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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  March 23, 2012 6:00am-9:00am EDT

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>> they subsidize your premium based on who you are. less if you're a wealthy person, full total coverage if you're low income person, and more coverage as you get sick or. let's review a stunning chart on medicare. i'm not going to yield. i just want you to know. let's review a stunning chart on
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medicare's future under the president's approach and the house republican approach. let's start with republican budget. let's look at how this budget puts medicare spending on a sustainable path. my battery is working out. this shows you the growth rate of medicare under the republican budget over the long term. this shows you how we can do a plan where there are no changes for people in and near retirement. and how we have more choices for people in the future, 54 year olds and below. this year's budget, it's a fact that people don't like to hear on the other side, but it also guarantees their traditional fee-for-service plan exists forever. these are guaranteed coverage options. the gentleman talks about a cap. the cbo themselves tell us they
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don't know how to measure competitive bidding. we had the cms actuary saying it works. let me compare this to the president's proposal to use the unelected accountable. rat port of political appointees for current seniors. here is the president's budget, and what he is proposing. this is law by the way. this is the law that is in the -- this is what it proposes. let me do that again. this is the republican budget, what it proposes. here's what the affordable care act in current law does for growing medicare. do you see much difference there? yet of my friends on the other side seem to complain that this is draconian cuts to seniors. how can it be if our trajectories are the same? let's talk about the main difference between our approach
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and the affordable care act, the president's new health care law. it's not the proposed spending path. they are the same. the difference is who was in control. 15 bureaucrats or 50 million empowered seniors? that's the difference. now look at what happens if the ipab doesn't work. because unlike the cms, cbo thinks ipab is going to fail by 2021. because the actuaries at cms tell us 40% of medicare providers under the afford a will to act are going to go bankrupt and go out of business. they are telling us providers are going to get paid 80 cents on the dollar, and another 30 cents on the dollar and they will go bankrupt or stop taking medicare patients. that doesn't provide affordability. here's what happens if we revert back to the status quo, the current law. medicare growth at the unsustainable rates that jeopardizes this program, not just for future seniors but for current seniors.
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if ipab ins of failing, if price controls which really deny care into failing, there we go to that red line. here's what that red line does to our deficit budget and more important target. this is the debt over the last 40 years, this is the debt into the future. this is what cbo is estimating our debt becomes in the primary major driver of our debt is medicare. and if ipab fails, if all those providers go bankrupt, if the price controls don't work and we relapsed back to the status quo, we have a debt crisis on our hands. here is what our plan proposes. i guess the next click. we pay this debt off. that is what we're proposing the celeb go back to it one more time. we are proposing to grow at this rate. the affordable care act growth of history. if we go up there, i'm doing it
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wrong way, if we do to the talk of we bankrupt the country. we bankrupt medicare. so at the end of the day, the difference is this. medicare, in order to save medicare, in order to keep it guaranteed for current and future seniors, in order to prevent a debt crisis from ruining our country and giving our kids a diminished future, must be reformed. the president's health care law, which is in law, does reform medicare. it says 15 political appointees, they will decide how that line is going to be. they will decide how to cut medicare to provide, which will be denied access for seniors. we are saying let the seniors decide, and power 50 million seniors to make choices. more to the point, forced insurers to compete against each other for her business as a beneficiary and also gave her the choice of traditional medicare system is she so wants to choose to do so.
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we think that's far more rational, far more humane, and more importantly, we do not want to subject her medicare benefits to the discretion and control of 15 political appointees. we want to put her entire. and more to the point we think it is this, will the people, because they are wealthy can afford more out of pocket. low-income people can't. so we distinguish, we say, that low-income person without pockets. give people more money for less than a. give people more support if they get sick or, and require higher income individuals to pay more out of pocket because they can afford it. doing it this way saves medicare. and with that i will yield to my gentlemen, the doctor, from georgia, mr. price. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i just want to say to my colleagues on the other side, who have dubbed this amendment the end medicare as we know it amendment. factor that is as the chairman
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pointed out, that's what the president's health care bill, that's done. that's the bill that you all of adopted, which is removing 500 billion plus from the medicare broke or in and putting it in place is unelected board of 15 bureaucrats, which we understand and appreciate is necessary in their plan, in your plan. because you've got to control costs because you don't trust people. when bureaucrats choose patients lose. when bureaucrats choose, patients lose. that's the program that you all have put in place. we believe it's important to save and improve and strengthen medicare. the chairman has eloquently outlined how we propose to do that. i would draw your attention to page 61 on the budget which goes through the four main points of the medicare program. that is, those in in a retirement will see no changes whatsoever, that for future generations they are provided a guaranteed health coverage, line five of those listening in on. guaranteed health coverage. on page 61, line five. in addition as the chairman said
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those with higher health challenges receive more assistance. those with lower income receive more assistance. and, finally, the fourth program puts medicare on a sustainable path and become solvent over the long term, which the presence proposal does not and your proposal does not. so i urge rejection of the a minute adoption of the underlying budget. >> we will yield a three-minute overtime and i were recognize the gentlelady, mrs. schwartz, one minute, for purposes of closing. >> i will try to split this one and you'll they have meant to mr. van hollen. >> put that chart back a. i think it's a very useful chart. >> once the chart comes up we will start your minute. >> do you want the whole thing? >> yeah, i do. i want all three lines because i think this makes a very useful point. the first -- thank you, mr. chairman. the first point it makes is
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despite everything wavered from our republican colleagues, democrats didn't have a plan to contain medicare costs. what it says is it's essentially the same in terms of medicare costs. the red line in terms of medicare savings, what the red light shows is the risk if things go wrong. and under your proposal, the risk for when things go wrong, if this doesn't work, is put on the seniors. the cost of put on the seniors, and the reason that is very different than what we have for ourselves as members of congress and what federal employees have is that under the current plan for federal employees, you don't bear that entire risk. you will always get about 75% of whatever the increase in costs are, picked up by the federal employees health benefit program. whereas under this proposal, the senior eats it all. that's why would you call it a voucher premium support suggests the support from medicare rises as health care rises.
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the way you do this is the risk is the opposite. and put on the senior. i you've spent my time is up and i just want to say that is a huge disagreement here. some of the assumptions on the other side were so inconsistent, there's a lot more discussion. we are committed to get medicare and strengthen it, continuing it. you see a can be done. >> i think we have another medicare and so we can keep this conversation going on the nixon. the question is on the green on the minute offered by the gentlelady from pennsylvania. all those in favor say aye? those opposed no wax the opinion of the chair, the no's have it. [inaudible] >> a recorded vote is requested. the clerk will call the roll. [roll call]
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[roll call] [roll call]
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[roll call] [roll call]
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[roll call] >> are there any other members looking to vote or change their vote? if not, the clerk shall report. >> on that boat the ayes are 13, the no's our 20. >> the no's have it. are the further amendments? its ms. castor i think, isn't it? go ahead and offer -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> the a minute offered by
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ms. castor, just that i have an amendment at the desk. >> i have an mm at the desk. >> and a minute offered by ms. castor relating to medicare. >> the gentle it is recognized for nine minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, in addition to the republican plan that breaks the promise of medicare and into medicare as we know it. the republicans also proposed to raise the cost of prescription drugs and slashed a smart new benefits and pipe the consumer reforms that have been in place for two years now. and are working very well. this is a real double whammy for our older neighbors, all across america. so here's what my amendment does. it proposes to retain the closing of the don't hold and what, the mind is going back into the pockets of our older neighbors, parents and grandparents, proposes to retain those important new screenings. the mammograms and colonoscopies that are saving lives, and it
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proposes to retain that important new wellness that has become very popular and is actually very smart policy. so first on the donut hole. under the affordable care act that has been in place for two years, what is currently happening is that clip that many of our older neighbors are falling off of what came to paying for the prescription drugs, it is now closing. right now seniors are getting 50% discounts on brand name drugs under medicare part d. pat donahoe will be completely closed by 2020. it has already helped over three and a half million seniors with high drug costs. on average, it saved, the average medicare beneficiary over $600. in florida district alone, over 6000 seniors in my district have
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received prescription drug discounts. and it is predicted that through 2021, this will save our older neighbors $2400, and our parents and grandparents will no longer have to struggle with those very expensive prescription drugs. unfortunately, and republican budget, republican proposed to put these costs back on our seniors, the high drug costs, make very difficult choices. secondly, the accord will -- the affordable care act has provided an estimate 35.5 million seniors and disabled individuals with a preventative screenings such as a mammogram or colonoscopy. because of the affordable care act in my florida district, over 70,000 of my older neighbors have received this preventative screening, without an additional copayment that oftentimes capped amount of the doctor's office.
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the republicans budget, unfortunately, will increase the cost. they will now have to go back and pay additional copayments if they want to go in for the screenings. and, finally, one of the most popular reforms under the affordable care act has been a new wellness visit. they get one annual wellness visit in 2011, 2.3 million seniors in traditional medicare took advantage of this new benefit. through the republican budget and repeal it would take away this important tool that patients and their doctors realize is really saving lives. it is smart policy, and republican budget shouldn't break the promise of medicare, and they shouldn't roll back this important reforms that are making a difference to lives of our older neighbors. at this time i'll yield to ms. schwartz to speak on the amendment. >> thank you, ms. castor, and
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thank you very much for this amendment. the republicans keep saying that they're voucher plan, freedom support plan to refer to call, would not change anything for current seniors. that is simply not true. it was just said a can in response to the previous amendment. there will be no change, no shipping costs. only for future seniors but not for current seniors. it's simply not true. by repeal of the affordable care act, the fact that we are gradually closing that prescription drug gap, the coverage gap, means that more seniors will be paying more out of pocket right a way if the republicans get away and repeal the affordable care act, that they would not be able to afford their prescriptions. they will get sick or. they will risk both are health and increase costs for us. so understand, as ms. castor said, this is benefiting three and half million seniors now. they would lose this benefit. you can no longer say, and let
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you vote for this amendment, that, in fact, your protecting current seniors from a cost share. so i want to say this is an extreme important to seniors in my district. i can't believe it's not also important to everyone seniors district. so to protect their health, their safety, the economic security and their health security into the future. we should continue to provide them the benefits that they receive under the affordable care act that the republicans seek to repeal. i yield back. >> to the ranking member, mr. van hollen. >> well, thank you, ms. castor. and thank you for offering this amendment, and just to first emphasize a point that has already been made, which is this budget does immediately, immediately reduce benefits to medicare beneficiaries because the affordable care act does close that donut hole. it provides that support for seniors in need, and this budget
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we opens the donut hole and it does it immediately. and so that's an immediate change for the seniors. i think it also needs to be pointed out that when we did the affordable care act, we used savings, for example, by ending the subsidies to some of the private insurance carriers that were way high, 140% subsidies were being paid. we used those savings for the purpose of providing these additional benefits. in other words, we use those medicare savings to provide this prescription drug benefit. and the budget we have before us from the republicans takes those savings, takes the savings even though a lot of ad to run against a lot of people based on the savings, but why you take the savings you don't allow any of them, none of them, back into medicare. you don't plug come you don't plow them into preventive services and you don't plow any of them back into closing the prescription drug donut hole. that's what i think it so
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important that we adopt this amendment. >> are you okay with -- >> i would like to yield. >> let's do it since -- yeah. [inaudible] >> is his mic on? >> thank you. for many american families, the first real affect of the affordable care act will be felt by them in a positive way in 2014. but for seniors, the affordable care act is already producing measurable benefits, and for all of us, all those who express concern about the long-term solvency and sustainability of the medicare system, by plowing the savings that we achieved, at some political cost last year, into this plan, we are extending
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the life and solvency of the medicare trust fund by over a decade. seniors who face tremendous prescription drug costs, and there's much more that needs to be done in this way, are already saving millions of dollars across the country on prescription drug costs. one of the focuses on encouraging cost control is prevention, as ms. castor has said. and there is an emphasis on prevention in this bill that i think will produce more savings. this amendment serves a valuable purpose in protecting our seniors, the benefits that the already getting and i yield back. >> yeah, i'll take is one minute to close quickly and urge my colleagues, don't, don't pass this budget and break the promise of medicare that allows all our parents and grandparents and generations to come to live their retirement years in dignity. and don't pass the budget that will roll back these very important consumer protections and improved benefits under
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medicare. closure of the donut hole. these new screenings. and the wellness visit. don't just take it from either take it from the aarp which is similar to the congress. they said this republican budget -- >> you can conclude and the rapid. we have a boson going to stick to a tight clock. you'll get a minute at the end and i recognize dr. price to reclaim his time. >> thank you, mr. chairman but i which is with all due respect to my colleagues is proposing this amendment he says this is breaking a promise to medicare, to look in the mirror. look, the fact of the matter is that the presidents law, the law that was passed last congress does in fact break the promise of seeing just because it removes $500 billion for medicare and puts in place a 15 member unelected board of bureaucrats to decide whether or not payment to positions, to care for seniors is going to occur. look at our budget. our budget pays 61, lines one and two, current medicare
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benefits are preserved for those in and near retirement without changes. section two on page 61, a guaranteed health coverage for recipients. they choose the plan that best suits their need to the question is who's going to be in charge what is going to be the federal government? will be this 15 member board of unelected bureaucrats, or will it be patience? the other side has said that there will be changes ever budget is adopted and put in law. you are right. will in the raid on medicare and we will in the 15 member unelected board of bureaucrats to be able to decide what kind of care seniors are able to get from the physicians to be paid for. this specific amendment talks about the donut hole. and the donut hole provision of the new law actually has had the effect of increasing drug prices. chairman in his wisdom as the cbo to determine what's the cost increase cost worth. and i will quote from a letter that's a bill to all of us quote, the increase in prices
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would make federal cost of medicare drug benefit and the costs faced by some beneficiaries higher than it would've been in the absence of those provision. the legislation also imposes an annual fee on manufacturers and importers of brand name drugs. cbo expects that you increase the price of drugs purchased through medicaid and the prices of newly introduced drugs purchased through medicare and other program. finally, quote the premium of drug plans will increase along with the increase in net drug prices so the premiums paid by beneficiaries will increase, unquote. so the fact of the matter is, our budget saves, improves and strengthens medicare. the medicare plan that the seniors right now, this country, no is already being altered and will be changed significantly and adversely to the quality of care if we allow the current law to go forward. i'm pleased to yield a minute or two to ms. bullock on this issue spent thank you, mr. chairman. i will be very brief on this but i think that my colleague has made this point very clearly that when we talk about changing
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medicare as we know it, that's already been done in the patient affordability act with is have a truly dollars taken out of the medicare fund and put into the exchange. so we already see that there is a change and breaking the promise to our americans as all restore by my colleagues on the other side but i think that it is certainly been said very clearly by current price -- chairman price that we're going to give seniors an opportunity of choice of their own. we will put it back to them to allow them to choose the plan that is best for them. some may find that a drug program is more important to others may find that they want a prevention, but that's the american way is to give choice. why do we think our seniors is because they're seniors can make those choices? they will make good choices and to make choices to find a program that best suits their needs. so thank you, mr. chairman to our yield. >> that will keep us on time.
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the gentleman from florida has one minute to close. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i would say to my colleague from georgia, you agree that medicare benefits and older americans shouldn't be harmed, then you should support my and in the. if you don't think the republican budget changes benefits, and i don't see what problem you would have. my amendment and this is clearly we will retain the improvements that have been in place for two years, closing the donut hole, allowing those screenings without additional copayment, and that all important annual wellness visit. you have also argued time and time again that the affordable care act took a half billion dollars out of medicare to it didn't take it out of medicare. it took it away from the insurance companies that were receiving large overpayment, medpac, that was medpac's recommendation, half a billion dollars that was plowed back into the benefits, closing the donut hole.
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the screenings and the wellness visits. so i urge you again, don't break the promise of medicare. don't just take it from me. listen to the -- >> the gentlest time has expired. >> economic security -- >> luck, because of this -- >> this amendment. >> the gentlelady, come on, the question -- all those in favor say i ago. although supposed say no. the no's have it. roll call vote is requested. the clerk will call the roll. [roll call]
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[roll call] [roll call]
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[roll call] >> are there any members wanting to vote or to change their vote? the clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, on that vote the ayes are 15 and the no's are 22. >> the no's have it. the admin is not agree to. since we have four votes,
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markups is recess subject to the call of the chair. [inaudible conversations] the house budget committee later went on to approve the budget bill in a 19-18 vote. you can see the rest of this market session at a website, c-span.org. while you whether you can also read the budget proposal and the white house response. [inaudible conversations] spent on c-span2 this morning president obama talks about his energy policies during a visit to oklahoma.
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in march of 1979 c-span began televising the u.s. house of representatives to help, and today our content on politics and public affairs, nonfiction books and american history is available on tv, radio and online. >> when we put the force together to go to desert storm, i viewed everyone of those youngsters as somebody i had a personal responsibility for. i know general schwarzkopf felt the same way. we knew they were going into a very dangerous conflict, perhaps, and we wanted to give them every benefit that would allow them to come home safely. i am as distressed, more distressed than any member of this committee could ever be that there are veterans who are suffering illnesses that may have been a result of their service in the gulf. i do not know if those illnesses are a result of the service in the gulf or not but i think we
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have to keep that as an opera hypothesis and we find otherwise. we have to get to the bottom others to find out what the source of their illnesses were. >> c-span, great white america's cable companies, as a public service. >> spent president obama traveled to obama yesterday where he highlighted his energy policies amid high oil and gas prices. the president announced that he will expedite the permit process for the southern half of the transcanada keystone oil pipeline. he made that announcement at an oil storage yard in pushing oklahoma. the starting point of the pipelines southern half. this is 15 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states. [cheers and applause]
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{>>} hello, oklahoma! well, it's good to be here. everybody, have a seat. have a seat. {>>} i love you, mr. president! {>>} i love you back. it's wonderful to see you. it is good to be back in oklahoma. i haven't been back here since the campaign, and everybody looks like they're doing just fine. thank you so much for your hospitality. it is wonderful to be here. yesterday, i visited nevada and new mexico to talk about what we're calling an all-of-the-above energy strategy. it's a strategy that will keep us on track to further reduce our dependence on foreign oil, put more people back to work, and ultimately help to curb the spike in gas prices that we're seeing year after year after year. so today, i've come to cushing,
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an oil town -- because producing more oil and gas here at home has been, and will continue to be, a critical part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy. now, under my administration, america is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. [applause] that's important to know. over the last three years, i've directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. we're opening up more than 75% of our potential oil resources offshore. we've quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. we've added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the earth and then some. so we are drilling all over the
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place, right now. that's not the challenge. that's not the problem. in fact, the problem in a place like cushing is that we're actually producing so much oil and gas in places like north dakota and colorado that we don't have enough pipeline capacity to transport all of it to where it needs to go, both to refineries, and then, eventually, all across the country and around the world. there's a bottleneck right here because we can't get enough of the oil to our refineries fast enough. and if we could, then we would be able to increase our oil supplies at a time when they're needed as much as possible. now, right now, a company called transcanada has applied to build a new pipeline to speed more oil from cushing to state-of-the-art refineries down on the gulf coast. and today, i'm directing my administration to cut through the red tape, break through the
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bureaucratic hurdles, and make this project a priority, to go ahead and get it done. [applause] now, you wouldn't know all this from listening to the television set. [laughter] this whole issue of the keystone pipeline had generated, obviously, a lot of controversy and a lot of politics. and that's because the original route from canada into the united states was planned through an area in nebraska that supplies some drinking water for nearly 2 million americans, and irrigation for a good portion of america's croplands. and nebraskans of all political stripes, including the republican governor there, raised some concerns about the safety and wisdom of that route. so to be extra careful that the construction of the pipeline in an area like that wouldn't put the health and the safety of the american people at risk, our experts said that we needed a
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certain amount of time to review the project. unfortunately, congress decided they wanted their own timeline -- not the company, not the experts, but members of congress who decided this might be a fun political issue, decided to try to intervene and make it impossible for us to make an informed decision. so what we've said to the company is, we're happy to review future permits. and today, we're making this new pipeline from cushing to the gulf a priority. so the southern leg of it we're making a priority, and we're going to go ahead and get that done. the northern portion of it we're going to have to review properly to make sure that the health and safety of the american people are protected. that's common sense. but the fact is that my administration has approved dozens of new oil and gas pipelines over the last three years, including one from
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canada. and as long as i'm president, we're going to keep on encouraging oil development and infrastructure and we're going to do it in a way that protects the health and safety of the american people. we don't have to choose between one or the other, we can do both. [applause] so if you guys are talking to your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers, your aunts or uncles and they're wondering what's going on in terms of oil production, you just tell them anybody who suggests that somehow we're suppressing domestic oil production isn't paying attention. they are not paying attention. what you also need to tell them is anybody who says that just drilling more gas and more oil by itself will bring down gas prices tomorrow or the next day or even next year, they're also not paying attention. they're not playing it straight. because we are drilling more, we
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are producing more. but the fact is, producing more oil at home isn't enough by itself to bring gas prices down. and the reason is we've got an oil market that is global, that is worldwide. and i've been saying for the last few weeks, and i want everybody to understand this, we use 20% of the world's oil; we only produce 2% of the world's oil. even if we opened every inch of the country, if i put a oil rig on the south lawn -- if we had one right next to the washington monument, even if we drilled every little bit of this great country of ours, we'd still have to buy the rest of our needs from someplace else if we keep on using the same amount of energy, the same amount of oil. the price of oil will still be set by the global market. and that means every time there's tensions that rise in the middle east, which is what's happening right now, so will the
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price of gas. the main reason the gas prices are high right now is because people are worried about what's happening with iran. it doesn't have to do with domestic oil production. it has to do with the oil markets looking and saying, you know what, if something happens there could be trouble and so we're going to price oil higher just in case. now, that's not the future that we want. we don't want to be vulnerable to something that's happening on the other side of the world somehow affecting our economy, or hurting a lot of folks who have to drive to get to work. that's not the future i want for america. that's not the future i want for our kids. i want us to control our own energy destiny. i want us to determine our own course. so, yes, we're going to keep on drilling. yes, we're going to keep on emphasizing production. yes, we're going to make sure that we can get oil to where it's needed. but what we're also going to be doing as part of an all-of-the-above strategy is
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looking at how we can continually improve the utilization of renewable energy sources, new clean energy sources, and how do we become more efficient in our use of energy. [applause] that means producing more biofuels, which can be great for our farmers and great for rural economies. it means more fuel-efficient cars. it means more solar power. it means more wind power which, by the way, nearly tripled here in oklahoma over the past three years in part because of some of our policies. we want every source of american-made energy. i don't want the energy jobs of tomorrow going to other countries. i want them here in the united states of america. and that's what an all-of-the-above strategy is all about. that's how we break our dependence on foreign oil. now, the good news is we're already seeing progress. yesterday, i went, in nevada, to
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the largest solar plant of its kind anywhere in the country. hundreds of workers built it. it's powering thousands of homes, and they're expanding to tens of thousands of homes more as they put more capacity online. after 30 years of not doing anything, we finally increased fuel-efficiency standards on cars and trucks, and americans are now designing and building cars that will go nearly twice as far on the same gallon of gas by the middle of the next decade. and that's going to save the average family $8,000 over the life of a car. [applause] and it's going to save a lot of companies a lot of money because they're hurt by rising fuel costs, as well. all of these steps have helped put america on the path to greater energy independence. since i took office, our dependence on foreign oil has gone down every single year. last year, we imported 1 million fewer barrels per day than the
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year before. think about that. [applause] america, at a time when we're growing, is actually importing less oil from overseas because we're using it smarter and more efficiently. america is now importing less than half the oil we use for the first time in more than a decade. so the key is to keep it going, oklahoma. we've got to make sure that we don't go backwards, that we keep going forwards. if we're going to end our dependence on foreign oil, if we're going to bring gas prices down once and for all, as opposed to just playing politics with it every single year, then what we're going to have to do is to develop every single source of energy that we've got, every new technology that can help us become more efficient. we've got to use our innovation. we've got to use our brain power. we've got to use our creativity. we've got to have a vision for the future, not just constantly looking backwards at the past.
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that's where we need to go. that's the future we can build. and that's what america has always been about, is building the future. we've always been at the cutting-edge. we're always ahead of the curve. whether it's thomas edison or the wright brothers or steve jobs, we're always thinking about what's the next thing. and that's how we have to think about energy. and if we do, not only are we going to see jobs and growth and success here in cushing, oklahoma, we're going to see it all across the country. all right? thank you very much, everybody. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. [cheers and applause] ♪
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>> [inaudible conversations] [applause] >> the obama administration has proposed cutting funding in half for a program that arms and
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trains airline flight crews. that program was implemented after 9/11. today, the heritage foundation looks at the program and the white house's proposed cut. you can watch a live starting at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span and c-span.org. >> on monday, the supreme court starts three days of hearings on the constitutionality of the new health care law. hear the oral argument for yourself in its entirety as the court releases audio at around 1 p.m. eastern each day, with coverage on c-span3 and c-span radio, and at c-span.org, listen and add your comment. coverage starts monday morning live on c-span with "washington journal," and continues through the day from the supreme court. and then the oral argument on c-span3. >> environmental protection agency administrator lisa jackson testified today on her
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agencies 2013 a get request. before the senate environment committee. the epa is asking for $8.3 billion, a 1.2% decrease from current levels. according to administrator jackson, 40% of epa's funding request is directed toward state and tribal assistance grants for implementing environmental law such as the clean air and clean water act. senator barbara boxer of california chairs this hearing. it is about an hour and 30 minutes. >> epa is charged with implementing critical critical public health and environmental protections, including programs that address clean air, children's health, safe drinking water, and water quality in america's lakes and rivers. epa's mission is to protect public health, including children and families in communities across our country. the agency was established with bipartisan support, and it has demonstrated repeated success at improving our families' health by keeping the nation's air and water clean and safe. the president's budget makes
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tough choices but maintains a strong commitment to epa's mission. for example, the president but he would make investment enforcing our nation's health laws including the state of local efforts to reduce dangerous air pollution. the budget also maintains a strong commitment to protecting children by requesting an increase in funding for the office of children's health, something that's actually new and due to my heart. the budget proposes reductions in the clean water and safe drinking water revolving loan funds. in recent years, congress and the administration have supported significant investments in clean water and drinking water infrastructure, and i don't believe we can stop now. recent studies highlight the need to maintain robust funding for these infrastructure programs. the american water works association estimates that drinking water systems will require at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years, and the
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american society of civil engineers anticipates a water and wastewater infrastructure funding gap of $126 billion by 2020. i'm also very concerned about a proposal to phase out epa's beach protection grant program. this small but important investment helps states to monitor water quality at public beaches and protect the public from sickness caused by water pollution. the budget asks to eliminate $8 million for state and tribal programs that reduce health threats caused by radon, as well as to end funding for epa's regional work to reduce the risk of radon exposure. according to the epa, this radioactive gas is the nation's second leading cause of lung cancer, and i am concerned about these budget cuts, given the continuing need to address the serious health threats posed by radon. as we examine epa's budget, we must keep in mind the positive impact of epa's work for both public health and our economy. as i often say, if you can't breathe, you can't work.
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the economic benefits of epa's work are clear. the clean air act provides $30 in benefits for every $1 invested and was responsible for preventing 160,000 cases of premature mortality, 130,000 heart attacks, 13 million lost work days, and 1.7 million asthma attacks in the year 2010 alone. and i often say when i go to schools to talk to the children, i always ask them, do they have asthma or do they know someone. and honestly between a third and a half of kids raised their hands. asthma is not anything to laugh at. it's very, very serious. and i think when you look at what epa's programs have done, they have fostered a significant and growing clean tech industry. we are the largest producer and consumer of environmental technology goods and services. the industry has approximately 119,000 firms, supports almost 1.7 million jobs, and generates
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$300 billion in revenues, including $43.8 billion in exports. these programs provide clear health and economic benefits for america. but here's the good news. and administrator jackson, you should be very pleased, because the american public strongly supports the epa. there's a brand-new bipartisan poll released yesterday by the american lung association. it finds that two-thirds of the voters favorite epa's efforts to set stricter air pollution standards, and a two to one majority believe that strengthening safeguards against pollution will encourage innovation and create jobs. i stand with the american people president's budget next tough choices, and i'm going to be heard on some of the ones i don't agree with, but i say again, he maintained a long-standing commitment to provide clean air, protect safe drinking water, and safeguard the health of our children and
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our families. i look forward to your testimony, and i have a request from senator inhofe that everyone -- oh, he's going to make his own. i was asked by your staff. i am very, very pleased to welcome you today, and we look for to hearing from you. senator inhofe. >> thank you. yeah, the request is, i did realize i had to go to statement to be part of the record. will have to put that in the. >> without objection. >> administrator jackson, its was good to see. and your visit to the apa committee, stomach. write a time when president obama is in my state of oklahoma touting the virtues of fossil fuel. that's wonderful. i don't expect the president is going to see too much about some the things that have happened here because it doesn't sell too well. although i've been told that his audience is restricted to 150 of his personal friends and the media that has been hand
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selected. so be interesting to see what happens but let me say again, i have a great deal of respect for you and i always have. and relationship in large part because you and i have always been straightforward and honest. i understand your job is to carry out the policies of the present. that's what you do. that's your job description. it's not mine, but in some of these areas that with a disagreement with, i always say that we do with smiles on our faces and do it in the spirit of friendship. it didn't go unnoticed, madam chairman, to the administrator when i visited with her before the meeting when i was on the rachel maddow show that i declared my three favorite liberals to be rachel and barbara boxer and lisa jackson. >> well, i don't like that order of. [laughter] >> actually i did have you first. but you were third, rachel was.
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right now the president is in oklahoma and east end in the middle of an oil field talking about the virtues of fossil fuel. it's kind of interesting that he is doing that in his budgets that he's put forward have been very encouraged to the industry. he's made the statement, how it spends its it would be, his agenda is one that has specifically increase the price of gas at the pump, and the energy in our homes. and remember, it's president obama who said his policies would necessarily skyrocket. those are his words. and that's true and that's what's happened. now the global warming movement has collapsed. i can see why president obama is trying to associate himself with oil and gas. development in oklahoma. as cnn, you want to listen to this, madam chairman, cnn roadie is about pushing oklahoma about the convergence of our
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pipelines, about 30 miles west of my hometown. it said cho, the place is booming. there's a shortage of workers around. i may, we know nationally there's actually a shortage of engineers and oil workers and skilled and unskilled labor. in fact, petroleum engineers, patrolling edginess graduating from school can earn upwards of $90,000. what's obama's secret? we are developing our own resources to oklahoma has over 83,000 producing wells and 43,000 producing natural gas wells. oklahoma city university found in 2000 i've oklahoma oil and gas industry supports 30,000, 300,000 jobs and consumers $51 billion to the states economy every year. that's exactly why oklahoma's unappointed rates is consistently much lower than the national average. we are seeing that in other areas by the way. i would say in north dakota. their biggest problem up there is finding workers.
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harold hampton was been witnessed twice for this committee, from enid oklahoma isn't the right now in the shale deposits, just cranking out stuff that. but there is no unemployed in the area. so this is significant. now, i would think that with the president's campaign going, he wants to take credit today for part of the keystone pipeline that will be constructed from pushing oklahoma to port arthur, texas. i'd like to remind him, i don't have to remind everyone. everyone knows, the president unilaterally stopped the xl pipeline, particularly in that area going to nebraska. and it happens that is authority does not allow him to do the same thing to the south. and, therefore, he is there making his statement about how friendly he is to oil and gas. but even as president obama stand in the oilfield pretending to support this pipeline, he
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continues full course with his efforts to break it fossil fuels out of existence. spearheaded largely by your agency, epa is moving forward with an unprecedented barrage and expensive rules for greenhouse gas regulations to hydraulic fracturing, to clean water regulations to utility mact with expressed purpose of eliminating fossil fuels. you know, i just want to make sure i have in the record the specific things he has done in his, attempted to do unsuccessfully in his budgets over the last four years. ..
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>> pick on somebody your size. [laughter] >> are you talking to me? [laughter] >> i have 45 seconds more. serious business here. thanks, madam chairman, for holding this hearing. and it's hard to believe, but we are essentially friends on this committee, and i hope that we will continue to be after this hearing. politicians talk a lot about how congress needs to balance its
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budget the same way everyday americans do. they said at the kitchen table, plan their household budget, crunching the numbers to see what they can or can't afford. but no american would try to balance their families budget by cutting out money for batteries, for the hallway smoke detector or putting off getting new breaks for the family car. it would be just as reckless for congress to sacrifice the public's health and safety in the name of fiscal austerity. yet, that's precisely what our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have proposed when they say we should cut the environmental protection agencies budget. the epa performs critical service to our country, and, of course, the law to keep our arab our children breathe and the water they drink clean. administrator lisa jackson has
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provided ably for the agency, and we miss her in new jersey when she had the department of environmental protection, did such a good job. and think goodness this is caring for your test your. we're very proud of you were. over the last year we have seen epa taken important steps to protect the health of our families and restore our environment. after years of delay by polluters and allies coming epa finally finalize new pollution standards that will cut mercury and toxic air pollution to the standards will prevent asthma attacks and heart attacks, and even premature death. they will also protect children from mercury brain poisoning, for children that can cause developmental problems, and learning disability. the epa also worked with the d.o.t. to set new auto pollution and fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks. by nearly doubling the performance of her vehicles, the standards will cut america's oil dependence, clear our air and
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save numerous money at the gas pump. but despite its record of success, the epa is once again under attack. for example, some senators have launched efforts to subvert the epa's ability to carry out the clean air act. i think what got to do if there are opposed to improving the clean air act, maybe pull their constituents and asked the homes that have an asthmatic person in the household, ask them how they feel about saving some dough on the backs of their kids. my family will never forget an asthma attack that took my sister's life. she was a school board -- she was at a school board meeting, tried to get to the respirator she had in her car, collapsed in the parking lot and she died three days later at the age of 52. i have a grandson who has asthma, and when my daughter
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takes him to play ball or whatever sport, she first checks to see whether nearest emergency facility is. so it's serious stuff, and we ought to stop playing games with this. since it became law in 1970, the clean air act has protects our health. in 2010 alone, it prevented more than 160,000 premature is, premature deaths, and more than 1.7 million child respiratory illness. these are more than just statistics, just like administrator jackson, i have family members as i've mentioned who suffer from asthma to our families know that asthma is a series disease that can mean life or death, and its growth in the population is enormous. the clean air act, economic benefits, are also clear. when air pollution is severe, health care costs soar and productivity plunges.
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business is no employees who can't breathe our employees who can't work. gutting the cleaner act will do nothing to help our economic recovery and nothing to close our budget deficits but i agree, we've got to fix the nation's budget challenge, but no american would balance the household budget by skimping on the family safety. and congress shouldn't be putting austerity of a public health or i applaud the epa for making the responsible choices in the budget. although i'm concerned about some cuts, the beach act grant funding, so i look forward to hearing from administrator jackson about this budget and about how this committee can help the epa continue its vital public mission. improving the health of the american people. >> thank you, senator. senator sessions. >> thank you very much. it's good to be with you, administrator jackson. you have an important agency, as
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ranking member of the budget committee, i know how tight our spending is. you do important work, but you have to be accountable like every other agency, and i know you would agree with that, and we expect smart, cost-effective programmatic action out of your agency. said and off, i noticed yesterday, had their pinocchio honesty report, and a quote president obama saying is going to your house and went to the mall and put up those rigs ever come we still have only 2% of the world's known oil reserves. the "washington post" a quote that is simply wrong. the president is in an energy tour this week on and on wednesday he once again made this claim. we hope he finally drops his facetious logic from his talking points to pinocchio. the budget picture, 2013 would be the fifth consecutive year of
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a trillion dollar deficit under the presence 2013 budget annual federal spending reaches 44,000 per household in 2022. and federal debt reaches 200,000 per household by 2020. as the size of the federal government grows, the middle-class is being squeezed from all directions. real wages are declining to food and energy prices are rising. job prospects remain scarce. but one area has received extraordinary increases in funding. that's environmental protection agency. my constituents ask me frequently why is epa so much involved now in impacting our lives like we have never seen it before? and i agree, to a degree on administrator jackson, i've never heard since i've been in washington the answer, since
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taking office president obama has had epa operating at a surged budget. since 2009, epa has received $12 billion more in funding than the 2008 baseline levels would have allowed. in fact, when he took office, administration and the democratic-controlled congress gave epa a 100% increase in its budget in one year, counting the stimulus. ..
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>> over 2008 levels and every year since they've been funded well above that baseline. what are the priorities? i'm concerned about how the money's being allocated. epa's budget says their number one priority is climate change. they are asking for at least 32 million in increased funding for climate change protection. in fact, epa plans to spend 140 million more on their regulations and management programs, that means we should expect to see more costly mandates from washington. they also plan to increase their spending on epa regulators and scientists. at the same time, epa plans to cut spending to the states by $257 million. the state partnerships are important, and they do play a major role in how we conduct our efforts to improve our environment. you also plan cuts for
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brownfield's redevelopment. so i was disappointed that your agency would ask for 15 million in increased funding for enforcement efforts while just this week the supreme court ruled 9-0 in the sackett case that epa had abused its authorities. the costly regulations are driving up economic crisis. the epa's utility map, cross-state air rule, coal-ash rule, cooling water intake rule, rules on farmers and regulation of pesticides taking that away from states would together impose a significant burden on our economy, and it results in multiple complaints to me from my constituents that these rules
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are not realistic, they're being imposed too fast, and the cost exceeds the benefits. 21 billion in annual costs on the u.s. economy would be imposed by these new regulations. that's annual cost. that's about half of the highway bill we worked so hard to try to find the money to support. so epa declares their rules will only result in a 3% increase in electricity rates, but it looks like it may be as much as 10-20%. madam chairman, thank you for the opportunity to have this hearing. all of us are going to have to tighten our budgets, and i encourage epa to do the same, and i believe you need to be held accountable and each program analyzed aggressively to see if they justify the taxpayers' dollars being invested in it. thank you. >> senator sessions, thank you. senator whitehouse. >> thank you, madam chair. i'd like to welcome
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administrator jackson back to our committee. i'm, i have some concerns about the beach protection budget that we can discuss as the budget process moves forward. very, very important to rhode island. and i wanted to mention another thing that's very, very important to rhode island is that there be proper enforcement of the clean air act. we are a downwind state. on a bright summer day, you drive into work, and the drive time radio is often saying that today's a bad air day, and infants should stay indoors, and seniors, and people should not engage in vigorous outdoor activity all because of toxic emissions that are being dropped onto us by midwestern coal plants and power plants. so that sentiment has been echoed. not just in rhode island, the american lung association has
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just done a poll that says 73% of americans understand that you can have solid clean air standards and a strong economy. 68% of republicans agreed with that. the poll showed that 72% of americans supported your new protections on carbon emissions for power plants. so i know you get a lot of static here in d.c. about what you're doing. this is a unique place where special interests, particularly polluting special interests, i think, have a disproportionate voice. but in the downwind states and among the general american population, we are in accord with you. indeed, we are counting on you. so i thank you. and i'll close by mentioning a show that i watched when i got home last night on the nova science program about what is happening in the, at the poles, in the antarctic and in the
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arctic regions. and, um, once again we have a situation in which washington is disconnected from the real world. my theory is that it's disconnected by special interest money from the real world, by polluting special interest money from the real world. and so the facts of what we are doing with our carbon pollution to our oceans and to our atmosphere are being manipulated and propagandized. but i believe that out there in the real world where people are looking at real facts, where they're not under the shadow of special interest people have strong support or your efforts to get our carbon pollution under control, and i urge you to continue to stand strong and appreciate very much that you have stood strong, and anything we can do to make sure we have your back on that i'm interested
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in doing. very important to rhode island as a downwind state to have clean air for our citizens. thank you very much, madam chair. >> thank you, senate. senator barrasso. >> thank you, madam chairman. the obama administration officials regularly try to justify their excessive red tape by citing misleading and incomplete health statistics. meanwhile, they completely ignore how these exact same regulations destroy jobs and destroy communities. when americans lose their jobs, their health and the health of their children suffers. these are the findings of a new minority report that i am releasing today as ranking member of the subcommittee of clean air and nuclear safety. the report is entitled "red tape: making americans sick." a new report on the health impacts of high unpoint. unemployment. this is a comprehensive report, and it contains expert testimony before this committee. and the best scientific medical research from institutions such as johns hopkins, columbia, yale
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and others. this key medical research and testimony details the public health consequences of joblessness. and the joblessness is caused as a result from the cumulative impact of the epa's ongoing regulations. specifically, these impacts from joblessness will increase the likelihood of hospital visits, increase the likelihood of illnesses and premature deaths in communities. this joblessness will raise health care costs, will raise questions about the claimed health savings of the epa's regulations. and these regulations through this impact hurt children's health and hurt families' well beings. as detailed in this report, this committee has heard some of these findings before. dr. harvey brenner of johns hopkins university testified before this committee on june 15th, and he warned that, quote: the unemployment rate is well established as a risk factor for
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elevated illnesses and mortality rates in epidemiological studies performed since the early 1980s. it is true that studies as far back as 1985 have warned of the health impacts of unemployment. a study published that year in the american journal of public health by dr. margaret lynn found that, quote: after unemployment symptoms of similar mattization which, of course, includes gastrointestinal, also depression and anxiety were significantly greater in the unemployed than in the employed. more recent studies include yale researcher dr. william gallo who released a study in 2006, and that found that, quote: results suggest that the true cost of late career unemployment exceed financial deprivation and include substantial health consequences. unemployment's health impacts on children is also discussed in the report. the national center for health
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statistics has found that children in poor families were four times as likely to be in fair or poor health as children in families that were not poor. the research in the report speaks for itself. the concern about unemployment's impact on public health is a concern for at least one former obama white house official. as reported in "the new york times" on november 7th of last -- november 17th of last year, white house chief of staff william daley asked one interest group lobbying for stricter rules, even stricter epa rules, mr. daley said, quote: what are the health impacts of unemployment? i and my colleagues in congress have urged the epa to seriously consider the cumulative impacts of their rules and how they negatively impact jobs, families, children and the elderly.
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finally, on tuesday the obama administration made a surprising announcement in this regard. the white house announced a new policy on studying cumulative impacts. now, finally after much of the damage has been done to employment and public health, the obama administration now wants to find out what is happening across the united states because of their rules. well, here's the answer. their rules -- closing power plants, shutting down factories, raising gasoline and electricity prices -- they all cost jobs, and they make people less healthy as stated in this report. so i will release this report, "red tape: making americans sick, a new report on the health impacts of high unemployment." studies show epa rules cost americans their jobs and their health. i'd recommend it to every person who works at the environmental protection agency. thank you, madam chairman.
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>> thank you, senator. i look forward to reading it. we have a majority report called a strong epa protects our health and promotes economic growth, and the executive summary points out that since the passage of the clean water act, the clean air act, the super fund and many of these signed but most signed by republican president, our gross domestic product has risen by 207%, and it remains the largest in the world. i find it rather amazing that one small agency would be blamed for all the troubles we're going through. and i would say if anyone cares about jobs, have the house to ask speaker boehner to bring up the bipartisan transportation bill. so this committee has a great role in, definitely, creating jobs true this transportation bill which i'm so proud is bipartisan. and we'll call on senator jewish call the. udall.
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>> thank you, madam chair. and welcome, administrator jackson. great to have you here again, and i wanted to talk to you about a couple of issues in the questioning, but i thought i would highlight at the beginning here the fact that the president just visited new mexico and oklahoma on an energy trip promoting his all-of-the-above energy strategy where he's saying that all of our energy sources should be developed. in new mexico we have an area rich in oil and gas which is having an extraordinary boom at this time. and he highlighted by his visit to new mexico that, um, that boom that was going on and the increase of oil production in the united states. and, in fact, i think he went to oklahoma following new mexico, and there was a problem there with pipelines not being able to get supply out, and he issued an executive order to move that
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along. so i think the president's working very hard, madam chair, to try to do everything he can. and it seems to me that we're seeing from republicans a lot of change in position, especially mitt romney. i mean, in 2006 governor romney said, and this is a direct quote, i'm very much in favor of people recognizing that these high gasoline prices are probably here to stay. and the new republic covered it in if an article just recently here that i'd like to submit for the record, madam chair. the title of the article's, when romney liked high gas prices. in fact, it highlighted that he was very much for a lot of the plans that president obama has put forward today. on this issue of gas prices, i would note that the associated press recently conducted a comprehensive statistical study
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going back 36 years. and the study shows no correlation, underline no correlation between u.s. drilling and gasoline prices. gasoline prices are driven by oil prices which are set on the global market. the u.s. has the highest rate count in at least 25 years, but we do not control global supply and demand. so that's something that i think consumers need to realize and understand. even if we were totally oil independent like canada is, we would still pay global prices since oil can be traded globally. in fact, u.s. gasoline prices are some of the lowest in the world due to our low gasoline taxes. we live in a market economy. the last time a president could set the gas price was when republican richard nixon imposed price controls.
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president obama, as i've said, highlighted on this trip all of the things that he's trying to do, and i think he's making a good, solid effort at trying to move us in the right direction in terms of renewable energy and, also, making sure there's a strong domestic industry. and so with that, madam chair, i would yield back. >> thank you. so now we are honored to hear from administrator lisa jackson. >> thank you so much, madam chairman. ranking member. thank you for inviting me to testify on the president's fiscal year 2013 budget. it's good to see all the members of the committee here today. it's the fiscal year 2013 budget for the epa. i'm joined by the agency's chief financial officer, barb bennett. epa's budget request of $8.43 billion focuses on fulfilling the core mission of protecting public health and the environment while making sacrifices and tough decisions. the kind that americans across
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the country are making every day. the budget fully reflects the president's commitment to reducing government spending and finding cost savings in a responsible manner while supporting clean air and the innovative safeguards that are essential to an america that's built to last. in some cases we have had to take a step back from programs. this budget reflects a savings of $50 million through the elimination of several epa programs and activities that have either met their goals or can be achieved at the state or local level or by other federal agencies. let me spend a moment discussing major elements of our budget request. this budget recognizes the importance of our partners at the state, local and tribal level. as you know, they are at the front lines of implementing our environmental laws like the clean water act and clean air act. in fact, the largest portion, 40% of the funding request, is directed to the state and tribal assistance grants appropriations to support their efforts. specifically, this budget proposes that $1.2 billion --
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nearly 15% of epa's overall request -- be allocated back to the states and tribes through categorical grants. this includes funding for state and local air quality management grants and the states' general assistance program. the budget also proposes that a combines $2 billion, another 25% of epa's budget request, goes directly to the states for the clean water and drinking water tate revolving fund. this will help system wide investments and development of water infrastructure in our communities. we are working to identify opportunities to fund green infrastructure. projects that can reduce pollution efficiently and less expensively than traditional gray infrastructure. additionally, epa's budget request would fund the protection of the nation's land and water in local communities. reflecting the president's commitment to restoring and protecting the great lakes, this budget requests that congress maintain the current level of 300 million for the great lakes restoration initiative. this support will continue to be
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used for collaborative work with partners at the state, local and tribal level and also with nonprofit and municipal groups. the budget also requests support for protection of the chesapeake bay and several other significant water bodies. the budget reflects the importance of cleaning up contaminated land in our communities by requesting $755 million for continued support of the superfund clean-up program, it maintains the agency's emergency preparedness and response capabilities. epa's budget request makes major investments in its science and technology account of $708 million or almost 10% of the total request. this request includes $a -- $576 in basic research including universities throughout the country for targeted research as part of the science to achieve results or s.t.a.r. program including children's health, endocrine disruption and air monitoring research. also as part of this request, epa includes funding increases
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into key area that is include green infrastructure and hydraulic factory. natural gas is an important resource which is abundant in the united states. but we must make sure that the ways we extract it do not risk the safety of water supplies. this budget continues epa's ongoing congressionally-directed study which we are taking great steps to make sure is independent and based on strong and scientifically-defensible data. this budget requests $14 million in total to work with the united states geological survey, the department of energy and other partners to assess questions regarding hydraulic fracturing. soft science means finding the answers to tough questions, and epa's request does that. we are making investments to support standards for clean energy and efficiency in this budget. specifically, this budget supports epa's efforts to expand the use of home grown renewable fuels. this includes funding for epa's
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federal vehicles and fuel standards and certification program that supports certification and compliance testing for all emission standards. this also includes implementation of the president's historic agreement with the auto industry for carbon pollution and fuel economy standards through 2025 for cars and light-duty vehicles including testing support for the fuel economy standards. taken together, the administration's standards for cars and light trucks are projected to result in $3.7 -- $1.7 trillion in fuel savings and 12 billion fewer barrels of oil consumed. this funding will help support implementation of the first-ever fuel economy standards for heavy duty trucks. madam chairman, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. while my testimony reflects only some of the highlights of epa's budget requests, i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you very much. i want to -- we're going to each have six minutes. i wanted to start off, there was
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a big critique of going after toxic air pollution from power plants specifically from senator sessions, and i wanted to talk to you about that because we fought off a couple of amendments already, and we know we're going to face some congressional review act repeals on either boiler mat or utility mat. and when i get into this, i saw the amazing progress we could make if you're able to move ahead. because we're talking here about cutting mercury, arsenic, lead chromium and other hazardous pollutants that can cause cancer and harm the reproductive and developmental systems of our children in particular. but it's a threat to everybody. so as i look at your work that you have produced on this, you say that once the law's implemented, we will see up to 11,000 premature deaths avoided
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every year. we will see 2800 fewer cases of chronic bronchitis. we will see 4700 fewer heart attacks, 130,000 fewer asthma attacks. i know, senator lautenberg, every time you speak -- i'm talking to senator lautenberg. i just wanted to say every time you speak about losing your sister to asthma, and i'm glad that you remind us of this because a lot of times you hear these speeches about, you know, bureaucracy and jobs and things which i think are off base, but we forget about why we set up this entity and what it means that when epa implements the utility mat and start to control mercury, arsenic, lead and chromium and other hazardous
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pollutants, we will see 130,000 fewer asthma attacks every year. we will see 5700 fewer hospital emergency room visits and three million fewer restricted activity days. so i guess my question is -- and that's why the people support what you do, administrator. when you sit there and you hear this criticism coming from the other side of the aisle, and it is their perfect right to think the way they think and do what they do, and we have a big disagreement, and it's very respectful, but when i look at you sitting there with your people, it must feel pretty darn good to have a job that you know at the end of the day is going to save 11,000 lives a year just from one rule? and chronic bronchitis and heart attacks and asthma, etc. so i want you to put on the record how you come up with these stats so that people know about peer review and who are the people making these
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estimates. could you tell us how, what is the process before you come up with these benefits? >> certainly. um, there is a well developed body of science and scientific research around the air pollution impacts on public health. it is probably that part of pollution that is best studied from an economics perspective. and, um, what happens is that we look at two main drivers, and these are peer-reviewed studies, they are based on the work of, um, of scientists who first look at hospital admissions, and they track those controlling for other factors, and they also do clinical tests where they expose people to levels of pollution. the correlation between soot and smog and premature death and asthma is not speculative, it's not a possibility, it is quite real. it has been estimated, um, in the case of the mercury and air
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toxic standards to save up to 11,000 premature deaths a year. that has real cost to the american people. i think it's very important to remember that these strong cuts to mercury and other harmful emissions have real benefits to americans. i don't, you know, we unfortunately have to put a price on life so we can monetize it. but there's also the cost of lost workdays, of sickness, of children missing school and their caregivers with them. all that goes into our economic analysis. they are peer-reviewed and widely accepted. >> well, i wanted that on the record because we, we battle on the floor on this, and we're going to keep on battling, and we're going to keep on fighting because you have the facts on your side, and we know if it's our mother or our father or our daughter or our son or our sister or our brother -- and it could easily be -- one of those heart attacks, one of those
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hospital admissions, then we feel it in the gut. and it's our job to protect america's families just the way we protect our own. i wanted to close with asking you a question about the ryan budget. this budget of the president's cuts the epa by 1%, and i've already stated i'm not happy about it, i mean, frankly. i feel that the beach program is essential because, again, that saves lives. i don't like the cuts in the radon program. again, i think it's essential. and i'm going to try to add back those, those programs. i'm not going to ask you about your feelings on it, i'm sure you fight for these programs. but we know that the president had to do something. but the ryan budget cuts the epa by 14%, and it would amount to a billion in cuts. and i wanted you to respond whether you think that level of cut would, in fact, threaten the health of our children and our families, that level of cut.
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>> well, we have not done an analysis of the ryan budget yet, madam chairman. let me simply say that epa has taken painful cuts to get down to the 1%. it is misleading to say 1% because we've actually increased grants to states and tribes -- >> right. >> the document that was put up is very misleading. all that money passes through epa to states and tribes on purpose. and i would be very concerned about our ability to protect human health when we start looking -- >> okay. will you send us, both senator inhofe and i, the impact of the ryan budget once you have studied it? >> certainly. >> and i would put in the record, that you make a point i should have made. that funding to the states, and that includes the tribes, accounts for the largest part of your request, is that correct?
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>> that's correct. >> so these really are pass-through funds to the states. senator inhofe. >> thank you, madam chairman. and getting back to the all of the above which was really our mantra, we were real sincere on that, that would include, "above" includes coal. there's been a lot of concern that the mack standards for the new electric-generating facilities are so strict that no new stations can be built. we know the existing ones and what they're suffering under because contracts are being canceled as we speak. the new unit mack standard was set using performance data from logan and chambers units, but the epa posted a chart showing six separate test results for logan with logan failing the standard five out of six times in a similar situation in chambers. what we've told the public, the
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new unit mack standards would not prevent new units from being built, and yet your own data seems to show that the very units you use to set as a standard would fail the compliance test. am i wrong on that? >> yes. i believe i disagree with you on that, sir. the mack, the mercury and air toxic standards are based on technology for the best 12%. they look at individual contaminants individually. and one of the concerns we worked with was looking at condense bl versus total particulate matter as a surrogate for some of those hazardous air pollutants. so we believe that they are achievable, we believe the standards meet the requirements of the clean air act in that regard. >> okay. but back to logan. did they -- is it not accurate that they failed five out of the six tests?
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>> sir, i can certainly look at the individual data you are citing, but the logan plan is a well-performing facility in new jersey, so i know it fairly well. >> all right. thank you, madam administrator. that's one out of three totally unrelated questions, but one of them is the -- i remember so well, it's 14 years ago, and i can't believe that i was at that time i was chairman of the clean air subcommittee, we were a majority, and you might remember when they came in there trying to regulate propane on the farms and all that stuff. very similar to what's going on today, the epa's trying to force the ag retailers to report when they sell custom-blended fertilizer directly to their farmers even though the law exempts fertilizers held for sale to the ultimate consumers. now, farmers don't buy their fertilizer from walmart, and they have to be custom blended. so in, technically, that is selling to the ultimate
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consumer. and i just want to get some kind of a commitment that we're going to let them enjoy the exemption that is in the law right now in terms of the fertilizer sales. >> senator, i try to know everything about the epa's regulatory programs. you have managed to give me one i'm not familiar with. i'm happy to look into the matter -- >> that's a first. >> -- and answer your question. [laughter] >> well, you know, it just makes sense though. there's a reason we have in the law that they would, that they are exempt. and i think that the mistake here is the way it's being applied is that they consider the ultimate consumer actually coming from a walmart or something like that. now, i would say that at least, and responding to this for the record, i think it's important. that we say at least when they have to custom blend which is every case that they should be considered as the selling to the
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ultimate consumer. because there's a reason for that exemption. that's what i'd like to do, is get this back from you and be able to, if there's -- i think this is an area where you'll agree with us. >> so you'll be submitting a question for us to -- >> well, i'm already doing it, yeah. why shouldn't this exemption stand as selling to the ultimate consumer because it actually is. >> okay. >> okay. that's good. that's good. the third unremitted thing -- unrelated thing on february 22nd the epa sent guy dance cover -- guidance for final review. this goes way back, and i can remember sitting up here back when senator feingold introduced the clean water restoration act, we've had this before us many, many times. and it's turned out that this would be the most damaging thing
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in terms of ag, the farm bureau and oh groups like -- other groups like that have said this is something that is not livable, and so consequently, i was, i was disappointed when we sent the guidance to omb for final review. and not only has congress pointedly rejected similar efforts to statutorily expand the clean water act, a majority of the supreme court justices concluded in the rapannos case and only yesterday in the sacket case that the epa, the government was exceeding its regulatory authority in how to regulate our waters. i would ask, you know, how does the administration's policy as articulated in the new guidance differ from the overreach that was overturned by the supreme court. and can that was only yesterday. however, it's been rejected
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twice before in the swank and rapanos case. and my interest here, of course, is to do something about this final rule in terms of how the water is going to be treated. >> senator, thank you. the sackett case decided yesterday goes to process. at what point under the administrative procedures act since the clean water act is silent on the matter are those who are a recipient of an epa action allowed to challenge it in court. the court spoke, of course, very clearly to that point, and we will, of course, be abiding by that decision. they did not speak unanimously as part of the main decision to the issue of the continuing issue of which waters and wetlands in this country are jurisdictional. we have heard from a number of stakeholders around the country about the confusion that is resulting in lack of protection on certain lands and in certain
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areas, and that is what the guidance is -- which has been out for public comment and is now in the process of being finalized is attempting -- >> well, i think you probably noticed, i think senator barrasso is heading up an effort, we'll be supporting him, senator session and senator heller w a bill that stops the epa from finalizing the guidance and using the guidance to make decisions about the scope of the clean water act or turn this problematic problem into a rule. so we're going to be doing what i can to stop that, but i would like to get your, you know, response as to how these court decisions are going to impact what you're going to be doing with the water issues. >> thank you, senator. senator lautenberg. >> thank you very much, madam chairman, and thank you, administrator lisa jackson. we're proud of the work that you
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and that whole department of yours does, the dedicated people, and i have met with many of them over the years starting with my earliest superfund days. and i know how much they feel their commitment to their work is. and they will go to work under the oddest of circumstances and fulfill their mission. and, you know, we had a brief discussion, i don't know whether think of you heard it, the energy committee or the epw committee, but one thing i learned here today is that we might be part of the budget committee because what we're talking about constantly is the costs of these things. i come from having run a very, very large business before i got here, and i know one thing: that we had to have revenues that
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could carry the business along that were higher than our expenses. and here we have a new economic theory that says, to heck with it. doesn't matter what your revenues are. we don't look at that side of thing. but yet we well on the fact that -- dwell on the fact that there are more rules, more imposition on business and so forth. and i need a reminder. and i got a quote here from dr. george benjamin, president of the american public health association. pretty reliable. they say simply hazardous air emissions are linked to a wide range, a whole range of serious and immediate human health risks. but here we can't seem to get the message across because we're always talking about costs. and when you talk about the costs -- and they're important -- but don't you sometimes talk about the lives that might be saved? can't we convince our colleagues
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on the other side somehow or other that it's not a good idea to put your kids out like the canary in the coal mine and ignore what the consequences are? we had a fellow testify in a hearing we had here on mercury emissions, and it was from a small town in ohio, avon lakes. the man was a counselor. and he talked about a plant that was 42 years old, no scrubber. but they had to be careful about shutting this plant down. it would cost tens of jobs, maybe 50, 60 jobs if we shut the plant down. but i went further, and i found out that in the year 2010 that 440 asthma attacks, 47 heart attacks, 29 premature deaths.
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they ought to go to the members of those families and ask if they can continue saving money on the lives and the well being of their children. i don't think so. over the past year, epa has set new clean air standards that will cut toxic air pollution from power plants and industrial facilities. unfortunately, there are now efforts in this senate, we hear it, to block new mercury and air toxic standards. how many severe illnesses and even deaths will be prevented by epa's new pollution limits, please? >> the mercury and air toxic standards benefits are estimated to be up to 11,000 avoided premature deaths a year, once fully implemented, 130,000 asthma attacks or symptoms, cases that require attention, 2500 fewer cases of bronchitis, and i don't have the number of heart attacks here as well. but the numbers are quite
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significant. >> that's how it is with you bleeding hearts. what about the money? come on. [laughter] anyway -- >> well -- >> administrator, do you want to add something else? >> oh, i'm sorry. well, we can monetize those benefits, and that is about 90 -- excuse me, up to $90 billion in 2016. so, and that's annual. so, um, it is not fair to say there's only costs. there are benefits. another way to think of it is, you can pay a dollar to clean up the mercury and the arsenic and the cadmium, or you can pay $10 taking yourself and your family to the doctor to -- you pay either way, and a dollar's a deal. >> there still are more than
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80,000 chemicals on everything pa's inventory -- epa's inventory, and current laws have limited epa to testing the effects of just 200. that's over more than 30 years. even with this additional funding, do you still believe that the toxic substances control act must be modernized in order to protect the public? >> yes, yes, indeed i do, senator. >> epa's budget completely eliminates funding for the beach attack grants -- beach act grants, rather -- to help states test and monitor quality. and i wrote the law creating the program in the year 2000. it's helped millions of beachgoers insure that a day at the beach isn't followed by a day at the doctor. what will the effects be on our beaches if states facing budget crunches are unable to make up the difference in lost funds? >> well, that is the key, senator: the belief here is that
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the program was started to help states and local governments get their beach monitoring and surveillance and health systems into place. our belief is that states are able and can fund in a variety of ways those programs, and so we don't believe that there'll be an impact on health. >> yeah. and i close by saying that here what we're saying is if you don't, if you need oil for the car and you don't put it in, just drive faster to make up for it. thank you very much. >> senator whitehouse. >> thank you, chairman. administrator, to follow up on senator lautenberg's issues, as you know, um, rhode island was scheduled to take a very, very big hit, and you've reduced the hit that rhode island takes a little bit under the section 105 program. but when you add in taking the
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soot particulate matter testing and moving that out of section 103 and into section 105, that adds to rhode island's hit, and when you pile in the beach protection program, you know, we end up taking it pretty hard in this budget relevant to other states, it seems to me anyway. so i just want to let you know that we're going to be working very hard to try to redress that with you. once again, you know, a could dd state. i don't believe we're creating a lot of pollution out of rhode island that the rest of the country has to worry about. and so the fact that our hit seems to be going way up when we're one of the less polluting states, we're down river of most of the river pollution that comes, we're downwind of the air pollution, we don't really harm anybody else, so we'll be
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working with you on that. i just wanted to make sure you knew how important this was to us to have that recognized. um, there have been some suggestion that the new epa clean air rules could be responsible for fuel shortages in the northeast this summer. i think the suggestion has been that pennsylvania in particular might suffer a fuel shortage, and i wanted, you know, everything that has to do with what you do is often surrounded with propaganda, rumor and speculation. and i just wanted to get your sense of what the facts are on this. i know that washington has been largely fact-proofed by special interests on a lot of -- [laughter] environmental issues, but what are the facts on this? >> well, there is a specific issue in one specific area of the country. it is not related to epa regulation, but epa is working
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closely and monitoring the fuel supply situation in pennsylvania and in the pittsburgh area in particular. due to market factors, several refineries which preferred process light sweet crude have decided that they'd rather shut down than process heavier sour crude which is on the market these days. that simply means that we need to insure that with those refineries gone the buckeye pipeline which serves them doesn't result in there not being a reliable supply of gasoline to the customers. sonoco has a plan to deliver products in the areas that they serve even if they fail to find a buyer for that one refinery. however, epa's within working with the -- been working with the d. of energy.
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we work -- the department of energy. we work with the private sector, continue to work with them. the concerns revolve around the clean air act and the portions of the clean air act that lower the volatility of gasoline in the summer. because, as you know, that's when gasoline evaporates and causes smog in our air on hot summer days, and it becomes a bit of a cycle. we have well established authority to waive fuel standards in the event of any kind of actual fuel supply shortage with doe concurrence. we've used that authority, and we're working closely with the state of pennsylvania and the industry and doe on those issues. >> we will follow up with some questions for the record on the funding and its effects on rhode island, and i would ask if you could respond to those fairly quickly because in the budget cycle if we get stalled on that,

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