tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN August 18, 2009 1:00pm-5:00pm EDT
something looking at your particular disabilities and our compensation program, so there's something we can do? do not leave tonight before you talked to staff here getting ready to work with you on a potential claim. all right? thank you. [applause] @@@@@@@@@ @ @ @ @ >@ @ @ @ @ @ but if you find yourself circumstance as mr. beckett, you may want to do the same thing he advised mr. beckett, ok? you got me? all right. >> mr. valentine. >> thank you for being here. >> you are welcome. you're talking about our
families. i have three lovely daughters under the age of 18. in fact, they're all under the age of 10. >> i have two. [laughter] i got 114 going on 43 >> the maryland va helps us toward seeing my needs. one reason i am is because i am so far in debt making sure my daughters and fiancee have gone the care they need outside the system. my youngest is only year-old. we are just -- her birth was over 20 doesn't dollars that we did not have. i lost my job shortly before she was going. i am in no way paying that money back anytime soon. back anytime soon. so what i'm asking is, will be
va help veterans and families? >> this is one of the main reasons we need the kind of health care reform the president has been pushing for. we want to make sure we create a situation where all americans have access to health care. not just whether you are the spouse with the family of a veteran -- we want all americans to be in that position. we are in a situation right now -- i was not one to talk so much about the bill to the house and
senate right now, but i think it will open a door for more people to be covered. as a matter of fact, i know it will. sadly, we have in our nation today is an insurance industry which is pretty much taking advantage, i think, of a number of people. you have people where if you have the condition, you have a problem. you know that. you elected insurance, not unless you have a job. if you get certain elements, certain cost this will drop a -- certain companies will drop you. deductibles are going up much faster than people are being paid. one of my colleagues was talking the other day about his daughter who has epilepsy, saying that if it was up to congress, it would
be impossible to get her insurance. at the same time, we have an inefficient system. in other words, we are spending 50% more for health care in our country, but we're not getting the kind of results we need. so that is why president obama has spent so much time on this issue, so that we will be able to create situations were all americans have access to health care. in the meantime, we have to address those issues, a folks getting where you want to go. we have got to address the issues of private insurance companies, and that is why we have this thing in the bill called a public auction -- option. it is basically another type of insurance plan whereby people can get the benefits, and the
government competes against other companies. how this will work out in the end, i do not know. these bills are still floating through congress. the house has passed, with three committees. we do believe this legislation is one to openhe door for people like the relatives, your fiancee and your children. they will get health care they need. in the meantime, we have to get to business with regard to making for veterans get their folks taking care of properly. veterans' benefits are not your help insurance -- your health insurance is not affected at all by any legislation going forward.
>> i am wondering why the system cannot see my direct family members. my direct family, my children -- why can't they take care of my children? >> the lot does not provide for that unless you're 100% connected. even if it passed a law tomorrow, we would not have the capacity immediately. we do not provide pediatric care, because we did not have children come. if all this that we need to provide some new services, we would need to expand.
the law provides for veterans, not necessarily their families. i wish they could. >> our family suppers just as bad as the service members. >> i agree with you 100%. >> again, hopefully -- we have to go to the next question, but that is a big, broad question, and just hear me out. even with what we were trying to do right now, people try to swift boat the plan. you understand that. right now, as we are speaking. and we're trying to come up with a plan by which their will be an affordable system. i think one of the best bets is to try to help to push your
congressman, that is me -- you are already talked to the choir -- you are already talking to the choir. i cannot know how many of you have operated small businesses, but let me tell you -- almost half of the people -- anywhere from 46 million to 68 million people each day with no health insurance. 0. that is a shame. for one of the most powerful countries in the world -- i hope you can relate when i say this. we in america are the greatest country in the world. but one of the things that made us great is our moral authority, backed up by military authority. that is about how we treat each other.
there is noeason -- and you know what i'm talking about. if i asked everybody in this room right now how many of you know people in the last five years, people lose funerals you have gone too, who you look at them in the casket and you say to yourself something went wrong -- how many would say something? raise your hand. that says something right there. we can do better. this is the united states of america. i hate that you have to say the words you are saying, but all we can do is try our best to get through these plans for you and your family. remember when i said. you are dramatizing what i said before.
i am sure that if you had a choke this -- have a choice, he would rather have your family have health insurance than you have it. and i understand that. i get that. but i do not want you to have that choice. we are dealing with difficult forces. and when we talk about small businesses, about half of the folks are either the families or people who work for small businesses. they do not have insurance because the premiums are too high, the cost of insurance is going up faster than their paychecks. so you are talking about money coming directly out of your checks, and when you are being denied certain services, it is
not unusual for people to call and say, you need to help me. man, they will not give me this, not that. and we've got to fight. we can do better than that. i think that is basically what our president has been saying. we are better than that. and so, again, thank you for raising the issue. we are going to continue to fight. >> good evening. i'm patrick cunningham from the vietnam era, and when i came to be a vet, i found out i had posttraumatic stress disorder. >> just hold that.
if you do not mind admitting it, how much of you believe, not you know it, but you believe that you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. ok. all right. >> and i was sent to the in- house program for six-weeks at the baltimore va. while in there, i was put on the roll is being outpatient, and by benefits counselor told me they could not do that because i was in the care of that dna and they had to put me down as inpatient -- i was in care of that va and they had to put me down is impatient. and also, i was awarded 30%, but i do not think that was a fair settlement because of the fact that i lost a whole lot of
things in my life because of this problem that i did not even know i had, and it did not know why i asked the the way i did. i lost two wives and my home and everything because i was so out of control, all within myself, and i did not want to be around anybody else. i destroyed my whole life. i'm doing a lot better now. i'm still going to outpatient treatment, and it is helping me a lot. >> but you feel like you need to continue. >> yes, sir. >> let's see what we can do to try and resolve that. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you so much.
with the gentleman who was the last person out there, that is going to be the last question. we have a time issue here. mr. lamar, thank you for being here. >> thank you for coming. welcome to the best program in the world. >> i agree. [applause] i am glad you said that. in a few words, because a lot of people do not know about this, this will be seen all over the country -- tell me why you said what you just said. why did you say what you just said? just briefly, ok? >> i screwed my life up. i knew at some point that i needed some structure and i needed some direction. the other thing i mean to tell you if i used to refer people
here. ok? i'm a vietnam vet. i've retired from the va in d.c. for 35 years. i know how to give back. i'm not appear to ask you for anything for me. i'm here to ask you for something for this program. i need for you to network with your people. i need for mr. smith and mr. garfunkel to network with their people and open up these@@@@@ @ -- to open up some opportunities for good like this. i am not appear for me. i'm a cure for my brothers and sisters. [applause] ç>> i think, first of all, thak you for what you said. and the reason why that meant so much is that a lot of people
probably could not say it like you say it, but this is about life and death. a lot of times i think people do not realize that -- and the reason why i always have this sense of urgency is because i know there is somebody who needs a bridge at a certain moment and without that bridge, at that moment, -- you know, it is interesting. i got a letter, talking about bridges, i got a letter today -- a matter of fact, it is in my car. a lady who is not a veteran, but she is in prison, and this is a lesson for all of us. this lady is in prison and she wrote me a letter and said, congressman cummings, i wrote you and thank you for riding the back. because, -- for writing the back. because, she said, the day i got your letter was the day i
already planned to kill myself. so, you never know what your action does to affect somebody else. to affect someone else. and what you just said? i will remember that until i die. and more importantly, it ain't nothing to remember. he gives me the incentive to act on it and i hope it does the same for my colleagues. [applause] >> mr. congressman, it is a pleasure to have you here. what i wanted to address -- a lot of us in here have done things to mess up our lives. we had injuries and other things going on with us that we need to address and what not. but then there are those of us in here who desired to do things to access some of that money, those financial funds,
that have been released by the government, ok? but we don't have the educational skills or the training or the finances by which to get those things to learn how to write those grants so that we can open up businesses and put back to work. if you give a man a fish, you can feed him for a day. if you teach him how the fish, he can eat for a lifetime. what i am looking to do is an organization that is teaching people have access that money, man, because you know, it's no good if you are out there. >> again, i am glad that you are bringing this to our attention. one of the things that is frustrating, i sit on the transportation committee and we are about two in 18 months or less put out this bill will $600
billion -- with $600 billion. has the disadvantage component, which means a substantial amount has to go to businesses owned by minorities and others. but the thing that is frustrating is what you just said. although the money may be designated, the question is, had you prepare -- first of all, in four people, and then how you make sure that they are able to access it? so that they can dream big and achieve those dreams? i need to sit down and try to see exactly what we have with regard to that type of preparation. there are all kinds of folks that we could help, if they do not already have it here, work with the men and women here about finding those opportunities and preparing proposals and respondents, those kinds of things. i would be happy to do that
because of that maybe -- do we have something like that already here? you do? you need help. >> i am just talking about getting a job. >> i know. >> taking the next that up. doing a businesslike and but some other people to work. i'm telling you. >> because you are where i want you to be, all of you. we will talk about that. i will talk about that in a minute. i promise i will sit down with them and figure out if there are things that mean to be supplemented -- that need to be supplemented and try to bring the power of our office to that. and let me say this. the gentleman was so eloquent when he said -- you remember
what he said when he started off? this is a great program. [inaudible] but, but, but. he said something else. he is not satisfied with the program being a great program. he is saying, we can go to higher heights. that is what he is saying. and that is what we have got to be about. how do we take this to higher heights? and that is what i thought. i promise we're going to jump on that. we've got the staff member on long from the united states army. [applause] and see, believe me, believe me, if you have a super ally right here. she is so wonderful. [applause]
last question and then we're going have to wrap up. the general public is invited to share dinner? oh, ok. what is on the menu? all right, i know why he started laughing when i ask you about the menu. [laughter] stand-up, you are the chef. [inaudible] [laughter] [applause] >> good day afternoon -- that evening. my name is derek williams. my question is, what can be done to help veterans who had fallen by the way in the judicial system and got caught up and don't have any idea about the
programs that are available? no, a lot of us had made poor choices, and several of us have mental illnesses, and some do not even know that they exist. and be done to educate those people about the programs that are available to them said that they can seek the help that they really need, that they desperately need? >> first of all, tell me about this. dollars can i say one other thing? i came up with this question because i was incarcerated about a year ago in hartford county detention center. they do not have any knowledge about these programs. i am specifically about va programs and they gave me a paper they gave me no information about this program. his detention centers in the same state. >> how did you find out about the program? >> by going through baltimore
behavioral health. >> interesting. you think we might need to do a better job of getting the word out about this program? [applause] >> and i might add just one other thing. if i did not look through their entire resource manual, i would not have seen mcvets. it was on the next-to-last page. >> it is one thing to hand a resource and another thing to know about it. hello? we have to work to make sure that that happens. i want my friend a comment. and then i will close out. >> very quickly and thanks for your question. the dea has two programs and i don't know that we get to that facility. if not, we should. we have two programs to deal with this issues.
incarcerated veterans, where they go in and talk to the veterans and tell them about the aid programs and tell about what is available when they get out. the second program is a new program that just started, working with the courts so that a veteran gets arrested for drug use -- rather than putting the veteran and a jail, we work with the courts and say let us put the matter and into a be a facility and we have the veteran -- into a va facility and rehabilitate the veteran. [applause] thank you. so we have several programs that we are working with. a second one is just getting off the ground. i'll look specifically about hartford facility and see what is going on there. but is not expanding programs and over the next period of several months, we should be in those facilities and in the courts and maryland and d.c.,
western virginia, all of those courts. thank you. [applause] dollars i am very sorry. i was standing in line. i was waiting for the line to get shorter. islet of last person but i was just sitting down. >> ok. >> i want you -- not want to thank you for coming every year. you give us hope and everything. i have made some bad decisions four years ago. i need is a mental health. i want to thank va, and neither could do everything but they took care of what they could not do, and they made sure that they took care of it. in all, i got all the schooling. i got all the help. i got mental health, and i don't have any benefits but i waited -- there is no way that mcvet
will let nothing slide. i waited and i sat here. and this is my only time i get a chance to say thank you to both. all of my bad decisions [unintelligible] they picked me up enough that that is my boss right there. i am telling you. [applause] and i had to wait a long time. i had to trust that they were going to do it. they kept saying the 02 n -- a setback sec -- they kept saying to go to mcvet. i wanted a chance to say thank you. [applause] >> there is a lesson in what he just said. sometimes we go through some hell, but we need to tap that
sensitivity said that we don't look the other way art just at white people don't matter, because we have been for something ourselves. hello? did the register? so we may be going through some things right now but we will get through this. we're going to get through this. colonel williams was to introduce one person and then i will close out. three minutesand then there when have this chicken breast dinner. [laughter] for some of us. [laughter] >> thank you very much. i know most of the folks but we have women here, too. would you please come forward and give us some of your history? [applause]
>> thank you. nice seeing you. >> good afternoon, mcvets. ok, all right. [laughter] as most of you know, i'm a combat veteran of the iraqi war. i was over there in 2004-2005. many of you also know a little bit about my experiences, as it was posted in one of the annual reports. it was a little rough. it was a little rough in the beginning. i was still sort of new being a female veterans, finding out a lot of things, most of -- most of the time with you all.
i am getting services like you all. there is no difference. benefits as well. i find out with you all. i no way back, when i was in the military, things were a lot of different to see women out there. when we weren't fighting, we weren't carrying any weapons. were we even in the military? [laughter] @@@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ and a lot of people really do not know that the women are out there doing the same thing that the men are doing. we are out there on the front lines. everything is green now. nothing is, well, you are a man, you are a woman driven
everything is green. çwe are out there in life in te trenches. you're out there on the dangerous convoys, manning the bridges, shooting at targets and sing the same thing that men are seen. -- seeing the same things that men are seeing. going to the same things, and to be honest, men and women are a little bit different. we have things that we have to deal with, but out there is the same. i want to represent other women veterans and think the va -- and thank a va as well. there was a lot of education that i received. but there is a trick to it. everybody is not going to tell you everything. of course, you know that by now. if you want the information, you have got to go and get it, pretty much. and a lot of the information is available.
some people, you are not going to be waiting. -- they are not going to be waiting when you trip to say, here is the place. i know that there were some changes in me. i was a different person, period. my family, my friends, i was just different all the way around. i held that for two years. i knew that there was something wrong but i did not know how to address it. one day i just decided coming to know, there has got to be something in place for this. you cannot just go to war and they send you back home like nothing happened, you know. i cannot even walk to the clothing store straight. that was a problem. i sought the information out on my own. it took a while, about two years for me to be where i am now.
[laughter] but i definitely want to encourage you to come to our one for program. i encourage you to stay and to continue. don't forget those who are still out there. the information is here. do not give up on yourself. everyday that you wake up, that is a blessing. that is another opportunity. you're not where you could have been. a lot if you know where you could have been. thank god for these opportunities to know that, being low and being down, the only way to go is where? >> up. >> good for you. [applause] -- get theire.
[applause] >> i know you did not even want to speak, but thank you. we want to just sit down and talk to you and make sure that there are things that mcvet needs to be dealing with with , things may be in kerridg a little different in certain areas. and sometimes we need that sensitivity. i've often said that i would hate to imagine that congress of united states without women and i mean that. there are certain issues that we might not deal with effectively. i want to thank all of you. let me just close. i want to remind you -- they did not put this in my notes. this must be a serious meal. [laughter]
>> we need good here, sir. >> please remember that the general public is invited to share dinner with the veterans. $5, and for the veterans -- [laughter] please note that our experts will hang around until 7:00 in the veterans resource room. and i hope -- i hope that you listen to what she said. i hope you listen to what she said. it is not easy to get up and talk about this. but to business out in the street. i think the reason why she did that was one reason, not to make yourself feel good, but she knows that a lot of you are going through the same thing and she is trying to say, dyes, we have got to get you through this. and maybe we need to get through it with some help. so let's go and get help. am i right, ms. hunter?
i am going leave you with this. back in 1988, another friend of mine, and jesse jackson sr., ran for president of the united states. everyone agreed that he did not have much of ahance for winning. but the values he advanced in the campaign had been taken up by millions of american. and that led to barack obama being elected president of united states in 2009. so it is worthwhile to lick -- to remember what jesse jackson said back in 1988. some of you will remember this. jesse reminded the delegates that if an issue was morally right, it would eventually become a political force. he talked about how rosa parks did not have majority support when she refused to move to the back of the bus, but that rosa parks was morally right. he spoke of how dr. king was
advancing an unpopular view point about the morality of the vietnam war, but how more laborite dr. king was. and that was the key. and then jesse jackson talk about the courage to do what is morally right. come on now. what is morally right. even in the face of adversity. it raises as up and helps change the world to a better place. understand, all of this, the discussion we have had today is trying to get us to a point where our country does what he needs to do for you, and we are getting there. but that is what is morally right. that we do what we're supposed to do for you. jesse ended in these words, and they are written, and i think about this all the time, because it means so much. sometimes i think that we get a little down, ms. hunter was talking about going for some
difficulty. sometimes we have a tendency to just quit. i give up. we cannot afford to give up. we need to twist our thinking a little bit and jesse said is. i am tired of sailing my little vboat are inside that harbour park. i want to go out in the deep were the great ones are. and should not frail craft prove too slight for the waves that sweep those below is over, i would rather go down that way than drowse to death at the shelter short. but mr. hunter was saying that his brothers and sisters, we have to go where the big boats are. we may think that we need to be in a little harbor and not go well were the big boats are because we have gone through some difficulties, because we
gave our lives, our sweat, and our tears for our country, because we have a low moments, because we may not have a job right now, because the economy is going through what the economy is going through, but that is why we have programs and you coming to get it at talk about this. i did not ask to stand to be here. but the thing that you are saying today, they will be broadcast all over the country so that other folks can get to where the boats are. at get to where the bid boats are? your comments will go in the people will hear them, probably the president of united states will hear the comments because it was all meant to be. we did not even know this until a few days that we were even doing this. it is not just about what is happening in this room but about protecting and out into the world's said that we can get to where we have got to go.
don't give up. i am begging you, i am begging you, please don't give up, because we need you to much. you've got too much to offer. you have got too much to get. she said. ms. hunter said it. the experiences that you have, most people do not have. you bring with that, again, your education, your experiences coming your hardships -- don't forget your hardships. and the fact that you have compassion, there is no way you could have done the job going into the mallet to it -- the military unless you have the compassion. so let's go with the bid boats are. and while i am meeting -- [laughter] my chicken breast. and my wings. [laughter] i want to thank you all for coming. may god bless.
[applause] ó5áurjájjtq)formed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> political coffin -- political columnist robert novak has died after a battle with brain cancer. he was co-host of cnn's crossfire. his wife of 47 years, geraldine novak, tells the associated press that he died at his home in washington d.c. earlier today. he was 78 years old. white house spokesman, robert giggs, says the obama administration has not shifted goals on health care. he told reporters this morning that news stories suggesting that the administration was ready to abandon the public option as it battles to push
health reform through were overblown hurricane season is underway and at 3:00 p.m. eastern today we will get a look at the roles of state and national governments in disaster response. you will hear from the president of the national emergency management association right here on c-span. on c-span2 book tv primetime continues this week at 8:00 p.m. eastern. tonight, very holds about how greed and easy money should the world economy, doug stanton, who wrote -- horse soldiers, the extraordinary story of a band of soldiers who rode to victory in afghanistan, and two policy experts on the challenges facing the next president. >> this fall, enter the home to america's highest court from the grand public places to those only accessible by the nine justices, the supreme court.
coming the first day -- sunday in october on c-span. >> now on c-span, a look at government spending with the president's of citizens against government waste. this is from today's "washington journal" and is about 30 minutes. thomas schatz with citizens against government waste. explain what the organization does. guest: of citizens against crime and waste helps to uncover programs that waste money. there was the alternate engine for the joint strike fighter. the president says he does not want it. so does the pentagon. it was a typical earmark by a member of congress without any competition.
this is one of many issues we look at. we look at how stimulus money is working. the health-care debate is certainly something we look at. really any area of wasteful spending in the government, including taxation. host: what is the state of earmarks in washington? from your position, is it better or worse? guest: between 2008 and 2009, the number of earmarks dropped, but the dollar amount went up. about a 15% increase. in that sense, it is not lower, but it is below the $29 billion that we had in 2006. currently, we are sending out
pork alert for each of the bills that go through full committee. generally, the amounts are lower than fy09, in some cases, 30% on the lower. so there is some effort being made to move this in the right direction, which the leadership promised they would do. host: do you oppose it earmarks in totality, in any form? guest: yes, people say that there are good earmarks. congress has a competitive program with the parks service that they set up@@@@@@ in the past several years congress has lived at the budget about $15 million,
competitively awarded, they double it up and then earmark arrest. if you have a program that does competitively award projects and you want more money for it, howç is congress substituting is done -- a judgment for this agency? members of congress will say, well, bureaucrats don't know what they're doing and the flippant response to that is, then get rid of the bureaucracy. if you are so smart and you know everything, then why bother? what happens is we are repeating the niness that agencies. you have a small group of appropriations committee staff making the decision. there is a report by james savage in our current edition of news watch and he looked at the office of naval research and then on monetary impact on the administration of the earmarks
at the agency. he said it is basically creating havoc. members of congress saying to these senior officials, we put this earmark in, what are you not sending money? there is a larger impact than just the dollar amount. host: i wanted your reaction to a story from the "new york times." michael cooper writes about earmarks and federal spending, and he says --
guest: there is no question about that. tip o'neill said that all politics is local. many believe that this thing will get them elected. if you look at the process of applying for a grant, we would not have a problem for that. if turtle fencing is something that the government should fund and congress said that we need a program and every state should ask for the money, then that is the way it is. we would argue that it is a wasteful program, but at least there is a process for requesting the funds. the argument about it being local can apply to anything. earmarks, the extra spending,
non-competitive spending -- congressional members have long complained about this type of thing. they are using the ultimate non- competitive bid by in turning these projects into these spending bills without competition. the alternate engine is a great example. there was a competition for this engine at the pentagon in 2001. the ge lost. now everybody that wants the alternate engine, they are saying there should be competition. there was already. president obama and president bush said no. however, congressional members who believe that they would create jobs in their districts want to spend the money.
host: let's begin the phone calls. republicans, 202-737-0001. democrats, 202-737-0002. independents, 202-628-0205. first phone call. mike, democratic line.. caller caller: speaking of earmarks, since 9/11 i have been doing nothing but pay attention to c- span. everything has run amok down there. i do not see any accountability. halliburton, the iraq war, -- there with me, i'm nervous. i want everything exposed so the public can see what is going on. guest: interestingly, the white
house promised to provide information on stimulus spending on the website called recovery.gov. the website is not running and they want to spend an additional $18 million to get it running. and other staff members have put together their own web site that has a lot of these numbers and is providing the number that the leadership promised they would. you can get this information at our website, cagh.org. just another point on earmarks, congress has made it more transparent by providing the names of members of congress who
ask for the earmarks -- most of them -- and they have a listing of those earmarks, but it is not searchable. you have to work it to make it searchable. that is with the congresswoman has done. she has taken all the information and made it accessible to the public so they can see what is happening with their money. host: barbara from missouri. republican line. caller: who you work for directly? who pays your salary? give us an example of where your organization has had a real impact because it seems to me the pork spending keeps going and going. somebody should be watching this, but i am not sure you are
the organization to be doing this. this is the first time i have heard of you. guest: we have been around since 1984. we were the first to publish a pig book demonstrating how the pentagon was wasting money. one of the reasons i am glad to be here is so that people like you can learn more about the organization and so the public gets a better idea of how the government is spending their money. we have helped push forward policy to close unneeded military the celanese. overall, we have saved $1.20 trillion, and all of that information is on our website. the effectiveness is determined
how much taxpayers get involved and how members of congress respond to demands for transparency. host: sale, north carolina. -- say it felfayetteville, nort. caller: 01 to know why these congressional board members cannot do their own programs to see how they are running and if it is based on operational funds. guest: federal programs are supposed to be accountable but there needs to be independent analysis as well. the government accountability office is congress' watchdog.
i think any group needs an independent analysis. it never hurts to have that extra waffle eye out there. host: ruth from nevada, the republican line. caller: you have just talked about earmarks and how people could not get the records? guest: the information is available through congress's appropriations committee. you can look at it, but it is very hard to sort it helpeout. it has to be restored and reworked said that the information is available. one idea is to take all of these
earmarks and make them available to everyone on the searchable basis. it would be pretty easy. everything else you can find by clicking a few buttons on your computer. host: aside from earmarks, you are also a voice for the health care plan being supported by the obama administration and democrats. guest: medicare is going broke. the first thing we are saying is to fix medicare. there is a simpler way to do with the uninsured. we can argue about the number, but what ever it is, there is no reason to cover every one more force employers to choose a government-sponsored plan. they do not tell us how to choose a lot of insurance, life insurance.
his starkly the reason my care -- historically, the reason health insurance is provided by the workplace is because individuals cannot afford their own insurance plan. i am sure you have seen this chart of what this whole thing looks like, 50 new bureaucracies and agencies. everything the government has done in health care has ended up costing far more than the original estimates. those are my real concerns. the way things are done now are not particularly efficient. the people who pay for health care are subsidizing those who care are subsidizing those who do not have or are going to the emergency room. i just do not think this massive
plan is the best way to do it. host: politically, where do you think the american people are on this issue? guest: the fact that we have a $1.30 trillion deficit, that is getting people's attention. you look at the stimulus, t.a.r.p., a lot of bailout, and suddenly people say, even in washington, that is a lot of money. host: mel from new york. independent line. caller: good morning. my husband and i both paid a lot into medicare, not just a little bit. i put in 24 years with one government establishment.
my husband put in 20-some years with government. and my mother and father also up. we've always wondered why there was so much ill-use of funds. at the end of the year everyone is told to spend the money. we are supposed to be one country under god, but who are we serving, the god of greed? reading the bible, i am understanding of america is a mixed up underhanded place. guest: i am not going to address the larger philosophical issues, but in terms of the budget, the reason agencies spend money at the end of the year is because
their budget is measured for that year. if your budget is measured on what you are allowed to end next year's budget is established from that baseline in the current year, you are going to spend the money. if you are proficient, you will be rewarded. it is all based on how they have set this up. host: iowa with ken on the democratic line. caller: you were the prime mover in closing the military base@@@@
guest: it helps to defend the united states we have bases from the world. it stops some of those people from coming in this direction. we would not be opposed to reform military based commission to determine which are the most effective and which we really need for the future. pasadena, on the independent line. lee? we may have lost him. maryland, democratic line. caller: can you hear me? my question is about health insurance. i do not understand why
americans do not realize the insurance companies are no more than pimps. we do not need insurance companies between the public and hospitals and doctors. it is a waste of money. guest: certainly, someone is deciding how to insure someone else. you could not have auto insurance or life insurance with these companies. everyone has some experience with insurance companies, but they cover risk if they do not cover it, the taxpayer will. if everyone is insured equally, whether you have been sick or non -- if someone has an auto accident and you have not had
any, you do not want to pay those same rights. we seem to be moving in the direction that everyone is equal, and i am not sure that that is the right thing. host: from pittsburg, patrick on the independent line. caller: the president need to get rid of rahm emanuel who is probably in the week as a representation of any president. by the way, i do not see you questioning is real turning america into its own proverbial atm machine. talk about waste. you never talk about what the american people are really concerned about. that is our country being turned into a defacto atm machine of israel. guest: they are our most reliable democratic ally in the middle east. i do not think the american
people would support changing that relationship. there has been bipartisan support of israel. foreign aid in general, which makes people upset, his only 1% of federal spending. we can argue whether or not it is successful, but it is not a huge amount of money. host: denver, colorado. caller: good morning. i have several questions. what about the $12 billion that was missing in iraq? have you looked into that? had he looked at the largest embassy building in the world in iraq? it was never completed. how about guantanamo. halliburton had that contract.
it concluded execution chambers. the international red cross said that we abused prisoners. is halliburton still benefiting from guantanamo being opened? exactly what are you against president obama's plan for health care for americans? if we do not have a healthy nation, and indicated nation, it does not matter how many bombs we can draw upon another country, we are not going to be a strong nation. guest: we are not opposed to providing health care, we are just opposed to the method. we believe people need affordable coverage but we have seen when the government gets involved in health care, it always costs far more than originally intended. one of the original estimates for medicare was that it would cost $10 billion.
almost everything the government does end of the more expensive and that is one of the reasons we have concerns. host: does your organization do any oversight of spending, with all spending? guest: yes, if money is being wasted, we are interested. that goes back to this no bid contract issue. there are some companies that are so well prepared and in some cases are the only companies that could take care of these various activities. generally, there are very few that could do these types of jobs. we would like to be competitive, but in some cases congress and the pentagon believes it needs to be done immediately. competition works very well in just about everything we have
done. monopolies do not last. we have seen that, over time, it is not good for anyone to have a no-bid situation. host: republican line. sullivan, illinois. caller: on these health insurance companies -- and i have had my share of problems over the years, but doesn't the problem actually start with the federal government unfindinnfun these programs like medicare? then they have to pass on the cost. it gets passed on to the insurance companies. they cannot afford it, so they forward it on to the policyholders. why are we not bringing up the
subject that part of this is not the in -- greedy insurance companies that the federal government who will not fund their own mandated programs? guest: thank you for making my point. that is part of my problem and the government telling people what to do and not providing the money for it. it is true that people who pay for insurance are such as in those who are not. so we have to rebalance that. doctors and hospitals have had their reimbursement cut. that is why when the public and he came along, and the government would reimburse hospitals at a lower rate, the american medical association and dr. members said that they with the support that. they would take some money from medicare and put it towards this
universal spending plan. that is why this has raised a lot of concerns for seniors who will not be a part of this public plan. they do not like the idea of the government telling them what to do. host: last phone call. caller: i voted for ralph nader. public citizen's is a great watchdog group. i wish you could talk about the tobacco industry and jack abramoff. could you have wendell potter, the former head of cigna, so that he can talk about these problems? thank you. guest: one of the things they're doing in health care is looking at medicare advantage which is a
plan that individuals can buy that is not run by the government. 12 million seniors have it and they want to take it away. it is one of the issues be host: thank you so much for joining us. >> hurricane season is under way. at 3:00 p.m., eastern, we'll look at the roles of state and national governments in disaster response. you'll hear from the president of the national a murder scene management association. that is coming up and about 50 minutes here on c-span. on c-span 2, book tv continues through this week at 8:00 p.m., eastern.
>> how is cspan funded? >> the u.s. government. >> i don't know. i think some of it is government-raised. >> it is not public funding. >> probably donations. >> i want to say my tax dollars. >> how this cspan funded? america's cable companies created cspan as a public service, a private business initiative, no government mandate, no government money. >> now on c-span, gun lobbyist richard feldman has written a book in his experience working for the national rifle association. washington"journal" talked about that this morning with him. host: thank you for joining us.
guest: thanks for having me here today. host: explain your connection to the gun lobby. guest: i represented in number of the firearm companies. i left them and then i wrote a book a few years ago about my experiences and how i feel both the issue and the groups and some of the people involved in issue. host: why did you decide to write this book? guest: it is a story that never has been told before about how power is wielded behind the scenes and how the players really operate and think, and what some of the motivations behind the policy is and what is really going on with the players and the groups and the
controversies. host: you write about the national rifle association. you refer to it has "a senecal mercenary political cult." explain why you wrote that. guest: a lot of what the national rifle association does these days is not about the policy of protecting gun owners or their members. it is much simpler than that. it is about fund raising and membership recruitment and development. perhaps a good example would be for the past year, we have heard how president obama is the most anti-gun president in american history. going back to the 1980's, the national rifle association endorsed and supported george carper walker bush and within a few months of his taking office, by executive order, he signed a bill that outlaw the importation of tens of thousands of semiautomatic rifles into this
country. president obama so far has only signed a bill allowing people to carry guns in federal park lands if they are legal to carry and the state. so, it makes one wonder, what does the term really mean? so much of this debate is about the polemics and the words that we use. when some people say they are for gun-control, what we hear in the pro-gun side is quite different than what individuals really mean. there is former agreement in this country than there is disagreement. we are all against convicted predatory felons from obtaining guns. we're all against unsupervised juvenile is having or obtaining guns. we're against mental
incompetence or having guns. everybody on capitol hill says they are all in favor of legitimate citizens having in using guns for any and all legitimate purposes. one has to ask themselves, what are we arguing about? host: you write that the nra would rather fight than win. guest: fighting is very good for fund-raising and membership development. when you win, what are you going to say in the fund raising letter? our opponents have closed their shops around the country. they have c guest: there is nothing unique about the gun issue in this tempered every group does that. environmental groups tend to do better when republicans are in control. business groups do better when
democrats are in control. perhaps, that is part of our problem in america today. this is a very centrist nation. the enthusiasm for so many issues comes from the extremes. but that is almost a contradiction in terms. host: what has the nra's reaction been to you? guest: their first reaction was that they would not comment on works of fiction, to which i quipped, i wonder if the internal revenue service or the federal election commission would be interested in learning that their returns are works of fiction. i do not think they are, but the leadership of nra cannot have it both ways. host: c-span did contact the nra. they did not return a request for comment. let's go to our first call. caller: good morning. i wanted to mention -- i'm 64
years old. in idaho, where i grew up, we went to the nra for safety training and all of that. i remember in those days that people who were involved in guns were not the same as they are now. the people who are interested in these things now are covered in fatigues and i have to say that they are scary. the way that they talk about guns is not the way that they used to talk about guns. it is somewhat frightening. when you take a look at a fellow who had his gun slapped to -- strapped to his leg during a presidential meeting, the gun itself does not scare me. it was the look on his face. it is not the gun and it is not the human.
it is the combination. that is all i have to say. thank you very much. guest: i think he is correct. in many ways in this country, if we focus on the gun, we have missed the whole opportunity to focus on the problem. the problem is never the gun. the issue is, in whose hands are the guns? if we focus on that issue, we avoid so much of the senseless debate that has gone on over the last 25 years prevented us as a nation from resolving this issue and moving forward. host: the president was in phoenix, arizona. it was the third time in a week when there was an incident involving a firearm where he has been appearing. there was a man walking outside the event carrying a rifle on his shoulder. from your position, how would the gun lobby react to those kinds of offense?
guest: it is a couple of things that we're saying. many times, people have gone. no one is misusing the guns. it probably is not a very wise moment to be showing your second amendment right to have that done in the presence of the president of the united states. we are all focused on someone who is not a problem, but they cannot know that exactly in advance. while it certainly was his right, as i understand it and arizona and new hampshire, it probably was not the most sensible thing to be doing under the circumstances. host: the next call is from new haven. caller: good morning to you. the caller was talking about how these people are scary and they are dressed up in malaysia fatigues or whenever they are
called. i think those people that you see at these meetings are plants. barack obama and all of them are against guns. that is what they want to do, take the guns away from th american people. in our bill of rights, -- it is in there that the american people should have and be able to have their guns to protect themselves and their families and protect them against the government. with the agenda of the obama administration, they want to take the guns away from the people. the people you see going to these meetings, i think they are plants that you store up a big ordeal. guest: i have not been to any of the meetings myself. i have had some meetings with this administration, senior officials of the white house. it has become increasingly clear
to me that the obama administration means what it set last year during the campaign. it has no interest in taking on the gun issue. it is not against legitimate ownership of guns for any and all legitimate purposes. i think the thing that we have to focus on in this country are those many areas of agreement. i've never met anyone who is against firearm safety. we have spent the last 25 years in this country promoting sex education, drug education -- why don't we do anything about firearm safety education from a non political perspective? it is something that everyone can get behind. what i have found increasingly as i met and talked with people since leaving the gun movement, if you will, it is that what people say they are for gun- control -- most gun controls think that is code language that
means, i am against guns, i want to ban them, i want to highly regulate them. some people certainly do mean that. most people mean by that statement that they want to keep guns away from the wrong individuals. i do not know anyone in the gun movement who wants violent predatory criminals to lawfully be able to obtain guns. i do not know anyone who wants mental incompetence to be able to access guns. if we spent some time focusing on the things we agree on, maybe we could come to some resolution on some of the more difficult issues within this whole cluster. host: he said the administration had no interest in gun legislation. is there anything in the congress? guest: there are members of congress who have put in bills, but i do not see them going anywhere at the moment. perhaps the most current issue
that might potentially come before the congress and then only if a certain fact pattern what occurred is the issue involving gun shows in this country. i do not see it on the media juror -- the immediate agenda. if there were guns that were purchased from a gun show from a civilian seller and a tragedy could have been prevented if they had gone through the background check system that a dealer is obligated to put people through, that issue could be back on the table. it is not so complicated if you really figure it out and get down to it. a lot of it is the polemics. the anti-gun community says that we have to close the loophole. there is no loophole. as a civilian, i can take any of the guns that i own and sell them lawfully at a gun show in my state. the issue is, how do i prevent
those very individuals, the convicted violent felons, mental incompetent people from getting a gun from me? if i sell them to someone, i do not know who i am selling them to. i did we are smart enough people to devise a system -- what i would recommend is if there were a bill, it would be the gun show preservation and protection act of 2009. behind the scenes would be to protect this american tradition of gun shows. even the national rifle association said they thought it was reasonable and responsible for background checks at gun shows. the problem was the waiting time and the implications of, would you lose a sale? that was 10 years ago the smart people in this country can resolve this issue. host: good morning.
caller: i am a democrat. i happened to get on your program today. i have a comment and a request. my comment is this. america is a great nation. we hold our destiny in our own hands. i remember when charlton heston used to get on tv and defend the nra. [unintelligible] you have to stand up and take responsibility for it and make sure that we put safeguards -- we have the internet, so why not [unintelligible] you could get the information on anybody that you want to. it is worth $10 to find out if
this guy is legitimate. guest: there is really a fairly simple methodology by which we could resolve this issue and move on. if the gun show promoter was in the position to run the background checks for individuals attempting to buy guns from civilians, it would be a minimal impact on my ability to sell guns and have no impact whatsoever on a potential legitimate buyer of those guns. the transaction could go on as it has in a gun shop today. we could avoid any problems. host: we have peaked on the republican line. caller: when you talk about these town halls, i guess if you are a plant, you are still
somebody with a grievance. as far as guns and gun shows go, i was at one over here in virginia recently. i have own guns. i believe any honest citizen has a right to buy the second amendment. i think a gun show has got to be eliminated. that we're in -- even conversing that it is an idea is ridiculous. one of the things they can do is when you get a gun, what we do with our automobiles? you could kill somebody with your automobile. you should have. re-license your gun. there is no control over it. automatically, you have this group of guns floating around the country and nobody knows where they are. that is one of the important
problems with weapons. the second amendment talks about forming a militia. if people are disgruntled about what is going on and, people can bear arms. the biggest issue of guns is, they need to be licensed more effectively. you want to get a new gun, you need to sign this thing and let us know about your gun situation. thank you. guest: first of all, you do not have a right as an american to own an automobile or drive that automobile. after last year's decision in the supreme court, that argument is over. you have a right to own a handgun for self protection in this country. it is not an absolute right. we can deny those convicted
felons from owning a gun, but the average american citizen has a right as recognized not just in the second amendment, but by the supreme court, and of story. right then and there, it is very different from an automobile. if we talk about concealed carrying licenses, that is a different situation. it is not unlike having an automobile. as the caller just said, you have to be licensed, you have to register the car. that is not exactly true. if you have a farm, you could put your six year-old lawfully behind the wheel of a vehicle that has no license plate on it. when you take a gun out of your home and you carry it on the streets, in most states, you need a concealed carry license. in virginia, you need that license to do so lawfully. in order to obtain a license, you need to go through some training. you need to go through
additional background checks. that license is issued. owning a gun and being able to carry a concealed of the streets is a bit of a different fact pattern and situation. host: we have a pat on the democratic line from illinois. caller: this is my first time calling. i'm kind of excited, but i want to thank you for bringing up the issue about president bush's data. a lot of people forget the fact that he eliminated a lot of guns that were being imported. i get calls from the nra all the time. i got a call yesterday, as a matter of fact. i think it was about the united nations wanted to take our guns. i live in illinois.
we have a restrictive system here. you cannot be caught without your card if you have a gun in your truck. i live in a rural setting. it is kind of nerve wracking, especially when you think you have lost your card or misplaced it. i tend to agree with ted nugent that the bill of rights gives you the right to protect yourself. in illinois, we have never had a concealed carry permit and we probably never will because of chicago. thank you for taking my call. guest: greetings to illinois. before a the supreme court decision and when people would ask about your right of self- defense, whenever the second amendment met prior to heller, i
could always respond that you have a right to life and liberty. whatever the second amendment may have met before heller, it seems to me that you had an absolute right of self-defense regardless of the second amendment. now the supreme court has stated as a matter of constitutional law, you have that right to own a handgun for self protection. i think in many ways, the debate in this country has moved far forward and it was back in the 1970's and the 1980's when we were debating whether handguns should be outlawed. that is an ancient debate now. we have moved on from that. there are over 100 million gun owners in this country. when you look at the demographics of that group, there are over 10 million self identified liberals to own guns in this country.
it is not exactly a left and right issue. i think it is becoming even less of a roles in urban issue. -- rural/urban issue. they say, like you do, if my government basically trust me, with the guns that i have own and never misused, in general terms, perhaps they're move -- perhaps they are worthy of my trust. if they want to take away those guns that i never miss use, perhaps this government is no longer worthy of my trust. therein lies the tremendous power and emotional influence that the firearm issue has an american politics today. host: we have linda on the republican line. caller: i understand about the
different sides. it is all a moot point. the reason i say this is in reference to with the previous caller said, there is a treaty that is in the united nations. it is to control guns all over. it is under the guise of illegal trafficking. the only way to combat it is if you are an individual state with specific laws. obama was in mexico. he was going to urge the senators to ratify a treaty. of course he can say, i am not against guns. once the united nations takes over and decide all of this, the only people in this country were going to have guns are going to be the crazies, the crooks, and the government.
however rocket that collusion is beyond me -- everything else is a move point. do not sign onto this treaty. guest: she does have a very good point. when it comes to treat these countries have the force of law when enacted. we have to be very careful what we're enacting treaties -- with those treaty say about our firearms and civil liberties in this country. host: next call is from troy, wisconsin. caller: i am a politicians worst nightmare. i not only healthwatch "the washington journal," but i watched the house and the senate. there was recently a bill that was about the concealed carry laws that they should apply across state borders.
in wisconsin, we have what is called an open carry law. believe me, if you are walking around downtown with a pistol on your hip, you will be arrested for disorderly conduct. i saw on the discovery channel special, the had packs of wild dogs running around and all they did was put a radio collar on them to see where they were going. there have been cases of people being attacked and killed by these packs of wild dogs. you have california releasing so many people from prison for budget cuts. wisconsin is doing the same thing. i am not really up on other states budgetary priorities, but they are releasing people from prison early in order to save space and everything like that. then you have congress who tells
you, i have no rights. there is no concealed carry law in wisconsin. if i wanted to protect my family on a camping trip or something like that, there is no protection for may. as far as you going to the white house and discussing these issues in being assured by president obama, let me just tick off a few of his campaign promises that have gone by the wayside. the note tax on the $250,000 -- smokers all know that was the first big promise broken. his bipartisanship and transparency has all gone by the wayside. he is going to close guantanamo bay, we will say. we are still in iraq. i expect everything to be done in months.
he will not have any lobbyists and is it ministration. that is another one. for you to go there, i hope that you listen to what his administration says with a mind to his track record. guest: well, i was in the reagan and ministration. there was a line that ronald reagan always said about the soviets. trust, but verify. it is important to hear what people say, but it is more important to see what they do. we have already seen the first thing that president obama did when it came to his desk on guns. compare and contrast that to what george herbert walker bush did what he told everyone that he was pro-gun and he signed that executive order under his signature so far, you could keep score as well as i can.
we have seen the results every time. i'm far from an pert on all the other issues. this is the one issue that i watched very carefully very closely all the time. host: if you were asked, could you comment on maryland's gun law and why we lost the state chapter of the nra? guest: i'm not familiar with the state chapter. i never covered maryland when i was at the nra. i'm not terribly familiar. i know that you have some pretty onerous gun laws in the state of maryland. i think there needs to be a lot of work to be done. one of the problems that i know the nra has always faced and does not like to work in 50 different states. it much prefers to have one national issue to work on. as you go from new york to new jersey or california and idaho,
wisconsin, we have 50 different states out there with 50 different sets of laws. what would be a step in the right direction in a state like new york would be a step backwards in a state like texas or idaho. you have to have 50 different programs with moving the agenda forward. host: from washington, d.c., we have chris on the republican line. caller: you were doing an excellent job. thank you for being here as well. to go on top of what we have heard from the republicans and independents, we are quite worried about what we see -- president obama does not have the best track record. remember back in 1996 where he answered yes to a question about whether he would ban the possession of handguns. i believe that in 2003, he
voted to support legislation that would ban targeting reich calls -- targeting rifles. i am sure many people across the country find this troubling. like ronald reagan said, we have to wait to see what will come of this. with that, i thank you both for your time. guest: there was a very interesting vote. it was on the vitter amendment which was a authorizing disaster relief funds post-katrina. i was looking at that vote. what did involve was saying, if you come from a county or jurisdiction and your law enforcement has disarmed legitimate citizens during that time of unrest or disaster, you get no federal funds in that disaster relief.
i looked and i saw that senator clinton voted against it. it passed. i was pretty certain that president obama would vote against it as well. to my surprise, he supported the amendment. to me, that was a very important moment because it really went to the heart of basically, do you trust the citizens or would you error on the side of the government? what he was saying in that vote to me was, i basically trust the citizens over the government. i thought it was a very interesting and unusual vote. it made me take a second look at then senator obama. host: nancy on the democratic line. caller: is this for me? thank you for c-span. i am a 69-year-old woman who does own a 1908 police were called for.
my father gave me it 40 years ago. he was a member of the nra. these overgrown juvenile delinquents who carry a gun to the town hall meetings are absolute idiots. it never occurred to them that they could have that gun taken away like somebody else -- by somebody else who is there and shoot up the whole place even if they will not do it? that is about it for me. by the way, i am for the public option. guest: i do not know what to say. i suppose anything anyone takes with them could be used against them. when you are playing the odds, if you wear a seatbelt and you were actually in an impact with another vehicle and you were hit on the driver's side, you are often better off not having your seat belt on. that is hardly an argument not
to wear seat belts. you are playing the odds. if you are hit from the rear or the front, you are far better off with the seat belt on. yes, it could happen. yes, a gun could be taken away from somebody, but the odds are much higher than if you have a gun and god forbid the need arises for you to use that gun, you then have the means to protect yourself. i always wondered, when we were having this debate in the 1970's and the 1980's, why was it that the government could -- that could not protect its citizens deny them the means to protect themselves? i never did get an answer from any politician on that. the same politicians that are -- that walk around with our security guards. they just do not want you to have that same ability to protect yourself. host: kevin on the republican
line. first, to the lady that was just on the phone talking about the juvenile delinquent. for all she knows, these guys could be veterans who are trained in firearms. it says that we have a right to do it. nobody is sending them there but the government. they're not doing what the people of hired them to do. i just think that if they take our guns, it will be the day that they start not listening to the american people ever again. with these imports -- these proposed tax increases on gunpowder and stuff will make it
harder for people to do their own reload. i like to hunt. the gun shops are already anticipating tax increases. guest:@@@@@@@@ guest: there is talk about these proposed taxes. that went back to several congress has ago. there is nothing bible on capitol hill today, talking about taxing ammunition. that kind of bill would be so dead on arrival in this congress, it would not be funny. i support your right to hunt. most of my hunting, as a lobbyist, is of electoral -- elected officials. host: next call is from logan,
indiana. caller: i want to thank the cable companies for cspan. it has been explained to me that there are restrictions on home protection if you have a gun in your home. someone has to break into your house before you have the price to shoot -- before you have the right to shoot them. if you shoot someone in your doorway, you make sure that they fall in the house and not out of the house. i would like you to explain more on mentally disabled people and how they can be restricted. again, there is no bigger organized crime unit than our own government. thank you. guest: c-span would probably have to have me back to explain the whole issue involving the mental issue. the current law is, if you have
been adjudicated and put in a mental institution by the force of law, you lose your right, pretty much, to have a gun. the most difficult issue is, one can be perfectly sane today, go out and purchase a firearm and five or 10 years from now, things happen and you lose it. that is a very difficult issue. i do not know if i have many answers. i think it requires a lot more thought. i do not have any good answers to give you about that one. we can only deal with what has existed up until the moment in time someone is purchasing a firearm. we have done a very good job so far in that field. does their need to be more that can be done? i suppose so. it is a tough question. i do not know the answer. host: we have an e-mail from one of our viewers.
guest: i do not know that is exactly true. i think they have the same right to carry a gun if it is lawful to carry a gun in a town meeting. it goes from state to state whether that is legal. it depends on where the meeting is being held. is it on town property? it really depends from place to place. i do not think the law has changed dramatically, certainly not in the last 12 months. host: next call is from new york. we have jim on the democratic line. caller: you made a couple of interesting points. let me touch on three of them, please. they all relate to mental health. the first thing is, you are talking about mental health, being able to check on someone, whether or not they're mentally
competent. is it just as logical that you would want to make sure that with regard to every sale that there was a background check for some amount of time before you went ahead and sold them the gun? the other question is, just the mental health of individuals -- i have clients who own guns. i have plans to shoot guns. i have no problem with guns. the question is whether or not that is something that is a casual thing. if you wake up in the morning worried about whether or not you were allowed to walk around with an assault rifle and you are willing to contribute to the nra to make sure that you and your neighbor and everyone else can walk around with an automatic machine gun, -- it is not as a surly the rank-and-file, but the
leadership of the nra would fight for. guest: you certainly through a whole slew of questions out there. to my fellow towner, let me say that in this country, we have to follow what tell us says and not what prospectively someone may do. if we followed that approach, we would say that anyone can own a gun that lived a good, perfect life and issue them a license posthumously. that is patently ridiculous. if you have not been incarcerated, if you have not been in a mental institution against your will by court order, you are a legal person to own guns that changes as your situation changes. just because you enjoy firearms -- i certainly do. i think about guns quite a bit.
i do not know that that makes me on balance because i think about it. when you pick up a gun and you have that gun in your hand, it is almost impossible not to recognize that you have an extremely dangerous instrument. what we all get behind the wheel of a car every single day -- i dare say that very few of us ever say, i have a potential weapon of death in my hands. we do not think of an automobile that way. every day in this country, more people died behind the wheel of a car. caller: thank you very much for c-span. i would really like to implore every listener to go onto google and look at the brady group. find out how many people who
have carry concealed licenses have committed violent acts with a gun. more importantly, i think how many times i hear the term law- abiding citizens should not be denied the right to own and carry a gun. i implore people to see "pulling for columbine -- bowling for columbine." more people own guns in canada than they do in the united states, but they have fewer deaths as a result of them. maybe we should do more education. i do not own a gun. i was going to buy one some years ago. my wife and i were traveling the country doing seminars and we had money in the news -- in the
motor home. my best friend said, could you fire without warning? if someone did not announce your presence, could you fire your gun without warning? i thought about it and said, i could not. he said, you have removed the option of the person who comes into your motorhome to assail you, if they have begun. they would immediately start firing. i thought, that is a really good point. over my lifetime, i think, the times i have -- i'm a pacifist. there are times when i lost control of myself and i thought, had a gun in hand, i might have actually considered a violent act with that gun. i think that lab -- law-abiding citizens thing is so prevalent. many people are law abiding citizens and look at how many have actually committed a violent act with a gun. guest: you're exactly the kind
of individual that has made a rational decision not to own a gun. i think that is great in your situation. do not deny the rest of us who have made a decision that we not only want to own one, but we are all it -- we're going to own them for so protection and god forbid we have to use them, we are prepared to do so. host: another viewer says, your premise is biased and flawed. as if that is the only reason to own one.
guest: i am not suggesting that we should not always be vigilant to actions against legitimate rights of a firearm community. as your viewers suggests, there are a number of legislative proposals involving these different issues. whether a firearm fires because it is a semi-automatic or a bold action or a lover action is completely irrelevant to whether it is being used for hunting or self protection. the question is not, what is its reloading action. the really important issue is, how is it being used, which goes to the basic question of, in whose hands are the guns? if i were to give out to 10,000 firearms, to honest citizens
here in the district of columbia tonight, the crime rate in the district of columbia would not go up. if i passed out 100 handguns to the criminal element in this town, i think there would be a spike this evening in violent crime. it was not the gun. the question is, in whose hands are the guns. if we focus on that as the problem, we stand some sand -- some chance of doing something. if we focus on the guns that there are good guns in bad guns because of the mechanism by which you can reload the gun, we have missed any opportunity to resolve the problem, which is the misuse of the individuals. host: what is the status of debate over the assault weapons? @@
assault weapons are not assault weapons. there is nothing about a semidesert automatic firearm that any military in the world would be interested in. they want to assault weapons which by definition must be capable of fully automatic fire. these guns are not them. we are not talking about the same thing. we go back to the polemics. it is those two ships in the night. one side means one thing and the other side thinking there is something else if we are not on the same table and talk about the same thing, we missed an opportunity to communicate effectively. >> we will take you live to a discussion on the role of state emergency management. we will hear from the president of the national emergency
management association which represents officials from all 50 states. this is live coverage on c-span. >> electronics or will interfere with our program. this will be prose -- posted within 24-hours. matt mayer is a visiting fellow from homeland security projects. he is an adjunct professor at ohio state university. he is author of a book. he was a 2007 lincoln fellow with the claremont institute and a 2003 marshall fellow with the german-marshall fund of the guide states. he previously served as a senior official at the department of homeland security. prior to coming to washington, he served in the administration of colorado governor bill owens. he received his bachelor's degree from university of
dayton and are his law degree from the ohio state university college of law. matt? >> thank you. welcome to the heritage foundation for another one of our speeches in the homeland security in the state project. the topic that we will talk about today is one of the critically important topics. this is the importance of a state-led with disaster response. we are currently in this that began back in 1993 when we went from about 43 declarations out of the agency per year in 1980- 1992 where redoubled it from 1993-2001 to '89 declarations per year and back that increase more under the bush administration to 130 declarations' per year. the obama administration is currently on pace to have about
134 declarations this year which would make that the sixth highest number of declarations within one year since 1953. if you reflect for a moment in terms of what has happened this year, most of us cannot recall many disasters occurring. the country has not had any hurricanes yet. we have one building in the atlantic in the last 24 hours. we have not had any major earthquakes. . i have case studies and ohio is
one of the case studies because i call it an honest approach to emergencies. they do a fantastic job to centralize to the local level to make sure that everyone from the individual to the state government is really doing their part in fighting off this idea of federalization. as the director at the management agency, and nancy mandates natural disasters pitch she administers the condi and program and overseas disaster recovery in mitigation efforts. she has been the director since january 2005. she is in her fourth year of stewardship and doing a fantastic job. in the fall of 2008, sheik -- c accepted her elected seats -- she accepted her elected seat. she has taken our role and done
a very good job in trying to spark the conversation of roles and responsibilities of the state and federal lubber -- letvel. nancy served as the director of operations where she was responsible for emergency preparedness training, exercises, planning, training, and prepared miscreance in the state's emergency operation centers during disasters. she retired from the national -- of ohio national guard. thank you for that service to the country. it is really amazing that he spent 22 years. -- that you spent 22 years. she graduated summa cum laude. it is my pleasure to have you speak about this very important issue estate led disaster response.
[applause] >> it is my pleasure to be here. it is a pleasure to talk about this particular issue because it is something that we struggle with in the emergency management community. it is certain -- certainly something we struggle with as a nation. this is balanced by the effects of the glut and in ohio and nowhere near the magnitude of the petrina or click on the west coast. as i was thinking about what i wanted to say today, i reminded myself that ultimately the emergency management community has three priorities. there are pretty basic. we sometimes get lost in the mining and cleaning and other issues that our priorities are pretty basic. the first priority is to protect
property. to try to the best of our ability to protect the properties that are citizens own, that they live on, at that they rely on by sending their children to school and said expecting police and fire departments to respond. -- and expecting police and fire departments to respond. the second is to minimize the impact when the disaster does occur. whether it is a man-made disaster, a nuclear power plant at the end, a flood, a fire, a tornado, a hurricane, the goal is to minimize the impact when it does come. finally and most importantly, the ultimate goal is to save lives. whether we do it in and minimizing the, a protection of comic invention note, the goal is to save lives and protect property. we do that in emergency management with what we do use -- with what we used to call court cases. -- core phases.
we plan and execute and prepared to respond. then we respond when needed. recall at the national guard when it is appropriate, we call at the department of national resources, we bring in epa. we work in support of local authorities in emergencies but at the state level we prepared to respond and then respond when necessary. if further necessary, we reach back to our at copartners and they assist us in the response of a disaster. once a disaster response is over, we recover. we bring in federal dollars right now that help us recover damaged infrastructure and help people replace the losses that they have had as a result of the disaster said that they can begin important points, they can begin the personal road to
recovery. either the -- neither the federal or state government have to resources to make anyone whole. it is to help people on the path to recover. we mitigate. the simplest way for me to illustrate mitigation is we move people at of the flood plain, we tried to minimize the risk, minimize the damage when the inevitable a curse that mitigating. finally, the fifth in the newest is prevent. some would say prevented mitigate are the same. i do not agree. prevention is a separate activity. we are used to dealing with prevention in the terrorism realm, but preventing can also extend beyond terrorism into natural hazards. it is biggest in mitigation. it is different and mitigation. -- it is bigger than mitigation. so once we understand the court
faces, i would suggest we need to -- so once we understand the four phases, i would need to -- i would say we need to a riot at a common understanding. what is risk? of what is risk in a higher versus risk in california vs. risk in florida? i had someone say it is risk from what to what? in ohio we are not at risk from a hurricane, although we did have the driver working last summer. it is really just a big wind event. we are not at risk from hurricanes. we are at risk from tornadoes and floods, potentially a residual risk of the new matter for it -- new mavericks' faults.
other states do not have that risk. they may have a different risk. one of the most important factors as we develop capability is understanding what the risk is in that jurisdiction. because the risk in columbus is not the same as the risk in southern ohio. they have a different risk. they have a bigger risks sometimes in southern ohio from flooding along the river. today we have spread the risk of evenly, and we have planned for the risk evenly. not only does that cause problems with sustainability, it causes a problem with the teeth. -- it causes problems with fatigue. once we understand our risk, from what, to what, we need to
understand what actions we want to occur as we develop the capability. who do we want to do what? and what role do we want fire to play? what role do we want police to play? what role do we want emergency management to play? what role do we want the public to play, and what actions of the public and all of those other organizations take? i talked about roles, and i think that has been a challenge for us quite frankly. what role should the federal government play in emergency response? is it the federal government's responsibility to come to a high yield when we have 10 homes that have significant impact? i can tell you that if it were my home, i would probably say yes, but as a steward of government resources at the state level and hopefully a steward when i need to be in partnership with my several
partners at the federal level, that is not realistic. it is not defensible, it is nonrefundable. -- it is not fundable. i am going to keep coming back to the role of the individual, because that is really where it all starts. i am going to talk about required resources. once we have identified what we want to build into does and what their risk is, what kind of resources are we willing to levy against that risk? what kind of resources are our elected officials will lead to levy against that risk? there are very few states, i guess there are couple, better still in the black, but i will tell you that ohio is not one of them. we have had to make very
difficult decisions about what resources we are willing to continue to fund, and what products we're willing to fund and what projects where to put on the back burner until the funding rebounds and zero high- yield. -- until the funding rebounds in ohio. that is the hand we are dealt with and the hand we have to play with right now. sometimes we forget about that in all levels. we create an expectation as we look at the risk that we think is across ohio, we predict that it requires resources to maintain the capability we're trying to build. is it realistic to expect a small county in ohio to develop a capability to respond to something that we would expect an urban area to respond to? is it realistic to expect ohio to develop the same capability
to evacuate ohio that we may expect florida to develop? probably not. quite frankly, i will tell you that it is not defensible. it is not sustainable, because we still have the other risks that are going to happen that we have to plan and prepare for an ohio. i think understanding the required resources to dedicate, to devote to meeting that risk in planning for that risk is something that we struggled with. it is something we do not get, i do not think, have to come to grips with as an organization, as a profession, as a nation. finally, ultimately, what is the outcome? what is the big outcome? is the outcome that ohio has the capability to and evacuate the entire 11.5 million people to indiana? probably not. i am sure indiana and not be happy if we did that. we could go to michigan.
that would probably cause all right. i am serious. i am joking a little bit, but i am serious because sometimes we forget what the outcome is. all of those points have to be factored into the outcome. is it realistic? is a defensible? is a sustainable? is it based on risk for that jurisdiction. that drives with the outcome, i believe, is. you cannot lose sight of the other factors because quite frankly to will build a house of cards. the house will crumble when the resources fall away underneath it. i want to talk for the next 15 minutes or so and then take questions. once we have done this and identified the risk and derived and a mutual understanding, we have talked about what actions people need to take and at what levels, we have talked about the
resources that are required to sustain the actions, ultimately lead to the outcome we're hoping for a, then we need to talk about how do we build that? had to rebuild that capability? - how do we rebuild that capability? i want to go back to risk. because risk today and the identification of risk has been one of the biggest challenges we face. i will tell you from my perspective that building, and i will say this at the risk of some friends in the audience to probably do not disagree me, developing plans based on scenarios may not be the most effective way to build capability. because at some level a flood is a glut is a flood. -- a flood is a flood is a
flood. a building collapse will cause the need for specific capabilities, but having the building collapse because of tha faulty structure or a deliberate act of terrorism may not be as critical to building the capability as having the ability to do search and rescue. when we look at building capability, rather than look at scenarios, we look at impact. we look at a building collapse and the ability to go in and to search and rescue. we look at swift water rescue. the ability to pull people off of risoofs whether it is called- no matter what it is caused
from. i am concerned when we begin to build some areas that we lose sight of the overall capabilities that we're looking to build. i would suggest again that perhaps building capabilities based on an impact may be a stronger foundation than building to 15 separate scenarios that have competing and have intersecting impacts. pricing realistic guidance is a challenge we face. -- i think building a realistic guidance is a challenge we face. the challenge needs to be clear and realistic. it needs to be understandable. it needs to be measurable. we have struggled with that. when i say we, i am not saying the federal government alone, because it is not just a federal solution and just a federal responsibility. i think we at all levels of this problem, and we need to build
better, easier to understand guidance that is targeted to the outcome that we want the individual roles to play. the guidance that comes down to the state probably does not need to be the same detail as the local level. depending on the event and the capability, the guidance may not be the same level of detail. i, on the other hand, do not need to know how to fight a fire here. i do not need to know how to publish a boat to do swift water rescue. i do not want to know how to fly a helicopter, so the guy did spiffy is to be specific and tartabull and actionable depending on who needs to perform the action. -- so the guidance needs to be specific and targetable and actionable depending on who
needs to reform the action. right now we are facing tremendous deficits across the nation. we need police officers and fire departments active every day. we know we're going to have crime in five years. we need schools to educate our children. we need to continue to make sure that our infrastructure is as sound as its impossibly be. all of those things are competing with disastrous response and emergency management. what we need theives -- what we build needs to be sustainable at all levels. at the same point, the requirements that the federal partners levy on state and local governments need to be sustainable and there needs to be a recognition on the part of our federal partners that there is a cost to sustain them. i can buy a fire truck for a
local jurisdiction. i can buy a boat for a local jurisdiction all with the many of my federal partners. can the gas it, can the polio and it? -- can they put oil into it? we need to look at the entire picture, not just a piece of the picture. >i am talking about measurement. how do we measure capability? what does that look like? is a sustainable. we have a lot of different measurement tools out there. all of them challenging. all of them tend to measure things and not true capability. i am here to tell you i did not know how to do that, but i know that we are measuring rhino is not necessarily capability. i do know that that is something that fema is actively involved
in with new leadership. it is a tough issue. it is difficult to measure something that is inherently subjective until the hurricane comes. and then you find out whether you plan, train, and all the right stuff. -- then you find out whether you plan tned, trained, and bought the right stuff. public accountability. in the 14, 15 years i have been in the emergency management career field, i have seen a shift from personal responsibility to personal expectation. from the when the hurricane winds begin to blow, clean out
your bathtub and fill it with water so you have drinking water, to win the hurricane threatens and the winds began to blow, find out where fema will deliver food and water. we cannot survive that. as a country we cannot survive that. we have to begin to remind ourselves as the people of personal accountability. it is my responsibility to take care of myself, my family my dog, my cat, my mom who lives down the street, and the lady that lives next door. i believe that is my responsibility. i believe it is your responsibility. maybe not the cat, the doll, and grandma. it is your responsibility. we have lost that as a culture. we have become a culture of entitlement. within hours of an event, the
question is where is bema? where is my check? where is my water, food, and ice? it is not sustainable. it is not defensible. i think we need to change the culture. i think we need to go back to a message of personal prepared and is an expectation that to the extent possible, people take the time, the energy, the money to prepare themselves and their family so that they do not have to wait on fee much to come in on their white charger and fix the day. -- so they do not have to wait on fema to save the day. i want to talk about honesty. i think that we need to be honest and transparent at the elected official level about what is sustainable and
appropriate. that is not easy. i will tell you if we have clear guidance, if we have clear measurement, if we have clear tools, and we are honest and transparent about it, it actually works. i will tell you a quick story on why i feel that way. in ohio in 2005 in january, we were going through the largest white-bread disaster that we had gone through since the blizzard of 1978. we had two thirds of our state declared a state of emergency. i took over as a director at the emergency management in the middle of that event. we had the ceremony passing of the blackberry at 11:00 that night. i became the director.
that disaster just grew like molasses, like a paddle a pudding. we picked a counties here. we picked up counties there. we ended up picking counties that had two or three homes with minimal impact because it just grew. there was not a good sense to say does this make sense? if someone came in with a declaration, then we just added them to the federal declaration. i walked out of that that spring and said we will never do that again as long as i am director. we created guidance. i said what is clear? what is realistic? what is on this? we used a small business administration agency only decoration guidance, which very simply is 25 homes or businesses with more than 40% loss.
now i will tell you, 40% loss is more than you think. that is about 12 inches of water on the first floor of the flat home. 6 inches of water does not get it. it has to cover the outlets. we have had disasters where people came to us and said we have 60 homes, 12 inches of water on the first floor. did not cover the outlets. they were minor. again, i am absolutely not discounting the impact on those individuals. if it were my house, that is significant, but there is a level, a measure of personal responsibility. we created this guidance that said 25 homes or businesses, more than 40% uninsured loss before we will ask not only for and declaration, but if we have
a federal declaration and we want to ask it to be extended to pick up counties, those counties that will be added have to meet the 25 homes or businesses. we will not have another disaster where we have accounted declared ford to homes with minor damage. -- we will not have another disaster where we have two homes with minor damage. i was told i would have to declared the county because the pressure will be too great, but the guidance was so clear and so defined that we have been able to work with it. we have been able to adhere to it. are there exceptions? of course. we have not had one yet, but i fully anticipate we will. if we have a county that has
significant win damage and on the other side of the street is another county that may be only had 10 homes destroyed because of a tornado, i will probably look at the county that is adjacent, because at that point that is the right thing to do. there is enough room in there that we can expand if we need to, but the guidance is clear. we had -- now they will come to us and say we had 17 homes with major damage. they know what the criteria is and they will ask for a federal disaster declaration. they do not ask for state disaster declaration because they understand with the criteria is. i fully believe if we develop clear criteria, we adhere to it, we are honest about it, we are transparent with the criteria, the people will understand that. it is not always easy. but i think it is the right
thing to do. that is what we've done in a hot meal. i certainly could not talk about building capabilities if i did not talk a little bit about funding. -- that is what we have done in ohio. that is the challenge and response to any disaster. the reality is most of the united states has what i would call recovery disasters, and they are not easy to get. they should not be easy to get. in a high of population is 5.5 million. i think we need to meet the per- capita when we come to be enough for a declaration. -- when we come to fema for a
declaration. we do not have these declarations very often in ohio. in my history in 14 years and lots of disasters, we have never really had that need. there needs to be a mechanism for a way to recognize and to allow fema to focus on preparing for the truly catastrophic disasters, hurricanes, the west coast earthquake, preparing for the truly catastrophic disaster is at the same time providing a mechanism for states and locals to recover from the disasters that the rest of us have. i am not willing to say it is just the states' responsibilities, because the states do not have the funding to do that. we do have an expectation that
when a disaster is large enough to warrant, there will be funding available, but i do think we need to create a mechanism to relieve the burden from fema of having to respond to the smaller disasters and create the capability at the state level to do that on their behalf. whether it is 8 block program or another funding mechanism, i think that would relieve fema of a tremendous amount of pressure from responding to the disasters that do not need the full force of our federal partners. the challenge in that is there has to be a mechanism at the state to be able to deliver the resources. my recovery program, probably not a lot difference for most states, -- probably not a lot different for most states, has
seven people. those people administered millions and millions of dollars to local government. they work with fema to administer grants to people that have been impacted. if the states assume the responsibility, then there has to be the recognition that they need to develop the capability of doing on behalf of fema. it is doable. i think creating this is doable, creating a path to relieve the administrative burden on fema is doable and it is something as a nation that we need to explore. ultimately, if i go back to the
goals and i go back to the responsibilities, if i end on any note, i want to end on the notes of personal accountability and responsibility because i truly do not believe the more we push the responsibility to somebody else, the worst are -- the worse off we are as a nation. and it is far faster, far more effective, far less costly to drive the ability to respond to the capability, to act down to the lowest level possible. with that, i would be happy to take questions. [applause]
>> i am from the congressional quarterly. i have a question for you. it goes along with what you were saying, and earlier this year at a conference secretary of peloton nil -- napolitano talk about the public perception. she said that fema is not a first responder, but she said the common misconception is that in an emergency fema is supposed to be there first. you talk about that. if i was wondering if -- she also said that should locals be
unable to handle the emergency, then the state comes into handle the emergency. do you think it is important to change the public perception of fema? >> absolutely. i think she's right on target. some of that goes back to recognizing the roles and responsibilities and the importance of building the capability at the local and state level so that when fema comes in as a responder, they are coming in all ways in support of state and local. i think between 9/11 end petriand katrina the pendulum shifted. that they would be there within hours. >> just to be clear, you agree
that fema is not the first responder? >> i agree. >> thank you. >> corrine a rowlands at the heritage foundation. -- carina rawlands. i am so glad to hear you talk about personal responsibility. when it comes to disaster preparedness, i am wondering if you could talk about -- i do not know if there is anything to could said that if you could adjust the aspect that of the one hand people do not want to do anything for themselves and expect the government to step in immediately, and on the other hand it act like @ -- nothing ever will happen, especially when it comes to terrorism preparedness. if you go out of your way to
prepare, they act like you are paranoid. i remember in 2004 when tom ridge talk about the possibility of biological effects -- attacks to go on by the duct tape and plastic sheeting. i am the only person that i know who went out and bought the duct tape and plastic sheeting. "bottled water at home. i have cat food and first aid kit. ieveryone thinks i am slightly wacky for being prepared. how do we get people out of this idea of being crazy if you have this debt to be prepared? -- how do you people to understand that you are not crazy if you are prepared? >> the risk here in washington, d.c., is much higher than it is going to be in columbus where i
am from, or perhaps other northern ohio where it is moral in nature. -- rural in nature. anyone who lives around the chemical facility, i almost guarantee has that's taped and plastic sheeting because they have been trained on what to do if something would happen at the chemical facility. the challenge is identifying risk in such a way where people feel they can act on it. and what they are acting on is appropriate. it has been so squishy to date and the risk has been described across the united states and that has caused people to either -- i am not saying that you did it at all -- sometimes overreact and get very fearful or more often they underreact and get fatigued by it all. we have turned it -- we have
heard it too often so the disregard of the messages. >i am glad that you got your dat tape and plastic. >> homeland security today. i am wondering if you might elaborate on the block grant concept. >> i do not really know practically how what would work. i think that part of my point is if we have an event in ohio that meets the threshold for a federal disaster declaration, cienbehalffemafema brings in a s resources and spend an enormous amount of money to assess the damage and provide funding to
the local government to recruit -- recoup the cost. that suggests to me that it is something a state could probably do with the right resources. if there is a way to eliminate the joint field office environment that requires fema to bring in 100 people to manage the grants and shift that responsibility in a defined and are visible way -- and au ditable way to states. that at the end of the day when the inspector general comes and we all agreed that funds were used appropriately and relieve the burden from fema from having to come in and set up this very large, elaborate joint field offices.
does that answer your question? i wish i had the plan, because if i did i would take it to fema. >> i am jim gilmore. the former chairman of the advisory panel on homeland security. we were established in 1999, and a and we are the originators of the ideas that national -- natural disasters in terrorist attacks should be responded to by local responders first. i think we originated those ideas. largely it was because of a fear that if this became exclusively a federal first responsibility that inevitably in a major catastrophe we would end up with the military intervened and controlling. our concept was more of the local responders. then i am going to ask you how we change some of these perceptions. let me point out where we got to predict how we got to where we
are. there is a fundamental belief that it is a federal responsibility on almost any disaster. mark we have seen that it region we have seen the -- we have seen the katrina disaster. then you have his political opponents encouraging that. that is in large measure white barack obama's president today. and finally you have the danger of local responders when they just get overwhelmed publicly throwing that responsibility to the federal government. i reminder of the mayor of new orleans the basically absolves and sell any responsibility and said where is the federal government and president?
if you're going to change all of this, the question is how would you suggest that we begin to change the perception of the american people because today any president that not take complete charge immediately and poor federal taxpayer money into it, overwhelmingly is headed for the same fate that george w. bush had. how do we change this? >> well, sir, i have read your report but the wet. -- by teh way. -- by tehe way. what i would suggest is probably not realistic, but i think that is the right thing to do. that is up to all politicians to own the responsibility and be honest about the responsibility. that is probably not realistic, and i understand that. i do not know how we will ever
change that perception without someone at -- florida did it. the florida government didn't predict the florida governor did it. -- the sort of governor did it. -- the florida governor did it. that is the kind of honesty and transparency we need to strive for. in reality, with our political system that may not be something that can ever occur, but i think it needs to. i think we're doing our citizens a disservice by doing anything else. deegan there is a task force meeting on the homeland security advisory and i would be interested about your thoughts about changes. one of the other things is
prepared this for small and medium businesses. are a large portion of our economy is small and medium businesses. when a disaster strikes and they are the most vulnerable. any advice on changes in that system? any advice to you on how to be engaged with small and medium businesses and working on disaster preparedness? >> i will start with the easy one first, a color-coded system. if we're going to have a color coded system, we need to recognize that yellow is a new green. we are now at a heightened state, it and we were on september 10, 2001, and we need to recognize that. if we're never gone to bat to blue and green, why are they there? -- if we're never going to go
back to blue and green, why are they there? we need to start over. i think probably very similar to what most of the people that have impacted on the color-coded system would say, we need to get rid of green and blue or recognize that we have new greens and blues. it needs to be targeted and actionable. when we go to orange, what does that mean? i like to use my mom as my measure, because she knows just enough from listening to me to understand some of the issues, but perhaps not enough to know everything i know, certainly. so when my mom says i am not orange, do i need to fight the tape and plastic sheeting or worry are at orange what do i need to do?
-- or we are at orange, what do i need to do? there needs to some action beyond the more vigilant because it does not really sound actionable. ithat is probably my answer on the color-coded system. the second question, can you remind me? small and medium-sized businesses. that is a huge issue. right now the only thing available is through the small business administration. it is a loan, not a grant. every disaster we have that has sickness' -- that has a significant impact on small businesses, how you recover a business, you end up with a chicken and egg kind of thing. i will say that one of the things i have been excited
about which the new administrator of fema and the direction he has gone, we need to figure out in disaster recovery mode how we as business and we did we as government can help businesses reopen so they can help the community recover. he has a wonderful story that i really took to heart of outstanding in the walmart parking lot in delivering ice, food, and water to people in the walmart parking lot while behind him stood the building and the business that could sell the ice, food, and water. i think we need to shift the way we look at business in order for that to happen. we need to stop as a government asking what can you do for us? what can you sell s?
what can you bring to us and instead say what can we do for you to help you do what you do and provide your resources to the citizens? >> if i could build on the political aspect. you in ohio had to change the political calculus there in order to implement your risk management methodology on homes, and you commented that you expected political backlash, but you did not seem to have any. is there something to learn their from your perspective on how your state shifted that dynamic, and do we need to go about this on a state-by-state basis? the national approach -- i agree entirely, it is too hard a row.
we can have the national risk- management conversation because we would never have a consensus on that. what did you learn from your shifting of the paradigm in what might other states learned from that? >> i will go back to clear and consistent guidance. we actually have a primer that we developed with pictures that says if the water is this high, it is minor. it is this high it is major. if it is that high, it is destroyed. we did it to the governor's office and new governor when he came in. what it did is created a very clear measuring tool, and in fact, i used the example with the community with the 60 homes, their director recognize, as difficult as it was for him for him to tell his citizens they did not meet the
guidelines, he knew what they were. he understood it in was able to convey it. public assistance is a fairly easy criteria for us to be at the state level. it is a very clear criteria. i know that in order for a high of to get public assistance declaration -- ohio to get public assistance declaration, we need to get 14 million. if we get close, we certainly may ask for a declaration, but it is a very clear criteria. if it is clear and understandable inconsistent,-- and consistent, then i think people are far more willing to accept that then if it is very
subjective and it does not make sense. i will also tell you i have had to revisit that several times when we have had smaller disasters, but so far it is held. -- it has held. >> piggybacking on the last question, the fema administration has expressed reviewing the national disaster plan. >> part of the challenged with individual assistance disaster declaration tends to be very vague guidance. i think as we go back to the 25
homes or businesses with more than 40% loss, that is a requirement. it is very clear in. you either have it or you do not. part of the challenge with the fema disaster declaration is it is not as clear. any time it is not very clear, you have so much subjectivity that what i would not ask for an ohio, is maybe something another state would ask for. what happens at my level is perhaps we have a tornado. tornadoes are covered by insurance. it will make a huge impact on the national news, but most people have when coverage on their homes if they have any kind of mortgage at all. we had a tornado that met the criteria. 90% insurance coverage. they did not meet the criteria.
we did not ask for a declaration. another state, another large community had a very similar tornado, ask for a declaration in fact got it under the same condition. this was years ago. the challenge that creates is my political officials are looking and asking why did you not ask? if they got it, how come we did not? i am faced with either doing the right thing and potentially losing my job or doing what i know is the expected thing that may not be the right thing. that is probably the biggest challenge right now is guidance that people understand and that is clear and consistent be applied across the nation. -- consistently applied across the nation. >> ohio has very few
decorations in any given year. compared to oklahoma has lots of desperation because of all the tornadoes declared. lots of taxpayers' dollars going out of all-in to the federal government -- lots of taxpayer dollars going out of ohio and into the federal government. how to deal with a system where as long as the federal government pays, incentivizes the moral hazard issue, there is always lots that happens in oklahoma. there are huge spots in the company that have very little risk, but will pay for year
after year with tax dollars. how do you deal with that funding issue? related to that is can you speak just a second about whether we should move away from grants and into things like cooperative agreements were you get into the elbow aside, which i love, and you can negotiate your outcomes and that the funding getting to those outcomes rather than the annual grant nightmare that i was involved in and you were involved in. >> to address the first issue, i need to be cleared -- clear, i do it in ohio because i think it is the way it should be done. i do not want to address another state and suggests they may not
do it correctly. i hate to keep going back to clear and consistent guidance, but that is an issue. i do not care if it is ohio for oklahoma or nebraska, there is criteria. they send inspectors and a look at the homes and you better have your 25 with more than 40% or you're not going to get the declaration. the challenge with this very soft criteria is it is so subjective and at risk of political pressure that it creates a challenge for everyone because the guidance is not clear. that address is probably some of the differences and decoration numbers perhaps -- in declaration numbers perhaps. if i look at the data and ohio
paying for a disaster in another state, i think if we look at something like a cooperative agreement or block grants, that may be a way to address that perhaps. i do not necessarily know. i do not know how to get away -- i will tell you that states do not have the funding right now. they do not have the tax base to pay for all of their own disasters. second question was cooperative agreements. i think it is a great idea. we used to be cooperative agreements. it was more of a negotiated here are projects we're going to do this year. fema came in and measured
whether we did the projects. it was a negotiated agreement. i think this is one way for us to get to more of an outcome measured or outcome-focus objective as opposed to here is your money coming tell me what you are going to do with it. spend it as quickly as you can and then we will come back and tell you whether or not he met and the outcomes. -- or not you met any at comes. -- outcomes. >> throughout your talking mention capabilities. i just wanted to get a sense for your thoughts on the development of the target capabilities list and the transition between version 2.0 and 3.0 as well as
potential challenges you may have faced with the interchange between the state and localities use of certain capabilities versus the government's use of esf? >> i am going to take the last part of your question first because it is a fairly simple answer. most they use emergency functions. most states are in line with the national response framework. was that your question? [inaudible] . .
we are certainly beginning that process, looking at the risk, tiering the risk based on the type of population and fret that it is, and developing the property capabilities to respond to that threat. i think they're very difficult to plow through. my eyes tend across unglazed and get lost in the details, but it is a great path forward. we developed tactile -- technical advisory capabilities. we thought they were appropriate in ohio and those advisory committees -- multi disciplined -- they come together and they have -- we created tiers capabilities list. we have one capability statewide but we're building to specific levels based on the population and the threat.
we have water rescue and urban search and rescue capabilities. my hot button, sustainability -- and that jurisdiction, once they had of all that capability, sustain that capability without a continuing influx of federal dollars. if we are reliant on federal dollars, they will not be sustained. i believe. >> you talked earlier about the fact that you did not think that's an area-based planning was -- that scenario-based planning was the best way to go with. what would you replace it with? the administration is reviewing its entire system.
>> i would continue the planning path that we iran, which is an emergency support functions, looking at impact rather than scenario. again, and i would suggest that is what target capabilities -- that is where it began and where it is continuing. if we look at what we need to support whatever risk or threat we see, it does not matter -- it does not matter what the scenario is. they are great in a military and firemen and the cold war, we could plan for the cap and look at north korea and plan for north korea. they don't help in a civilian and firemen, particularly one made up of all the diversity of the united states. that is the challenge. if we look at the impact, i think we are developing a
stronger plan. >> thank you. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> relief fantastic comments and questions. thank you for attending and look for our next project speaker that we like that have. we want to get this out of washington in into the hands of the people who need it. thank you. >> of white house spokesman says that president barack obama is not shifting from a government- run insurance option as a park
of health care reform. robert gibbs says that stories that they are ready to abandon the public option are overblown. if he says that there is nothing signaling a policy change. we will have the full white house briefing later this afternoon. senator john mccain says that more u.s. troops are needed in afghanistan. his comments coming as he did this the country with a congressional delegation. president obama has already ordered are additional deployments to put a record number in afghanistan by year's end. and political columnist robert novak has died after a battle with brain cancer. he wrote for the "chicago sun- times" and co hosted cnn's "crossfire." his wife tells the associated press that robert novak died at his home in washington, d.c. earlier today. he was 78. on c-span2 booktv primetime continues each night this week. tonight the offer a "bailout
nation -- the author of "bailout nation," and two policy experts on challenges facing the new president. >> this fall, into the home to the highest court, from the grand public places to those accessible only by the nine justices, "the supreme court." coming this october on c-span. >> president obama praised recent lows by israel to halt new settlement construction and listen checkpoints in the west bank he made those remarks after meeting with hosni mubarak at the white house. >> i will thank him for his
hospitality when i visited. it was extraordinary not only because of a great well, i received from the president and a college students who were in attendance, but also to have an opportunity to visit the pyramids. a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. the united states and egypt have worked together closely for many years. and for many of those years, president mubarak has been a leader and a counselor and a friend to the united states. we obviously have a lot of great challenges that have to be dealt with. we are continuing to work together to find those areas where we can find common ground and to work in concert to bring
peace and security to the region. the arab-israeli situation is something that has been ongoing interest. we had an extensive conversation about how we can help to jump- start an effective process on all sides to move away from the status quo that is not working for the israeli people, the palestinian people, or the region as a whole. we discussed our common concerns about potential pleura operation of nuclear weapons in the region, including the development of nuclear weapons by iran and how we could work together on those fronts. we discussed our rock, and i want to thank the government of egypt -- we discussed iraq, and i what i think the government of egypt for moving toward to strengthen our rock as it moves
from a wartime footing -- iraq as it moves from a war fought -- from a wartime footing. we continued to talk about how we can work together on economic issues, education and health issues, but that promote the interest of both the american people as well as the egyptian people. just to take one example, if we have agreed to work together with the organization of islamic states to eradicate polio, something that we have been able to successfully deal with here in the united states but still has an impact on populations throughout the muslim communities around the world. these the kinds of partnerships that we want to continue to build. there are some areas where we still have disagreements, and where we do have disagreements, we have a frank and honest exchange. i just want to say once again
that i am grateful president mubarak -- i am grateful to president mubarak for his visit and for working on these issues and to help in the interest of peace and prosperity around the world. thank you very much. over bracket speaking arabic] -- [speaking arabic] >> with our translator help you. >> this is the third time that i met with president obama appeared the first time was in cairo when he came to get his
address. it was a very strong address and remove all doubts about the united states and the muslim world. [speaking arabic] >> the importance of that type of visit was very appreciated by the muslim and islamic world because they thought that the u.s. was occurrence islam. but at great address there has removed all doubt. [speaking arabic]
>> the third time i met with president obama is here today at the white house. we have discussed an array of issues, from bilateral relations to the region to the palestinian issue to the issue of iran, samaria, and african horne. also several other issues, even the issue of inside egypt. i tell president obama barre frankly and very friendly that i have entered into the elections that include reforms. it started to implement some of
them and we still have two years to implement them. [speaking arabic] >> our relations between us in the united states are very good relations and strategic. -- despites some of the problems with previous administration, that does not change the good nature of our bilateral relations. we have focused great late on the palestinian issue because it is a pivotal issue.
[speaking arabic] >> and the palestinian issue has impact on the world, on the region, whether for the east or for the united states. [speaking arabic] >> we also discussed the issue of iran and i nuclear iran, and we talked about these issues very frankly. [speaking arabic] >> and in conclusion of my remarks, i would like to thank president obama for his work
here at the white house, and i also salute him. i also salute president obama for all of his efforts regard -- in regards to the palestinian issue. since its first day in the white house, he has started working on it. and i assure him that we will cooperate with him and we will be very strong in these efforts, whether in regards to the palestinian issue or other regional issues. and i thank him again. >> ok, we get one question each. >> reports from jerusalem today that the israeli government has not given permission for any new settlements to be built, although ones that were in process are still in process. i am wondering if you have
talked about that issue and get that as a sort of thing that needs what you are asking the israelis to do? >> all settlements in the west bank. >> there has been movement in the right direction. i came in from the start saying that all parties concerned at to take some concrete steps to restart serious negotiations to resolve what has been a longstanding conflict that is not good for the israeli people and is not good for its neighbors. i think that the israeli government has taken discussions with us very seriously. george mitchell has been back
and forth repeatedly. he will be heading back out there next week. and my hope is that we're going to save not just movement from the israelis, but also from the palestinians around issues of incitement and security, from arab states that showed their willingness to engage israel -- get all sides are willing to move off of the rut that we aren't currently, then i think there is an extraordinary opportunity to make real progress. but we are not there yet. i am encouraged by some of the things that i am saying on the ground. we have been seeing reports in the west bank in particular that checkpoints have been removed in some situations.
the security forces of the palestinian authority have greatly improved and have been able to deal with the security situation on the west bank in a way that has inspired not just confidence among the israeli people, but also among the palestinian people. there has been some increased economic activity on the west bank. all of this is creating a climate in which it is possible for us to see some positive steps, and hopefully negotiate toward a final resolution of these longstanding issues. but everybody is going have to take steps and some risks. it is going to require a lot of hard work and united states is committed to being a partner in this process. egypt will be as important as
from the israeli party and from the palestinian party. if we get them to sit together, that will help. i had contact with the israeli party. i have contacts with the prime minister of israel, but the head of the state, and others. we are moving into the right direction but the two parties need to sit together. this the new gives hope that we will find a solution to the palestinian issue. it has been ongoing for 60 years and this issue on going, we lose a lot. this will create violence. so we support the efforts of united states to move toward a resolution. >> [speaking arabic]
>> this is the issue of jerusalem that you are asking about. this is a complicated issue. when we were speaking with former president clinton, we were looking for a solution to this issue. and afterwards, eight years afterward, this is you move very slowly. if we can find some solution to this, it will help. [unintelligible]
complicated issue. when i was in the army and afterwards, this issue has been going on for 60 years. we cannot afford to waste any more time, because violence will increase and violence has increased. we need to find -- to move to the final status solution and level. i have contacted the israelis and perhaps we can think about the temporary status, but i tell them, no, forget about temporary solutions and temporary borders. i am talking to president obama now to say that if we move toward will get more hope and more confidence to the people on this issue. negotiations for a final status
will not be easy. there are many complications. [speaking arabic] >> this is you contains the issue of jerusalem and refugees and the borders, but in cooperation with united states and our relationships with israel, i believe that we can reach a solution because the arab people want peace and what a better life and the israeli people also want peace and stability in their lives. >> i think president mubarak president said it well -- is going to be difficult. what may have changed and this is what we have to test is a
growing realization on the part of the palestinians that israel is not going anywhere, and it is a fact, a reality that has to be dealt with, and a recognition on the part of the israelis that their long-term security interests require finding an accommodation with the palestinians and ultimately with their arab neighbors. so the interests on both sides are toward peace. one of the things that you discover when you study history, being a part of politics, is that just because something makes sense does not mean that it happens. we're going have to work very hard, and ultimately their needs to be some courageous leadership
not only from the palestinians and israelis, but also from the other arab states to support this effort. the united states is going to devote time and energy and resources to try to make this happen. what i can say is different from the united states perspective is that even in the worst financial crisis is that great depression, we started dealing with this issue on day one. we did not wait until your six or your seven, after i had been reelected, before we started taking this out. we started dealing with this is you immediately, precisely because it is a difficult issue that requires a lot of groundwork to be laid and fits and starts. but with a partnership of countries like egypt, we think we can make progress. thank you, everybody.
forward, because i can tell you that the arab people are fed up with a phalanx that this issue has taken, the issue of the displaced people, so at the two party said down, you all have their arab state' support in giving the peace talks -- the peace process forward. >> on c-span2, booktv primetime continues all this week and at 8:00 tonight eastern time. tonight, "bailout nation." doug stanton who rode "or shoulders -- "horse show o oldiers." >> how is c-span funded? >> the u.s. government. >> privately funded.
>> i do not know. i think some of this government raised. >> it is not public funding. >> probably the nation. >> i want to say me. from my tax dollars. >> america's cable companies created c-span as a public service -- a private business initiative, no government mandate, no government money. >> secretary state -- secretary of state clinton is meeting with the foreign minister of colombia today. we will have live coverage for that press conference and 15 minutes. at the white house, spokesman robert gibbs told reporters president barack obama is not shifting from a government-run option as part of health care reform. we will have at after the press conference with secretary clinton. while we wait, a look at health care proposals from this morning's "washington journal."
the los angeles times." what is a co-op and why are they coming up now in health care debate? >> it is a group of people that bands together and negotiate, essentially providing insurance to its members by negotiating rates with hospitals and other health-care providers. it has come up now because apparently a public option, some sort of public land for health insurance is not politically salable. lawmakers are casting about for some form of competition for regular for-profit insurance companies. co-ops are non-profit, owned in theory by the members that band together. there is some thought they would
be able to negotiate good prices if they were big enough and well enough run to inform some kind of private competition against insurance companies. host: who is supporting them amongst congress? guest: kent conrad has a tradition of agriculture cooperatives in the dakotas, so that might be something that confirms his thinking. he is also a very pragmatic politician. he said, flatly, that there is not support for a private auction in congress. he is promoting co-ops as a pauper -- possible alternative. host: what is the history of co- ops in this country? guest: it is hard to say.
they were passed in iowa in the 1990's, but only one started and it would away. in other places they are much more common. there are one or more in the washington state area that are in during and successful. it would be useful to note that blue cross plans, the traditional plans, were very similar to the mutual insurance companies, which are in essence owned by the local policyholders. in recent years a lot of them have given up their nonprofit status because it is easier to borrow money in the marketplace if you are a for-profit organization. there will be questions on how
effective the co-op will be if you have an existing model that has not worked out. host: are the people in the health-care debate opposed to co-ops? guest: in the last few days i have read where the head of the insurance lobby expressed some skepticism. all of this is going to depend on whether or not the details, the rules in the case -- they are worried about prices being dictated, co-ops being required to offer insurance for a different price. she might regard this as unfair competition for insurance companies. they need to have a certain scale, 500,000 members or more if they are going to be able to
negotiate effectively. are they going to be able to price premiums realistically and smartly? it is a budget detail that is a murky issue at this point. host: thank you for joining us this morning. guest: thank you for having me. host: on the front page of "the new york times" the the right "what is certain is that the co- op disappoints many levels and that is little enthusiasm among some insurers or republican lawmakers. and as the white house signaled its flexibility, mr. obama tried to tamp down concern on the left by emphasizing that the president still supported the idea of a public plan and had not decided whether to drop it. lawmakers from the white house have sent mixed signals."
let's go to the democratic line, maryland. caller: good morning. i do not think that he is compromising too much. he promised that he would be the front -- president for all americans. i am as liberal as they come, and there are republicans living in this country that the president is the president of as well. how many republicans are going to say, ok, rush limbaugh, you have to get over this because he is reaching out. host: are you supporting the public option? caller: honestly, i do not understand the public option. if it makes sense, we should try a, a public option or cooperative. -- we should try it, public option or cooperative.
host: thank you. next caller. caller: i worked for the post office, our insurance -- we had every time that we wanted to pick from. we chose ourselves from all over the country. i do not see why we cannot have that now for everybody. host: next call from michigan on the independent line. good morning. what do you think about president barack obama? is he compromising too much? caller: i think that have a unique perspective on this situation. i am a health care provider that happens to own his own business. i have a daughter with a pre- existing condition.
i also have first-time knowledge of the single payer run system in ireland. i think that the system out there does the most to decrease the prices in health insurance, and i will leave that obama should definitely stick to his guns. if that means he goes down in a blaze of fire supporting the public option, that is what should be done. host: "where is mr. transformer? giving up the public option would send many of obama's progress of supporters into
apoplexy, yet the administration has sent clear signals that this is the path of less resistance and it is prepared to take it. kathleen sebelius told cnn that a public option is not be essential element of comprehensive reform." "what is the essential element? where does obama draw a lot -- brought in line in the sand" a? ted, drademocratic line, new yok city. caller: the problems have to do with an inability to pay medical bills. i wish that that was talked about more on c-span. i wish that what was talked about more on c-span was that matter given reagan. health-care subsidies were done away with, not quite clear on
the meaning of that. what i wanted to say was that the system could be simplified, a matter of each policyholder had a fixed deductible, and i have to my employer -- give me a minute to finish -- an average is deductible $10,000 per year. -- an outrageous deductible of $10,000 per year. i have no control over my insurance. my employer does. if i get sick, i am facing an enormous bill. to deal with the matter of
annual deductibles and co-pilot -- copiague, it would allow each -- annual deductibles and co pay, it would allow us to eliminate these crazy exclusions that we are all susceptible to. host: we have a comment on twitter, "compromise is good. obama is compromising too much, pundits will collet weakness." david, republican line. caller: good morning. as far as the co-op goes, i do not know that much about the plan. i cannot tell you whether or not obama is compromising too much. all that i know is that where i lived, i have dealt with co-ops
through the electric company. my bills do not tend to be any less than people dealing with private companies. i do not have a co-op phone bill anymore. i would like to suggest that you guys with "washington journal" get some economists on your show to talk about this issue. those are the people most qualified to talk about the give-and-take. we all want a perfect world where everyone gets everything that they want. we live in a world where there is limited resources. obama -- i got lost on a
question, sorry. host: "as start-ups, co-ops could have a hard time competing with insurers that dominate local markets. it is possible that existing health-care organizations to try to convert themselves. there is a danger that co-ops could try to turn themselves into something else sunday, many in the washington area have tried to turn themselves into a for-profit organizations. converting years of tax advantages. next call from new york, independent line. caller: i do not know about compromising on health care, but i know that it can be simplified
by expanding medicaid to each and every once in town. -- each and every oone's income. this way here, everyone is contributing. you could even have medicare recipients using medicaid as a supplement. you have millions of people that do not pay for medicaid. we have not had any town hall meetings in any part of new york that i know of.
host: are you on medicare? caller: yes, i am. host: are you happy with the care that you get? caller: to a certain degree. with the medicine, it is not quite what it should be. there are still some medicines that you cannot afford. medicare, they have level 1, level 2, level 3. whenever the levels far, most of the people do not know until they hit them. host: in "the new york times" op-ed page, the right "insurance companies are delighted. think of it, the government is requiring americans to purchase health coverage, many individuals will be herded into the industry. this additional bold line will more than offset the cost of
important new regulations that will prevent insurers from denying coverage to applicants with pre-existing conditions. more people will be funneled into medicaid, receiving a government subsidy. the oldest and sickest are on medicare, the young and healthy are required to purchase private insurance without a competing government-run plan, insurance reform that the government can believe in. mary, and democratic line? caller: it would be very hard to underestimate the degree of anger that i feel about the betrayal of democrats over our access to health care in a public platform in with a single payer solution.
it is difficult for me to rationalize rohm emmanuel and his brother wanting to corporatize medicare. if this is the example that we are compromising in, this false idea of a co-op that has never been tried, we are headed for a disaster. i am really upset and angry that we do not have a public option now. open medicare. let anyone who wants to join, let anybody that does not want to deal with these greedy insurance companies jump right in. this is simple, rohm emmanuel. this is simple, max baucus. i am tired of these people steering us in the wrong direction. host: "health cooperatives or a popular idea during the depression, when wires were
restrained across parts of the nation. a few survive in seattle, most notably, going to about 500,000 members. wellpoint has about 34 million. we have taken a lot of health cooperatives, providing informal rates, it is hard to understand why people who are so skeptical over the government's ability to set this up would find a corporate notion more palatable. under that scenario they would create a temporary agency to croplands out. it seems more likely that they would establish more -- one workable plan rather than the creation of dozens or hundreds of individual cooperatives on regional levels. next call, randy. caller: this last lady that spoke, i would like to carry on.
medicare and medicaid, let's put everybody on. the government is already in the insurance business. let's put everybody on, including the people of congress. everyone will be the same and you will have to remember one thing, the government as a government body, they should not be in business. look, they are already in business with medicare and medicaid, they are broke. the post office is broke. amtrak, broke. where does this say that we, the people, have to support and put money into these insurance companies? even guaranteed in the constitution -- is it in there? it is not.
that is not the way that this country runs. host: berkeley, california. caller: this is steve. i used to live in chicago. people in chicago, daily democrats, they are a bit different from the people in the northeast. they are a little bit more practical. there is like an old saying, when somebody wants to introduce a bill in the chicago area about introducing reform -- i ask a bartender there, what did he think about this? he said that chicago was not ready for reform. in some ways i think that the senate in the house are not
ready for reform. obama is pushing as hard as he can. i will be that he is friends on the east coast and west coast, some of those people have more heart, but they need to be more practical. i will leave it at that. host: independent line, good morning. caller: i agree with obama being a pragmatic type. i think he might be a bit too pragmatic for his party, but this is my comment. often people in america complained about their government. their government is them. the compromise in washington is that there are too many
interests represented that go against each other. you have republicans, the left, the right, all of these different interests. they have made it their governments and they cannot get anything done. obama has pushed as hard as he can >> we are leaving the last few months -- minutes of this program to go live to the press conference between secretary of state clinton and the foreign minister of colombia. you're watching live coverage on c-span. >> i have had the opportunity of meeting with him before on several different occasions, but is always an important time when we are able to discuss the many important issues between us. colombia is an important ally of
the united states based on mutual respect and interest. it enhances the security and prosperity of both of our countries. today, the foreign minister and i had a very productive discussion about how we will strengthen and deep in that partnership. we discussed a wide range of common concerns. i asked that we have a chance to really explore our many different agenda items and i think the foreign minister for kolomna of -- for colombia's leadership on many issues, such as afghanistan where colombian troops will soon be taking their place. we also greatly appreciate our role colombia police are playing in haiti and their efforts to train forces in the region,
particularly the dominican republic and guatemala. we discussed the ongoing situation in honduras. the united states supports the peaceful restoration of democratic and constitutional order in honduras, with president zalaya return to finish the remainder of his term. we feel that this plan was an excellent one for resolving this crisis. once again we call on the parties to avoid steps that increase division and polarization in honduras and needlessly place people at risk. the foreign minister and i also discussed bilateral defense cooperation agreement that our governments have to sign in the near future. this agreement ensures that appropriate protections are in place for our service members. it will allow us to continue working together to meet the challenges posed by north the
traffickers nar -- narcotraffic kers. these threats are real. i want to be clear about what this agreement does and does not do. first, the agreement does not create u.s. bases in colombia. it does provide united states access to colombian basis, but command and control and secured it -- and security will be colombia's responsibility. any action will have to be mutually agreed upon in advance. the united states does not have and does not want bases inside colombia. second, there will be no permanent increase in u.s. military increase in colombia.
the congressional mandated cap of the number of u.s. service members and contractors will remain and will be respected. and third, this agreement does not pertain to other countries. this is about the bilateral cooperation between the united states and colombia, regarding security matters within colombia. our hemisphere faces and number of pressing challenges, from public health concern such as hini by rest to narcotic trafficking, terror, and organized crime. these all demand our attention and our collaboration. and so the united states and colombia are committed to working together and to making it possible for us to deliver results for the people of our two countries. so once again i want to thank the foreign minister for his visit and invite him to say a few words.