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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 6, 2015 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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using #npclunch. as 25th commandant of the united states coast guard admiral paul zukunft leads the largest component of the department of homeland security. the nonretired coast guard boasts some 88,000 personnel including active duty reserve, civilian, and volunteers with a budget of about $8.1 billion. down a bit from last year right? members of the coast guard operate icebreakers in the arctic ocean and help mitigate recent events like the migrant crisis coming over, the greenpeace blockade protests against the royal dutch shell, excuse counter drug operations in the caribbean and provide security in the u.s. and even some places as far away as the south china sea. they respond to natural disasters such as hurricane katrina, more on how we are marking that event here at the
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club a little later, and human caused disasters such as the deep horizon oil spill in the gulf of mexico. additionally, the coast guard rescues more than 3,000 people each year and searches for boaters who go missing such as the two teenagers who disappeared off the coast of florida recently. as the smallest military force and the only one with law enforcement authority, the coast guard has had a role in the defense of the united states for 225 years. in fact yesterday was the coast guard's birthday. today admiral zukunft will discuss the challenges for the coast guard such as congressional budget struggles a well-debated cyber security plan, maintaining a zero tolerance for sexual assault and a fleet in high need of modernization and sheer numbers to tackle the next 225 years. please give a warm national press club welcome to the
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commandant of the united states coast guard admiral paul zukunft zukunft. [ applause ] >> jeff, thank you for the flattering introduction, and i had a chance to meet many of you before, and i just want to thank you. there's a lot of places you could be right now, but i'm just delighted that you're here to learn a little bit more about what i would say the little engine that could, the united states coast guard, whose roots trace back to august 4th 1790 and i will tell a little bit about our history talk a little bit about the present talk a little bit about the future and then really open it up to question and answer and just have a very spontaneous dialogue recognizing everything we say is on the record. so this has been a phenomenal week for the coast guard. i just returned from grand haven, michigan. it's called coast guard city usa. it's a city of about 10000, but this weekend it was a city of 200,000 here to celebrate the
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united states coast guard. and every coast guard man and woman walking the streets of grand haven michigan young teenagers not giving us flack but saying we love the coast guard. you cannot come back to washington, d.c., with a better feeling than after spending a little bit of time in coast guard city usa, grand haven. yesterday we unveiled the forever stamp in commemoration of the united states coast guard. 15 million stamps printed because many times most folks don't realize what the coast guard does on a day-to-day basis. i'm honored to be here with you today. tomorrow i will be on the pitching mound of nationals stadium to throw an opening pitch, but more importantly on saturday i'll be in boston, massachusetts, as we commission our fifth national security cutter, which is really paying huge dividends and i'll tell a little bit about one of those national security cutters a little bit later on in my remarks. monday i'll be in san diego for the ship that's going to return and i will tell you that story later, and this is going to be a
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big media event, a very big shoe if you will. and then on thursday i'll be in havana, cuba, and so we'll be opening the embassy the following day. i will be involved in bilateral discussions with the government of cuba with our u.s. interest section there and then secretary kerry, as you may know will be there on the 14th as we open up the embassy in cuba. so a little different than the coast guard that alexander hamilton envisioned 225 years ago as i rattle off what's on my schedule for just the next two weeks, and the good thing is this is a slow two-week period. it actually picks up after that and it's going to cover the asia-pacific region as well, cover the arctic. we have a lot going on over there as well. the coast guard many times we find ourselves on all seven continentses across the globe, including antarctica. today we have two special people who are with us here today.
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right now we're only on five of the seven continents, but we'll get back to all seven of those. join us first of all, is lieutenant commander natalie best. she was a commanding officer of a patrol boat serving for central command in the straits between iran and bahrain. so she was the commanding officer of that cutter and i just want to make a point that since 1978 every military occupational specialty in the coast guard has been open to women, and they literally hit the ball out of the park deployed for a year. young child at home, and it's great to have you back and we brought her back to washington, d.c. [ applause ] and you also heard introduced petty officer riota jenai. he's an information specialist. he works at an area where we can't say a lot about what they do behind locked doors but he's
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also a linguist, and he served on the coast card cutter "melon" that was involved in a multilateral operation. not an exercise. working with china, japan korea, russia canada, and the u.s., but really u.s.-led and he was our linguist, our japanese linguist because it's really hard to do combined operations if you can't speak a universal language, and we've been operating in this domain now for a number of years under the auspices of what we call the north pacific coast guard forum, and it really is a model of collaboration and effort with some of our key asia specific partners. thank you for your work over there. [ applause ] so imagine if you will, it's august 4th 1790. the continental navy was disbanded. the last ship was auctioned off in 1785, so while we emerged as
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victors from the revolutionary war, we were very much a bankrupt nation. and our first secretary of treasury alexander hamilton, probably a champion of the understatement said, if we had ten sentinels posted at our ports, might they do some good for the prosperity of our nation? a tariff act was passed before that, but you had pirates, you had people bypassing our tariff laws, and so quite honestly we were a maritime nation but without any maritime governance whatsoever, and so alexander hamilton had this vision that we would charter ten revenue cutters, and then he wrote a letter to each one of those commanding officers. he wasn't so big on the specifications of those ten ships. he said somewhere between 36, 40 feet, and by the way each one shall cost $1,000 a piece. he sent these commanding officers out to build them. the first one came in at $2,500
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2.5 times its initial acquisition cost. today our acquisition program our total acquisition portfolio, our growth is less than 2% and so we won four of eight of the federal acquisition awards last year. we've come a little bit -- some way since 1790 but the most important piece that alexander hamilton charged those commanding officers is to be mindful that we are a country of free men and we are impatient of those who don't have a temperant attitude and abuse the rights of our citizens of the united states. and it was that letter to those commanding officers that really lives within the dna of the coast guard today and it's reflected in our core values, honor, respect and devotion to duty. last year we used aviation use of force where we used sniper rounds to disable outboard engines, and we did that nearly
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once each week last year. and there wasn't one person injured during those interactions. just yesterday there was a boater in seattle shooting weapons at police officers. coast guard came in we surrounded him and we used the most powerful instrument, the strongest muscle in our body which has the least restraint our tongue. and we were able to talk this person down. if you go back to alexander hamilton's charge be mindful that we are a country of free men, i am very mindful of the fact how heavy handed law enforcement tactics play out on cnn, and so you do not see the coast guard of yesterday or today involved in any of these heavy-handed law enforcement tactics. it's not me, but it really gets back to the dna of our people serving on the front lines of our coast guard today. so i could not be more proud of what they do. fast forward to present day, and i talked about one of our
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national security cutters. we have been a member of the national intelligence community for some time now so we're not only an armed service, a law enforcement service, we're also a member of the national intelligence community and when i'm in san diego this monday, i will meet the coast guard cutter "vatton" "stratton "stratton." they're coming off a 4 1/2 month deployment. they have to come in because right now they're probably -- their load line is below water because of the 32-plus metric tons of cocaine that they have interdicted on one patrol. not one bust. these are multiple interdictions over a 4 1/2 month period. all of this driven by intelligence. last year when i came into this job, we had awareness of about 90% of the drug flow ultimately destined for the united states. it doesn't come here directly. it comes into countries like central america, honduras, el salvador, and guatemala.
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coincidentally, those are the same countries of origin where unaccompanied minors were entering the united states. so violent crime, drug trafficking activity, but all of it targeted towards a demand in the united states, so there's a clear nexus between regional stability and drug trafficking but we have awareness of 90% of the flow. before coming into this job, we were able to target about 10% about 10%. now, some of this intelligence comes from confidential informants. they're not paid a lot of money from their host nations. it could be a fisherman, and he might be paid $300 to provide us veryw, if he's found out, he's going to be assassinated. not only will he be assassinated, his family will be assassinated. and yet when we get that information, i just don't have enough ships. i don't have enough assets to act upon that information. now, the good news is we've closed that gap by nearly 35% in the last year, which means we're not doing something else somewhere else, and i can't tell
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you what that is but we've doubled down on the transit zone, and it's making a huge difference today. we're up in the arctic and i don't think alexander hamilton envisioned the arctic. last week we had protesters in portland, oregon, as one of shell's ships was departing. we had repellers jump off a bridge and we actually held the ship up to strike a balance of you really can't be protesting here, but eventually that ship is making its way up to the arctic. shell is actually drilling as i speak today. not into formation but five years ago today i was down in the gulf of mexico where i spent seven months which were like dog months as a federal on-scene coordinator of the deep deepwater horizon oil spill. make no mistake, a major oil spill. we need to be mindful that shell is responsible in carrying out their responsibilities in the
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arctic. we will have five ships and we already have several helicopters operating up in the arctic. this last winter we saw the record low sea ice extent up in the arctic region, and as that ice starts to retreat we may see a record retreatment of sea ice as well. 2012 was a record year. 14 of the 15 warmest years in the arctic have all happened in the last 15 years. what i do know is that there's a lot more water than where there used to be ice, and not only that, but about 5% of this region, 5% is charted to what i would say modern-day standards. i was in iceland a month and a half ago. i was on the icelandic coast guard vessel "thor" -- what a great name that is, "thor." so i looked at their charts and the datum is from 1915. that's when the most recent survey work is. so when the "thor" is operating up there, they send their boat
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up in front of them with a side scan sonar so they don't stumble against anything. this year we will have 200,000 tourists that will venture into the arctic. many of the cruise ships go flying by at 20, 25 knots through the same waters that "thor," very used to operating in this area -- and the reason i say that, when i met the captain a little crusty. i said how many years of sea duty do you have? 58. more than magellan. and so he is uncertain about what's up there, but what happens if one of those cruise ships were to find a pinnacle in 39 degree water temperature? we knew what happened with "titanic" 103 years ago. we know because we're still flying the international ice patrol to the warn mariners of any icebergs that drift into the shipping lanes, but fufif you have a mass loss of life up in the
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arctic, the coast guard will be pressed in service. we're in a very active campaign, i am during my term as commandant, as we look at recapitalizing the coast guard. when you look at an icebreaker it's a national asset. it's not just a coast guard asset, and it serves multiple stakeholders interests not just coast guard, national science foundation, department of defense, department of interior the list goes on and on, but it's not like passing the hat or passing the plate at church and say, okay everyone donate, we'll give our tithes and offerings and we'll have an icebreaker. there's violent agreement this is a national requirement. we just have to come up with a way to fund this. the next big acquisition for the coast guard is going to be the offshore patrol cutter. i took a ranking member from the senate down to visit one of our ships, and when he went on there, it was a 210-foot cutter. it's 50 years old. we're now on the nearly fourth generation of coasties that have now served on this very same
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ship. it doesn't have dedicated ballast, which means as it burns fuel, it rocks around a little bit, so we're having lunch and this member said it's probably a good time to go out and look at the horizon. and so we're only on the ship for 90 minutes and he's already uncomfortable, but we're sending our crews out there for months on end to serve on this very same ship. then i said, let me just show you the engine room real quick. we go down there and we look at the two main diesel engines that were dropped in there back in 1964. and the engineer of the watch says, senator, welcome to the one platform in our inventory in the united states that is impregnable against a cyber attack because there's not one digital system on this ship. so, yes, we do need to recapitalize these assets and that's why the offshore patrol cutter, as many may have heard me say, is our number one priority going forward. but when you look at cyber i was over where raito works and i
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was over there yesterday to wish him a happy birthday but in one of those vaults there was a very sponsored cyber track that took place. it was a spear phishing attack. i can't say a whole lot more about that, but it's had a significant impact on a federal agency in u.s. government, and i'm not talking about the opm hack. this is highly classified but it was our cyber watch standers that were able to kill that spear phishing attempt before it even reached our recipients. had those recipients opened it we would have had to take them off the net and it's no coincidence that many of the targeted recipients were very senior officers in the coast guard. fortunately, they can't spell zukunft, so they couldn't get my e-mail. i said there's some advantage to having a name you can't spell or pronounce. but we're very active in the cyber dough nanmain as well.
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i released a cyber strategy and we pushed it out last fall and industry is now coming to us. we regulate the maritime industry and post-9/11 probably one of the most sweeping pieces of legislation was the maritime transportation security act of 2002, and it required vessels and it required our maritime facilities recognizing that 90% of our global trade moves by sea, that they needed to implement safeguards, physical security at their facilities, so they've done a great job of that. i happened to be down at an lng facility being built out in louisiana. wount i won't give that you name because it would be an insider trade secret but this facility when it's fully up and running will move more liquified gas than there are gas carriers in the world to move that product. what a great time to do this at this point the united states sits on the largest reserves of lng as well and the panama canal
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expansion project when i was in there last november by all indications will open up probably on or about the 1 bsst of april of 2016. it's 180 feet wide but initially it will take ships up to 160 feet wide. it means lng carriers from the united states can supply the asia-pacific market with lng and do so in a timely fashion, which is good. when i talk to the facility operator, and you know you're in southern louisiana when the road kill shifts to alligators. and they have the fences, they have the cameras, they have the physical security, and i said well, what are you doing about zeros and ones? zeros and ones. i'm not following. i said what are you doing about the invisible attack? he said who would want to attack us? i said you're supplying the asia-pacific market. there's another pure competitor and it's called russia. if you think the ground rules haven't changed when it comes to cyber these days might someone
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like a national targeted attempt try to shut you down so you don't take their market share away? what's the coast guard's standards for cyber? we don't have those. but industry is now very incent incentivize incentivized of how do they get smart on cyber. we need to be able to leverage cyber as well. four weeks ago we had six drug interdictions. these are 30-foot pangas each loaded with about a ton of cocaine. but over an area from canada, united states, mexico, central america. six boats after anover an expanse that large in the open ocean and we got all six of them. we would not have gotten any of those if we were not able to leverage the cyber domain and investigator our ships to where we knew these threats were operating. many of you that have worked in the intelligence community probably can figure out how we do that, but if someone
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compromises our ability to do cyber, then we're not able to do that, and when you just look at search and rescue i only wish those two teenagers had an emergency distress beacon. we would have found them in a matter of minneapolis,utes, not even an hour. that signal goes up to a satellite, comes down near real time and we're ready to launch within 30 minutes and we would have been onscene within 30 minutes of that eperb being activated. nothing is harder for me as a commandant when i tell a family member that one of ours has died in the line of duty, but all of our sector commanders, they make those notifications to first of kin, and when we make those notifications, it's as though we have lost a member of our family as well. we don't do it callously. we do it in the spirit as alexander hamilton reminded us, that we are a country of free men, and so we gave it our best effort. we searched an area of over 44,000 square miles from florida all the way up to north carolina. we didn't find these two young
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boys, which we always take personally, but cyber is a big enabler in our ability to do that. so a little bit about the past a little bit about the present and i'm very excited about the future of the coast guard. the future of the coast guard is really represented by two of the people sitting here at the head table. this is the best educated coast guard that i have seen in my -- if you count my academy years, 42 years i have been around the coast guard. i clearly know that i would not get into the coast guard academy today. the new leaders that are coming out of the coast guard are by far superior than where i stood and obviously i did okay in the coast guard, but you're going to have many more capable future leaders of our service. not only that but they're fully empowered. i talked to bm-2 russo on the coast guard cutter "stratton" yesterday. he's a pursuit coxian.
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he was able to interdict a ton of cocaine. and his voice went something like this. well admiral i had watch. i went out and we stopped the boat. i said there's more to the story. come on. highlights. i said tell me a little bit more about the "stratton." then his voice picks up. these are the best people i have ever served with. this is the best ship in the coast guard. i said what are you going to do next year? he said my tour is up, and he's going to be serving on the "stratton" and they're deployed for 230 days out of the year. he goes i'm going to ask my detailer if i can get a one-year extension because i'm going to be a qualified under wayo o ood which is usually reserved for officers. i have 88,000 bm-2 russos in the coast guard. so with that when people talk about budget i said really the bedrock strength of this service, our backbone as it was going back to 1790 is our people. we just got a little bit more
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complex mission sets than we did in 1790, but alexander hamilton's vision is alive and well because his letter to those commanders resonates with each and every person in the coast guard. i'll now read my notes -- no actually i'm done with that. and what i'd like to do is open it up to question and answer. [ applause ] >> and now the fun part. some of the questions have been quite interesting, admiral. let's see. senate armed services committee members are concerned that russia has 40 arctic icebreaker ships and america has one. is that going to change and when? i know you addressed that a bit earlier. >> yeah. so as i stand before you today i have one of my vice admirals is with the national security
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staff up in the arctic to see firsthand what some of the challenges are up there. when you're up in barrow, alaska, you now see berms being built because you used to have a natural berm a barrier, if you will, by all of the ice. so you're seeing a lot of coastal erosion. you're seeing a nearly threefold increase in human activity up there, but you look at the inventory of the united states and the united states has one heavy icebreaker. we have a medium icebreaker and the coast guard cutter "healy," but "the polar star" is nearly 40 years old, and so this past winter when "the polar star" was coming back from antarctica, it is the most powerful nonnuclear powered icebreaker in the world. it is an awesome ship but it's 40 years old. and so on the way back, there was a new zealand trawler that was beset in ice 150 miles into
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an ice field. some of that ice in excess of 15 feet thick. so the only ship anywhere in that hemisphere that could rescue them was "the polar star," and they did. they did a great job but when they got 150 miles in, and i'm thinking this is a 40-year-old ship, god forbid they have a casualty, who is going to come to their rescue? we do not have a u.s. rescuer for the rescued, if you will. no buddy system. so we really do need to build out our capacity in the arctic. this is drawing a lot of attention. i have been working very close with the national security staff, with both house and senate authorizers and appropriators. as i said earlier, how do you fund it? that is really the billion dollar question right now. but this is really generating a lot of interest, and i am optimistic that on my watch we will see, no fooling, forward progress as we look at building a national fleet of icebreakers.
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we had seven when i came into the coast guard as an ensign. we are down to two right now. so we've moved in the wrong direction over the last nearly 40 years. >> you talked about the phishing attack. when was it? did it target the coast guard? can you say anything else? >> this happened in the third week in july. we were not directly targeted, but the coast guard is on the dot mil do main asmain. we hide lined the lead curtain for all of dod when it comes to information protection. there are a number of other higher level officials than -- well, i wasn't on the list but you can imagine. there were some pretty high targets on that and some of those attacks were successful, which means those individuals, their files had to be taken down completely, and it takes a while to build those back up again. so it does cause a disruption. good news is we were not disrupted, but we were not the
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primary target. >> continuing along on the cyber questions, some critics are saying that the coast guard cyber security strategy lacks potency, personnel, cyber hygiene, originality, and funding. >> is that a question or a statement? >> do you agree or disagree? >> actually i disagree. yeah, we have a company if you will, of 70 cyber experts. i call them experts and i don't call them warriors because their first job is to defend our cyber domain. just as we did with the spear phishing attack, and we've seen a number of others, and quite honestly, you know, there are attempts to infiltrate your data systems on a daily basis. at the same time they're the ones that keep an eye out -- i mean near realtime if someone says i need to charge my iphone i'm going to plug it into the domain alarms go off and when it comes to cyber hygiene, the
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next step is accountability. now, i have to be careful how i word that because then it's considered undue command influence, but we need to look at accountability standards if we have training and the like when it comes to not plugging unauthorized devices into our network, but it still happens. so right now our biggest threat is in the cyber -- is cyber hygiene. it's not just us. there was a mobile offshore drilling unit that drove off the site it was drilling on because the control systems that operates on a network, somebody on that drilling unit had plugged in a device that had malware and all of a sudden that signal couldn't communicate with the thrusters and now that mobile offshore drilling unit drove off the site. fortunately, the blowout preventer kicked in didn't have a spill. this was over off the coast of nigeria, but it cost that drilling company millions of dollars to get back on the site
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and then re-establish it. so cyber hygiene is a big piece. we're part of u.s. cyber command. we have a coast guard flag officer in there. he's in the j-3 directorate. it's where the coast guard belongs because we operate in the dot mil, dotcom domain. we're a unique instrument when it comes to cyber security. it's an opinion but let me counter it, point counterpoint but that's my retort to that particular question. >> thank you. what given veto threats over the homeland security, what figure dollar figure, given veto threats over the homeland security budget does the coast guard actually need to tackle its mission going forward and why? >> our total budget is actually about $10 billion and last year for the second consecutive year the coast guard had a clean financial audit opinion. i talked about our acquisition
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program. less than 2% growth across our entire acquisition portfolio and then when we buy stuff, we keep it. we maintain it very well. the fact that we have ships 50 years old, i was on one up in grand haven this weekend that's over 55 years old. still doing coast guard business. so, one, we mind our checkbook. two, we drive a hard bargain when we buy stuff, and when we buy it we take very good care of it. what we haven't had over the last several years is a reliable and a repeatable acquisition budget. we've seen swings as wide as nearly 40%, and so when i'm challenged that my program of record is not affordable, it's like saying your mortgage is not affordable either when someone just took 50% of your disposable income away from you. yeah, you're going to have to foreclosure, but if you didn't cut me 40% this is a very sustainable program of record. but as we've seen wide swings and right now we're seeing a
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shift in direction where the value proposition of the coast guard, some examples that i gave you when i talked to you earlier earlier, is fully being appreciated and a number of members, both sides of the aisle, both chambers, are saying we need to invest in the coast guard. so on that note, people aside i am very optimistic with the markups we've seen so far, i can't share those with you, but it may very well bring the largest acquisition budget to the coast guard in coast guard history. so i'm pretty excited about that. >> one quick semi follow-up to that. in fact, one of your recent hearings some members criticized the coast guard for a lack of timely delivery of your capitalization plan. how would you respond to that in terms of your acquisitions? >> there's a two-part story to that. one is a five-year plan and the other is a 20-year plan, and it's very difficult to chart out to 20 years, and if that is going to be, you know a bold statement that you're going to make 20 years from now, we know that 15 years ago we didn't
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predict 9/11. when the qdr was released a year and a half ago, we did not predict the rise of isil, we did not predict ukraine, we did not predict ebola and we live in a very dynamic world today where if you walk your way across from east to west and around the world, i challenge you to find a region of tranquility if you will. so it's a very complex operating environment so it's very difficult to predict out 20 years what the world is going to look like 20 years from now. but if you look at the systems that we've acquired when you look at the hamilton class cutters that were brought online in the mid '60s, we modernized those as we went along. we make sure that whatever you buy is -- has space, weight, and power availability to accommodate new systems for new threats that are somewhere over the horizon, and so when you look at the national security cutter that is an optimal
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cutter to work in what is a very probably opaque world if you start to look 10, 15 years, but those ships are going to be operating well after i cross the bar. so i think we've made smart decisions on what we've acquired within our program of record recognizing they will be around 20 years from now as well. >> facebook is building drones that are man-free and solar powered. they can fly for three months consecutively. could that technology help the coast guard in the future with constant coverage, and i want to add one little thing to that question. when you're engaged in drone technology, there's always the debate between civil liberties and actual deployment and personnel and force use. how do you deal with, a, the technology of lengthy usage of drones and, b, the ongoing debate over usage of drones in terms of civil liberties. >> fortunately, out on the high seas it gets pretty lonely out
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there. in that we're the only entity that has really a unique xend comependium of authority. we have over 60 bilateral agreements that deal with counter drug that deal with proliferation security, that deal with fishery regulations. as i stand before you today, we're using drone technology on the coast guard cutter "healy" flying out looking where there's leads in the ice, has thermal imaging look to see where there might be mammal activity so we don't disturb it. it's easier to use drone technology in sometimes marginal weather you would otherwise put human beings at risk that can do the exact same thing and can do it persistently. so drone technology we've only seen, no pun intended, but the tip of the iceberg and we've used it in counter drug operations as well. in fact, we used it in one intervention where normally the ship comes charging over the
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horizon, blew lights screaming. this case one of our national security cutters launched a drone, and they realized it was a refueling vessel waiting for that super panga loaded with cocaine to get refueled and congress on its way. so instead of charging over the horizon, for the next 36 hours, kind of like sitting in a deer blind and you put a salt lick down there as well. so they stalked this thing for 36 hours, and then as soon as that go fast showed up, they bring the drone back and then launched the armed helicopter. shot out the outboards and we got several tons of cocaine out of that as well. more importantly we got the bad guys, and they're now in a safe house, if you will providing us very valuable information. none of that would have been possible without drone technology. are we going to own the upper edge technologywise on that? probably not. commercial off the shelf our adversaries, organized crime is a $750 billion industry, so i'm going after that with a $10 billion budget.
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so their biggest challenge is how do you launder $750 billion? there's no budget control act. there's no sequestration with these ill-gotten gains. so there's a little bit of a mismatch as we try to match technology against our adversaries and i think when you look at drone technology i see that as a challenge as we look 20 years out and probably less than that. probably in the next five years. >> you mentioned your coordinating role in the deepwater horizon spill and there have been a few spills in the news lately. given your experience as the on-site coordinator for five or seven months how -- what are the lessons learned from deepwater horizon as permits are now opening up and more drilling is opening up ten years later that the coast guard can apply? >> tip o'neill probably said it right. he said as in politics, all things are local. and it's no different with the oil spills, and if you're not
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engaged first and foremost at the local level, so what we realized very early on during deepwater horizon as it impacted the gulf states, very hurricane-prone part of our country that is very accustomed to operating under the stafford act. you declare a national emergency, then under the stafford act, the governor reigns supreme. under the clean water act and with an oil spill the federal government reigns supreme, and this impacted five states. not only did it impact five states, it impacted five republican states leading up to midterm elections. if you're looking at an oil spill, you need to kind of look at it like a rubik's cube and look at every angle behind it. one, it's a huge media event. it was my job to get it out of the national press at least get it on the back fold of "the washington post." how do you work with the media to tell your story? i was never going to win the day over a tar ball on the beach. but what i could win the day when you looked at the daily
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release rate of all the offshore relief well drilling just offshore alone was probably in the neighborhood of $50 million a day being expended by bp as we wrote out here is the incident action plan and what you need. we had 47,000 responders, bigger than our active duty coast guard, 1307ndresponding to this as well. but getting the media out to where the heavy artillery was, getting to the source of this oil and where we were the most effective was offshore and then getting all of that out into social media. we worked with noaa and we created this application called erma environmental response management application, and we pushed it out onto the one once we got it fully up and running. the first day we had 200,000 hits. on day two it was 2.2 million, and it just went viral after that. so rather than people waiting for the news cycle, they could go to this near realtime, look at jpe g encrypted photos, what
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was happening with the response. they could manipulate the data and draw their own conclusions. the final piece was we had 70 coast guard offices detailed to every parish president, every governor, so if they didn't like the way their county, their parish, their state was being allocated resources, you go to that coast guard person first. you don't go to cnn and try to, you know steer the ship through national media but let's work together on this and build unity of effort, but if you don't have unity of effort this will become a media event, and at the end of the day the environment is going to suffer as a result. so a lot of good lessons learned for what proved to be probably one of the most complex responses the coast guard has had to deal with. >> a freedom of information act lawsuit was recently filed to require that shell make public details of the safety of their arctic drilling equipment. do you agree those should be made public given the coast guard's mission to make the arctic safe? >> certainly when it comes to
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safety there's a need to know. there's clearly proprietary information when it comes to oil spill leases. the auctioning of these leases is actually one of the largest sources of revenue generation in our federal treasury. so without divulging, you know, the expanse of a given reservoir, but the safety standards that are in place, they're shared with us, they're shared with the department of interior and clearly i believe there's a need for the public to be informed of what safeguards are in place to mitigate any impact to the environment. >> you spoke a lot about budget constraints and all the challenges. at some point some priorities are going to win, some are going to lose. you talked a lot about what's going to win, what's going to lose. >> what can't lose is force structure. all the service chiefs are grappling with the same dilemma. how do you modernize and maintain force structure at the
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same time? our active duty coast guard component among the 88,000 is right around 40,000 people. of that 88000, 31,000 of them are all volunteers coast guard auxiliary. i can't even call them a force multiplier because i pay them nothing. whatever you multiply by zero you get zero, but they provide millions millions of free man hours supporting coast guard missions that don't involve putting themselves at risk. mostly our recreational boating community, but i can't cut force structure. maybe you make those very difficult decisions of what operations that you would have to cut. and we've also -- always defined ourselves by 11 statutory missions and some may say just get one of those missions. well, each one of those missions has a funding line a program element assigned to it so when you divest of a mission, you divest of the funding that goes with it and all you have at the end of the day is a smaller coast guard. 100 years ago is when the coast
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guard, the name coast guard first came into being. and the first commandant of the coast guard was under attack by the taft commission. when they did the study they realized it was going to cost the navy over 40% more of what it cost the revenue cutter service to do what it did on a day-to-day basis. if you're looking for efficiencies, you're not going to find it because quite honestly, many of our platforms are swiss army knives that can operate in a multiple of domains and mission sets including working side by side with our navy, with our department of defense service members as well. so people are the most critical asset but you may have to trim operations. you may have to slow down an acquisition. as painful as that is, you can recover from that but there's a check valve. when you get rid of people it's very difficult to bring them in absent a major contingency like
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a 9/11. so my approach to our human resource capital is to hold fast on the human resource capital that we have and look at where there's opportunities for further growth, especially in the cyber domain. >> on climate change and alaska, how is -- since the president gave one of his commencement speeches speeches at the coast guard academy. how is climate change going to change the coast guard's job in the next few decades? >> that's a tough one. i use the open water versus ice-covered water comparison. we're seeing large expansions of open water. it is widely agreed that the seawater temperature is rising and sea level is rising. i just go back to -- the phenomenon with that is you have more frequent and more severe typhoons. we're just clearing out a category 2 typhoon that just hit
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sipan. two years ago a super typhoon hit the philippines with the highest ever recorded winds of nearly 200 miles an hour. if you can imagine a tornado 60 miles across. if one of those hit the united states we might be convinced that what is going on with the world's climate today. but rising temperature, and as water expands it rises as it well. so we have low-lying islands in the pacific islands that are inundated with water at extreme high tides right now. those are some of the challenges that we need to look at. when we look at infrastructure that's being built today that's going to be around 100 years from now did you factor in a rise of five or six feet of seawater? an area that doesn't get a lot of attention is greenland. so when you look at greenland as those glaciers melt it is fresh water around it sinks.
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as it sinks it displaces warmer saltwater that rises to the surface. now you have warm saltwater and you've got cold ice and you have this temperature gradient that usually cause is more severe winds that being aaccelerate more erosion. you can't put this on a linear model. if you don't at least plan for that, we're very much a coastal nation but we need to take all of these factors into account as does the coast guard as we look at some of the challenges. but you can't plan this in two, four, or six year windows of time. we need to be thinking 10 15 years out. on my watch i need to make sure three commonandants from now say they're glad we at least paid attention. >> how much of navigable waters
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increased in the arctic? >> i wouldn't say it is increased. there is a lot more activity up there. there is a cruise ship to carry over 1,000 passengers next year through the northwest message. there's no aids to navigation up there. much of this area -- 5% is chartered to what we o would call 21st century standards. charting void that's up there is of great concern because if one of these ships does find a pinnacle -- we have a sea mount named after the coast guard cutter healy because they found one. fortunatelily with their sonar, not their hull. we're also looking at a traffic
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separation scheme in the baring strait to assure that you don't have collisions at sea up there as well. >> couple of similar questions. should the navy take possession of the coast guard's ice breakers, what would you say to giving up that mission? how important is it to have more than just a few ice breakers and to modernize the military assets in the arctic region now? how is the mission changing given russia's new build-up there? >> we made probably once a week i see the cno in the tank. i have a seat with the chairman and other service chiefs. each year we have staff war fighter talks. we've had lengthy discussions about the arctic. i am kf dentconfident the admiral
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doesn't want to take on an ice breaking mission. russia is militarizing the arctic. they turned the arctic into an area of access denial. if you look at an ice breaker as you look into the future if you look at modular systems, make sure you can put navy type systems in an ice environment to protect u.s. sovereignty up in the arctic doe plain. those are the discussions that we're really having. not to pass this off to one or the other but you look at future requirements of a heavy ice breaker, it has to be more than just break ice, support sibs. it has science. it has to do a multitude of things. >> moving to another part of the world -- the south china sea. some in the coast guard would
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call this a success story. you hear a lot in military parlance about the asia pivot. what specifically is the coast guard's role given its limited resources, given its shrinking budget, given its trying to shoot -- rob peter to pay paul, what's its roll in the diplomacy in the south china sea and anything else in that region? >> next month i'll be in the philippines. i'll be in vietnam, then i'll be in a six-way discussion with five other nations, including russia and china japan, korea, canada will be at the table as well. china has created a china coast guard. they used to have five sea going services called the five dragons. now four of those services come
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under the us a spiauspices of the china coast guard. if i sent one ship over there, china can tend ten to my one and japan can send tix to our one. if it is a numbers game, i'm never going to win. if you look at the one ship offense there, to me i look at real opportunity costs. this fall we rode out a strategy for the western hemisphere. the last of the perry class frigates to be decommissions. it was doing the lion's share of the drug interdiction activity law enforcement teams. there are some trade-office being made there as well. if they're vacatesing one region, i need to make sure i'm doubling down on the void created by the navy.
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opportunity costs significant if i send one ship to the east and south china sea. the dog that catching the bus, what is our policy going forward. then the void that i've left behind as well. we've written a cooperative strategy for the 2 is1st century. i look at the coast guard as filling some of those vacuum spots created as the navy rebalances. where account coast guard fill some of those requirements as a sea going service. >> does the coast guard currently have a strong ability to share resources in real time in multiple homeland security partners like customs and border patrol. >> we've come great strides. for a department that's only been around over 12 years, it wasn'tful fuluntil 1986 that we came
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to jointness among our armed services. we we do have today three task fors within the department of hufrt. joint task force east primarily maritime, west that deals with the southwest border, one for investigations, really the intel piece of this. you have coast guard, cvp, immigrations and customs enforcement oohworking side by side. a department that looks at joint requirements in this case of navy and air force of the department of homeland security. coast guard an cvp. we're using a dod enterprise. this really works. this is a great system.
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we're also looking at interoperability and commonality of systems. makes it more affordable, makes parts more reliable. we have come pretty far in a very short time within dhs building unity of effort across the various components. >> do you ever see a time coast guard returning to the department of defense and out of homeland security? >> probably not. one value we bring to dod is we can go title 10 we're title 10 service which means we are a military service but we also do title 14. if you look at any campaign plan, there's probably some embargo provision written in into that that may require a law enforcement authority which the coast guard can bring to the table. then if we have to go to title 10 we can just as easily do that on the fly as well. our systems are interoperable.
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i think that's a key part so we don't come with systems that can't speak with dod zips terms so our new platforms have navy type navy owned but fully interoperability with our allied brethrens. >> when it comes to migration especially from the caribbean do you support the feet dry policy? how have recent diplomatic efforts in cuba likely to affect that? >> i'll let you draw your conclusions. we have brand-new response cutters. they are great platforms. there was an expectation that a migration policy was going to change around christmas. it didn't but that was the perception back in cuba so we had a spike in migration. we were able to apprehend almost every one of those boats destined for the florida
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coastline. but then it takes five days to go through a screening process before these folks are brought back to cuba. within the last two weeks we had two my grants that shot themselves then were medevac'd before we apprehended them so they were medevac'd back to the united states. we have others that will self-mutilate to do whatever it takes to get their feet dry in the united states. meanwhile our crews are trying to safeguard these folks for five days while they pick up more because of a feet dry policy. it puts our people at risk. it puts others at risk. when you rook at our policy versus what's played out, off the north coast of offer kaafrica. many of these folks are in unsea
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worthy and they'll probably go back and try to cross again. the feet dry policy makes it chal lepg for those doing enforcement to a safeguard them. >> just a few seconds left. i'll first present you with a national press club mug. >> >> noting that we are the leading organization for professional journalists and fight for a free press korld wide, i'm going to ask you one little question about the mets. are you going to -- are the mets going all the way this year? >> so 1969. so you had a late acquisition, mvp of that world series.
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the names have changed a little bit. now there are names like aribe mets have already had the tom severs. they've got the pitching staff the lithitting. when i throw the opening pitch tomorrow, ifty throw a warm burner and it hits matt scherzer in the shin and he's taken out for the next two weeks? i wouldn't do that as you know, the mets were skaut up in the bernie madoff scheme and they auctioned off a good part of the team. i go back to 1962 when they had no place to go but up. when you look at a coast guard sometimes you can relate to the mets. you've got no place to go but up. you got the mets destined for the world series and you got the
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coast guard doing the same thing. >> how about another round of applause for admiral? we'll see you back here hopefully on august 12th with reverend bishop. if you'd like a copy of today's program or to learn more about the national press club please go to our website the thank you we are adjoined. hear the supreme court oral argument that played a part in
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top movies. hear the supreme court oral argument from four cases that played a part in popular movies saturdays in august at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span radio. listen to c-span radio at 90.1 fm in the washington, d.c. area. or download our c-span radio app. reuters has reporteded that the state department office set up to independently grade global efforts to fight human trafficking was pressured into inflating assessments of 14 countries. the result is that cuba and malaysia upgraded taken off "the blacklist" of countries that have failed to combat modern day slavery.
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members of the senate foreign relations committee will hold a hearing at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. the times has a futility index when it comes to looking at congress. >> vim'si started it in 2011 when congress was hitting the depths of what i call legislative utility. nothing was getting passed. i came up with a system of measuring how much action is going on in congress. given where things were, i called it the legislative futility index. the latest one suggests things are getting better. if we're still sticking with ledge late length legislative futility. >> you chart total floor votes
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cast. with those two in mind paint a picture of the activity of congress. >> it is a number of bills that are passed by each chamber. number of bills signed into law by the president because sometimes the house will pass a bill and the senate will ignore it. i go with the amount of floor time which is just a measure of how much time congress is in session versus away. i go to the number pages added to the congressional record which is a compilation of everything that happens on floor. it is a way of measuring other activity. then floor votes. overall -- congresses are two years, first and second session. the second session is almost always more productive because you don't start from scratch.
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you basically start at zero for bill numbers when you start with a new congress. so this is the best first year of a congress since the first year of president obama's first administration. you have about maybe one-third more bills being enacted into law and you have about -- substantially more floor votes than the previous two first sessions of congress. is can see the marked difference notice floor pace on both the senate and house floors and? on the attitude of members of catholic congress. they are actually offering proposals, trying to strike bi bipartisan deals. we haven't seen this years
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possibly decades. two bipartisan deals that came out of the house. one was on medicare it was known as the boehner-pelosi deal. they were basically the drivers mind this deal which created -- this doc fix has been in issue for years, it was a payment formula for doctors who treat medicare patients. it's bedevilled congress for year. they never had hundreds of billions of dollars lying around to spend on it to fix it. baper er bap boehner and pelosi came up with a deal they agreed on it
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and they basically dropped it on the senate and the senate was forced to take it or leave it. the senate usually drives the conversation if you'd asked me at the beginning of the year if we'd been talking about a boehner-pelosi compromise on an entitlement program, i'd say you're crazy. the minority of the democrats in this case see the that the republicans are in the majority and butted heads with republicans on issues where they think they can find cooperation. democrats are looking at the
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political landscape. in they want to have a role innen legislation it is going to have to be through bipartisan compromise. the usa freedom act that is in it the process of undoing the funding program came out of the senior members of the judiciary committee, also a take it or leave it proposition. they palsed it overwhelmingly, went to the senators and said you don't have bipartisan on anything, you got to take our bill. mitch mcconnell was forced to accept that. >> the protductivity of congress is our topic this morning. if you want to talk about congress and what they're doing
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legislative ly legislatively, we're taking your calls. stephenen dinan of the "washington times." how much of actual productivity is attributeded to what the leadership doing? in both sides you have republicans and tea party conservatives who go against the establishment sometimes. >> that was part of the problem in the previous few years. take the house. in the house you had some 230 or republicans of which anywhere from 100 to 170 might have taken the so called tea party position an and the republican leaders had
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to deal with that. there were a number of instances where he would basically keep ooh republicans and ten thurn to nancy pelosi and ask her to deliver democrats votes for these things tea party republicans didn't want to do. you saw a number of these bills passed by one chamber and died in the other chamber. with both chambers now controlled by republicans that dynamic has changed. the less friction there is the more likely you are to get legislative activity. the otherthing, the senate does control a lot of this. withal filibuster and the fact
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that now it takes 60 votes. even if you don't have a real live filibuster a lot of the time just to save time leaders will agree to a 60 vote threshold for this amendment. they just agree. everything major in congress is going to take 60 votes in the senate. given those powers in the senate for any single senator to force the issue a couple of things have changed. the biggest thing that republicans committed to allowing more amendments. last year there were 15 floor votes votes. a lot of the rank and file senators are having a say in the legislation. they have a chance if you can write a good proposal and get 60
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votes for it you can get your way. you get your piece of that bill. it gets buy-in from those rank and file. senate democrats have not blocked as many bills at the outset as republicans blocked at the outset in the previous couple of congresses. it is partly leadership decisions. it is a significant but not monumental change. >> caleb in washington, go ahead. >> caller: i almost had a car accident when i heard you lament slow pace of new laws being added to the books. that's crazy for several reasons. one, slow pace compared to what? the last few years?
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it is certainly not slow is had historically. we had a rash of new laws added to the books. why would you think that's a good thing? most of the time when new laws are asked it is an encroachment on civil liberties. i know you're talking about what you perceive to be the slow pace of congress but that fails to take into account the rate at which regulations are added to the books. >> we'll let our guest answer. >> there are a lot of interesting points there. when i do the legislatedgegislateive utility index, i reader conservative readers who say it is better when congress doesn't do anything.
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whenever they do something, they get in our wallets and raise our taxes. we prefer they not do anything. i am trying to figure out a way to mesh significant laws versus less significant laws and i haven't figure out a way to do that. from the conservative standpoint, the argument that i do hear that would oppose the caller is so much of government is on auto pilot at this point. spending with issen enon auto pilot. if congress wants to rein that in they'll have to pass that to rein in recovery reach.
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legislative action doesn't necessarily mean new laws are going into your pocketbooks. sometimes it means trying to undo regulations these folks don't like. i guess the first thing the caller mentioned was the pace. these records are from the library of congress collects them and publishes them every month at the beginning of the congressional record. they go back to 1947. it is a slower pace than in the '70s '80s and '90s. >> if you go to our congress page we keep our own tracking of debating and voting in a bar graph form you can look at various factors. carol from new mexico, hole lowello.
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>> caller: good morning. i guess i am wondering about the metrics that this gentleman is using. do you have a different way to count silly votes repealing of obamacare or amendments that they tack on and as it in the house because they're going to attach any republican bill or amendment in the house but ones that have no chance of going anywhere either in the senate or being signed by the president? do you have a way to separate the goofy ones out from the real ones? >> it's a good question. part of the issue is i don't want to make judgment calls about what a silly amendment is.
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you have both chambers in charge of both parties -- we've had all sorts of combination. we've had republicans in control of the r senate and visa versa. what's a silly amendment for one party is not silly for the other party. in the future i'm trying to make the call of renaming of a post office which does take legislation and i guess i would say a more significant bill such as the affordable care act or passage of the usa freedom act, big legislation that will rewrite a major part of u.s. code or solve a major issue.
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i'm happy for folks poking at the metrics i use. one thing i would say that i go back on is because the numbers stretch back so far the bipartisanship of that. every part in the majority in the house does what the caller was talking about. >> burt from columbus, georgia. >> you got to remember it is election year and they don't want to pass any vote that's going to let their constituency made. therefore they're all out trying to get votes and so therefore they just going to run their mouths and be politicians for a while, try to be states man.
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but i don't see a staltstesman up there as far as i'm concerned because they are all doing things for the best interests of them getting re-elected. they don't hear about the american people. they don't hear what people think outside the beltway. all they care about is going back home and listening to people that vote for them and trying to do something that those people want to do. then come backs to congress, make more money, pass more laws to make more money and therefore -- then you got obama up here passing all thesicstive orders and trying to be the congress. he's passing all these executive orders to benefit his party and also benefit him and the muslim minority that he represents. therefore it is just stupid to think that they going to do anything. they done this forever. ever since i been poll dix since
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i was 10 years old. it is the same story everynd o every. nop nop. >> there are number things to quibble with there. if you look at last year which was and election year you saw some of what caller was talking about with congress not taking votes on some of these thorn ya issues. republicans believed harry reid wasn't allowing a lot of amendment votes because he didn't want his own members to face tough votes that could come back to bite him in the election. republicans promised a more open process. this is sort of the corollary,
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democrats didn't get a chance to show independence from president obama last year. a will the there are a lot of reasons why -- the system in congress only works if we as voters know where our folks stand. one of the most important ways we know where they stand to take votes on amendments. that's one reason i'm happy to see all the extra amendments coming through the senate. >> steven dinan from the
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"washington times." >> caller: hello. thanks for taking my call. his point about. >> you're on. >> caller: yes. mr. dinnal aldinan's point about congress working together now is the most significant. i think it is good and i think it is encouragement for us to see that. but my question is, do you believe that they are actually working for their constituents these congressmen and senators or the special interests have a lot to play in that? how can we rein them in? should they make their own a amenitiesa amendments say, if we come to
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ahood here we have to be forced to compromise or the bill dies so there is not a lot of waste of time. >> voters obviously always hold the ultimate rein here which is re-election. i'm thrilled the caller mentioned the boehner-pelosi xhom compromise. that issue hasby bedevilled for years. we're likely to see other instances of bipartisan
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compromise. the highway bill right now top democrats and rams areepublicans are working on a way to come up with funding. the key problem has been where do you get the money in a time with pressure to cut budgets more. looks like we may end with bipartisan compromise on that. the house is looking for a big deal on this. the other thing you've already seen -- the bill has both chambers compromise criminal justice reform. we could see another huge
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bipartisan compromise out of criminal justice reform. if we get either or both of those this will be an important congress. >> what does this signal do about this deal this idea of people getting along to get things done? >> you're going to see majorities of bolt chambers vote against it. this is where president obama because of the way that the review act as written congress will pass resolutions of disapproval overturning this. the president will almost certainly veto those. he needs a one-third vote in either chamber to establish his position.
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he's going to do exactly what you talked about, convincing those democrats. tim cain was involved in writing the whole process that allows congress to rewrite the sanctions. yes we yesterday we saw a member of house democratic leadership in congressman steve israel come out and announce they can't support it. all of these are very influential names. i don't think -- the president hasn't won this debate yet. though he is getting closer. >> there is the resolution
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disapproval that you saw. what does a resolution of disapproval? >> the process says kpg gets 60 days to review the deal that the president submits. the administration said those aren't our deals. we've submitted what we had to submit so you've got what you got. we're in the 0 dare period right now. congress had a choice to either introduce and try to pass a resolution approval president obama we give you an affirmative yes. they could take no action in which case after a certain period of time the deal would go
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into place. or they can try and pass an act of negative saying we disagree with what you did, we're going to try and overturn this what we think is bad policy. republicans in congress and a number of democrats are following through with trying to overturn it. >> ken from hudson, florida. >> caller: good morning. i have a comment in looking at the congress which has been labeled as recently the most unproveun unproductive congress in history. think america is frustrated because it appears elected officials in congress appear to be per pet actually campaigning all the time, they're not
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focused on getting work done but showboat and create sound pieces for condition campaign ads, for example, ted cruz on the floor of the senate with his filibuster. seems like they're not interested in getting work done. under the affordable care act the repeal and replace. they've never been held accountable with what they would replace it with. more recently iranian nuclear deal. they were already on the news giving statements about how they're going to vote against the deal and that it is a terrible deal. however as the brezpresident had asked, what is the alternative and they cannot come up with anything. so my question is to your guest there who has been doing the research, does he have an opinion as to why this particular congress during this administration has been so obstructionist to the point of closing down the government.
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second, is there any data to show in the history of our union that we've had a congress that has been so obstructionist. thank you. >> the data we did hit the depths of productivity over the previous two congresses, they were far and away the least productive congresses going back to 1947. a stunning lack of productivity. this congress, through the first six months, is definitely better snan those previous two congresses. i guess it is important, congresses are two-year congresses. we're in the 114th kpg right now. tieing it all together with the past couple of congresses which are when you had republicans in control of the house and democrats in control of the
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senate. it is not the same congress. this congress is slate -- slightly more productive than the previous two. when they take votes even if some people think they are ridiculous votes, voters get to see where they stand. republicans, their standpoint for why they've taken some votes on obamacare is in order to try to let all the voters where their lawmakers stab onnd on the individual mandate part of it the businessman date conceptive mandate, there have been votes on each of those. even those those votes are likely to fail, they go back to voters and say here is where i stand. then we make the decision.
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i'm stlildthrilled with more votes. somebody else does want so see the votes. >> tom in clinton maryland. >> caller: can you hear me okay? >> you're on. >> caller: this is an historic time. this would be great time to put a 5 cent tax on a flon ofgallon of gas so we could fix our highways. i think who's holding this up i think we should be doing something in that regard. as far as iran, are you going to send your child over there to fight a war? we cop handle this diplomatic for a period of time.
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we have a strong army. we have an air force that can handle our enemy if we have to. why put ourselves in that position? >> olged fung hlg krilgd are are are . >> on the five-cent gas tax, that would have been nancy pelosi's position, a user fee essentially on those who drive cars in order to pay for more roads. almost all republicans have flat-out ruled that out. there are a number of folks in congress who believe that gas tax would have been the way to go. obviously this is the need to come to an agreement. democrats will continue to talk about option a, gas tax increase and make that position known,
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once that's clear that's not going to happen, congress needs to move to position b, in this case, the solution that the house republicans and democrats are looking at is a repatriation tax. that's basically a one-time tax on corporate income earned overseas that would be brought back to the u.s. in a one-time tax to get a at some of that money. the tax would fund the highway building bill. there's supposed to be enough left over to do some of the other things that congress might want to do. >> margaret where laramie, wyoming, independent line. hi. >> caller: hello, good morning. i have a question for stephen dinan. could he tell me a bit more
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about actual snap that's supplemental nutritional assistance program and the congressional activity that took place in that particular program in the 114th congress? thank you. >> i'm actually not familiar with the status of s.n.a.p. we're comeing up on the time for the spending bills to all be passed. all the things i said about the productivity of congress could very well be dented by this appropriations process. >> paint the scenario. >> the problem is republicans for the first time in years -- well congress for first time in years reached a budget out of both chambers of congress. house and senate. it had been 2009 since we last had a unified congressional budget. republicans in control wrote that budget and wrote the spending levels such that
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defense got a boost over what the sequester would be using what i will call a budget gimmick. the democratic programs did not get a boost in spending. democrats have said they can't live with that. you need to boost all spending, domestic and defense spending. a couple of snafus in the house on other issues including the confederate flag at national parks which derailed the house appropriations process. the house has passed 6 of its 12 annual spending bills. the is that hasn't passed any. the senate hasn't passedny any. they'll come back in september with a lot of other things on their plate including the iran sanctions. . deadline for fasting funding to keep the government funding through fiscal year or into
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fiscal year 2016 is september 30. it is almost impossible that congress gets all 12 bills done. they're likely to pass a short-term i think on capitol hill we call a cr or continuing resolution to keep the government funded into the beginning of the fiscal year. some of these things like planned parenthood still anger enough republicans who say we'll continue funding for most of the government we don't want continue funding for planned parent hood parenthood. it goes back to -- it depends how many conservative
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republicans to the right say we can't vote for anything. if boehner and mitch mcconnell can create a coalition in the center without them they'll probably do that. if they can't you are left with a real stalemate. how we get to a point where there isn't a shutdown is not clear. >> derek from pensacola, florida. >> caller: yes. good morning. i want to make a few points. one, why? the american news media telling the people that this isn't american's obama deal, that this is a multi-national deal and all why don't they also tell american people that the rain yans are fight iranians are fighting along with us in iraq and why do we care so much what israel thinks when it is not in our interests?
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>> there are a number of members who are making those points. in addition to the fact they think the inspection regime created to verify whether iran is following through on its terms is long enough. others say they are wary of the side agreement that the iaea has reached with iran. it is going to be a very interesting vote. i think the president probably ends up getting the support needs. >> the house is out, senate finishing up on cyber security. >> the breaches we have seen have brought a lot of attention to this. this is an issue that's been around forever. it popped up on the senate floor a couple of times. they basically couldn't get
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agreement on it. they finally have a bipartisan agreement out of the committee. now they're stuck in stand -- they're stuck indisagreement over how many amendments to allow. if they didn't have vacation at the end of this week it might be easier to get something done because mitch mcconnell could say everybody will have their say. he can't do that because everybody everybody is eager to get out of there are. it's negotiation how many amendments they'll allow. >> how many legislator days will they have when they get back? >> you have certain holidays built into the schedule for the jewish religionus calendar.
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the peep is coming to address congress and the iran nuclear sanctions. your viewers are very familiar with the scene of the snaltenate. you might see something stunning as they're all on the floor. that's going to take up time. i'd say you probably have three, four, maybe five, six days of actual time that you could devote to this but you'll probably never see it reach the floor until there is a continuing resolution. >> artie hello. >> caller: good morning, how you guys doing?
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pedro, i just want to bring up something to stephen here without about this republican party and how much they're not getting done in congress today. right from obama's first inauguration, mitch mcconnell came up with this idea of obstruction everything president obama wanted to do. then to go further into coming up with this oath to grover norquist norquist. how come these people are allowed to do such things? they already took the oath to the american people when they took the office. you talk about obstruction. these people are causing the division in this congress. that's all i got to say about that. >> i know a lot of people have different opinions about grover norquist norquist, americans for tax reforms, no new taxes pledge. .
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he's noft the only group that asked people to sign pledges. we as voters should want our lawmakers to tell us what they're going to do and then we get to judge them on how well they live up to that. norquist's pledge is a pledge they won't raise taxes during their time in office. if they break that we get to jump them for breaking that. as they face voters they can use that pledged a say here is what i will do because i've sign my name to a document. i think those sorts off pledges -- you may disagree with the specifics of one pledge or another or one statement or another but i think telling voters wlaur's going to do is a good thick. >> plano, texas, pat. >> caller: hi. i'm a long-time follower of c-span. i think c-span is really good. this really issue of obstructionism. i've washington nancy pelosi
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under bush bragged about it. obamacare went through without any markups went through reconciliations without the senate without a closure vote. my big issue -- i used to watch mark-up hearing all the time on c-span c-span. just don't see those things anymore. we don't do appropriation bills. i don't think many americans are aware of what the process is an that we've so dramatically deviated from the process that i grew up with in america and we just throw these names back and forth. i wish c-span would more if you will, teach people in an objective way. i used to get all of moo news on c-span because you see the facts, not the spin on tv and the tables. somehow we need to get back to that. >> i actually -- the caller
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raises conference committees. it is a really good point. that's another pleshmeasure i use in my futility index is the number. conference committees because it a sign of legislative health. the last few years why had zero bills come out of conference the last few years. we've had several bills go through this congress in just six months of this session so there is more health there. i have actually been wantinging to say this on c-span for a long time. c-span is invaluable -- i've been covering congress for 15 years. i run "washington times" political team. your viewers get the best view that's out there of what goes on in congress. you see what a reporter's day is like. you reach our conclusions same
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way we reach our own conclusions it is the greatest resource, the data you guys have online. it is spectacular. your viewers are so lucky. >> lou from carmichaels pennsylvania hi. >> caller: yes good morning. carmichael, pennsylvania. >> yes hello. >> you're on. go ahead. >> i have a question about the nuclear option that the senate used when the democrats were in office. and i wonder if you can explain that to me buzz it is my been dauz it is my -- because it is my understanding they got around the closure roads by using all of that and why don't the republicans go ahead and do the pay back. thank you. >> i'm glad you asked that. it is a really good question. the nuclear option has two parts to it. the part that we call the nuclear option was the way that the rules were changed, the democrats used a parliament
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tactic that required a majority vote in order to change the rules as opposed to going through the rules committee which required two third votes. and that was the nuclear option. but the change to reduce the threshold for over coming a filibuster on nominations other than supreme court nominations but it only requires a imagine order to over come a filibuster. the republicans have left that in place. so if a republican president were to come in the future and would you see democratic opposition, and republicans still control the senate they could get the nominees through the same way they did for president obama. >> and i know you track this, when do you release the information then? >> usually at the six month mark and the year mark. and it is -- yeah, i'm going to take very heart illy whether i change it from futility index to
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productivity index. >> because we are in an election year, do you expect the numbers will change because it is an election year. >> they change but for a different reason which is what i was talking about earlier, the second session of a congress because so many bills are still active and live for the second session, it is not like congress is starting over, when they are coming back they are getting right into it. so you will see action, you might not tackle as many big issues which is why if i could i would find a distinguish the post offices from major insulation. >> and it is called the washingtonin flex steven dinan thank you. >> the recent rise on violent crime in cities. then miami herald correspondent carol rosenberg on white house move to shut down guantanamo bay.
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join the conversation. washington journal is live each morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. the leaders of canada's four major parties participate in a televised debate. this is the first debate scheduled with all four party leaders. they are prime minister stephen harper. new democratic party leader thomas mull care. just intrudo and green party leader elizabeth may. the debate hosted by mcclain's magazine will be live on c-span and c-span radio. here to join us about the president's of the administration's plan for climate change are two guests, myron ebell of the competitivent prize ins tout and joined by jeremy symons of the environmental defense fund the assistant vice president for climate political affairs. to both of you gentlemen thank
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you for joining us. >> thank you. >> we saw the specifics of what the president wants to see as far as filter and power. mr. simons, let's start with you if gets his way, what is the result. >> we'll see less pollution and a stronger economy and better health benefits for the older suffering from asthma and other air pollution because fundamentally the clean power plant is the first ever national standards on carbon pollution that puts limits on the smokestack pollution coming from power plant and that is a big deal because power plants are the biggest source of carbon pollution in the nation. >> and bell what do you see as a result of this effort by the administration in. >> if they are successful i see a continued stagnation as prices go up electric rates go up particularly in the heartland states that have the lowest price of electricity and that is
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where the manufacturing base is and people who cannot afford bills and put out of work as manufacturers have to move out of the country to find lower cost production areas. >> just to offer you specifics from the deal, the plan would produce carbon dioxide by 32% by the year 2030 and add up to 30% more renewable production by 2030 and compliance by the states set to begin in 2022. as far as 309% reduction to both of you, is that a realistic goal to reduce everything by 30%, mr. simons? >> when we've reduced the cash bon pollution in the last ten years and now we have another 17% reduction over the next 15 years. it is really a continuation of the trend but the important thing is the mission continues to go down and instead of up and that is through clean energy.
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the clean energy revolution is here. what i think will happen is we'll see the targets achieve much faster than is called for in the plan now the direction is set and it is clear that carbon pollution is no longer rewarded in the market place and rather we're troying to get to clean. >> what about the point as far as the industries that it will hit most particularly the coal industry. >> well here we go again. i mean, every time the epa comes out with a filter act rule it attacked by industry as the end of the economy and the huge burden on consumers and the reality is with extensive analysis on the filter act this bipartisan piece of legislation has worked well and benefits have exceeded costs cumulatively across all pollutants by over a factor of ten and we significantly reduced other pollute abouts like sulpher and ox and other in the ozone while growing the economy and we can do that again here but the companies that fundent prize institute continue to make the
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claims because they are afraid of embracing the clean energy smuft but for consumers it is a good deal. the cost of solar has come down by 80% since 2008. and the cost of coal according to the energy information station administration the cost of coal will go up 40% between now and 2030. that has nothing to do with the clean power act, it is just that fossil fuels are more expensive and clean energy is the future. mr. ebell. >> we are trying these in some states particularly california new england and new york. and we see economies that are dead in the water. people who can't afford their electric bills who have to choose tween heating and eating. and so we've already seen the future and we've seen how it works. if you want to look at the parts of the country that are comparatively economically prospering that is where you see coal-fired power, gas fired power and lower electric rates
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and cost of production and people who don't have to pay so much for their energy bill. look, all of the plants, jeremy and all of the environmental groups and the administration administration talk a very good game but let's look where the policies have been implemented. let's look at california. it is an economic basket case. the energy costs aren't the only reasons, there are other crazy pursuits out there but for all of the advantages it has to be in the mess it is in awith a bankrupt government and $1,000 a month electric bills in many places, we've seen the future and it does not work. >> that is just not true. california is the seventh biggest economy and they are in the position to win the race to the top amongst the states to get to the clean energy future first because if we improve energy efficiency that will create jobs and clean energy is
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creating a job every 10 minutes in this country. wouldn't you want it to be in your state. it is not just california and new york. the plan one of the key features, it lets every state pick the way that is best for that state to meet these pollution reduction targets and you look at states like south dakota and nevada that have had strong reliance on clean energy they are already on target to exceed these targets and in a significant way. so it is just a false argument because when you look at california in particular they have an emission trading program that has created cheap and inexpensive ways for companies to innovate and that is what programs like this can do is when you aline the markets when we set the goals, american ingenuity can get it done and i believe in that future and i know your companies don't believe that in future but i think the public are the ones that hang in the balance and they stand to benefit from this rule. >> may i respond.
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>> you may response. >> i don't represent big energy -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> i would like to see our budget get closer to yours in the environmental defense budget. i think years is -- [ inaudible ] [ overlapping speakers ] >> i would like to see a lot more funding from all of those companies but unfortunate natally many of the -- unfortunately the coal companies are going bankrupt. >> you say you don't represent the companies but you want more money from the companies. >> i want to combat the nonsense put out by the environmental movement. >> we do appreciate our million members supporting the environmental defense fund. >> there is a problem here between reality and governmental dreams. government can plan all kinds of things but let's see how they work out. the california electric rates are double the national average. new england and new york are double the national average. those areas used to have a lot of manufacturing. that has gone to china mexico
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or to the heartland states like indiana and ohio and kentucky, tennessee, that rely on inexpensive electricity. so if we want to have a future where people have to spend more and more money for energy and jeremy said that all of these alternatives are now becoming cheaper and cheaper, well if that is true then why is the wind industry swarming on capitol hill to renew their tax subsidy. why is the solar industry determined that they have to have their tax subsidy? it is because those kinds of power are not competitive and one of the reasons is because the wind doesn't blow all of the time and the sun doesn't shine all of the time. for example texas has a lot of windmills but in texas in the summer which is when everybody has their air-conditioning on, the windmills with blowing 2% to 3% of the time. now in the other seasons they are 30% of the time, perhaps. but when they really need the power in texas, they have 2% of
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the entire mix coming from wind mills. so this is not -- this is not the future. windmills are very old technology. we need to get off of these dead end technologies and on to letting the free market innovate and produce real solutions to our problems. >> you've heard the thoughts of our guests so far. they continue with us as we talk about the plan released by the administration earlier this week. if you want to ask our guests questions, you can do so on the lines. republicans 202-748-8 thousand. democrats, 202-748-8 thousand. and ravel is in washington, d.c., ralph, good morning, go ahead. >> good morning. i've been following up and i've been reading the jurm for 30 years an i'm a systemed engineer and i'm pretty familiar with a lot of these things. and what i've seen in general news reading in people in the heartlanded which are funded by
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the koch brothers, they have fought and are responsible for any delay of action on global warming for 20 years. hanson just came out and said the feature, right. hanson just came out and said that by 2050 and hanson is the nasa scientists who had the theory and he's been proven right aall along. he said by 2050 we are looking at five feet sea level rise. it is accelerating. which means a major portion of florida is gone. if we're looking at 10-15 foot sea level rise or 75 foot, we are looking at a major economic environmental dafter where you have people dead and others dislocated and starving. this is no longer a game for some corporate speech guys to get on the air these are crimes against humanity. thank you very much.
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>> mr. ebell, you want to start. >> well i'm not a big fan of dr. james hannon whose long time at nasa at the goddard institute for space studies, he said 15 years ago was asked what manhattan would look like in ten years and he said looking out his window at columbia university, a lot of this will be under water. so that is just one of many predictions he's made that has turned out to be completely ridiculous and untrue. but the rate of sea level rise is about right now about close to one foot per century. in the 19th and 20th centuries it was about 7-8 inches per century. so that is the level of sea rise we're talking about. you can get anything you want from one of the dr. hanson's computer models but if you look at the data you'll see that sea level rise is -- is a problem but not a crisis it is not the end of the world. >> mr. simons.
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>> well climate change is the race of our lives. and it fundamentally comes down to a question of are we going to leave for our kids and future generations a less polluted planet, a better planet, a planet that doesn't have the kind of impacts that the caller was talking about. there is one thing that is uncertain about climate. we don't know when the nonlinear effects of climate change will strike. we know we are fundamentally disrupting the climate system and it won't be the smooth gradual change of inching. we're looking at what is happening in the ice caps in greenland and in the about art tick and other places and starting to see very large disruptions. at some point the carbon pollution we're putting in the air from smokestacks, it lasts for 100 years or more. a srnts or -- a century more
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more so within our lifetime or the lifetime of our kids. when my son is sitting there saying gee i guess that caller was right, we don't know how many years that will be when it happens, if we don't act. there is not a chance to go back and change it. so we have one planet and we can all acknowledge there is a big risk we're running by dumping into the atmosphere and let's help deal with climate change, let's get going. >> from pennsylvania mark, good morning, you are on with our guest, go ahead. >> good morning, mr. bell yes i agree with mr. bell on about the windmills and stuff. i want to ask him a question does he know about the wobble of the earth, the


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