tv Today in Washington CSPAN December 25, 2009 6:00am-7:00am EST
ed. i would like you or your department to do or we will do from our offices. we would like to get some indication of what salaries are and to see whether they are consistent with the responsibilities that go into the manning of the cockpit on an airliner. regional airliners operate half of all domestic departures. they move more than 160 million people per year. if we have one level of safety for both regional and major network carriers, shouldn't the pilots of the regional characters betrayed and compensated at the same level as pilots from major network carriers, particularly if they are flying an identical routes?
>> the data you mentioned earlier on what the compensation records are, they are readily available. the report today to the department transportation. we know what all carriers patti and it is broken down into a cockpit, mechanics, and so forth. the data is available to us. compensation varies from every carrier. while i certainly have concerns, it might not shock you to know that by flu for eastern airlines and took a 20% pay cut and lost a substantial part of my pension plan. i am very aware of what does these things it still concerns me and it should concern all of us that we will not continue to attract the best and brightest in this industry if we cannot compensate people. if we cannot be assured that we
will have a pension plan, i testified in this building in 1992 about pension reform and the obligation i thought the carriers had that is not my role here today but i am concerned that if the wages are not supportive of attracting qualified, intelligent people to these jobs, in the long run, we will suffer. the faa cannot undertake this but i think the commercial airline industry, and i would applaud secretary la hood who has called together the group to talk about this. he brought these groups together to have them sit down. what do we want is the airline industry to produce? to what service to small cities and jobs for by individuals? have we enable the system to do that? i applaud that action.
he will and power that within two weeks. he has made it clear that he does not want a series of nice things to do. he wants a series of actionable items we can take. >> we had an incident in this room sometime ago when there was a takeover attempt of one airline by another. the acquiring airline was willing to pay $17 billion cash to buy the other airlines. the room was full pilots from the acquiring airline. i asked a question about -- of the ceo of the company that they had $17 billion available for purchase of another airline, why were they reducing pensions? the room broke out in applause. i was not looking for that.
the deal was broken because there was different evidence of a responsibility that the airlines had to take. we need their cooperation in determining what kind of compensation ought to be there to make sure that the pilot is flying as much as we can with a respectable salary that says this job is worth it. people love to fly, as you know. they will fly for almost any price, not just for income but for love of the job. they rented a real service. -- they are rendering a real service. the former faa minister stated that new work-liberty air traffic control tower needed at least 35 controllers to move traffic safety but right now, there were only 26 certified in
any the tower. they are supposed to have 35 trained but they have only 26 fully trained. i have been asking this question for the past five years. this time, i would like to have to be the last on that we discussed this. i trust you, mr. administrator, to make sure that if you do not have the resources to do this, then you have to let us know. when will the new work to our be fully staffed with certified controllers? when will love or to be fully staffed? -- when will la guardia be fully staffed? also jfk, why are they
understaffed? there may be technological reasons that say we can get by with that. to tell us about it. lastly, the faa has taken a major air redesign in the new jersey-new york,. area. this could increase the noise levels over many parts of new jersey. in 2007, the faa official dismissed the noise problem as a societal issue. we cannot say in good conscience that the quality of life and issues affecting 100 sub -- hundred of thousands of new jersey residents should be redesigned.
there is also a concern about living in the path of an airport. can we count on you to do that? also, your willingness to hold a town hall meeting in new jersey to discuss any at they plan to address the safety and noise concerns regarding aerospace design projects? >> yes, sir, i have indicated in the best that one of the areas we have not done well is when we talk about airspace redesign, people immediately focus on new data lines that did not used to go over the area in which they live. we have a couple of things, if i could expand, we have a new contract with the air corps
traffic controllers association. we are making a lot of efforts to have a much better dialogue and ability to communicate with them and the ability to collaborate with them on issues. i want their participation in this airspace redesign. i welcome their participation. this is an environment in which they live. they do this day to day. you can have a lot of academic studies but having the academic and the tactical solution parallel and made it with the practitioner, gives you a part project in the end. secondly, i think it is in a incumbent upon us to let people know that we are doing more than just changing the dotted lines. we are not redesigning this just because it is working so well now. it is not working well now. with the new technology we have, we will be able to utilize a lot of new techniques.
>> we look forward to that. i will close this hearing. once again, i would like to convey our condolences to those who lost loved ones on the flight to buffalo. we are trying very hard, honestly, and i address this to the people here, to make sure that we learn from mistakes, how terrible a mistake that was, how terrible error in judgment that was in terms of having the kind of person in the cockpit that you could not feel good about or was unable to assist in then, the emergency. with that, i close this hearing and i think all of you for being here. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009]
this week and newsmakers, our guest is director of the national institutes of health. he discusses stem cell research, genome technology, and that was agency might be affected by health care legislation. that is sunday morning at 10:00 eastern, and 6:00 eastern on c- span. beginning monday, a rare glimpse into america's highest court for unprecedented, on the record conversations with 10 supreme court justices about the court, their work, and the history of the iconic supreme court building. five days of interviews starting monday at 8:00 p.m., on c-span and get your own copy of the original documentary on dvd. it is part of the american icons collection, 83-disc set. it is one of the of many items available at c-span.org/store. yesterday, the senate passed its
version of a health care bill with a 60-39 votes. here are some of the event in washington before, during, and after the boat beginning with floor debate on the bill. of government operations. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i want to associate myself with the remarks that the majority leader made about all of the people that work at the capitol during the difficult an intense time. we thank you very much for your outstanding service. it's early and i'll be brief. the most obvious problem with the bill before us is it doesn't do what it was supposed to do. the one test for any bill was whether it would lower costs. this bill fails that test. it's also clear that even many of the people on this side who are going to support this bill don't like it.
otherwise, the democratic leaders wouldn't have had such a tough time rounding up the votes. otherwise, democratic leaders would not have had to have votes in the middle of the night or at crack of dawn or over the weekend or even during a blizzard. otherwise, they wouldn't be rushing it through congress on christmas eve. the first time this body has had a vote on the day before christmas in more than a century. this debate was supposed to produce a bill that reformed health care in america. instead, we're left with party line votes in the middle of the night, a couple of sweetheart deals to get it over the finish line in a truly outrage -- and a
truly outraged public. the problem, they were told would be fixed wasn't. i guarantee you the people who voted for this bill are going to get an earful when they finally get home for the first time since thanksgiving. they know there is widespread opposition to this monstrosity. and i want to assure you, mr. president, this fight isn't over. in fact, this fight is long from over. my colleagues and i will work to stop this bill from becoming law. that's the clear will of the american people and we're going to continue to fight on their behalf. mr. reid: mr. president? vice president the majority leader. mr. reid: like so many endeavors that have benefited so many americans, making health insurance more affordable and
health insurance companies more accountable is a process. it's one that is required as to find common ground as we should. that's why, mr. president, we have a piece of legs that over the -- legislation that over the next decade will reduce the deficit by $132 billion. over the next decade, as much as $1.3 trillion. now, mr. president, everyone knows we've had votes in the middle of the note and on christmas eve because the republicans wouldn't allow us to have votes at any other hour. now, it's true when we go home, we're going to hear an earful. i'm going to hear an earful from young caleb. a boy, mr. president, that was born with legs that stopped right here, above his knees, he needed new prosthetic devices because the rest of his body is growing. but the insurance company said no, because he had a preexisting
condition. i'll get an earful from caleb and especially from his parents. an earful of joy. from this day forward insurance companies will not be able to deny coverage because of preexisting condition disability. people like caleb and people who have children with diabetes and other problems, it's over. with so, yes, we're going to hear an earful, but it's going to be an earful of wonderment an happiness that people waited for for a long time. this morning is not the end of the process. it's merely the beginning. we'll continue to build on this success to improve our health system even more and to further ease the terrible burdens on american families an businesses. but that process cannot begin unless we start today. the american people and the american economy cannot afford for us to wait for the next time. because, you see, mr. president, there may not be a next time. nearly 65 years ago, harry
truman condemned a system that condemned its citizens to the devastating economic side effects of sickness. nearly 65 years later we still suffer from the same. just months after world war ii came to crease, president harry s. truman wrote in a letter to congress to this body and i quote -- "we should resolve now that the health of this nation is a national concern, that financial barriers and the way of attaining health shall be removed. that the health of all of its citizens deserves the help of all of the nation." decades have passed and these financial barriers have grown taller, but we will never solve the problem unless we find the resolve, which we haven't found, until, mr. president, today. this is how long we've waited. think of those who are just 1-year-old in 194 a 5 -- 1945.
there are far too many who have lived their lives have not had any type of health care. any type of health care. coverage got more and more expensive each year. insurance companies found more and more excuses to leave them out in the cold. and for those who worked in small businesses or owned one or moved from job to job, the peace of mind health care can provide was merely a dream. today on the verge of the year 2010, those americans are finally just months away from qualifying for medicare. that's a long time for a citizen to wait for health care in the greatest and richest nation the world has known. how much longer? how much longer can we afford to put this off or ask the uninsured for their patience? until health care costs consume not just a one-sixth of our economy, but a third or a half or until premiums consume more than half of a family's income? we certainly don't have, mr. president, the luxury of
waiting until america becomes the only developed nation on earth where you can die for lack of health insurance. we already bear that blemish. that's why we're bringing security and stability to millions who have health insurance and bringing health insurance to millions who have none. mr. president, can we have order? the vice president: the senate will be in order. mr. reid: what we will do is ensure consumers have more choices and insurance companies face more competition. we'll stand up for insurance who deny health care to the sick and drive millions to bankruptcy and foreclosure. we'll add years to the life of medicare which will add years to the life of seniors. we'll trade a system that demands you pay more and get less for one in which you will pay less and get more. as we do all this, we'll slash our children's deficit in dramatic fashion. we may not completely cure this
crisis today or tomorrow, but we must start toward that end. we must strive for progress and not surrender for one of purity. our charge is to move forward. this is a tradition as old as this republic, one that has always comprised interests and opinions as diverse as the people who populate it. our founding fathers did not promise to form an unfallable new nation. they promised instead to promote the general welfare as we move toward a more perfect union. they valued progress. our nation's earliest leaders promised not absolute happiness but only the pursuit of that goal. they valued opportunity. and like other new programs that improve the lives of many and were since strengthened to improve even more, programs like medicare, medicaid, social security, progress and opportunity are what this historic bill represents. to those who so admirably care so much for their fellow man
that they demand more, i say this is just the beginning. with senator ted kennedy's voice booming in our ears, with his passion in our hearts, we say, as he said, the work goes on, the cause endures. opponents of this bill used every trick in the book to delay this day, this moment. yet here we are minutes away from doing what many have tried but none have ever achieved. we're here because facts will always defeat fear. and though one might slow the progress, they can't stop it. and though one might slow the speed of progress, its force cannot be stopped. mr. president, i'm sorry to say that for the first time in american history, for the first time in american history a political party has chosen to stand on the sidelines rather than participate in great and greatly needed social change.
i'm sorry to see that many on the other side have resorted to myths and misinformation and continue to rely on them long after they were debunked. and it's regrettable that they view our citizens' health care through a political lens, because affording to live a healthy life isn't about politics or partisanship or polling. mr. president, it's about people. it's about life and death in america. it's a question of morality, of right and wrong. it's about human suffering. and given the the chance to relieve this suffering, we must take this chance and deliver on a promise the american people have deserved for six and a half decades. the vice president: the clerk will read the bill for the third time. the clerk: calendar number 175, h.r. 3590, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to modify the first-time home buyers credit in the case of members of the armed forces
and certain other federal employees, and for other purposes. the vice president: the question is on the passage of h.r. 3590, which is amended, is the patent protection and affordable care act. there is a sufficient second. the -- there appears to be. there is. the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
>> i had a restless night worrying about bipartisanship and i think i found a way tested. nowhere in history have we found a way to make health care more affordable than today. this is a victory for the american people, those fortunate enough to have health insurance will be able to keep theirs and of those who do not will be able to have health insurance. this is a victory because we have affirmed that the ability to live a healthy life in our great country is a right and not merely privilege for the select few. this morning's vote brings us one step closer to making ted kennedy's dream a reality. it is the dream of americans which is part of that treatment ted kennedy.
that has also become a reality. every step of this long process has been an enormous undertaking. i want to thank chairman baucus, dodd, and hearkene. i want to thank my leadership team, they have been remarkably supportive. all will always be indebted to them. centers marie and harkin are off to their families. i look forward to working with my friends in the house so we can send a bill to the president as soon as possible. senator baucus, we will hear from the senators and we will not take questions. >> it has been nearly two years since we began our work. and we are very proud of this moment. we stand here at the finish line. as the tender, we do not stand alone part we stand up with those who blazed the trail
before us. this was all the way from president theodore roosevelt to our good friend who is with us in spirit, as senator ted kennedy. we're standing with millions of american families who've been forced into bankruptcy to cover the cost of health care. we stayed here on behalf of 45 million americans who do not have health insurance part we stand with small-business owners who cannot afford health insurance for their employees. we stand with americans suffering from diseases like cancer, diabetes, and all those who have been discriminated against or deny health insurance coverage because of a pre- existing condition. we made history today for them and every american to fix our broken health care system. i want to thank leader harry reported requite he has managed to navigate these waters and get us here. this is a day we will look back upon as centers and will be very proud of what we have
accomplished. more reported, it will be important to get health insurance for those who cannot get health insurance and we will get health insurance costs under control. this is why we hired out for these jobs, to pass something historic and import like this, thank you. >> let me also pike senator reid. on this christmas eve, i cannot think of a better get the united states senate could give to our fellow citizens that lifting the burden of fear from their shoulders, the fear that they would not be able to provide health care for their families in a time of need. this was an enormous victory for the american public and i am proud to have been one vote that was cast in favor of this effort. last year proved that progress is not easy. ÷ it was not impossible because of the leadership of harry reid, max baucus, tom harkin and others, we are now on the cost of
achieving something that has defied generations and that is to provide alï americans with the security of having a decent health care. there has never been a vote cast in my tenure that has done as much to relieve the burdens and provide more security for middle-class working families in america than this one. this is probably the most important vote that every sitting member of the senate will cast in their tenure here. i am proud to have been a part of it and i thank my colleagues for staying with this and i wish ted kennedy were here with us today to enjoy this. merry christmas to everybody. >> the corridors of the senate are filled with portraits and statues of political leaders whose reputations and contributions many times have faded into obscurity. i will tell you that the contribution to this nation made by the senator from searchlight, now about will become of a shining chapters in the history of the united states senate and our nation. he achieved what others have failed.
he did it with the tenacity and strength and determination that i have never seen in my time serving in congress. i am honored to have stood beside him with so many others to see this great day for in a rut. this is a time of year of long nights and darkness where history tells us that from the beginning of time, people would gather and with their families and friends, would look for signs of hope and light a light and light a candle. this a vote this morning in the senate, lit a candle of hope for 50 million americans who went to bed last night without the protection of health insurance. for millions who quit this morning wondering if they will ever win that battle with health insurance companies for the coverage they need, for the surgical procedure, for the medication, is also a candle of hope for this nation that we are finally taking we -- tackling an issue that every family business knows the central to our progress as a nation.
we have succeeded through the efforts of senator baucus and senator dodd and senator schumer and senator murray and senator reid but also with the 'ú&nt that made this the highest priority on his agenda and told us he would work hard night and day to reach this mccoury we owe our appreciation to him and the vice-president, especially, for presiding over this session this morning. >> thank you. and a happy holiday and merry christmas and happy new year to everybody. the bill can be described midsentenin a single sentence. it can cut costs and waste and fraud at the same time, it covers 31 million people. who would of thought we could do both in the same bill? do it without a single republican vote and getting
everyone of the 60 democratic votes? who would have thought that we could finally get a handle on the thing that is driving and our budget deficit to great heights which is health care costs and at the same time do so much good buy coverage so many people. ? this is an amazing accomplishment. it would be under ordinary times and is even more so under extraordinary times. the three horsemen of this bill stand behind senator harry reid did amazing job. i just watched with awe with how he could weave the legislative fabric. max baucus never gave up. he started out early and persisted and persisted and persisted and persisted. no matter what lock was broken away. christopher dodd kept the flame of ted kennedy and the spirit of doing the right thing and doing a good thing and return to the highest about use of of this country. this is a happy day.
mitch mcconnell said on the floor that we will go home and hear our constituents or elegances bel pre i don't believe that. i believe that the negativity that leader mitch mcconnell and others have continually displayed on the floor has peaked. now, when people learn what is actually in the bill and all the good it does, it will become more and more popular because it is good for america, good for the american people, and the true symbol of what we can do if we all pull together. [no audio]
>> after the senate passed the health care bill, the president spoke briefly with reporters at the white house. >> members of the senate voted to pass a health care bill that was revolutionary purposes a century-long struggle to reform the american health-care system. ever since teddy roosevelt first call for reform in 1912, seven
presidents, democrats and republicans alike, have taken up the cause of reform. time and time again, such efforts have been blocked by special interest lobbyists would have perpetuated the status quo that works better for the insurance industry than it does for the american people. with passage of reform bills in both the house and senate, we are now finally poised to deliver on the promise of real, meaningful health insurance reform that will bring additional security and stability to the american people. the reform bill that passed the senate this morning, like the house bill, includes the toughest measures ever taken to hold the insurance industry accountable. insurance companies will no longer be able to deny you covered on the basis of. a pre- existing of able longer be able to drop your coverage when you get sick. no longer will be you paying on limited amounts out of your pocket for the procedures you need and you will be able to appeal decisions by insurance
companies to an independent party for when this legislation becomes law, workers will not at the word of losing coverage if they lose or change jobs. family will save on premiums. businesses that would see their costs rise if we do not act will save money now and will save money in the future. this bill will strengthen medicare and extend the life of the program. it will make coverage affordable for over 30 million americans who do not have it. 30 million americans -- because it is paid for and curbs the waste and inefficiency in our healthcare system, this bill will help reduce our deficit by as much as $1.30 trillion in the coming decade. it will make it the largest deficit-reduction plan over a decade. these are not small reforms, these are big reforms. if passed, this will be the most important piece of social legislation since the social
security act passed in the 1930's. the most import reform of our healthcare system since medicare passed in the 1960's. what makes it so important is not just its cost savings or its debt as reductions. it is the impact the reform will have americans who no longer have to go without a checkup or prescriptions that they need because they cannot afford them, families who will draft a worry that a signal elli single illnee them bankrupt. reforming a difference in the lives of the american people i want to commend senator harry reid, the extraordinary work he did, speaker nancy pelosi for her extraordinary leadership and dedication, having passed reform bills in the house and the senate, we now have to take up the last and most important step and reach agreement on a funnel reform bill that i can
sign into law. i look forward to working with members of congress and the coming weeks to do exactly that. with the boat today, we are incredibly close to making health insurance reform a reality in this country. our challenge is to finish the job. and do another generation of americans with soaring costs, eroding coverage, and exploding deficit. instead, we need to do what we were sent here to do and the -- and improve the lives of people we serve. for the sake of our citizens, are common, and their future, let's make 2010 the year we funnel reform health care in the united states of america. everybody, merry christmas, happy new year. >> do you have a holiday which for the troops? >> i do and i will be actually -- i am on my way to call a few of them. i wish them a merry christmas and to thank them for their extraordinary service as they
are posted in iraq and afghanistan. @ej÷ c1 >> following the vote, democratic senator ben sanders spoke about the -- ben nelson spoke about the abortion provision. >> mr. president, during the consideration of the health care bill, one of my primary concerns has been insuring that the long standing hyde amendment would be incorporated into the bill. i have strongly held views on this subject and i fought hard to prevent tax dollars from being used to subsidize abortions. i was pleased that the house included strong abortion provisions in its health care bill in the form of stpupec amendment.
i wanted to prohibit federal funding of abortion. i was disappointed to see the amendment was tabled by a vote of 54-45. i knew then that the underlying bill did not adequately prohibit federal funding of abortion and consequently, i would not be able to support it. i began to look for other language to accomplish the goal that no public funds should cover abortions in the new health care bill. after long days up negotiations, i believe we came up with a true compromise that stays faithful to my principles. i want to be clear -- i stuck to my guns and stood for my prayer- like principles. i did not look for weaker language. i looked for clearer language buried michael stayed the same -- to maintain the standard we have had in federal law since the mid 1970's. while i respect the senator from
kansas' opinion, i have to respectfully disagree -- the senate language fully upholds the high principles like the language in the house bill. the wording may be different but the principle is in fact upheld. under the health care bill, if you cannot afford insurance, you will receive federal assistance to help pay for private health- care plans. the stupec language prohibits covering abortions. if you would like a plan that covers abortions, you must purchase a rider or endorsement to your plan with your own funds. you can do that by writing one check to the insurer. for that, you get a separate piece of paper addressing abortion. the senate language, with my at a compromise, also prohibits federal funds for paying for
private insurance that covers abortions for the only difference is that in the senate bill, if you are receiving federal assistance to buy insurance, and of that plan has an abortion coverage, the insurance company must bill you separately and you must pay separately from your own personal funds. , perhaps a credit card transaction, a personal check or automatic withdrawal from your bank account. you have to write two checks -- one for the basic policy and one for the additional coverage for abortion. the latter has to be entirely from personal funds. under both stuped and the new senate language, no federal funds can be used to pay for a plan that covers abortion. if you choose to purchase abortion coverage if it is available, you must pay out of your own pocket.
furthermore, the satellite which allows states the right to ban public and private insurance from supplying abortion coverage. already, 12 statesban abortion coverage and public plans and five states ban abortion coverage on public and private plans. in short, the senate bill in chores once again no federal funds will be used for abortion. i would[lb like to note that the senate bill goes billstupec. it adds funding to support women.nt and parenting teens xñj h÷well, it expands the adoption tax credit to help adoptive parents with the considerable expends of adoption by making that credit a refundable tax credit. this means that many parents, potential parents, like the regular resources to adopt will now be in a better position to
do so. the senate bill also contains the same strong conscience- protections included in the syupec language. we tried winning approval for the nelson-hatch-casey language but we did not give up -- give up. people as drug killings about abortion and i respect those who disagree with my position. i cannot support health reform that did not maintain the 30- year standard barring public on the abortion. i did not compromise my pro-life principles, which is found differently goods that would work. no public funding will go to abortion. in addition, provision empowers the states to pass laws banning the sale of insurance that covers abortion. we make it clear that this new
law, this new bill does not in any way preempt the rights of states to be able to continue to make that ban in the decisions they might make legislatively. we want to make certain that there is no doubt over what this bill -- that it has no pre- emption of state rights. despite what some partisans and talk-show hosts say in scare tactics, the conscience clause remains. despite what those same people and even some of my colleagues have said, the bottom line is -- the senate health care bill will not allow a taxpayer money to pay for abortion forperiod. thank you, madam president, and the yield the floor. >> for details for was next in health care legislation, we talked to a congressional
quarterly reporter. host: the senate proceeded to vote on h.r. 3590 had passed the senate by a vote of 60-39. we have kathleen hunter to talk about health care legislation. she writes for congressional quarterly. what is the next step in the process? guest: now that the bill has passed and the senate, the next step is for the house and the senate to meet in conference and resolve differences between their two versions of the bill. host: what will be the most contentious issues between house and senate negotiators? guest: it will be many of the same issues that were contentious during the debate, the public option, potentially, abortion language, and also questions about how the bill is financed.
the house and senate have different mechanisms for paying for the bill. host: a number of members and senators are releasing statements. "i am deeply disappointed the bill option." can i build a does not include this passed the house? s-tguest: the house bill includa formal public option and the senate bill did not. there were a number of liberal senators who had pushed hard for public option and majority leader harry reid, is original bill included a public option with the opportunity for states to opt out of that. in the senate, there was not enough support for that. republicans were unified against it and there were enough democrats, moderate democrats that opposed it, most notably in depended joseph lieberman who said he was very much against
it. the public option was eventually dropped from the bill and it does not seem as though the contours' of that debate will change between now and january. it seems unlikely there will be support come january for something there is no support for now. host: congressman bart stupac is unhappy about the abortion language. what is the difference in the bills in the house and senate on abortion? guest: that was the main sticking point with senator ben nelson from nebraska. majority leader harry reid met with him for a marathon session for two days at the end of last week to work out compromise language. i talked with senator nelson after the vote this morning and he is adamant that that language does not change in conference. i2congressman stupac has been talking about pressing for the house language but it seems as
though moving in that direction could lose support of liberals on the language. host: thank you for the update and have a happy holiday. @uq>> coming up next, two days guest"washington journal." there'll be a forum on the 2010 political landscape and later, a look inside blair house, the president's official guest house. coming up in 30 minutes, general ga