them are necessarily in a particular amendment that i filed.
>> -- you mentioned the two amendments. >> the pregnancy part of my proposal guess. >> in addition to the message in there is also funding for programs and yet to a closed briefing yester day, can you tell us about that and the extra engine? >> the administration does want a cap 35, it is in here. i voted to strike the engine, but i did not prevail obviously. in the briefing was closed because of a proprietary information that might have been raised in terms of the company's positions. we got a status report essentially i can say that much, and this like all major defense and development projects is going to require a lot of oversight. my impression is that secretary
carter and the program offices are really keyed into making sure that this platform and is developed a widely efficiently, not just in design to production and everything else and i understand that this is a major challenge and they are responding. >> senator, in longer-range can you comment, can any comment about the broader jobs bill that the house passed, not the immediate one we are talking about but the one somewhat larger -- if you like the elements, too big, too small, infrastructure -- should that be something the senate should take up early in the year? >> as you know senator reid asked senator durbin and jordan to have a committee put together to put together a jobs bill, we are looking very much at the items that the house had it in terms of construction, infrastructure, funding. certainly support for states. clean energy. i was very pleased yesterday
when the vice president announced a manufacturing strategy, much of which items i have been working on for some time. and i'm very pleased that he has embraced and the administration has embraced a provision i happen ford, senator bingaman and high in the recovery act for a 30% manufacturing tax credit for new equipment, new buildings. retooling buildings and factories and so on. that's an important part of that. i'm hoping that will be in our jobs bill, and pushing very hard to have that manufacturing peace in the jobs bill and we're also very focused on small business and the fact that even though we have given the funds for -- to the investment banks and wall street, we have not seen community banks and small business is getting the capital that they need right now when the major engine of the economy is small business. and so that's very important and i would just go back and say the
other piece as important, with small business is health care costs and focus in terms of coverage and our health care bill is to help small businesses, people who are single of japan yours, as well as those who can't find insurance but are working to be able to find a group pool so that is why the tax cut is in the healthcare bill for small business. equally important in terms of helping small businesses be able to manage their costs and be able to move forward and be successful. but small businesses are very much a part of what we're talking about in the jobs bill as well. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> [inaudible conversations] >> it is difficult and in some ways we are introducing, i am introducing ideas that
heretofore have not been in there today. one of the areas of really good news is both party is i think, most of the other party, not all of them and people within the democratic party but also those who disagree on the issue of abortion and we should bring that number down and one of the ways to do that i think it essential is never been tried it is to help pregnant women and we're going to do that one way of for the other. >> nelson describe an event yesterday as an effort to generally speaking saturday to public and private funds -- is that not accurate? >> well, part of what we are trying to do is to make sure that it in the final legislation there is aggregation of funds as it relates to tax dollars are opinions dollars that we get that right. there are real concerns about the bill as written, this aggregation a provision was an adequate. that was my assessment. one of the reasons why i don't
want to leave the bill as it was instead of saying, well, there's an amendment that went down and we just have to leave the language as is and wait and see what the house does and i wanted to make sure i had an opportunity to improve our bill, the emerging bill as it relates to those provisions but in addition to that have other strategies in place and programs to help pregnant women to get an adoption tax credits, to make changes there's another amendment that i have a filed already on conscience as it relates to hospitals that don't want to perform abortions. i just let the house language constitute back too. >> it does certainly appear that the fate of the healthcare bill hangs in the balance of your ability to negotiate something with senator nelson and. >> don't put that on may. [laughter]
can i get some help? >> considering the current state of your talks with him, would you say that's he has rejected this and there is a stalemate or you feel like you have been discussing it and you got a room here to make further compromises that might be acceptable to him? >> well, i can tell you -- you have to ask him how he's looking at this, but i called him today and we talked on the phone. in it he did not want to talk i am sure he would grab a way not two. >> do you feel that you've had other ideas or there is will remember things that can be tweaked? >> i want to be a fountain of ideas on this. i think there are some things we can talk about beyond what we have talked about here to force back considering this deadline coming up in the end of the year do you feel you have enough time for adequate negotiations on this very delicate issue? >> yes, i think we have time but
it is running short. >> what about -- how to strengthen the issue of segmenting money off that could be used for abortions separate from the subsidy? say like you want to strengthen that in the build -- how did you do that? >> are you moving that two states were arrested. >> we are trying to strengthen that. >> would people be able to opt into its? into abortion the coverage? >> i don't know what it will look like. that is one of the ideas that has been discussed. >> some of the pro-life groups seem to object and are calling it a conscientious objector clause. i guess individuals been allowed to contact their insurance companies and try to seek assurances that their premium dollars not be used -- is that accurate and how to respond to the criticism? >> two things -- we are trying to have a lot of ideas but i'm
not going to react to what groups are saying because we are not there yet. i think it would be more a appropriate when there is something that is in front of everyone and have a debate about whether it's adequate or works or not. there have been a lot of a thing said the last 24 hours. there are ads going in pennsylvania going after me. so it's kind of an interesting time. >> is the basic idea that health plans that receive federal subsidies could provide coverage for abortion and in some circumstances and they don't use any federal money? that's what the premise is? >> i don't want to characterize that way because i am afraid when you start doing that to we
short circuit -- all i can say is we're trying to get this right. i have had ideas on the table for a while. i'm still working through them and we will keep talking to anyone who wants to discuss it. >> i guess, what is -- what you're willing to do if they want coverage for abortion and? should they be able to buy at some point? >> i really believe we have had a consensus of people on both sides of the abortion issue is a question of what happens to tax dollars in the new exchange. and what happens to premium dollars into exchange. the difficulty is not just difficulty or the conflict results from debate about the abortion issue. the difficulty here is you never had exchanged before and it's something we've never had to deal with. so you're working with something there's really no model where as
prior two this youth had medicaid, for example, which is clearly public funded program and the federal law says you can't use pursuant to high public dollars. is more difficult and complicated when talking about the exchange. >> the catholic bishops said they will -- they want language -- do you agree with them that the plans will be imposed unless they have language? >> i've said from the beginning i think we can accomplish both goals. the big goal here is to get a healthcare bill but also we want to do it, and these are all the other reasons i've cited many times why the bill should be passed. also doing a way that continues that consensus and to respect the conscience of those who are paying premiums the dollar to have their dollars fund
abortion. i think we can get there but i am not going to -- release not today comment on what a group is saying out there. >> what about the language? >> i think we should do everything we can to get a bill pass and we can get their. >> can you explain how it would help of the segregation of funds to give states a larger role in overseeing? >> it's not something that i have considered to but i'm willing to look at a proposal. do you have any ideas? [laughter] >> senator casey, ideologically -- it seems that one side and says no subsidies or insurance plans and abortion coverage and the other said yes there should be. >> welcome ideology is playing a role in this but it does and a
lot of things. and being serious i think it does -- the atmosphere in washington doesn't help any but like i said before we are dealing with something we haven't dealt with before in terms of the exchanges. it's a lot easier and a lot more straightforward and when talking about public program. i think that's an easier analogy. when you're talking at this stage it's a lot more complicated. >> when you plan to speak with senator nelson? >> what time is it? [laughter] >> we talk today already and i will probably try to catch up with them before the day is out. we don't have a lot of time. >> what to senator riegle said in terms of your deadline forgetting -- for reaching an agreement. >> he has managed -- he has been here since 1986.
the good news here, there actually is some good news, is that people are vigorously debating in so engage in a way we have never been engaged on this issue and that is good, even if it leads to people in the same party having disagreements and sometimes those disagreements playing out on national television. i am trying to get the silver lining to that, but i think it is good that people are passionate about it and people are debating it, but i try to put aside the analysis that people will make about what is going to happen or is it moving
or is it not. >> what did essay and pennsylvania? >> i have not seen that ad, but it is a father-son at. >> do you mean your father and his son? your father? >> right. a group from washington. >> pc? >> d.c., yes. thanks everybody. [inaudible conversations] >> we continue our health care coverage on c-span2. next mississippi governor haley barbour join senate republicans in their opposition to health care legislation being debated in the senate. the governor talks about parts of the legislation that would expand medicaid. that program is funded in part by the states.
this is a little over 20 minutes. >> good afternoon. i am here to introduce haley barbour, the governor of mississippi and chairman of the republican governors association and following his comments we have three united states senators who were former governors, gregg, johanns and risch from new hampshire, nebraska and idaho. i was at one time governor of tennessee. while we don't yet know what is in the democratic health care bill we do know this much. increases medicaid by 133% of poverty and what that means to states is a huge new bill of about $25 million over ten years. the federal government says it will pick up the cost for three years but after that states are on their own and the bill is big. here is what governor schwarzenegger from california had to say about that medicaid expansion. this is the last thing we need.
$3 billion of spending when we already have a 20 billion-dollar deficit so i would see very very careful before you go to bed with all of this. let's rethink it. there's no rush from one second to the next. let's take a weaker to and come up with the right package. the mother of all unfunded mandates, he has estimated it would cost their state's $700 million or more over the next five years. my own estimate is that will increase taxes, increase college tuitions, cost offenders to be released from prison or all of the above. governor barbour. >> thank you senator and of course you are exactly right about it. how many-- geeking be sure the democratic governors are just as concerned about this bill as the republicans. just let it but my counterpart the democratic governors' association of delaware told the
"new york times" earlier this month. the senate bill represents a 25 billion-dollar cost to state governments. at the federal government puts an enormous an unfunded mandate on state taxpayers so that the senators can pretend that they health care bill does not increase the federal deficit. this is fraud and deceit against the taxpayers. my state will get hit for $1.3 billion over the first six year period from 2014 to 2019. nebraskans taxpayers will have the e $450 million. the out of taxpayers will pay some $1 billion a year by the end of the decade according to governor mitch daniels. as governor paterson of new york, a democrat, wrote to and we all agree, states don't have this money. in fact we are already cutting
our budget. i have already cut mississippi's budget by nearly 5% this year with more cuts to come. state after state, every state is cutting its current budget and recognizing there will be more cuts in next year's budget. in my case, in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars were cutting this year we have to cut $715 million out of next year's budget as compared to the current budget. that will be more than 10% cut. indeed, and i think this is gary under reported, some states like our neighbors in tennessee, have already capped in bromund in medicaid. this is just the opposite of what the congressional democrats' plan would do, but medicaid is one of the most difficult problems in state budgets today. and as i say, senator alexander's governor has had to
capture medicaid. that means no one else can enroll in tennessee's medicaid plan. the other thing is that voters are beginning to understand this health care bill is not only bad policy, they are beginning to recognize it will increase state taxes. in my state the state income tax and estate sales tax or both will have to be raised if we are forced to pay about $140 million more per year that we simply don't have. and like up here, our governor to balance our budgets. to us, this health care plan is like a mackerel in the moonlight, the longer it is out there the worse it's things. and taxpayers agree. i notice that in publishing in nebraska 67% in nebraska voters
oppose the health care plan. in colorado, 57% would ask their senators not to vote for it. and nevada even, 56% said they would ask their congressman not to vote for it. and as i say, the more people know about the bill, the longer it is out there, the fewer the number of people that support it and more the number of people that oppose it. thank you. senator. >> thank you governor and thank you for coming today to point out of the rubber hits the road when congress passes a bill like this. all of us talev surface governor have experienced this before the federal government and members of congress take great credit for some proposal that they put out and then we, as former governors when we were governor and governor barbour is the presence in governor have to pay for that.
the bottom line is the state's tax increases because they can't run deficits in most instances. in this instance, the medicaid expansion is pretty dramatic. they are going to have 15 million people on medicaid. the people that they intend to ensure or don't have insurance today and in new hampshire that means that will increase our medicaid costs by approximately $130 million. but there's a hidden cost here too to everybody else in new hampshire because we know medicaid only reimburses 60% of the cost of the cares of the other 40% is picked up by people who have private insurance and the state so as to push more people in the medicaid, that drives up private policies. the premiums on private policies and of course that also causes people small businesses especially, to drop policies and so more people will become on injured. it is sort of a death spiral for
the private policy area because it has such a disproportionate impact on the cost of private insurance, and so dfx on our states are going to be significant and as the former governor, i certainly don't want to c.s passing laws here which put the unfunded mandates on our states and this certainly is one. >> well, let me also express my appreciation to haley barbour for being here with us today. as has been referenced by was governor of nebraska for a period of time, about a term and a half before it became secretary of agriculture. medicaid is a great challenge for our states. the challenge is not only financial, but the challenge relates to the service actually getting the health care that you are promising. in nebraska, about 35% of the doctors do not take medicaid
patients. nationally, that number is closer to 40%. it is a very serious dilemma. and the problem is, it is not that they are cold hearted about this, it is that they would go broke because the reimbursement rates are so poor. so, when i first saw the outline to the health care plan i must admit i was shocked. i could not believe that that was senator reed's approach in terms of providing some kind of a plan to about 15 million people. the other twist to this that again just makes me wonder who crafted this policy and why weren't they listening to small-town hospitals, the other piece of this is that with a half a trillion dollars, nearly half a trillion dollars in medicaid cuts, the cms actuary last week in his report, which again i emphasize was just an astounding report, said that
about 20% of the medicare providers are going to be in the red within ten years. so, think about that for a second. you have literally a situation today where people on medicaid are having a very, very difficult time accessing medicare, or medical services who are going to aggravate the problem by adding millions more to it. we are going to get medicare by half a trillion dollars in literally what medical providers under water to the tune of about 20%. it is no wonder that this cms actuaries said there are going to be some serious axis problems involved here. because folks would just up taking medicaid and medicare. our governor has done a very thorough analysis of the impact of this medicaid provision, and
he wrote a letter to my colleague, senator nelson, and i was provided a copy of that. here is what governor heineman says. he says, and this was stated yesterday. he says i am writing you today because the current health care bill is bad news for nebraska. america's health care system needs improvement, but this bill is not the answer. you are the 60th vote and as governor of the state that we both represent, i urge you to vote against this bill and against cloture. their analysis shows that the impact of this on our state is that the federal reimbursement will fall short by about $45 million by fiscal year 2019, ultimately that is a 450 million-dollar impact over ten years. i will wrap up with this
thought. our state is a little bit unusual. we really do believe you should pay as you go. our constitution does not allow us to borrow money. we have three choices when we balance the budget, raise taxes, cut spending or to both. there isn't another choice in borrowing money. we have no debt in nebraska. no hi wade debt, no debt to build buildings, no debt, and we are very, very proud of that. our governor has made a very tough decisions as previous governors have. for us here in the nation's capital to irresponsibly lay upon him and future governors and the unfunded mandate, and all the harm that will do to this the people being put on medicaid just isn't right. thank you. >> thank you all for coming today. just very briefly, today what we
would like to do is tell you, don't listen to us, listen to the democratic governors out there and the ones that are former democratic governors. listen to what they have to say about this. this is a plan that is a typical washington dc solution to the problem, and what it does is here in washington d.c. the way the people spend money is, they don't have that but they spend it anyway. they either printed or daybar wit from the chinese. states can't do that. i think senator alexander has said that every senator who votes for this should be sentenced to go back and be in governor. there's about a dozen of this year, not about, there are exactly a dozen, six republicans and six democrats who have been governors. we know how this works at the state level. only a handful of states operate by going into debt. virtually every state has balance the budget requirements and as was just dated here, the only way they can make this fly
are either high, high tax increases or deep cuts in education. virtually every state is probably like idaho, where about two-thirds of the money the state spends goes to education. if you were going to try to balance a budget you either have to raise taxes or you have to dig deep into education to make cuts to balance the budget. states don't want to do this. finally let me conclude with this and say that the availability is another important issue. the states are doing various things to help people who are in this category. but if you bring in the federal program and increase the number of people that are on medicaid it is very difficult to find providers who are willing to take medicaid patients and that is what you are sentencing the people of the state to do in addition to causing these serious, serious financial
problems in the state. thank you very much. >> governor barbour. >> do you think it may be putting more people into medicaid bill might help state budgets with less bad debts at hospitals and for medical care that is knell insured? >> no. >> why not? >> first of all, what we are going to end up with is a huge unfunded mandate that is the enormous, and my state we are going to have 300,000 people to the medicaid rolls. that is about a 50% increase. and what will happen there is the taxpayers are going to ease some were as little as $138 million a year and as much as $210 million a year depending on all in and we won't make that up by any sort of reduction in
swapping around who ends up making the payments. for those of us who are governors it is unbelievable that senators would vote for this, when it is directly against the interests of their state and i know they are being asked to support the president instead of supporting their state, but they need to know that voters have figured out that this is going to be a big state tax increase. >> you mentioned the voters. could you talk a little bit more about what are the political ramifications of the democrats get it passed? >> you know, i hate-- this is such a bad policy for the united states. it is going to be so bad for health care system. is going to make health-insurance premiums go up. it is going to cut medicare by about $500 billion. huge state tax increase. it is catastrophic for small
business. but, if the democrats want to do something to help the republicans i can't improve on this. i have been looking for jim jones and where is the kool-aid. this is awful, awful policy for our country and the people know it. the public already understands this. and the longer the debate goes on, the more the public understands they are going to end up paying more and they are going to get worse quality health care, but politically, if the nation can survive it, it will be a political windfall for republicans. maam, lady's first. >> i know you support generally what the democrats are doing
but, doing less to expand medicaid and putting more people out into the private system with subsidies from the federal government and expanding medicaid, which you think would be better? >> well, i don't think we should expand medicaid at all as far as the reform bill if there is no way to pay for it. okay? why are they not paying for it? because it is the only way that they can pull the wool over the people's eyes to make the people think it is deficit-neutral and does not add to the deficit. it doesn't add to the deficit because it will make the states pay. doesn't that to the deficit because they are going to talk-- fix the doctor and another bill. as if that doesn't count. there are clearly some ways to reform and improve the health care in the united states. this would not. this is a bad bill that would be worse than nothing.
sir. >> thank you. are you saying it's the bill passes in its current form that the budget burd nihcm porsches on the states would force you personally as governor to support tax increases down the line in order to pay for the unfunded mandate? >> it would force mississippi to raise taxes to pay for the federal mandates because we are already in the process of cutting our budget for next year by $750 million below this year. that is about a 12% cut, and unless we are going to take another $150 million out of education, law enforcement, and i will just tell you want to cut 12% on top of the cuts we have already done, those are pretty steep cuts, so yeah if this becomes law mississipians are going to pay higher income tax or a higher sales tax or both.
those are the only to taxes we have got that have enough size to raise this kind of money. sir. >> a follow up on something you said a minute ago. give me an example or two of how he would improve health care and how you would pay for it? >> the first thing we could do to improve health care is go in just the opposite direction about standards. one of the biggest groups that doesn't have health insurance in the united states or people in their '30's and the reason many of them don't is because they live in states where their standard benefit package forces them to buy health insurance to cover what people my age need, and it has made the price of health care, health insurance, in many states become so high that frankly 25-year-old would be stupid to buy it. now, what we need to do is allow those people to buy a catastrophic policy that they could pay 100 or $120 a month,
and have a small health savings account to cover if they get a cold. instead, this bill will make those people subsidize people my age and in a huge extent, because through community rating they are going to make not only 25 euros five benefits they don't want or need, it will make them pay premiums closer to what 60 rove's pay as part of this package. >> what about the under 30's that can afford it? where does that money come from? >> let's say first of all there are people under 30 who can afford it. there is an enormous body of people in the united states that make more than 50 or $60,000 a year that choose not to have health insurance and for many of them the reason is the state his trip in the cost through regulation so high that they can't see how it is a good economic deal for them. what i'd be in favor of some subsidies for people to make too
much income to be on medicaid? i absolutely would, and in my state i have proposed creating a health insurance exchange. it is quite different from massachusetts, more like the one in utah but i have a 136,000 people who don't have health insurance. this would make it easier for small businesses to buy health insurance, by allowing more pooling, by making sure they get the tax advantages and making sure that their employees do have to pay and also get tax advantages. there are a lot of things we can do to improve the system. very few of them are in this bill. >> how would you pay for those subsidies? >> first of all you could pay for them out of the state treasury if you reduce the number of people that are on medicaid rather than increase the number of people that are on
medicaid. >> thank you. >> could you, i read the letter from the governor to senator nelson and i'm just curious if you have reached out to him at all and what your interactions have been like? >> with senator nelson? >> senator nelson if you have talked to him. >> we talk on a regular basis simply because we both represent the state and we work together well. i have known the senator for many years. when i was mayor he was governor and when i was governor he was a senator so we have had an ongoing working relationship. so it is not unusual for us to talk any given day whether it is on the floor, walking back toward fourth or on the phone. i can't offer much beyond that and i am always very careful about what we do talk about it. our working relationship has
>> now a hearing on contacting the oversight in afghanistan. a new congressional study says 56,000 contractors could be headed to afghanistan as the president's troop surge begins. meanwhile i house committees investigating allegations that contractors have been paying off warlords and the taliban to avoid attacks on convoys. this is bill's than two ours.
>> thank you all very much for being here. this hearing will come to order. i have a great opening statement that an incredibly competent and conscientious that has helped me with but i think instead of delivering it i think that will make it part of the record. i think i will tell a story. i, fresh out of auditing in the state of missouri, having run a government auditing agent for a number of years, came to the united states senate and was honored to get a seat on the armed services committee. so, as i began to learn about the conflict in iraq, i kept coming back to contrasting, because the auditor in me was surprised at some of the things i began learning about contracting in iraq, so i went to iraq. and the purpose of my trip was
not to do what many senators do when they go to iraq, which is to look at the conflict through the prism of the military mission, i went specifically for the reason to oversee contract thing. and what was going on with contrasting. i spent more time in kuwait which won't surprise some of you then actually spent in the theater and i have many different things that happened on that trip that are seared into my hard drive. realizations about the lack of coordination and integration between various pots of money. amazing lapses in scoping contracts and making contracts definite enough that they could be in force, particularly from any kind of accountability standpoint and the government getting their money back when it had been abused and misused by contractors. i will though only tell you one of many stories i could tell you
because i think it is so illustrative of how bad the problem was in iraq. we were sitting in a ram where logcap was administered in iraq. this was not in kuwait. as is so often the case and i say this with affection when you were getting a briefing from the military there was a powerpoint and in fact i think there must be a loss of more than you are not allowed to get a briefing from the military without a powerpoint. there was a powerpoint and there was a lot of important people in the room. there were command staff, there were lots of people that clearly had the military command authority in the area but they turned over the discussion of a logcap contract to why women in the room. clearly a civilian and maybe the most knowledgeable about the logcap contract in the room and i think they turned it over to her because she was the one trying to make the trains run on time in a lot about it. she put up a powerpoint showing
the logcap contract by year end as many of you remember the first year of the logcap contract wildly exceeded the estimates by billions of dollars. i think i can remember now and i haven't gone back to look but my recollection is the first year was 17 or $18 billion on logcap and the original estimate was less than 1 billion. then she showed a bar graph of the gears and you saw a big drop in the logcap contract after the first year to the next year and then it kind of leveled out in still a huge amount of money. and, so she got through the presentation and you could tell she was kind of nervous so i was trying to help her, right? i was trying to be kind. i was sometimes in this hearing room and others i didn't appear i was being kind. i was trying to be kind to her and i said to her, you left out what ewald did to bring the contract down so much after the first year. there was an awkward and uncomfortable silence in the room as everyone shifted and looked at each other and with
god as my witness she looked at me across the table and said it was a fluke. that is the best example i can give you of several examples of how contract thing went wild in iraq. so, here we are in afghanistan, and i know many of you because you referenced in your testimony, have gone through six years book of hard lessons. i know many of you understand the challenges now that we face in contacting but one thing is clear, we will have more contractors and afghanistan then we will have men and women in uniform. there is no doubt about that. we will spend a significant chunk of the tens of billions of dollars in afghanistan will be spent through contractors, so the purpose of this hearing and it will be the first of several hearings we will have, is to
begin to get an overview as to how the ground has changed as it relates to contacting during a contingency. how was the coordination occurring, if it is? how integrated is the effort? most importantly is the mission now saturated with the knowledge that if we are going to have contractors do supply lines, make breakfast, do the laundry, bill not only the buildings for men and women in uniform but also buildings and roads for the people of afghanistan, do the taxpayers of any better shot at getting value for their money this time than they did in iraq? i certainly hope they do and i want to thank all of you for being here today and look forward to your testimony in the work in progress as we began to try to get a real handle on how we spend money in a contingency to make sure that we don't waste the billions and billions and billions of dollars that went up
in smoke in iraq. and i will turn it over to you senator bennett for your statement. >> thank you very much madam chairman and i'm interested in your story. i have a gary quick story about when i went to iraq and was being shown in kuwait, as you rightly put it. that is where everything jumps off. the transportation program of how they were shipping material from kuwait to iraq, a very competent lieutenant chernow was in charge of this and he was obviously very much on top of the whole thing, and i asked him, are you regular army or reserve? esad reimers sir. i said what to do in civilian life? he said i'm a distribution manager for walmart. for once the army has the right choice in the civilian experience in the military side.
that may be a jumping off to pick up on where you have led us with their opening statement. the challenge in afghanistan, where as you correctly note-- mentioned, we have as many contracts in personnel as we have military personnel in that ratio is going to stay the same if in fact we may not end up with more contracting personnel than we have military personnel. they are both engaged in exactly the same thing, which is a counterinsurgency kind of battle, which means the contractor cannot sit back and say well i have done my job but i'm not engaged in the counterinsurgency because the way we deal with counterinsurgency, to take the slogan of the iraq's surge, is that you control it and then you hold that in the new build. the contractor is very much
involved in the holding in the building. it must work hand in glove with the military and cannot be, have its own separate command and control system and its own separate management plan without being completely integrated in this kind of circumstance. it is not your traditional war where the military does all of the war fighting and the contractors simply fills in the back functions, so i agree with you that you have described this properly. now, i am encouraged by the initiatives that some of the things we have learned in the rack and i agree with you there are a lot of lessons in iraq that we need to learn that maybe we haven't but the commanders emergency response program that allows the military to, if something needs to be done quickly, put out the money to do it quickly. do we make sure that we don't cross the line there of having
the commanders do something that aid and the state department should be doing in the name of commanders emergency response program? that is another part of this where there needs to be some coordination, so i guess basically what i am saying is, when the government agencies outsourced the work that they want performed, they cannot outsourced the results. and that is too often what happens. you outsource the work and say well that is the contractor's responsibility and we don't have to oversee the results. everything has to be properly coordinated and work. the challenge we have from the witness panel is to see that the military, the state department, aid and the contractors are all meshed together for the best results there. i believe in contrasting. i think it is a great
improvement over the old military where everything had to be done by a soldier somewhere even if it had nothing whatever to do with the military mission, but as we move to that good idea, the challenge of coordinating all of that becomes very serious one, and it is very laudatory that you were holding this hearing to try to probe into how that is done. >> thank you senator bennett. let me introduce the witnesses. we have with us today william campbell who is the director of operations for the undersecretary of defense the comptroller at the united states department defense where in addition to the oversight of operation and maintenance accounts he has the responsibility for the development and overseas contingency operations. prius the mr. campbell served as acting deputy of the army for budget. we have ed harrington who is the deputy assistant secretary dick armey for procurement. he is a former senior u.s. army officer with more than 28 years of experience in the acquisition
in contrasting. he also served as director of the defense contractor agency from 2001 to 2003. charles north is a senior director of the afghanistan pakistan task force that the u.s. agency for international development. mr. north has been with usaid since 1987. he previously served as the director of the usaid policy office in the regional director for the western hemisphere in the office of the director of foreign assistance in the state department. daniel feldman is the deputies special representative for the afghanistan and pakistan at the u.s. department of state. mr. feldman is one of two deputies to ambassador holbrooke the special representative for afghanistan and pakistan. he previously served as director of the multilateral and humanitarian affairs at the national security council during the clinton administration and with the council of communications adviser on this committee, the senate, and government affairs committee.
most recently mr. feldman was a partner at foley. jeff parsons is executive director of the army contract in command. mr. parsons also serves as the principal adviser to the commanding general of the army materiel command on contract matters and is the army material career program manager the crear program. it is the custom of the subcommittee to swear in all witnesses appear before sophie doma annette would like to ask you to stand. do you all swear that the testimony you will give before this subcommittee will be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? thank you. let the record reflect the witnesses have all entered in the affirmative. we will be using it timing system today. we would ask that your oral testimony be more-- no more than five minutes and we will put your entire testimony as part of the record, and once again i want to thank all of your for your service to our country.
none of you are in these jobs because you are making the big bucks in your office the working in the jobs you are working because you care about your country and want to contribute so let's start with that and i will begin with mr. campbell. >> thank you chairman mccaskill, senator bennett. i appreciate the opportunity to explain from a budget perspective the actions to improve the oversight of reconstruction projects in afghanistan. my remarks in particular will focus on the commanders emergency response program for the certification program. as you may know it began as the u.s. funded program in fiscal year 2004 and is designed to enable local commanders in iraq and afghanistan to respond to urgent humanitarian relief and reconstruction requirements within their area of responsibility. it is a valuable tool the commanders used to fund projects that will immediately assist the local populations. in testimony before the senate
armed services committee last april general petraeus called it a virtual vital counterinsurgency tool for commanders in afghanistan and iraq. small projects to be the most effective means to address the local community needs and where security is lacking is often the only immediate means for addressing these needs. since 2004 dod has obligated approximately $1.6 billion for programs and afghanistan and that includes about $551 million in fiscal year 2009. those projects over 2300 projects in 2009 took two-thirds of those funds spent on transportation projects but about 90% of all the products were valued at 500,000 or less. ire recognition of the program's effectiveness in the value congress has authorized for fy10
$1.3 billion for the program and we understand we will appropriate 1.2 billion for the program. centcom plans to allocate the bulk of those funds to operations in afghanistan. by its nature it involved decentralize implementation by the local theater. tomar x'er responsiveness to urgent needs and flexibility and we have heard the concerns expressed by members of congress here today as well. we studied the recent findings of audit reports and reexamined lessons learned from previous deployments and we have taken steps within the department within the army and within centcom theater to improve the oversight of the program always the goal of not diminishing the key element of flexibility and responsiveness the program provides to the commanders in the field. with what-- within dod the office comptroller provides guidance to the management regulation. these regulations went to a significant uptick in june and december of 2008 and this
guidance is supplemented by field level instruction and training. all guidance is continually updated to respond to the changing operational conditions. to improve oversight of the program the army has enhanced training in four key positions, the project manager, the project purchasing officer, the paying agent and the unit commander. the first three form a triad of the expertise that of the project must have. unit commanders are vital to ensure the appropriate products are identified integrate training in detail procedures providing checks and balances necessary at every project. in addition in afghanistan u.s. agency for international development not participate as a voting member on the review board at the command level. their participation prevents duplication of effort and helps identify any problems with sustainment of the projects nominated by the program. at the time energy and ingenuity that people have devoted to
improving service reflects a desire to spend taxpayer money wisely and to maintain a program that has proven to be a valuable tool in fighting in afghanistan and iraq. dod recognizes more improvements can be made in the management to maintain both the flexibility and accountability of this essential feel driven program. to that and the deputy secretary will lead a review of cerp to determine how best to enhance the department's guidance, management and oversight. in this report will be completed and made available to congress this spring. that may again thank you for the tremendous support of the congress to this program and i will be glad to address any questions on cerp. thank you. >> chair women mccaskill, senator bennett distinguished members of the subcommittee on contacting oversight thank you for this opportunity discuss the contrasting operations in afghanistan where we strive to be agile expeditionary and
responsive to our warfighters while ensuring the proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars. with me today is mr. jeff carstens a ticket director of the army contract to committee. with a joint written statement that i respectfully request be made part of the woman-- record. we thank the members of the subcommittee and members of congress as we work to rebuild the acquisition in contacting workforce to execute the increasing workload in the number of contacted actions in the contract to dollars which in the last 15 years has increased in excess of 500%. which your help and help of the office of the secretary of defense we are working aggressively to bill the workforce numbers and restore their skills to deal with the complexities of contrasting. along with the additional workforce personnel we thank you for authorizing five additional general officer billets for acquisition. our progress in filling these positions is outlined in a written statement. is important to note that bill phillips will relinquish command
of the joint contract command in iraq and afghanistan or jccia and become the principal military deputy to our assistant secretary of the army prepositional whichistic sent technology and will also become direct for acquisition career management. both of these require a three star billing. brigadier camille nichols is slated to take command of jccia in place of general phelps. general phillips is the first contract in general officer and the principal military deputy. we feel this is a strong example of the armours commitment to contacting. the kcci his of the race is in service to include supporting the finn suburban commanders emergency response program. the jccia mission does not include reconstruction of afghanistan because that mission is assigned to the u.s. agency for international development. jccia does have a direct role in developing the economy of afghanistan. for example to the afghan first
program jccia is awarded roughly $1.8 billion to afghani businesses since october 1st 2008. jccia awarded more than $39 million to afghan women owned businesses. in support of the president's decision to send an additional 30,000 troops to afghanistan general phelps and a staff are conducting a mission analysis and coordination with centcom the joint staff and our army step to determine the resources personal and locations were contractor support will be required to surge. we are engaged with jccia on a daily basis to provide direct support. earlier this year we established the joint theater contract support office within my office of the pentagon to ensure jccia has fully funded manned and supported resources in this continue to contract in mission. as additional troops deployed this mission takes on even greater importance. were also continuing improving our processes talev red state
contacting capabilities to augment jccia's. as an example the army contract to command established a rege back contacting office as a center of excellence at the rock island contractor and center in illinois. through the center were working with jccia and the contractor command to identify requirements that can perform a rock island. we also initiated court nation with the air force to find a team of its contracting officers to augment rock island's reach bac capability. in addition to ease the workload in theater of the army has established a jccia specific contract closed up tax force now in the process of closing at 80,000 contracts. thank you very much madam and this includes my opening remarks. mr. parsons will now discuss the logistics program after which we look forward to your questions. [inaudible] >> deputy chairman mccaskill,
senator bennett and distinguished members of the subcommittee thank you for the opportunity to provide information on the status of the logcap contracts and afghanistan including the continuing transition from logcap three which requires a single source company to the logcap iv contract which uses three different performance contractors. both of these contingency contracts enabled army to provide critical support to deploy troops serving on the front lines of afghanistan. the highly complex and challenging logcap program is accomplished by a team of up to, of up to four deployed and restalin departments civilians, army reserve officers and noncommissioned officers in the logcap support unit andy officers ncos and civilian employees of the defense contract management agency or dcma. these hard-working highly skilled people make up team logcap and provide contract oversight of the three performance contractors,.
the auditing agency also provides support and is a key partner in our oversight functions. teen logcap is further supported by the men and women serving here in the united states but the u.s. army materiel command and his support commands in the u.s. army contract to command in the u.s. army sustain units. they had planned to provide status and answer your questions so what we are doing to support the forces throughout the logcap contracts and afghanistan. i thank you for your continued interest in logcap and the contingency process. the army contract in command is committed to excellence in all contract including these very complex and critical logcap contracts. we continue to collect lessons learned in make improvements in adjustments along the way to ensure mission success and protection of the interest of the u.s. government and the taxpayer. it is my honor to lead the contacting teen and achieving these goals. thank you for inviting me to speak with you today. this includes my opening remarks.
>> thank you mr. parsons. mr. north. >> chairman mccaskill, ranking member bennett and senator kirk and other members of the subcommittee, thank you for your invitation to testify before the subcommittee on the topic of afghan reconstruction and development contracts. i will keep my remarks brief and ask of my full statement be submitted as part of the official record. with in the presence of afghanistan pakistan strategy usaid's mission in afghanistan is to support afton lead development. build of gann capacity to the the local and national levels and strive for afghan sustainability. as you know afghanistan is a high risk environment in which corruption and distortion propose significant risk. as a result it would be impossible for me or usaid under these circumstances to declare unequivocally that wrongdoing will never occur. at the same time though it is important to underscore that we
have placed well-designed practices to minimize opportunities for misconduct in misappropriation of funds. based on these requirements, we aggressively managed performance, review and improve our systems and practices and promptly respond to all allegations. for the more we work closely with the usaid inspector general as well as the special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction and the government accounting office. to best respond usaid has become an integral component in the whole of government unity of the effort in afghanistan all of our planning and operation streamline and coordinate with the various u.s. government agencies. on the ground we work under the leadership of ambassador eikenberry and ambassador gray. at duper venjah reconstruction teams and in the regional command offices are field
officers work daily with their military and interagency civilian counterparts to implement u.s. governance mission in afghanistan. the prt's service additional eyes and ears on the grant to further improve our program effectiveness and to flag potential issues. usaid's u.s. and afghan staffer central to program implementation. are on the ground presence says double since january and continues to grow. as of december 7, usaid afghanistan has 180 american staff in the country, usaid expects to have a total of 333 americans on the ground early next year. we also have 136 afghans and 163rd country nationals on our staff in afghanistan. usaid currently has ten contracts and officers to focus on afghanistan and more than 57 contacting officers technical representatives on our staff in
the country as well. our staff operate within a new initiative called afghan furs which others have referred to. the guiding principle is that afghans lead, not follow in their path to a secure and economically viable country. the program strives to buy afghan products, used afghans on firms for procurement and use-- whenever possible in order to build capacity in afghanistan. in conclusion afghanistan is hungry for development. the united states and coordination with international partners is providing jobs for the jobless, a voice to the voiceless, food for the hungry and hope for the hopeless. we know it will be difficult. we remain optimistic, even during weeks like this when five members of our team for the development alternatives international were killed by a suicide bomber. but these principles extending
monitoring and oversight ahold government approach toward citizen development, civilian development specialist than pleasing afghan fears will make a difference for the people of afghanistan. thank you. >> thank you mr. north and obviously we are continuously standing in all of people who lose their lives in this effort, whether they are civilians, from the state department are part of our military. it is obviously beyond bravery that people are willing to stand up and go into a contingency like that, especially in some ways and i don't think civilians get enough pats on the back, we love our military and their bravery but i think we forget sometimes that there are a lot of brave people who are stepping forward the don't wear a uniform, better in harm's way. mr. feldman. >> chairwoman mccaskill and centers bennett and curt thank you for your invitation to appear to discuss their efforts
to enhance oversight and accountability for reconstruction contract in afghanistan as a former stafford is an honor and unique experience to be back in this hearing room all but on this side of the table. >> we can't wait. [laughter] >> as you know this is a complex topic with many agencies. the state department's office of this represented has a new role in formulating policy and be doing in improving contracts while our embassy in kabul and usaid collins can speak more directly to the challenges related to implementation yet other colleagues can speak more closely to the situation in afghanistan as it compares to iraq u.s. secretary clinton noted in her recent appearance the obama administration inherited and underresourced pavillion effort in afghanistan. as a result of efforts have fallen short of expectations. the past and months whiff conducted a broader review not only of our systems objectives but also how we go about
delivering our assistance programs. the result of this is a new more focused and effective assistance effort aligned with their core goal of disrupting dismantling and defeating al qaeda additionally our assistance is implemented in partnership with the afghan government and local implementing partners. while we have not resolved all the problems we uncovered i believe you know have a robust system of ricky management and oversight in place that will deliver improved results of the next 12 to 18 months. afghan government institutions to diminish the threat posed by extremism. [unintelligible] @@@@
we're shifting away from large us-based contractors smaller more flexible reconstruction contracts with fewer sub ground and subcontract that enable underground oversight. the premise behind this flexibility is ample. we need to be able to adapt our programs as conditions change on the ground. the smaller contracts and grants were managed by u.s. officials in the field closer to the actual activity implementation, making it easier for the same officials to direct monitor and oversee products to ensure the proper use of taxpayers funds. on decentralization usaid officials postage regional civilian platforms bring with them finding a flexible authorities to enhance the response missive broke ranks and better corporate. we found it doesn't even enhance
development activities on the district level but that it also more cost effective. on increased rectus offense, we are also decreasing our reliance on large international contractors and building afghan institutional capacity by increasing are direct assistance to afghan government mechanisms and consternation. this includes afghan reconstruction trust on which includes a national solitaire program. to receive direct assistance afghan ministries must be certified as a media accountability and have had support the afghan civil service commission increases the professional skills of leadership at an afghan government enabling afghans to increasingly as a responsibility for their hunter's economic development. our goal is to have up to 40% of u.s. assistance to liberty local entities by december 2010 and 2 certified six of the core afghan ministries and the same time. riyadh on a bridge accountability and oversight at the start of our contracted review secretary loose reviewed
individually every major contract to ensure they were in line with a strategy that the president had announced in march 2009. it focused on ensuring that a new contract was mechanisms to improve performance and significantly decrease the overall% of multiyear contracts. while washington remains closer with the review process ambassador tony wayne who reputedly have heard about are courtney and director for development and economic assistance in kabul now have day-to-day responsibility for reviewing each contract to ensure adherence to her national security goals. recognizing that the substantial international system of activity and has the potential took a newbie to correction we've hired contracting personnel to enhance oversight programs as well as additional t-tango staff in the field to monitor program implementation and impact. the special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction if congress is either and ears on the ground in afghanistan and support its role in evaluating internal controls and implementation of assistance programs. in conclusion, secretary noll of
us who work on afghanistan we believe in the duty for the resources of the american people are used for the purposes intended in approved by the congress. the reforms that we've implemented will over time decrease overhead and related cost for assistance programs increasing the amount per dollar of u.s. assistance directly benefiting the afghan people and the afghan cetaceans. afghanistan is a complex dynamic and difficult operational environment and that constrains our abilities to some answer by the high-level oversight products would otherwise require. we are making every effort to ensure that the required operational flexibility smash with the highest dedication to account ability and we are committed to taking the necessary court of action when the problem occurs. thank you. >> thank you, mr. feldman. we will each do five-ish minutes and do as many rounds as we need to do in order for everyone to cover their questions today. i may start out by asking a question that probably individually none of you can answer, but it might be one of those moments for collaboration that would be important. can somebody give me a number in
terms of how much we're spending on contracts in afghanistan -- what you would guess the number is going to be or ballpark number for either this year or next year? can anybody do that? maybe let's do it by stovepipe then. are there significant contractual obligations other than syrup and ait? am i missing a significant outlay of contracts other than serb and ait. >> both the joint contracting command for afghanistan will contract for all the goods and services -- >> i laughed out loud cap. >> iraq afghanistan contracts for specific goods and services for those requirements outside the bonds of love tap that are instituted to stand up for those
posts. air support, services such as that. >> okay, so we have syrup, log tap anything else that i've missed? mr. feldman? >> state departments altogether were in a state of flux with one particularly large contracts under ino wishes for police training. that's in the process of being transferred back to dod peer does about $450 million. if you take that out you would be back at dod in the first quarter of next year. if you take that out, we have about $900 million of programming. the majority of it is ino for counternarcotics, justice programs, range of other things and then there's some smaller contracts for security.
but altogether it comes to under it seems with taking out the police peace, under 1500 contractors altogether. >> and what about logcap? >> man, the current logcap in afghanistan is probably in the neighborhood of $1.822 billion. the resources we need to build the floor into what time core will well exceed over a billion dollars as well. i'd also like to read that i know we're doing quite a bit of contracting for the combined security transition in afghanistan, since they got. where were buying a lot of equipment that's been provided to the afghan army and the afghan police plus some of the training contracts that we do for suspect. those i know are averaging probably a total of about a billion dollars a year as well as more. >> and mr. harrington, that's an
additional? >> yes, ma'am. >> tell me again what that's called. >> combined security, cystic. >> you've never found an acronym you didn't love. >> senator it's a funds that they spent are out of the afghan security forces fund which is a separate account than dod. >> what i really need y'all to do. we're going to try to do a chart after this hearing as to where the monies being spent. because what i want to make sure i know at this point in time is the responsible for each pot of money. that's one of the things that made my eyes cross. in iraq it was just not clear who was the one that was going to be held accountable when things went badly. and let me ask this because one of the things that happened in iraq was the lead army corps of engineers that kind of layered in there. and it was interesting to me
because i would go in iraq to talk to the army corps of engineers and i would hear one set of facts then i would move to somewhere else and i would hear completely different set of facts. and so, where's army corps of engineers in here if at all? >> man, i was going to see the army corps of engineers is the other component of this. i'll take a question for the record to get an accurate dollar count for you. some of this is still slightly unknown because requirements are going to be generated through out this timeframe, but we would get the accurate figures for you from the army corps of engineers. >> what will the army corps of engineers be doing? cannot obviously, ma'am, construction projects permanent building type construction projects. >> for the military or the afghan people? >> essentially for both. >> and their money is going to come from where? the army corps of engineers coming from your money or is it
coming from states money? >> i don't know, ma'am, i'll find out. >> i believe actually the army corps -- >> i appreciate your honesty that you don't know, but it is a problem. >> yes, ma'am. >> my understanding is that will oversee large projects as you would probably get different facts for the corps of engineers then he went from an army command because the army's gun yacht executing funds appropriated to the army, funds appropriated in the case of iraq to iraq security forces funds. there could also be some milk on products that go directly through army corps of engineers and onto the commands in theater. so i can understand why you would get different facts. >> that's how things get lost in the shuffle. what, serpa is doing big stuff now and i'm about out of time for this and turn it over to senate bennett. serp is no longer just fixing
broken glass. serp is due in large on the large projects. the question is are they contracting with people to do that or the army corps going to come in and do that? that's where i'm not clear. as serp drifted from its initial, what i affectionately call walking around money. as it drifted into the category of an ait or army corps reconstruction project and are we losing expertise in the shuffle and more importantly are we going to get the monitoring we need? thank you and alternate over to senator bennett. >> thank you very much. following through with what the chairman, excuse me, has said. i've talked about the coordination between the combat units and the contractors and one combat units are in the field, they expect to have a high degree of situational
awareness, established between higher levels of command. and this means that the tactical maneuvers of one unit don't get messed up with the tactical maneuvers of another unit. all rights, what is the command structure at the local provisional and national level in afghanistan to ensure that you get the same degree of coordination or avoidance of duplication, if you will. that's expected of combat unit. with respect to reconstruction. >> senator, within the central command the joint contracting command iraq afghanistan has the responsibility for what we call theater business clearance for a requirement coming into the central. that's the clearinghouse if you will for those requirements with respect to what our responsibilities lie for executing requirements for the war firing units. outside of that, we don't have
purview that those are the requirements. the joint contracting command in afghanistan and coordination with logcap is the central point through which we find ways to execute requirements for the war fighters that we support. >> all rights. since you have that group in place, do you have any information about how often they stumble into situations where what's being done in reconstruction units paid doesn't properly coordinate with what's being in units be and they exercise their authority to say straighten that out. it's nice to have the thing in place that you've been there for long enough that you can give me some examples of how it works? >> seriously, the organizational structure in terms of executing those requirements at different geographical locations. when a requirement comes in for a forward operating base in a certain geographical location that contract at that
responsibility to execute that. as it is a large more complex requirements, that's when we turn it back to the reach cap, reach back capability. so joint crofting the staff that supports that oversees, the allocation of those functions to award the contracts and has the purview of all those coming to it. that is within centcom both. that's our responsibility. >> anyone else have a comment on that? >> senator, i can tell you i'm a budget person, not one who works out of the field from an operational level, but in the serp program what they've done in afghanistan for lessons learned in iraq and even going back to kosovo and what i mentioned in my oath and statement of the usaid representative on there. that part is at the command level so it's not the sort of
segregated or dispersed out in the field. although sir projects come up to at least a two star if not higher-level command where they can do that kind of integration that you're referring to. can't say that they have everything in their, but they do their best to integrate at least with usaid. >> there have been reports of friction between state and aid exacerbated at after the merger of usaid interstates. i'm not asking you to tell any tales out of school, but can you have a son characterization of the relationship between aid and maine state? [laughter] >> everything is fine, how? >> certainly here in washington
ambassador holbrooke staff is an interagency group which includes three usaid senate. usaid officers on the staff. >> they're asking you to pull the microphone closer. >> we have three usaid officers on ambassador holberg staff to help with that coordination here in washington, out in kabul we work very closely with ambassador wayne and ambassador eikenberry. and we have several examples of interagency strategies and implementation plans. for example, in agriculture with the u.s. department of agriculture in the national guard and how do we go forward on implementing agricultural programs in afghanistan. when you go out to the provincial level, the planning level they are referred aid does
participate in serp decision-making but is also the interagency effort not just usaid and the military office at the state department. so it is in close relationship. two different organizations. there are areas we continue to work on to improve that coordination. >> mr. feldman, do you have any comments? >> know, the success of art mission would be impossible without a close relationship with usaid and we feel very lucky to have the working relationship we do with them. it was partial ambassador holberg's intent when he created his office to make it the whole government approach. we've got detail is from ten different agencies, but usaid is the only one that has three. there are now three dod representatives. so those are far more representative than any of the others. they are extremely well integrated into our staff in all of our planning. and i would also amplify the point about ambassador tony
winning in the field whose the cordoning director for development and economic affairs ever since june. so he oversees all u.s. government nonmilitary assistance and we have created a counterpart also in pakistan to try to have the same sort of coordination. so, he directs and supervises a wide range of embassies section, agencies, and their 15 national level groups to implement policy. not only do we believe we have to work towards as coordination to be successful. >> thank you. madame chairman, i have another subcommittee i have to go to. so i'm at your mercy. you could do with everyone's by unanimous consent. [laughter] >> by unanimous consent that like us to vote on the health care bill by monday so i can get home for christmas. [laughter] >> will that work wacs >> maybe not that. >> thought i'd give it a shot.
senator curt? >> thank you senator for this opportunity and the timely hearing obviously. we welcome you gentlemen and thank you for your service. we are about to spend billions of dollars on the construction counterinsurgency in afghanistan, a country that enjoys a reputation of having a culture of corruption. sometimes said it is the most second corrupt country in the world. and general mcchrystal when he was here and he has written before hand that the success of the american operation in afghanistan will largely be measured on how we do pair of phrasing by, with calm and through the out denniston government. and i guess my first question
is, with that as a backdrop, in each of your agencies and departments, are the particular procedures practice it and systems that you are going to undertake that will give us some assurance of the american taxpayers some insurance at the money that's going to be spent over there will be properly overseen, a countable, so there's not, that we don't fall into the trap of that culture and find that a lot of our taxpayers dollars are being expended as payola or for kickbacks or however you want to describe it. maybe i'll start with you, mr. north. and if others want to join him in terms of what's happening in your respective departments and agencies with the help of. >> thank you. we do recognize the issue of
corruption as a major concern in afghanistan. but we are also looking increasingly to put more of our recess there's a doing it responsibly. we have ongoing programs to strengthen the capacity of government ministries, not only for the personnel that their systems so they can bring him up to standards that we require to provide direct assistance to the government. we signed an agreement with the ministry of health, a little year over a year ago for $200 million we have sent also certified and provided direct financing to the ministry of communications and the ministry of finance. the addition to continuing to strengthen our systems, we are having ongoing assessments of other ministries, including the ministry of education and the ministry of agriculture and the ministry of rural rehabilitation and development.
by going through these assessments, we can identify where the weaknesses are and support their efforts to strengthen their systems, not just for managing our resources, but also to improve the overall accountability of afghan resources for the long term. so, this is very much a parcel of what we're about is the strengthening our systems but also working through, went in through the afghan government. >> there are a range of initiatives that we try to implement since the beginning of this year to try to improve contract oversight and performance. and they fall roughly into five broad categories. the first is the overarching organizational structure and as i laid out already having ambassador tony wayne manor helped to do that. that position didn't exist a year ago. its establishment helps improve the oversight and the interagency coordination.
second is the actual contracting methods and the structure of the development contracts have changed the usaid is no increase in its use of performance-based one-year contract which give more options for contracting officers who encounter poor performance, contracts are designed with fewer subcontracting layers and more professional supervision so that hopefully they will perform better. and as charles says we are moving towards afghan contractors when feasible and international contractors that they would've a strong percentage of afghan personnel to also include working with afghan ministries. the third category is the actual personal edition, so state and usaid are both increasing the number of financial analyst, contracting upstairs, technical officers, program officers who also track the flow of money and ensure that contractors are performing according to standards. the board is a general civilian increases in the field in the national guard governance levels with more than doubled in come close to tripling the number of usg civilians deployed to field
this year. and the more it of the contracts that are located in the projects are happening the more oversight of the can provide. in the fifth is the external oversight mechanism is and that's obviously working with close concert in supporting the missions of a cigar the various inspectors general, the gao and other external reporting mechanisms. and lastly what i would say about protection and particular is this is an issue that's at the core of our strategy combining it with afghanistan. we've made a very robust and consistent case on dealing more aggressively on corruption to the karzai government. it was part of his inaccurate speech as we hoped it would be. he held just yesterday the anticorruption conference, but it something that we in the rest of the international community are going to continue to watch very, very closely. there's been a range of
suggestions from revitalized anticorruption commission to hopefully bring in some high-level prosecutions to if we can't deal with it at the national level to working hours from national, regional government structures where we can hopefully work around corruption if we have to. so it is something that that's a very central to our core mission. >> thank you very much. >> sir, if i could add real quickly. one of the things were doing with our soldiers that are becoming contracting officers are presented as we see them on the frontline of being able to identify bad business practices. were teaching them the block at six training and the things we need to look for. so i think i will go a long way. in fact, i met with the expeditionary fraud investigation unit right before this hearing, this part of the criminal investigation division of the army and they're increasing their presence there as well in afghanistan. >> thank you. madam chairman, may i just ask if there are any other --
mr. campbell or mr. harrington. >> senator kirk, thank you. what i did is just give you an example that i think we'll get to sort of at the local level issue you're talking about. all serp money is executed in managed bites u.s. government employees or soldiers in the berks section coalition can use serp money. one of the things that john mcgee who is the resource manager in centcom has implemented is moving more towards electronic transfer of funds. so in iraq, years ago where we used to have essentially just planeloads of cash what you're finding more in afghanistan is a lot of this money being transferred in local currencies, but two of the electronic fund transfer. of course once he gets into the hands of the local population, it's kind of up to them to deal with. but i think that's where the state department and aid are
arching efforts will come into play. >> sir, army wide to reinforce mr. persson's comments were taking up a lot more of an active role in training are contracting representatives earlier in the process and assuring that there identified, trained, and a signed certificate such that when they do them right in theater are linked with the officers and they go to a very good briefing on the contractor's performance, the contractors functions. and that training includes being able to evaluate the contractor's performance, for writing that relevant information to the contracting officer. beverly culminates in ascertaining the delivery were supposed to get in either supply or a product and then executing a payment as mr. campbell notes electronically so that we've got a very distinct process all the way through to the payment of contract. >> thank you. just a final question on this. the notion that has been
advanced editing by president karzai that the contract and the licensing program be managed toward minister through the afghan government. is that something that we should take comfort in or is that something that can work out, do you think? are you confident about that for the same reason that obviously we've used a great amount of dollars, very important theater, in my own view we are taking a huge dent of success in afghanistan and part of it obviously is going to be the civilian component of it. and i'm just wondering about the licensing program being administered by the afghan government. is that something that each of you subscribe to as the right way to go? >> ambassador eikenberry addresses his recent testimony
and we are supportive of that. we think it would help to provide a certain consistency. this came up in part due to the rates that international contractors pay compared to rates that afghans may make if they go less a rates at this point if they go into the army or police and things and wanting to make sure that we create the right incentives and don't create disincentives for them to join security forces which is in our long-term interests, which is a question that chairman mccaskill asked about. we see this as one way to work with that and we strongly favors. >> thank you very much. madam chairman, i'm going to have to excuse myself. thank you for your forbearance and i think you gentlemen as well. >> thank you thomas senator kirk. we're glad you're here as well. let's talk about drilling down on logcap. i feel about logcap three at
select a movie that never ends. i continue to be confused why we are utilizing logcap three and not more aggressively transitioning to logcap for even though we've awarded under four it appears to me that less than a billion has been funded under logcap four and logcap three has dirty $4.4 billion. what is the holdup here? why can't we let loose of the kb art dynasty? >> well, ma'am, i think we are letting loose. we've been moving from logcap 32 logcap four. talking with many of the staffers that deliver processing from kuwait requirements of aid
we've moved from three to four in the mood to afghanistan and then move to the more complex situation which was in iraq. and that's what we've been following. i think you are aware that all the work that logcap requirements in kuwait have fully transitioned to logcap four. were writing the beginning of the transition in afghanistan from the old logcap three to aid for. we expect that to be complete by july 2010. it's not a simple transition process as we learned especially with having to account for all the equipment that's been bought by kb art and the different fob's and camps and having to account for that and just getting men and women and equipment in the transition in afghanistan. so it does take some time and we've got to be cognizant of the commanders operational requirements as well. when logcap requirements in iraq we should be making an award i think at the end of this month or the beginning of january for some of the services in iraq.
what has been holding us back a little bit on the baseline support is knowing exactly what the requirements are going to be now that we made the president has made the decision with the draw down and to extract all the forces i december of 2011. so it's been taking a sometime working with theater to identify things. but i think we're there and we should be releasing that rfp very soon and then that transition will start taking place again sometime in 2010. >> and it's my understanding that floor has the north in afghanistan and dyncorp has the south, correct? and they are doing all of the tasks in those areas? so it's not task to task competition that we ended up with here at it ended up regional competition? >> yes, ma'am. we made a conscious decision in afghanistan to split it with two different contractors because they wanted to maintain that capability and capacity was to
contractors so if we need to increase the requirements which obviously we need to do now that will have that capacity in there. less we didn't have a single point of failure which is what we really recognized in iraq. we were tied to pvr and if they decided not to perform a more we didn't have a backup. this way if we have problems with one of the performance contractors will have to in the theater and the other can pick up. i know you had concerns with the way we structure this task orders. we recognize that if we were to select one for the north and one for the south we'd have to find a way to preserve the competition that we had rewarded the past quarters. so we did was establish what they call a service price matrix. it took about 86% of the key services that are provided underneath these task orders for all the different baseline support and we have the major were the baseline pricing, which the fee was based on. so the fee that these
contractors will earn are tied back to that pricing matrix. so even if there's really no incentive for them to run their cost at because they won't get any more fee. >> so what you're telling me which is great news, huge improvement, that somebody who's peeling a potato up north is going to get paid about with somebody who's peeling a potato down south? >> not necessarily, ma'am. their differences for some of the services between what we have in our price matrix for the north versus the south, but that's because the contractors have different restructures, they took different approaches at it. and what we're also going to have is a dca is going in and auditing the baseline for both contractors for these prices. if they see something out of whack will go back and negotiate -- >> let's just say something about it easier. per head breakfast? i assume we're buying breakfast i had? >> very close.
there was no unbalanced pricing we saw when we did the pricing. we are pretty comfortable. >> okay, i saw that dyna corp.'s partner got indicted agility, criminally indicted for violations of the false claims act which should translate into late-term they got caught ripping us off. now i understand iq while have suspended them, but it's also my understanding that the way the rules and raise and laws work they can continue to get work under their contract with floor even though they've been indicted for ripping us off. is that accurate? >> well interesting you should bring this up. mr. harrington and i've met with thy core to discuss another matter, but they did bring up agility. i know that what they informed us was that there were no longer
going to be using agility of a partner. they have set up the agreement with their partners that if anybody got indicted for any reason that they could disestablish that relationship and we were informed on monday this week that was the plan. >> more progress. okay, what i've also understood that you recently suspended $14.2 million in costs that were built by floor. that you guys under logcap for have refused or decided not to pay $14.2 million worth of expenses that were submitted. a >> man, there is with holdings that are taking place. i would have to get back to one night, but there've been some questions about floors compensation and also their purchasing system so i know that the administrative contracting officer working with the
contracting officer have been looking out with holds and have been told those systems are correct. a >> i'd love to know the details of that. or wanting it would reassure me that we've transitioned into a situation where we're going to try to take money away instead of paying them and then seen later maybe we should not given that to you but too late now we are to give it to you were not going to try clawback. i'd like to know the underlying details and facts were withholding i'd like to know what the details are. matt will get that for you. a >> now let's talk about the contractors versus police and military. if you can't give me these answers now, these are answers i think it's very important for the record. understanding and i went over this with secretary gates at the armed services hearing and with the crystal. it is my understanding that many of these contract editions. people need to understand this is a world of difference in iraq in terms of the afghans. we've got more than 15%, in fact
almost 100% of the security contractors are afghans. i think right now we've got about 11,000 security contractors and 10,000 of them are afghans. clearly, that is a much different scenario than what we had in iraq when it was almost all third-party nationals. now the same thing is true with the other contractors. more than half, in fact i think it's close to two thirds of the 100,000 contractors we have in afghanistan are in fact afghans. now, it's my understanding and some of this was from talking to ambassador holbrooke that he mentioned to me that karzai talked about this problem in his inauguration address. and that is that we're paying our contractors more money than they are paying their police or their military. and if you're an afghan, and you can make more money cooking for american troops then you can make taking up a gun to fight the taliban, i'm betting they are going to cook for the
troops. and if our entire mission is to build a the afghan military and the afghan police, how do we accomplish that if the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing and we're paying our contractors more than those military or police make? do any of you, can any of you confirm that is in fact the case and what's been done to fix that problem? because were never going to accomplish our mission since we're hiring many more contractors than were ever going to be attracted to the police and military. >> let me take that question for the record and get the accurate facts back to you. >> okay. if it's true, then it really worries me. because that means once again we have not had the integration between the military mission and the realities of contracting. and in fact, the realities of contracting in this instance are completely undercutting the
military mission. and i'm betting the military didn't even realize that was potentially occurring. so i think it's pretty important and i really want to know specifics. how much does somebody make doing laundry for our troops and how much do they make let's say in kandahar or in camp phoenix? what do they make and what do they make in the police department locally so we can do an apples to apples comparison about the level of salary and if we're cutting off our nose to spite our face. let me go to aid and state department now for some questions about that. i know there's a reason we have six ambassadors in afghanistan, but it's not clear to me who's doing what. who is the ambassador? who's in charge? where is the orcs charge? what is the difference between eikenberry and holbrooke and who
is answerable to them? can you help me with that? mr. feldman? >> i'd be happy to. we do have six ambassadors in couple, but we feel extremely well certified having them there to given the critical nature of our mission and the talent that they bring. so, ambassador eikenberry is charged with all of our work coming out of the embassy and just looking for the actual board chart which i brought with me and him happy to share. >> that's fine. you can give it to us for the record. the reason i asked the question is i'm sure there is a valid, substantial reason for all of the work that all of them are doing. i am trying to focus on this
just because i've learned the hard way that the accountability piece never happens if you don't know who's in charge. and i'm trying to determine among these ambassadors who is the ambassador that has the authority and the accountability and responsibility in terms of the contracting that's going on? >> ambassador eikenberry has responsibility for the state department in afghanistan including all foreign assistance programs. ambassador richard jones the helps to run operations and ambassador wayne as we said is the coordinating director for development and economic assistance. so he's the one that oversees all the u.s. government nonmilitary assistance to afghanistan. he directs and supervises the range of embassy sections, agencies, offices in the field. he is our main point of contact on many of these specific contracting issues, but obviously anything would go up to ambassador eikenberry if need be.
ambassador holbrooke here in washington ordinates the interagency effort to advance the u.s. strategic goals in afghanistan and pakistan. >> so ambassador holbrooke saw this is the one that's going to be -- would be looking to see if serp was trying to the same thing that aid was doing that was trained to do the same things they was doing. >> gascon in washington we do all that. that's interagency coronation is done from our office. but importantly, much of this work is actually done in the field obviously. so on a specific decision that are done with the local councils on how the project is implemented, we need and rely on what's been done in the field which ultimately goes through ambassador wayne and for our cordon area basis. we do the coordinating and washington. >> if we determine down the line there is a lack of coordination across a massive amount of waste, the buck would stop at ambassador holbrooke's desk?
>> i think it would be jointly our desk you're in washington and we would be working with the people at the post as well. >> okay. >> as far as the fifth ambassador he was there for the specific elections purpose and now he is returning. >> usaid, you are not putting your contracts into the database. >> spot. >> the fact you had to ask which one is the problem. >> they're supposed to be one and there should only be once a week at transparency in terms of all the contracts that are outstanding and the work that's being done. >> we are doubly putting our contracts into spot. we are putting it at the company organizational level. we have not putting individual names because of concern for the security of the individuals. of the 20,000 people who work
under a id contracts and grants in afghanistan, 19,000 are afghans and there is great concern particularly among the ngo community of having their names in a database. for their security and privacy. so while we are complying with the law in terms of assuring that all the companies that are working for us are included in the database, we have not put individuals into the system. >> well, let me ask, is the information that the army is putting in, i assume it's more comprehensive than what aid is putting in? >> i don't know what aid is putting in that the army requires the contractor stupa specific names of its contractor personnel in the database. >> i think we've got to resolve this. you know, clearly everyone is hiring afghans. i mean, this is an unprecedented
high your reading of locals in terms of our country. i don't than we've ever embarked on this kind of massive hiring program in country when we have been at a contingency, even close. so i think we've got to decide if it's a security problem for the people at aid then it's certainly a security problem for the people that are working through the military. and the problems going to to be this whole spot was designed so that we could at least have one central repository which we never had. we didn't even have electronic in iraq. it was all paper everywhere. you know, the accountability is very important that this database work. in theater, everyone using it. and so i would ask aid to come back to the committee with their specific concerns as to why they
are not fully utilizing the database and what needs to be done in terms of getting everyone together and everyone doing the same thing. >> i would note that we are having actually it was a separate meeting on going this afternoon on spot here on the hill. >> good timing. >> thank you. it's now been delayed the ngo community about 40 members asked to meet with us to express their concerns about the system. it was also supposed to be today and now we've put that off to the first week of january. we need to work with them to ensure that as we go forward with implementation that their concerns are addressed. we have considered the possibility of using the classified version for putting individual names in, a possibility we can look at, but we still need to work through those issues. so we want to fully comply with the law and the joint full u.s.
government efforts on this but we also have to be mindful of the concerns of the groups that we work with. >> i think if everybody gets in the same room i would find it, it defies common sense that you all would not shared the same set of values as to what should go in the database and what shouldn't. and i think that we just got to all agree on what we're going to put in or what we're not going to put in. and if were not putting in something then there has to be obviously are a justification for it. my concern is everyone's not utilizing it the same way. and until they are, it's of limited value and i'm really tired of databases with limited value. there's about every 5 feet you walk in federal government you find a database that's of little value. so i'm determined that we are going to -- that since i was involved in trying to make sure we have some kind of central
database i'm determined to say on it and make sure that we get it so its work in the it should hear it >> if i could make one last comment on this. >> sure. >> there is a member in them of understanding we are working out with dod on spot in how will go forward in drafts. we are trying to figure this out. i'd also say we are hiring a full-time person just to minister this database from our site to make sure we are keeping up-to-date on data entry. so as we go forward where need to work with that. >> that's terrific. chop chop. let's see if we can't do that a lot because we're spending a whole lot of money over there and we've got a lot of contractors on the ground. and the ability to do oversight is going to be greatly hampered if we don't get that database work in the way it should. let me go to serp. i'm trying to get a handle on the evolution of serp and
especially when you realize it's such a large percentage of the monies are being spent now on projects that cost more than a half-million dollars. general mcchrystal told me in the armed service hearings that there was sign off they goes as high as the trias on some of these. is jcc, i-a two in the oversight on serp? and is it your responsibility that that's where it's occurring? >> ma'am, values are 500,000 above. jc cia execute serp actions of contracts. they've overseeing contract representatives that paid an occurrence with our payment process is for the normal firebase contracts. so, yes on those types of actions. for actions below $500,000 as much as mr. campbell described in terms of the assignment of
the control officer. is the core still somebody, are they involved in the serp in units. are they doing part of this? >> yes, ma'am. the requiring activity provides a contracting officers representative in all these type of action so when the serp requirement comes forth we require a representative to be there to surveilled. typically, the project control officer so far anyway has been that function to oversee the execution. >> would it make sense when it's over $500,000 to transfer over to aid. wouldn't that make more sense? i mean, you guys overseeing you've got turnover, you've got the idea that we have the military overseeing a massive road building project just seems weird to me. yes, that's a nod for the record.
>> will take whatever job comes and try and do our best with it. it is more appropriate, the expertise lies in another area then absolutely. we are here to take a mission when it's assigned to us. >> i mean, we're going to build up a whole level of expertise of the military on overseeing massive building projects. and to me that's very duplicates have of what we're trying to maintain at aid. he is nodding yes for the record. esther northcutt would you like to comment on not? >> we work very closely with military on serp planning and certainly at the provincial and district level. when the stryker grade was going into areas of kandahar, clearing the area before that happens there was a close court nation planning where aid development officers with other severe lance at that level worked with military to figure out what
needed to happen. we advised on the use of serp so we would have a development impact that we thought was appropriate and then our folks were going in within 24 to 48 hours behind the military. so it's a very close relationship that we are working on building, continuing to build at the provincial but even down to the district level. and so we are, you know, when an idea comes up there something that we need to do to finance it is that joint interagency team of the military, usaid, state department, usda to figure out which is the best mechanism to get the job done. >> i have a sneaking suspicion and maybe i'm being cynical that it's easier to get money in the budget for serp than it is for aid. and i've watched serp grow in my
suspicion is that folks around here are are much more willing to go wherever they are asked to go to support the military and a contingency, whereas when you start talking about aid all of a sudden it doesn't feel that it's as important to many members. and so, we do this all the time around here because of ways to get money in the budget we twist up like pretzels in terms of what our responsibility should be. so i want to make sure that even if you want to continue to try to get serp money in the budget i want to make sure you're not duplicating the expertise that aid in order to spend it. that truly is a waste of money. >> yes ma'am, i think our obligation is a response program and our obligation is to ensure that requirement is a commander's emergency response requirements. and building roads, i know it
may seem like an emergency in afghanistan, but in some instances i don't ever remember someone saying we have an emergency. we've got to build 15 miles of highway. >> i think in the case of rows, one of the reason that serp would see the reason for funding is it is a way of employee used in the region and therefore pulling loyalties away from the taliban. >> and that makes perfect sense. >> senator, if i could expand a little bit. >> sure, absolutely. >> i'd say the reason that serp do such a large funding of road projects in afghanistan is for two reasons. one is where we are in the process and the phasing of operations in afghanistan. as ben mentioned here already, i believe it was about 300 aid officers in afghanistan or 60,000 soldiers in afghanistan out in the field. so they act as kind of the eyes and ears of what is needed out
in the population and bring those back up through their command level so that it is then integrated with aid. i was on the phone the other day with someone in couple or actually kandahar rather and what they were explained was why there are so many roads. less than 20% of the villages are actually connected by a road. in your phrase that you use fire serp initially was walking around. they need something to walk around on in afghanistan. so that's why i think you're seeing so much more >> road products. that makes sense. >> it should transfer to more of a state aid issue but right now it's in the military's interest. >> i'll say one word on that. on serp we absolutely believe it's a valuable program that integrated with the civilian effort. i just want to make sure you in the committee realized that the department had requested and received $30 million from congress through fy 09 through
quick response funds which will start implementing the first half of 2010 and will be used for state department civilians in the field. and so nothing approaching serp we urge we're trying to implement. were trying to get at that same core mission which we realize. and i did find a chart here. >> okay, great. let me talk about projects that don't work. we have a $1.4 billion contract to restore afghanistan's infrastructure, joint venture between berger and blackened it was projected to deliver power. $250 million have been spent, it's two years later and the two projects together were only
capable of producing 12 megawatts of power and not 1 megawatts has been delivered to one single citizen of afghanistan. worse than the failure to complete the project, the they found that the afghan government may not be able to even operate the couple power plants because it cannot afford to pay for the diesel fuel it needs to run it. the other plants, which is producing zero power is costing usaid $1 million a month to be guarded. so, we've got $250 million spent. we've got a little bit of electricity being generated not been delivered and we've got one plant that's being built and were spending a million dollars a month to guard it with nothing going on. what's the problem here and have the contractor's been held
accountable? >> the security has been a major issue certainly for many infrastructure programs. in the case of the, of the kabul powerplant the latest figures i have is now producing 105 megawatts of power. >> is any of it getting delivered? >> yes, it is. and we are also concerned about the sustainability, mind you the intent addition to the economic need for kabul was certainly to demonstrate that the government of afghanistan as we were into this hearing with the war was able to deliver services. so there were certainly a short-term political need, but at the same time were looking at sustainability of it. we had negotiated with the government that they would pick up the cost of this, but with
the understanding that we were also building a transmission lines coming from the north and integrated with central asia to provide power to kabul said the powerplant that becomes a backup system rather than the main primary means of power. the other plants i believe you're referring to is the dam which is now producing 33 megawatts of power. kandahar now have power 24 hours though there are some areas that is uneven in some areas. we have to turbines running. the third, it needs to be installed. this is after one of the year and half ago when one of the largest nato operation since world war ii to move that turbine into place. we are now -- due to security,
and -- aig and frankly, it did get blown up in iraq. thank you for the additional facts you have done there. let me finish up. unfortunately, if i allowed myself to, we could be here for another couple of hours. i have that many questions, but there are more hearings and we can cover many subjects let me ask each of you to give yourselves a grade on how well you are coordinating contacting in afghanistan. let's assume there was and f in iraq and of using duty serve more than a f in my rack your greeting on a different skills than i am. i think it was an f. in the and it got better, but in terms of how it came back and how long cat happened and reconstruction happened and confusion and lack of accountability may be d.
what do you think you're great as in afghanistan right now in terms of how well you are integrating, coordinating, monitoring and overseeing contractors? >> mr. campbell? >> yes, ma'am, i can start. right off i would say probably about c, and let me put that in perspective. we have done a good job toward the a and b range on the front and where we put together lessons learned. we've put out by vince, training. we have now these officers and enlisted soldiers trained in the states before they go over to afghanistan on serp and serp management suite done well on the front end. where we are lacking and still need work and are concentrating efforts now is more the backhand. we've got systems in afghanistan that track contracting. we have systems that track the financial piece. we have systems the corps of
engineer uses to track construction projects. all of useful data bases, but to your point what we've got to do on the back end is lincoln together and that's one of the things in this review group we are looking at we've got the business transformation agency looking up the entire business process and to end as they call it in afghanistan to seek rather than going and inventing a new database and process or system how do we first went together what is out there so we can get immediate feedback and immediate results so that we don't have soldiers and civilians during spread sheets pulling numbers out of three different databases, so on the part we are still on the d. >> i would give us a c for a different reason. if i understand your question correctly, we see awarding contracts to contractors and over the period of time some of
the price is where the commodity of the service continue to be bid because of their agencies and organizations are contracting with the same contractors and they are enjoying being able to present products at a price. i think the organization aspect of this needs to be addressed further. we have review boards, requirement review boards and priorities, allocation policies in place to evaluate what comes first in the order for undressing in terms of the most urgent needs and widespread needs but it's an organization from my perspective at a higher level that gets together to collaborate to determine overall where the requirements are being paced and how to leverage the contacting, the contractor community. they are the vendor sprick if you will to ensure we are getting the best deal for the government as a whole so there is an organizational alignment needed at a higher level to be able to accomplish that we obviously participate as a component to that and would be
able to present our priorities to that, and owls will coordinate with other agencies to determine how to get the best contracts in place perhaps on a wider basis as opposed to an individual basis. >> mr. north? >> i guess i'm more optimistic. i think we have a b but a lot of that relates to the effort and progress we've made in the last ten months. the things like the eckert cultural strategy as a whole of government strategy clearly defining roles and responsibilities among the respective agencies involved, but also the clarity of purpose and where we are trying to govern the agricultural sector. this is one example we've developed. there are others. certainly collaboration in the health sector with u.s. military, cdc and others has been quite strong. in an area we need to improve on, we are working on certainly
getting more of our staff into theater so that when you are at the prt there are more development staff to help with coordination and to monitor and manage programs. so there are systems that still need work, and of course but i think we are moving in the right direction. >> sharing the synchronization between state and usaid -- >> you guys get along so well you're going to give yourself a b. [laughter] >> i would also give ourselves a b but more important than the greatest the trajectory. at the beginning of the year we were closer to a d and we have, quite a bit. there's a lot of people in washington and a lot of people in kabul and around the world, and certainly in the field implementing these projects that are working very, very hard at doing all the things that we uncovered in the course of our review and that we try to put in place to make sure that we were
the best possible stewards of u.s. taxpayer money. and i feel we are definitely going in their better direction with civilian agencies, military partners, the international community, the civilian surge, with all the kind of oversight mechanisms i laid out including the financial and technical officers but yes, this is going to take a while to do and there's going to be a lot more to be done and we will have to continue to be vigilant and rigorous implementing this so there is always room to do better but i think at this point i'm pretty comfortable with where we are. >> mr. parsons? >> i would say we are at a speed c in afghanistan because we've learned lessons. certainly with the establishment of the army contract b and c with logcap we have contract in command in iraq and afghanistan. we are doing great backs of there's a lot of good coordination going on.
what the acc is allowing us to do is where are we duplicating efforts and where can we be more effective in using instruments, and general nickel concern is she goes in to be the joint contract in command in iraq and afghanistan is even though we have these logistics support boards where we try to bring the parties together to look at the requirement in afghanistan those are more of a collaboration cooperation by the parties to come to these boards and look at it, and we do have coalition partners and i know that one of her concerns as we understand nato is doing a bit of contracting in afghanistan's will for some of their forces and general nichols is going to put that as one of her priorities looking how we get close collaboration. there's a lot of room for improvement. >> if we are getting integration and coordination between nato and our efforts, then i will give all of you a a because that means we've got our house in
order and now we can try to integrate nado into it. i still think we have a way to go. as time goes on we will see if the grades hold up. i think it may be a little greeting on the curve, mr. feldman comment ago from a d to a b in ten months, because you are moving in very large, large thing here. this isn't an organization as it relates to contract and that is nimble or flexible. when it is nimble and flexible it generally is about one bad contract because it happened too quickly and no one was paying attention to what was in it and whether it was definite or not and there were enforcement mechanisms contained in it. let me leave you with what i would like to get for the record as we begin to build our information so we can continue to do the oversight i think we need to do. i want to make sure i understand what every silo ways in terms of
contracting money. the new sestak deck, that is new jordan i figured out, logcap come ehud spawn a new one on me. so there is some chart where the contract and money is going and we will put that together if you will give us what is within your silo of contacting money and how much it is. i believe we will end up spending as much or more on contacting in afghanistan as we spend on our military, and therefore we have a huge obligation to try to get this right. and so, if you all will get that to me that will be great and then we will begin to drill down in those various places and make sure the on the ground oversight , and the other thing if you believe you have enough oversight personnel in place and theater and if not what you need
to get enough oversight people in place and theater. and i really appreciate all of your time today, and i am going to say this i don't mean to embarrass her and i don't mean to embarrass mr. gore for mr. feldman but the woman on the front row that keeps handing you know i think i want to have lunch with her because i think she knows an awful lot. [laughter] because every question i asked, everyone is feeding to her, the whole little group, i need all of you to come -- i need all of you to come to my place for lunch. [laughter] so i can begin to get -- >> she is an officer on mr. holbrooke's staff. [laughter] >> there is that integration. thank you. i appreciate your time today. [laughter] [inaudible conversations]
now available, c-span's book abraham lincoln, great american historians on our 16th president, the perfect gift for the history buff in your life. it is a unique contemporary perspective on lincoln from 56 scholars, journalists and writers from lincoln's early years to his years in the white house and relevance today. abraham lincoln in hardcover at your favorite bookseller and now digital audio to listen to any time available where digital audio downloads are sold. or more at c-span.org/lincolnbook. dustin it is in recess until 12:01 a.m. eastern when they return tonight will debate and vote on a cloture motion to move the defense spending bill forward. that vote will happen at 1:00 a.m.. senate democrats are trying to
finish this final spending bill of the year so they can return to health care legislation. live senate coverage continues tonight on c-span2. next, some senate health care debate from earlier today. he will hear remarks from senate leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell on the timing of health care legislation. also senators lamar alexander, john mccain, arlen specter and patty murray. >> madame present, we are going to finish this health care bill before we leave here for the holidays. for nearly an entire year we've reached out to the other side offering republicans a seat at the table, trying to negotiate in good faith, merely a whole would your. now we are closer than ever to fixing a badly broken system and doing more to make sure every american can afford to live a healthy life. republicans have made the point through obstruction manuals, missions they believe in stalling as good for a lot of
politics, gamuts like the one we saw yesterday, that is forcing the full hours of reading of the amendment they didn't like and then complaining when the amendment they didn't like is withdrawn. they made their point to the american people. they've made it perfectly clear the have no interest in cooperating or relieve legislating. but the families and businesses that are suffering, hurting and dying every single day, have no time for these kinds of games. that's why we are going to finish health care whether the other side cooperate or not. health care is the only critical issue. this body faces. it's not the only critical issue this country or this body. right now we have to complete a bill that supports the fighting men and women of this country whether they are an iraq, afghanistan, korea, japan, all of those broad peace is where tens of thousands of people are
stationed. it is as simple as that. here's some of the good things in the bill that is now before the senate. the message for the conference report from the house. it funds more than $100 billion for operations maintenance and military personnel requirements for the war in iraq and afghanistan. part of that money will support preparations the continued withdrawal from iraq. more than $23 billion in the equipment used by service members in iraq and afghanistan to do their jobs to stay safe. more than $150 billion to train our troops and prepare them for battle. more than $30 billion for the health care of our service members, the family and their children, and also gives our brave and dolly and troops a pay raise, three we've 4% this year. this is not a partisan issue. yesterday this bill passed the
house 3953 koza 34. more than 90% of democrats voted for this bill, 90% of republicans in the house of representatives voted for this bill. that's because they know our fighting men and women, these brave americans, half a world away a lot of them wage to workers on our behalf with the leaders will give them all the resources they need to succeed or progressives or conservatives. surely our troops under deployment after the planet. spend more times counting the days until they can see their loved ones again accounting scores by either side. they don't care most the time, madam president. they just do their job. the house approved this much yesterday. the senate should do the same today. we received this bill yesterday at 2 p.m..
are we really going to wait until tomorrow to pass it? this simply is not right. let's get our troops with the need to succeed and do it now and then let's get back to the americans what they need to stay healthy. these two bills, these pieces of legislation are about life and death. a work responsibilities to greet to waste time playing political games. >> madame president. >> republican leader. >> madame president, senators on both sides acknowledge the health care bill we are considering is on the most significant pieces of legislation any of us will ever
consider. i think i would argue the most significant piece of legislation certainly in my time here. so it stands to reason that we would devote significant time and attention to it. indeed some when argue we should spend more time and attention on this bill than most if not every previous bill we have considered the majority obviously disagrees. why? because this bill has become a political nightmare, a liberal political nightmare for them as evidence by more and more public opinion polls including "the wall street journal" and the poll this morning. they know americans are overwhelmingly opposed to it so they want to get it over with as quickly as possible. americans are already outraged at the fact democratic leaders took their eyes off the ball. rushing the process on a partisan line that makes the situation even worse. americans were told the purpose of reform was to reduce the cost
of health care. instead democratic leaders produced 2.5 trillion, 2,074 page monstrosity that vastly expands government, raises taxes, raise premiums and rex medicare. and they want to rush this bill through bye christmas? they want to rush this through bye christmas that does all of these destructive things. one of the most significant far reaching pieces of legislation in u.s. history and they want to rush it. and here's the most outrageous part. at the end of this rush they want us to vote on a bill that no one outside the majority leaders conference room has seen yet. no one has seen it. that's right, the final bill we vote on this and even the one we've had on the floor. if the deal democratic leaders have been trying to work out in private that's what they intend to bring to the floor and force a vote on before christmas.
so this entire process, madame president is essentially a charade. but let's compare the process so far with previous legislation for a little perspective. here's a snapshot of what we've done and where we stand on this bill. the majority leader intends to bring this debate to a close as early as this weekend, four days from now on this to $.5 trillion mistake. no american who hasn't been invited to the majority leader's conference room knows what will be in the bill. the bill has been pending business of the senate since last november, less than four weeks ago but we actually only store should the amendment process two weeks ago. just two weeks ago on the amendment process. we've had 21 amendments and motions, less than two a day.
so let's look at the senate has dealt with previous legislation of lesser consequence than this one. no child left behind in 2001, 21 session days or seven weeks, 44 roll call votes, 157 amendments offered. the 9/11 commission homeland security act in 2002, 19 session days over seven weeks, 20 roll call votes, 30 amendments offered. the energy bill in 2002, 21 session days over eight weeks, 36 roll call votes, 158 amendments offered to. madam president this isn't an energy bill. this is an attempt by the majority to take over one sixth of the u.s. economy to vastly
expand the role of government into the health care decisions of every single american. and they want it to be done after one substantive amendment. one large substantive amendment. this is absolutely inexcusable. i think senator snowe put it best on tuesday. this is what she had to say tuesday of this week. given the enormity and the complexity senator snowe said on see anything magical about the christmas deadline if this bill isn't going to become law until 2014. and i think senator snowe's comment on a lack of bipartisanship at the outset of the debate are also right on point. here's what senator snowe said in november of this year, late november. quote, i am truly disappointed we are commencing our historic debate on one of the most
sycophant and pressing domestic issues of our time with a process that has forced our ability to arrive at a broad agreement on some of the most crucial elements of health care reform. the bottom line is the most consequential health care legislation in the history of our country and reordering of $33 trillion in health care spending over the coming decade shouldn't be determined by a one-vote margin strategy is surely, surely we can and must do better. well, senator snowe is entirely correct. the only conceivable justification for rushing this bill is the overwhelming, overwhelming opposition of the american people. democrats know that bill longer americans see this bill the less they like. here's the latest from que research. it came out just yesterday. a majority, 58% of those who
have heard a lot about the bill oppose it will only 32% favor it. there is no justification for this blind rush accept a political one and that's not good enough for the american people. and that's not justification for forcing the senate to vote on a bill that none of us have seen. americans already oppose the bill. the process is just as bad. it's completely reckless and completely irresponsible. madam president, i yield the floor. >> i asked unanimous consent that the senator from tennessee lead in a colloquy including the center from oklahoma, the senator from wyoming and myself and the senator from kentucky. >> without objection. >> i thank the senator from arizona. i was thinking as i listened to the republican leader i wonder
if the senator noticed the governor of california as comments on monday. governor schwarzenegger said on good morning america that he supports the idea of overhauling health care, but quote, the last thing we need, said governor schwarzenegger, is another $3 billion in spending when we already have a 20 billion-dollar deficit. he was referring to one of the unintended consequences of this bill which are big state costs for medicaid being shifted to the states, unfunded mandates, so here's governor schwarzenegger's advice following up the comments of the leaders. so i would say be very careful to the federal government. this is from the governor of california. before you go to bed with all this thinking said governor schwarzenegger there's no rush from one second to the next. let's take another week or two to come up with the right package. >> i thank the senator from tennessee who also understands this issue as well or better
than anyone having been a governor in recognizing the problems of the governor faces. and could i step back a second, governor schwarzenegger is a very astute observer of the political scene in california. and may i point out to my colleagues u.s. and world news report democrats blues grew deeper in the new poll, and then support for health care overhaul planes, some remarkable information concerning the mood and the views of the american people falling on a "washington post" abc news poll out yesterday. 51% of americans say they oppose proposed changes to the system 44% approved. thanks to the efforts of so many people including our leadership. we've turned american opinion because we've been informing them of the consequences of
passes -- passages. >> let me quote from "the wall street journal" according to the more americans now believe it is better to keep the current health system than pass president barack obama's present to the news will come back to the, the findings marked a shift to the fall when the overall enjoy the edge over the status quo. according to the poll 34% of americans said it's better to pass the plan at all compared to 41% who said it's better to pass the plan. what they're saying is don't do is